Video Editing Definition & Meaning

Video editing is the process of manipulating recorded video footage. While all true video editing activities are completed post-production, not all post-production operations (like CGI and sound design) fall under the category of video editing.

Video editing dates back to analog recording practices. Film reels required the steps of editing, such as cutting the film and pasting it back together to add or remove frames, to be done manually. Hardware equipment was later developed so those processes didn’t need to be done by hand, but any modifications to the footage needed to be physically applied to the film itself. Today, most video is recorded digitally and can thus be edited using a video editing software. Analog forms of video editing are considered linear, whereas digital video editing is considered nonlinear.

Video editing functions

Most final versions of video recordings have undergone some type of editing. Raw footage, much like raw photography, usually needs some type of refinement, whether it’s simple color correction and cropping, or more advanced editing across multiple camera angles and takes. Common video editing functions include:

  • Color correction
  • Exposure adjustment
  • Blurring
  • Frame cropping
  • Trimming
  • Re-sequencing
  • Cross dissolving
  • Cut-aways
  • Fade in/fade out

Examples of video editing software

Professional and amateur video editors alike rely on software to help them create a finished product. Most advanced editing software requires an expensive licensing fee, whereas simple editors are often available for free or a small subscription cost. The rise of mobile technology means that many software programs are also accessible from smartphones and tablets in addition to high performing laptops and desktops. Similarly, some software requires a local download, and other programs are available as Internet-based cloud services. Major video editing software products include:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Adobe Premiere Rush
  • Apple Final Cut Pro
  • Apple iMovie
  • Windows Movie Maker
  • Avid Media Composer
  • Davinci Resolve
  • Vimeo
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Kaiti Norton
Kaiti Norton is a Nashville-based Content Writer for TechnologyAdvice, a full-service B2B media company. She is passionate about helping brands build genuine connections with their customers through relatable, research-based content. When she's not writing about technology, she's sharing her musings about fashion, cats, books, and skincare on her blog.

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