One advantage of ordering your film transfer on a portable hard
drive is the ability to edit. Debenham Media Group does NOT
encourage editing from DVDs (see box below for more details).
Using software, you can easily rearrange scenes, add titles, music,
narration and effects, do additional color correction, and transform
your raw footage into a customized, polished movie for your friends
and family to enjoy. And the best part is, you don't need expensive
equipment or special training to do it!
We recommend Corel Video Studio Pro for Windows Users and
iMovie or Final cut for Mac Users.
These programs are simple, user-friendly editing tools for
beginners. While we cannot give specific advice on editing your
film transfer, each of these programs includes a help manual.
If you're looking for a more in-depth editing experience, or are editing a High Definition transfer, there
are a number of professional-quality programs available for purchase. Some popular programs are
Final Cut, Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere, and Corel VideoStudio. These programs will have a variety
of advanced features. but may require some extra computing power and may take more time to learn.
They are available in different versions (like "express" or "pro") with certain features added or
omitted, so we recommend doing research before purchasing any software. Be aware that older
versions may be incompatible with current codecs and/or operating systems.
Before you begin, we recommend a quick check of the program's settings to ensure you're getting the
highest quality video. Sometimes programs will default to a lower quality video setting in order to
conserve hardware resources, but this can dramatically alter your video. Many problems with image
quality can be traced back to an error in the initial settings, so please check carefully.
It is very important to backup your files to another hard drive before editing. In order to do this, the
formats of your drives must match. If you order (PC) files from us, your drive will be in NTFS format,
which is standard for PCs. However, many external hard drives come setup in FAT32 format. In order to
use these drives, you must format them in NTFS, because FAT32 limits files to 4GB in size, and your
film transfer files will be larger than 4GB. To format your drive, follow these steps:
1. Double-click on the "My Computer" icon on your desktop
2. Right-click on the icon of the drive you want to format and select "Format..."
3. In the drop-menu under "File System" choose "NTFS"
4. In the text box under "Volume Label" type in a name for your drive
5. Click the "Start" button
WARNING: Do NOT format a drive until you have backed up any important files it may contain.
Formatting a drive erases all data on the drive.
NTFS format drives are read-only on Macs, which means that using a Mac, you will be able to open and
copy the files, but you will not be able to save anything to the drive.
If you order (Mac) files from us, your drive will be in Mac format, and will NOT be readable on PCs.
To format a drive for Mac, follow these steps:
1. Open the "Disk Utility" application
2. Select the drive you want to format from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen
3. Select the "Erase" tab
4. In the drop-menu labeled "Volume Format" select "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)"
5. In the text box labeled "Name" type in a name for your drive
6. Click the "Erase" button
Now you're ready to edit. Using controls very similar to cutting and pasting text in a word
processing program, you can select a length of video, or "clip," from your base file and drop it
into the timeline. Since the process is entirely digital, you can easily move clips around at any
time without damaging them, so feel free to experiment as much as you want.
Once you've got a sequence of clips, you can insert transitions between them, such as
dissolves or fades. The software includes a variety of transitions to choose from. The title tool
will let you put text on top of the image, and you can add transitions and effects to text as well.
You can also incorporate still photos into your timeline by importing them into the editor.
If you're working from the hard drive, you can start by importing the files into the editor. This is basically just
telling the software where the files it will be working with are located. Again, be sure to check your settings to
make sure you're getting the highest possible video quality.
Using the audio timeline, you can add music, narration or sound effects to your video. You can import audio
files in much the same manner as you imported the video files earlier. The two timelines line up, so that any
audio you add will play at the same time as the video above it. If you have a computer microphone and want
to add narration, the software includes a function that will play the video and record your voice as you watch.
When you've finally got your timeline the way you want it, you can export it into a movie file, which you can
save to a variety of digital media or upload to YouTube or your personal website. And if you save the project
file as well, you can go back at any time and make changes. Don't be afraid to experiment - as long as you
still have the original files, your footage is safe.
Important Information About Hard Drives
Hard drives allow for exact frame by frame
editing on your computer. DVDs, on the other
hand, use MPEG-2 recording, which makes frame
by frame editing difficult or impossible
depending on your software. MPEG-2 editing
loses quality with each editing generation,
whereas file transfer between hard drives is
lossless. Also, DVDs have a maximum data rate
of 10Mb/s, compared with much higher data
rates for files on hard drives.
A Word of Caution Regarding DVDs