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Video Editor Basics

Blender 3d tutorial

Video Editor

To learn the basics of video editing in Blender 3D, we will take a look at how to add various strips to the sequencer, common properties and modifiers, and how to use keyframes to animate strips in various ways.

Video Editing Layout

To use the video editor, you have to change Blender's layout. Change the screen layout to Video Editing. You can find the screen layout drop down directly to the right of the help menu at the very top of Blender.

There are four sections in the Video Editing layout. The top left is the F-curve editor, which may be familiar if you have done some animating. In the top right you have the Sequencer Preview. This shows the video output of your sequencer. The sequencer is below the sequencer preview and is where most of your work will take place. Finally the timeline is at the bottom, which lets you play your video and view different times in your video.

Sequencer Strips

There are many types of strips you can use in the sequencer. Movie, image, and sound strips come from files on your computer. Scene strips use a scene you have created in the Blender file you are currently in. Effect strips are strips that effect other strips in the video editor. Finally, you have Mask and Clip strips.

To add a strip into the sequencer, click on Add in the sequencer menu and select Movie or Image for now. Select the file(s) you want to use in the file browser that appears. Once loaded, you should see a new strip(s) in your sequencer. Each type of strip has their own color. For example, videos are dark blue, audio is blue-green, and images are purple.

To see what the final output of your strips look like, press Alt-A or click the play button in the timeline at the bottom of Blender. If you don't hear any sound and you have an audio strip, you can turn it on by changing the Sync Mode setting in the timeline from No Sync to AV-sync.

Properties Panel

When you select one of the strips in your sequencer, you should see options appear in the properties panel on the right side. These settings allow you to change your clip in various ways. For instance, if you want your video to play in reverse, simply scroll down to the Filter section and check the Backwards box. Most settings are self explanatory once you try them out, so I highly recommend looking through all of the settings to see what they do.

One part of the properties panel I will go over is the Modifiers section. These modifiers are very similar to model modifiers. For instance, to change the color of your image or video strip, you can add a Curves modifier and play with the RGB curves to make your video exactly the color you want.

Keep in mind that each type of strip will have their own properties settings, so don't hesitate to look at the options you have for an audio strip or any other strips you can load into your sequencer.

Adjustment Layer

At this point, you should have some idea of how you can tweak your sequencer strips to make last adjustments for a final video. But if you have many video or image strips and you want to make the same change to all of them it would be a real pain to do it for each individual strip.

Fortunately, we have the Adjustment strip. You can add this to your scene by going to the Add, Effect Strip, and selecting Adjustment Layer in the sequencer menu. By changing the settings in the properties panel for this strip, you change the appearance of all the strips below it in the seqencer. This makes it incredibly easy to give your entire video the same look and feel throughout.

By default, the adjustment strip is really short, but you can change its length by clicking and dragging the triangle arrows on either end of the strip or by changing the Start Frame and Length settings in the properties panel.

F-Curve Editor

Similar to the rest of Blender, you can set keyframes for most of the properties settings for each strip. This means you can edit the F-Curves for they keyframes as well.

As a quick example, lets animate a strip change from color to black and white. To start, left click in the sequencer to put the current time to the beginning of your strip, select the strip, then right-click on the Saturation setting in the properties panel. Click Insert Keyframe in the popup list. Then move the current time to the end of your strip, change the Saturation setting to 0.000 and insert another keyframe by right clicking the setting.

Once you have set up this simple animation, you should see a curve appear in the F-Curve editor. Like any animation, you can alter and edit this curve to change the transition between the keyframes. All in all, this gives a great amount of control over the appearance of your strips and video as a whole.

Keep Learning!

No single tutorial will cover everything, so if you want to dig deeper, here are some resources for you to check out. If you have other resources you think I should add to this list, feel free to let me know!

Blender Docs

Tutorials

Books

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