User login

Video Editing and Multi-Lingual Video Strategies webinar

Hello everyone! Back on 13 February, LSNTAP and Atlanta Legal Aid Society co-hosted a webinar on Video Editing and Multi-Lingual Strategies. Brian Rowe of LSNTAP and Kristin Verrill facilitated the discussion, and our speakers were

To kick things off, Muirhead demonstrated some features of Final Cut Pro (version 6). To start, she demonstrated disk scratching, or designating where your project files will be saved, and checking the formatting and other settings on a video. Now, you’re ready to get started.

Final Cut Pro start

Muirhead pointed out different areas of the Final Cut interface: a Browser, Viewer, Canvas, and Timeline.

Final Cut Pro labeled

Next, Muirhead showed some different ways to import media files (video, audio, and images) to demonstrate working with them. Within the Browser, Muirhead then created a Bin (or folder) to organize the files she was working with. Effects, transitions, and video filters are also contained within a different window of the Browser.

The Viewer allows you to play around with effects and filters, and the Canvas lets you see the final video as you build it. The Timeline, along the bottom of the screen, is where you edit the video (on the top portion) and the audio (along the bottom portion). For audio, Muirhead suggests keeping volume levels around twelve decibels, according to the meter on the right-hand side of Final Cut’s interface.

Final Cut Pro wtih media

Muirhead demonstrated bringing video files into the Timeline and rendering them so that they could be formatted and viewed in Final Cut. Within the Viewer, she demonstrated layering of video, text, and audio files, such that the files in each track will be displayed over the files in the tracks below them. She also used “in and out points” to create motion over an image of a document – so that the “camera” pans from top to bottom to show all of it. She also demonstrated adding transitions for video clips and correcting a video’s color, rendering after each change. Finally, Muirhead demonstrated exporting the video for use.

Final Cut Pro color correction

In response to a question from the audience, Rowe and Muirhead discussed the cost of Final Cut – around $300. While on the expensive side, Final Cut is a professional editing tool and gives the user a lot more flexibility and tools to use than other pieces of software, like iMovie. It might still be worth checking, however, if there is a nonprofit discount available.

 For more on using iMovie and Final Cut, check out articles and other documentation compiled by Muirhead on the ShareLawVideo website.

Next, Ediger took over to talk about using iMovie for multi-lingual videos. He opened a new project and imported some media, then demonstrated the different parts of the interface: the Viewer (in green, below), the “raw ingredients” field (in yellow, below), and the Editor (in blue, below).

iMovie fields

If you’re using Camtasia Studio (which is cross-platform software, as opposed to iMovie and Final Cut, which are Apple-specific), the fields are similar.

Camtasia fields

Ediger demonstrated adding in stills, video clips, and audio tracks (using iMovie’s “Jingles,” a set of clips you can use for free). Because iMovie has a much simpler interface than Final Cut, you can essentially just drag and drop everything into place. Once finished, Ediger demonstrated exporting the video and uploading it to YouTube.

Ediger then moved on to a discussion of multi-lingual videos. Basically, he suggested recording video just once to save time and money, using a group of relatively inexpensive tools.

Tools We Use to Make Videos

YouTube also has an embeddable button that you can include on your video to link to the same video in another language, which Ediger recommends.

He also recommends recreating only the text in animated videos, instead of redoing all the visuals. It can also be very cheap to use a green screen (basically, a green sheet of fabric, which you can order online, and some cheap lamps) if you prefer to have a live person in your video. Visually interesting or entertaining elements of your video, like speech bubbles instead of voices, can also make it easier to translate your video. Be creative!

A number of Ediger’s images are available on the ShareLawVideo website if you’re interested in using those, or contact him for those not yet uploaded.

Ediger and Rowe talked about free and low-cost video editing and animation websites, of which there are a fair number out there. Mashable lists a number of such sites, including Xtranormal, GoAnimate, Devolver, and Voki; other options include Animoto, Stupeflix, DoInk (for iPad or iPhone), Flixtime,, Toon Boom, and Image Chef. I haven't experimented with any of these too extensively, so look around - but there are a variety of websites or software packages that can meet your budget and needs.

Jing and Snagit are also good tools for screen grabs, though it seems that Jing will be discontinued in the next year or so. YouTube also now has some video editing features within its interface. They’re fairly basic, but easy to use.

Finally, Ediger demonstrated a few features of Camtasia Studio, and Rowe brought up Amara, a pretty neat crowd-sourced, low-cost translation tool for videos. And with that, the presentation wrapped up.

Thanks very much to our presenters!

Happy editing, everyone,