Adding Computer Special Effects to Home Movies

Home movies are great ways to showcase a family vacation, events or children, and these videos can be edited and enhanced with computer special effects. People have a number of options when it comes to computer software programs.

Step 1: Picking a Program

For those that want full-service programs, Adobe After Effects and Final Cut Pro have in-depth editing features, including the ability to quickly add cuts, recolor sections of objects or even delete objects within a frame. But, unless someone is planning on using these programs on a continual basis, they should probably be avoided.

These programs are extremely expensive, and they can be difficult to use. They are geared more towards professionals or independent filmmakers. Programs like Pinnacle Studio and Vegas Movie Studio, however, are more reasonably priced, and they will do everything that most home movie editors will want them to do.

Step 2: Adding Video Basics

Once the program is installed, the movie will have to be imported into the program. Next, start adding transitions and a title screen. Transitions can be put between cuts in shots or between scenes that were not filmed very well (or that are choppy). If a clip is edited out, this can also be used to link the remaining clips in the sequence.

Titles and ending credits can also be added to the video. Some programs will have automatic ways to do this. If not, this can be created in a separate program and then imported into the video editing program. Transitions can be manipulated to where they fly in, fly out, fade in or out and the like. Just make the transitions consistent. If not, the video will not look very professional.

Step 3: Adding the Effect

The first step to adding an effect is figuring out where they should go. Watch the entire video, and make notes as to where special effects could be. Next, see what pre-loaded effects come with the program. Read the software's manual to determine where the effects can be found.

Import the effect into the timeline and add it to where it should be within the video sequence. For example, a piece of clip art like a laughing smiley face can be imported into the video, and then it can be dragged and dropped onto the timeline.

Step 4: Effect Length

Within the timeline for the software, effects can be extended or reduced depending on how long they should run. To extend an effect, stretch it out on the timeline. To reduce an effect, decrease the effect.

Step 5: Watch the Video Again

Once the effects are added, preview the video once more. If an effect does not look right, try editing it again or lengthening or reducing how long the effect lasts. If this does not help, simply remove the effect. Some videos will look fine by just eliminating the choppy clips and adding transitions.

Step 6: Render the Video

Generally, video editing programs will required the video to be rendered before it can be exported to an online program or burned to a DVD.