Split and Edit HD Video Using Free Software

Edited by BridgeMix, Eng, Jen M


How To Split and Edit HD Video Using Free Software

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Imagine you're using your phone to record an embarrassing selfie when suddenly, a cat races through the scene behind you with a dog in hot pursuit! Incredibly, at that very moment a CLOWN CAR pulls up to the stop light and the cat dashes in through the driver's open window, and the dog dives in after it, causing TWENTY CLOWNS to come bursting out of the funny little vehicle!! The cat and dog take off through an open door and the clowns quickly pile back in and drive off as the light turns green.
Amazing! And you recorded the whole thing! You have the world's funniest home video and it's going to go viral! But what about those embarrassing selfies at the beginning, are you really looking for that kind of attention? Wouldn't it be nice if you could just split and edit the video to remove that embarrassing part? For free? You can, and here's how!

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Windows Movie Maker

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About 90% of personal computers are running on a Microsoft Windows operating system[1], which usually comes bundled with a handy little piece of software called Windows Movie Maker. The odds are, this is probably the quickest and easiest solution to splitting and editing your video clip, so let's take a quick look at it first and then we'll explore some other options that will appeal to Apple Mac OSX users as well.

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  1. 1
    Open Windows Movie Maker.
    • Drag your mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen and click on the Windows Start icon.
    • You might have a similar icon built into your keyboard and pressing this will also open the Windows Start menu.
    • Type Windows Movie Maker, and click on the matching result from the list to open the program. If you typed in the entire phrase without typos, there should only be one match. In some cases it may say Windows Live Movie Maker, and that's fine too. As a shortcut, you can just type the word Movie, but you'll have to pay closer attention to the search results since they may offer additional options when the search parameter is less defined.
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    • If for some reason Movie Maker is not already installed on your Windows computer, you can download it here[2].
      BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo3.png
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  2. 2
    Import Video Clip.
    Great! If you've made it this far, the rest is a cinch!
    • If you've already located the video file to edit, then just drag and drop it to the large open area in the Movie Maker workspace.
    • Otherwise, just click on the icon near the top left of the screen that says Add videos and photos, and navigate to the file that way. Don't forget to connect your camera first!
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    • Movie Maker will automatically start converting the video file into a Windows format it understands. It might take several minutes depending on the video so be patient and keep an eye on the Preparing Video progress bar at the bottom of the workspace until it's done.
      BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo5.png
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  3. 3
    Open Video Editor Tab.
    Select the Video Tools - Edit menu tab near the top of the workspace to open the video editing tools.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo6.png
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  4. 4
    Split Clip.
    Use the mouse and play button to find the point in the video where you want to split it, then click on the Split icon.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo7.png
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  5. 5
    Edit Clip.
    Click on the first half of the split clip that you want to remove, then press the delete button on your keyboard.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo8.png
    • Now that you've accomplished the basic edit, why not experiment with some other features, like adjusting the speed, adding fade in at the start and fade out at the end, or adding a music. If you try something that you don't like, just type Ctrl-z, or click the Undo icon near the top left to undo the last action, and then try something else.
      BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo9.png
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  6. 6
    Export Video.
    Once you're satisfied with your editing, click the Save Movie - For Computer icon near the top right and choose a name and save location for your video. If you don't know where to save it, try Desktop.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo10.png
    When it's done, press the Play button to review your final work.
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  7. 7
    Save Project.
    Don't forget to save the Movie Maker Project file as well. This will allow you to come back later and fine tune the edits you just made and export alternate edits of your video.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo10B.png
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Other Free Video Editing Software Options

If you've graduated beyond the simple split clip edit and are looking for something more robust than what Windows Movie Maker has to offer, there are some really incredible free options for video editing available, ranging all the way up to professional grade software like Lightworks (download here)[3]

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and Resolve (download here)[4].

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Another excellent video editing tool that has recently joined the ranks of free software is the latest release of Hitfilm, and it's available for PC or Mac.

