Thursday, September 15, 2011

YouTube adds a built-in video editor

CNET - In an effort to make it easier for YouTube users to make changes to their videos after uploading them, YouTube is rolling out a brand new video editor.

No, this isn’t the standalone video editor meant for splicing together clips from multiple videos that’s been available in the service’s TestTube labs since last year. Instead, it’s a new one designed to give users a way to do quick fixes without having to re-upload the video. It’s like a retouching tool for photos, but for non-commercial video.

The idea for including an editor came out of eyeballing videos that had been uploaded to the service, YouTube product manager Jason Toff told CNET.

“We noticed a lot of the videos that were uploaded to YouTube could use some polish, some basic video editing,” Toff said. “We noticed a lot of videos that had extra footage at the beginning that could have been trimmed off, or some footage at the end that could be trimmed off, a lot of videos that were really shaky and could use stabilization, and dark videos, etc.”
The answer is the new tool, which lets users make both quick fixes and more substantial edits to their videos.

YouTube's new visual effects filters, done in a collaboration with Google-owned Picnik. 
YouTube’s new visual effects filters, done in a 
collaboration with Google-owned Picnik.
(Credit: YouTube)

The quick fixes menu includes basic changes like rotating a video, increasing the fill light to brighten up a dark shot, and adjusting contrast, color temperature, and saturation. Also included are tools to trim the beginning and end of a clip, and stabilize a shaky video–something YouTube introduced to its other editor in March. And it wouldn’t be Google if there wasn’t an “I’m feeling lucky” button. This does a quick analysis of the video and tweaks its color, brightness, and contrast settings automatically.