Video Editing and Publishing Tips

In the last blog article we discussed techniques on how to shot video in and out of your church. In this article we will be discussing what to do with that video, including video editing, video editing software, video formats, and embeding video into your web pages. So, get comfortable because we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. 😉 

Editing your video – Programs

Once you are finished shooting your video, whether you want to show it during a service, record it to DVD, or put it on your website, you are going to need to edit it. The editing process can fix a number of issues depending on the editing software you have at your disposal. You will be able to cut out your mistakes, fix the audio, and fix the color. Again some of these features may not come with your editing program.

I can hear some of you now… ”But I don’t have an editing program.” Well, no worries because there are a number of editing programs out there that you can get easily. Like the cameras they can range from free to $2,000. The more expensive ones come with more features that you can use to edit your video. If you’re thinking about going for the more expensive editing program ($500 and up) I would recommend these programs:

Final Cut Pro – One of the best editing programs out there, as well as one of the most versatile. Final Cut is very easy to learn, and there is a lot of material out there to help you learn. FC usually comes in a package deal that has a DVD authoring program (DVD Studio Pro) and 3 other very cool programs. The only downfall is the FC is strictly Macintosh/Apple based. So, unless you have a MAC computer this editing program won’t work for you.  More on Final Cut

Adobe Premier Pro – Adobe Premier is a very easy program to learn and there is a lot of material out there to help you learn. Adobe Premier is PC based so unlike Final Cut you will need a PC for this program. Adobe Premier is usually the cheapest of the 3 but Final Cut is giving them a run for their money. You can get Premier in a bundle like Final Cut or by itself. More on Adobe Premier

Avid Express– Avid can do just about anything you want but it is harder to learn and usually the most expensive. Avid is both PC and MAC based.  More on Avid

Now for some editing programs that are in a more affordable price range. (Free to $400)

Pinnacle Studio – In my opinion this is one of the better cheaper editing programs out there. What is cool about Pinnacle is it has built in DVD Authoring and burning and Instant Transfer to DVD. So you can put your sermons and video right to DVD, and it’s very easy. The 3 programs above require another program to put your content onto DVD but Pinnacle doesn’t. Pinnacle has templates for a DVD menu that you just drag your video into. The downfall of Pinnacle is that you can’t really create custom menus. Also, Pinnacle just happened to be owned by Avid.  More on Pinnacle Studio

Windows Media Encoder – WME is a nice free program that is limited in its editing capabilities but has preset for exporting to the web built in. This is a PC only program and it requires a “Genuine Microsoft Windows Validation”, which means they want to check to see if you have a real version of Windows running and not a hack/stolen version.  More on Windows Media Encoder

Free Editing Software – There are a number of free editing programs out there so the best way for me to cover them and get on with this blog is to provide you with a link to the top 7 editing software.

Editing your video – Editing Techniques

Once you have the editing software of your choice you are ready to start editing. You are going to have to hook your camera up to your computer so that you can “Capture” your video. To do this your will need to plug in your camera using either a USB plug or an IEEE 1394 FireWire cable. One of those two cables should have come with your camera. First, plug in your camera and then turn it on. You might get a prompt to open a program, if you see your editing program choose it. If nothing happens, open you’re editing program. Because every editing program is different I can’t go over how to capture your video, you are going you have to read the directions for that.

Once you have your video captured you’re going to need to isolate the good clips and place them in your timeline for editing. Place the clips in the order that you want and put them flush against each other. Then place what is called a “Cross Dissolve” transition between the two clips. This will dissolve/blend the two clips together so it doesn’t just cut between clips. This will make your video flow smoothly and not make your audience wonder what is going on. I recommend using the cross dissolve as your main transition. There are a number of other transition and effect that you can use but try and stay consistent. Using 6 different types to transitions screams amateur and will pull the focus to the crazy effects and away from the intended purpose of the video. Now, having said that, if you have a funny, goofy, or a wacky video that needs that little bit of over the top effects to make it that much more funny you can use the coolest transitions your editing program has to offer. One Last note on for when your editing your video…Save, Save, SAVE! Always save your project when you have the chance. I don’t know how many time I have been working on a video and thought I was alright because I save the project not to long ago. Well, you can do a lot of editing in “not to long” so when your program crashes or freezes and you loose have your project…don’t say I didn’t warn you. Save every chance you get! There’s no such thing as “over saving.”

Compress your video for the Web

Now you’re ready to put your video on the web. Here is where things get tuff. There are a number of file formats that you can choose to export your video as. The 3 most popular are AVI, WMV (Windows Media Video) and QuickTime. You can ask 5 different people what their opinion is about the 3 most popular formats for the web and you will get 5 different answers. The truth is all 3 formats are great for the web. They all compress the video to a file small enough but still clear enough for the web. With each of these formats you can compress them in many different ways, which will essentially change the quality and file size. So, to say that on is better that the other is hard to do.

