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Required tools for video workshops

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:00 pm
by EntAllat
To get started in the fanvid workshops you'll need some software tools and the proper setup. Read this first, and if you have any questions, post them below and I'll try my best to provide answers.

For fanvid creation purposes, you won't have to worry about the right kind of video camera, cables and ports or getting the video into your computer from a camcorder since you'll be working directly with digital video. At best, you'll need a DVD drive on your computer if you plan to try to get the video clips directly from your DVDs. (Which is a WHOLE 'nuther thing that I'm not going to get into here. For the workshops I'll provide video clips you can download and use or you can use any you already have.)


Video editing doesn't require an expensive computer, especially if you're a beginner. You'll need a decent monitor and video card, which come installed on most new computers. If you have an older computer, check it against your video editing software specifications to make sure it will work for video editing. Unfortunately, many older computers simply aren't fast enough for video editing, and you'll need to upgrade your whole system. - quote snagged from

If you've got a fairly newish computer - say, purchased new in the last three years or so - you don't have much to worry about. Your computer's processing speed, video card, etc. should handle everything just fine, and it'll come with either iMovie (MAC) or Movie Maker (PC).

Anything between three years and five years old should be fine too, though you might have to use an older version of most video editing software and

If your computer is older than five years old, let's talk about what software may be possible.

Regardless of what kind of computer you have access to, you might want to consider getting an extra external hard drive - you can pick one up at Best Buy. One hour of full-quality DV footage, like you get from a mini-DV camcorder, takes up nearly 13 GB of hard drive space. The 3-5 minutes MOV clips off my HD digital camcorder can take up as much as 2-3 G each and the completed projects can vary widely on the amount of files space they take up, depending on how you compress them. In other words, video footage takes up a lot of space and you'll need somewhere to put it. An external hard drive for all the video stuff comes in really handy.

There are a LOT of video editing software out there, from free to mid-range (QuickTime Pro) to professional. (Avid (MAC and PCs), Adobe Premiere (PCs) Final Cut Pro (MAC)). Here's what I recommend for us in the workshops:

On a Mac:
iMovie - it comes free with your Mac and is one of the best non-profesional video editing tools out there. Alternatives are QuickTime Pro and Final Cut (neither are free).

On the PC:
Movie Maker - this comes free with most newer PCs. Otherwise, QuickTime Pro of Adobe Premiere (same deal, neither are free).

There are a lot of other free and inexpensive options out there if you want to look around for them, with varying degrees of support and free tutorials available on the web. The above are your best bet if you'd like to make use of web resources, YouTube tutorials and published how-to books.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:09 pm
by Aquarius
My computer is just over a year old, but I couldn't find Movie Maker on it, so I installed this: Was that the right one?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:57 pm
by EntAllat
That's the one! You're good to go. I'll post some basic tutorial sites tomorrow before we start our first basic workshop sometime next late week.