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HitFilm 3 Express

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HitFilm Ultimate is a full-featured and versatile video, 3D and VFX editing software that is making a name for itself as a serious contender in the world of video production, and has an active and growing community for support. To attract even more users, they have released their basic version of HitFilm 3 Express, which includes all the essential tools with the option to purchase additional advanced components if the need arises.

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Top Reasons to Switch to HitFilm for Video Editing

  • Lots of Features
  • Easy to Use
  • Plentiful Support
  • PC and Mac
  • Minimal System Requirements

Here's how to get started with a basic split clip edit.

  1. 1
    Sign Up, Download and Install HitFilm 3 Express here[5], then open the program and click New project, then Start Editing.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo14.png
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  2. 2
    Import your raw footage, or drag and drop it into the Media folder on the left.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo15.png
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  3. 3
    Drag and drop the video from the Media folder into the Editor timeline.
    Allow the Editor Sequence Settings to change to match the clip by clicking Yes.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo16.png
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  4. 4
    Select the razor blade icon to switch the mouse pointer into the split clip tool.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo17.png
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  5. 5
    Find the exact frame in your footage that you want to split and click with the razor blade mouse icon.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo17B.png
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  6. 6
    Complete any additional edits and click on the Export tab at the top.
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  7. 7
    HitFilm Express will export your video directly to your YouTube account, but for the very first time you will have to Link Your YouTube Account.
    • Click the Add button.
    • Click the Open Browser button.
    • Log in to your YouTube Account.
    • Accept HitFilm's offer to manage your videos.
    • Highlight and Copy the Google Authorization Code.
    • Paste the Google code into the HitFilm and click OK.
    • From now on you can Export your edited video directly to your YouTube channel.
    • It's usually a good idea to Check the Make This Video Private button until you have a chance to view it yourself and choose the best time to share it with the world!
      BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo18.png
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Free Online Editing Tools

Online video editing software exists on the internet, there is nothing to download and install on your computer, you only need an internet connection. Since most videos that you want to share are likely to end up on the internet anyhow, you may find editing video online to be practical and convenient.

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The undisputed king of online video sharing is YouTube, and they offer some very basic, easy to use tools to edit your footage.

  1. 1
    Login to your free Google/YouTube account.
    If you don't have one already then you'll have to sign up. It's a free package deal that includes a YouTube account, Gmail, Google+, Google Drive, Google Docs, and lots of other neat stuff.
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  2. 2
    Upload your raw footage video.
    Remember to set the Privacy setting to Private. This raw footage isn't ready to be shared yet. Drag and drop the file onto the screen.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo19.png
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  3. 3
    When the Progress Bar has finished Uploading & Processing, click Done, and then click the YouTube video link.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo20.png
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  4. 4
    Click on the Enhancements icon below the viewer pane.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo21.png
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  5. 5
    Click the Trim button to open the timeline editor.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo22.png
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  6. 6
    Use your mouse to browse through the video and locate your edit point.
    Once satisfied, click the Split button.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo23.png
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  7. 7
    Mouse over to the section you want to remove and click the X (Delete)" button, and then Done.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo24.png
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  8. 8
    Click the Save As New Video button near the top right.
    It will take YouTube a bit of time to process it, even though they don't give you a Progress Bar to watch, so just check back in a few minutes.
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo25.png
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  9. 9
    Once it's complete, just update your title, description and privacy settings and your new video is ready for the world!
    BridgeMix BridgeMix EditVideo26.png
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Video Editing For Everyone

With digital video cameras being so prevalent today, it just makes sense to acquire a few basic tools and skills to edit raw video footage into it's most presentable form. It doesn't have to cost a penny. If you don't already have one, open up a YouTube account[6] as a place to share your creations and who knows, maybe your video will be the next viral sensation that thrills the world!

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Sources and Citations

  1. Worldwide OS Market Share
  2. .Download Windows Movie Maker
  3. Lightworks download
  4. DaVinci Resolve 12 download
  5. HitFilm 3 Express download
  6. [YouTube]


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Article Info

Categories : Software

Recent edits by: Eng, BridgeMix

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