Video editing is the process of editing segments of motion video production footage, special effects and sound recordings in the post-production process. Motion picture film editing is a predecessor to video editing and, in several ways, video editing simulates motion picture film editing, in theory and the use of linear video editing and video editing software on non-linear editing systems (NLE). Using video, a director can communicate non-fictional and fictional events. The goals of editing is to manipulate these events to bring the communication closer to the original goal or target. It is a visual art.
Early video tape recorders (VTR) were so expensive, and the quality degradation caused by copying was so great, that 2 inch Quadruplex videotape was edited by visualizing the recorded track with ferrofluid and cutting with a razor blade or guillotine cutter and splicing with video tape. The two pieces of tape to be joined were painted with a solution of extremely fine iron filings suspended in carbon tetrachloride, a toxia and carcinogenic compound. This "developed" the magnetic tracks, making them visible when viewed through a microscope so that they could be aligned in a splicer designed for this task.
Improvements in quality and economy, and the invention of the flying erase-head, allowed new video and audio material to be recorded over the material already recorded on an existing magnetic tape and was introduced into the linear editing technique. If a scene closer to the beginning of the video tape needed to be changed in length, all later scenes would need to be recorded onto the video tape again in sequence. In addition, sources could be played back simultaneously through a vision mixer (video switcher) to create more complex transitions between scenes.
There was a transitional analogperiod using multiple source videocassette recorder (VCR)s with the EditDroid using LaserDisc players, but modern NLE systems edit video digitally captured onto a hard drive from an analog video or digital videosource. Content is ingested and recorded natively with the appropriate codec which will be used by video editing software to manipulate the captured footage. High-definition video is becoming more popular and can be readily edited using the same video editing software along with related motion graphics programs. Video clips are arranged on a timeline, music tracks, titles, digital on-screen graphics are added, special effects can be created, and the finished program is "rendered" into a finished video. The video may then be distributed in a variety of ways including DVD, web streaming, QuickTime Movies, iPod, CD-ROM, or video tape.
Home video editing
Like many other technologies, the cost of video editing has declined by an order of magnitude or more. The 2" Quadraplex system cost so much that many television production facilities could only afford a single unit and editing was a highly involved process requiring special training. In contrast, nearly any home computer sold since the year 2000 has the speed and storage capacity to digitize and edit standard-definition television (SDTV). The two major retail operating systems include basic video editing software - Apple's iMovie and Microsoft's Windows Movie Maker. Additional options exist such as more advanced commercial products, as well as there are free opensource video-editing programs. Automatic video editing products have also emerged, opening up video editing to a broader commercial audience of amateurs and reducing the time it takes to edit videos.