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What is Digital Video Editing Software?
by Garry Hood

Digital Video Editing software is software that allows you to use your computer to edit video and audio, usually via a standard or modified computer keyboard and mouse. It can also be software that is incorporated into a turnkey video editing system that consists of a custom, dedicated computer for editing. Final Cut Pro, Avid, Vegas Video, Adobe Premiere, and Pinnacle Studio are examples of video editing software. The Casablanca, Kron, and Video Toaster are examples of turnkey video editing systems that contain video editing software.

Digital video editing software allows you to upload your video footage into a computer in a process called video capture. The video and audio that you capture is generally stored on the computer hard drive and then is accessed as needed during the video editing process. This differs remarkably from old-fashioned linear video editing in that the video can be randomly accessed. That is, the computer can go to any hard drive location very rapidly and pull up any section of video and audio that you want and use it to edit. There is no need to change videocassettes or reels of videotape and to wind through the tape to locate a shot before you edit it in. Video clips can be dragged and dropped and moved around at will and manipulated in many ways with very little effort. Generally, these clips are laid down on what is called a timeline which

is displayed on the computer screen. You can place clips on a particular point on the timeline, insert a clip between two existing clips, shuffle clips around, etc. You can also store clips in "bins" or files and name them. You may have a timeline for video, and a timeline for audio, and in many video editing software programs you can make use of multiple audio and video timelines. In many video editing software systems you can also store and maintain alternate versions of productions with very little effort, because of the ease with which you can make a copy of an edited production to be stored on the same hard drive, then modify it separately from the original.

In many video editing software programs special effect can be "rendered" digitally, titles can be created digitally, and so on. What you can do is largely determined by what is written into the video editing program, the speed and power of your computer and the size of your hard drive.

Copyright © by Garry Hood 2004

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