Friday 22 February 2013

How to Post Edit a Hangout On Air for Beginners by Mike Downes

Sony Vegas Edit Window
Video editing is something I've always walked away from, until now.

I've said many times before, how I prefer text and the odd photo to time consuming video production.

No real surprise how Hangouts have lead the way in realtime communication.

But, the way video has become both essential and comfortable is the clincher for me. No longer, is it a novelty.

For example, I was in a Hangout with Law Enforcement in Sept 2011 in Dallas, Texas. At the same conference two weeks ago, I was looking for text links, audio feeds, certain users to be there and I made sure I was hitting the marks like notes on scale. Having been in 1,750 Hangouts has taught me something.

The post shared at Google+
There are three areas that need to be right: Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production.

With over 150,000 Hangouts On Air at YouTube, people have a choice. Mix in all the other videos out there and traditional TV, and people have even more of a choice.

The big difficulty with video - it's hard to search what's important. With text and photos, it's easy to skip read, scan the eye down the page and see what jumps out.

Nowadays, we do have that mini YouTube thumbnail. You know, the one where we drag the red slider across the clip. We can estimate what's on screen, but that's it. There's also the auto machine transcript that's searchable, so we can narrow content that way.

The best way, take it all step by step with an example. I'm going to use +Kerry Blakeman's keynote at #SMILECon. The Hangout On Air was timed for 49:20 which was based around a slide presentation with embedded videos.
When broadcast Live, there were some technical delays, so I knew so parts had to be shortened. But, little did I know how much (I will came to that in a moment).

Sony Vegas Playlist
For the last two few years, all I have used for video edits is Windows Movie Maker. It's free and easy to use. Although there is a timeline, you do not have access to multi tracks (not that I even knew what they were).

I had a copy of Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11.0 sitting on my hard drive. It had been there for over a year. I'd never used it and didn't have a clue where to start. 

Here are a few things that made me succeed. I searched YouTube for some help videos, read every single help screen the program had to offer. I made a 21 Video Playlist, shared it at g+ in case other people were learning to and wanted to collaborate. And then I downloaded a few clips from YouTube other people had made.

Screenshot from a Michelle Phan Video (x3 video tracks)
Loading them on a time line allowed me to see how many seconds (and frames) each event lasted. I have to thank Michelle Phan and one video in particular: Three ways to change up your look as it gave the me insight to see what's going on in a short clip. And there's a lot.

I believe for every experienced video editor out there, there's another nine who have never tried it. And it's for those people I write this post.

From here, this post could get really complicated if I take every single edit. Let's say, to make it real easy, you open the downloaded Hangout On Air file onto the Sony Vegas timeline (in this case a 127mb 49:19 mp4 of size 640x360).

Unedited clip
What I learned, no short way to be thorough in video editing. I sat there for hours listen to every OK, Emm or dead air. I hit s (to split the track), m to mark important parts and deleted the parts that just weren't needed.

I used jump cuts all the time in this edit as the speaker was at a distance. The audio is consistent and that's where the focus is. There were no reasons to make fancy time line edits, as thankfully, this keynote was in order already.

Edited clip
What I had to do in preparation was download some video clips from other sites like This took some time as I needed the RealPlayer downloader and then a file converter (so the flash video files could be opened in Sony Vegas).

Finally, after adding a simple title and end credit, I had a file of 33:16 that could be rendered then uploaded to YouTube (the new file was 368mb at 360x480). Now, doing the match, we have the original pre-edited file at 127mb (time of 49:20), an addition of more clips, yet the new clip is massive yet 16 mins shorter.

Not to worry about all that at this stage. However, to upload the new clip to YouTube takes about one more hour (at the small bandwidth I have).

Another Help Video, this one by TeraBrite
So far, you could easily have spent two to fours hours plus the upload time on this edit. It took me a lot longer as it was my first attempt. In hindsight, get to know how to edit in small clips of about three minutes (not 49 mins).

Another tool you can use is the time stamp at YouTube with the new clip. I made eleven notations so viewers can skip to relevant  parts of the broadcast.

Finally, like anything else, the more you edit - the faster it gets. I was careful to make this experience valuable for me as a learning experience. In other words, I ticked off each new skill. If it made no sense, then I watched a video or read a help screen again.

I was also conscious of what I did not use ie the trimmer, transitions, ripples, audio adjust (apart from once with the helicopter clip), pan and zoom.

I think the only way to really see what the difference is simply compare the two..

Unedited Version 49:20

Post Edited Version 33:17

Emergency Service & Public Collaboration using Social Media by Chief Inspector Kerry Blakeman, West Midlands Police, UK @kerryblakeman

10:14 The Harry Styles, One Direction Moment
14:40 May 2011 Cheylsmore Video
17:30 Helicopter Flight
21:38 Bambuser LIVE Demo
23:07 Petrol Bomb Training
23:23 Bonfire Night Clip Simon Shilton
24:22 Google+ Hangouts
24:44 First Ever UK Hangout On Air by UK Police on the Streets
25:57 Early Morning drink Drive Check, Birmingham, UK
27:38 LIVE Hangout with Simon Shilton and Mike Downes
32:48 Thanks and Closing Words

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