Now, having worked with web video a lot I have to say that I have had fewer problems with WMV and AVI than with Quicktime, so I tend to stick with those 2. But I do have problems playing the WMV and AVI on Mac/Apple computers sometimes. For some reason Mac’s don’t like those 2 files, though Quicktime was created by and for Mac’s so that says something. My suggestion is to play around and see what size and quality you like. You can export your video as an AVI and bring it into Windows Media Encoder and play around with the preset web settings until you find a size and quality you like. Video compression is like buying a car, there are so many colors and types out there you won’t know which you like until you try it. A video size of 320px by 240px is a nice size to compress your video at. If you want a smaller or larger video feel free to change the sizes but make sure you keep the aspect ratio proportionate or your video will look squished or stretched.

Putting it on the Web

Regardless of the video format you chose at this point you are now ready to upload your video to your site.  For those of you who have your website hosted at OurChurch.Com, here’s a link for help concerning uploading/FTPing.

Whether you’re building your own site using OurChurch.Com’s Beacon web builder or using a program such as Dreamweaver or Frontpage you can embed your video right into the page you want it. The CIT or Center for Instructional Technology has a nice site that will give you the HTML code you will need to put into your page. Simply follow this link and click on the icon of file type you have decided to use at the top of the page (If you choose AVI click on the Windows Media Icon). If you choose Quicktime select “A Web server”.

First choose your Sever path, which should be http://your_domain.com

Next enter the path to your file.  If you built your site with OCC’s Beacon web builder, that will be /view/uploads/

Then pick your width and height, which is preset at 320×240, but can be changed to anything you want.

Finally, decide if you want your video to Start automatically, have the controls showing (The play, pause, stop, fast-forward, rewind, etc…), Loop playback so once it’s finished it will start again (I don’t recommend this because if drives the views insane and they will just leave your site if they cant stop your video.), and if you want it Left, Right, or Center aligned on your page.

Then click the “Submit” and your html code will pull up for you to copy and past into your page.

If you created your website using the Beacon web builder, login to your webmaster page and select the page you want your video to play on and past the html code into that page. If you’re using a program just paste the code where you want it.

You’re now ready to share your video with the world!

Got any thoughts, questions opinions on the software, formats, or techniques mentioned in this article?  Post them in a comment.

About the author

Jon Harrison


  • Could you please take a look at the video on my website and make any suggestions you may have to improve it. It is http://www.firstbaptistdawsonville.com (OCC ID#: 112910) and the video of the sermons is clearly marked in the Navigation Menu. Is there anything I can do to make it download faster. Will OurChurch ever include “streaming video”.

    Thank you,
    Linda Schilling

  • Hi, all,

    Am jumping in on this conversation, but am very interested.

    Q. Is there a suggested “weight” range we should stick to for video size, and also
    a “weight” range that might even accommodate dialup users???? (i.e. how many
    MB should the video “weigh”??)

    Please advise, OCC, or others!

    Thanks and God bless!

    Mary Tetreault
    Roadmap To Heaven

  • Hi Linda,

    Jon and I both had problems viewing the video on your site. I had to save it to my computer and then when I viewed it I could hear the audio but couldn’t see the video. Jon clicked on the link and it took a long time to download and then never played. I suggest you try the instructions Jon included in this blog article for embeding the video in the web page and see how that works for you.

    In His Service,
    Paul Steinbrueck

  • Hi Linda,

    I would recommend changing your format to something like Windows Media Video (WMV) or and .avi because you will have fewer problems with that video. Even if you can’t change video format I would still recommend embedding your player into your page. Then you can do what is called pseudo-streaming. This will buffer ahead so the video will start playing automatically while still downloading. If you follow the link in the blog it will give you the html code to embed the player into the page. Since you do not have a free account you can have as many pages as you would like, so I would have the links that you have now go to a new page for each link with a player embedded into it. That way that is all there is, you can add a caption about the video and it starts playing when they go to the page.

    Here is an example to what I mean:


    In His Service,

    Jon Harrison

  • Hi Pastor mohan c thomas,

    At this time the Free Beacon Site do not support video. Upgrading your site is easy and can be done through your webmaster page. To do this login to your webmaster page and click on:

    “Order & Renew Premium Options (Hosting options?)”

    From there you can select which package you would like and click “Place Order” at the bottom.

    In His Service,

    Jon Harrison

  • Hi Mary Tetreault,

    Your questions is very diffacult to answer because the length of the video can greatly change the size of the file.

  • Hi, OCC!

    Just a quick word of thanks, and to say that my first attempts at video upload have been great fun and, from what people tell me, have been successful — thanks to you folks at OCC!

    I first tried downloading “Windows Media Encoder” on my p.c., but didn’t like it. I think my husband will, though — user interface is kind of “left-brained” for me. 🙂
    Then moved on to Windows MovieMaker 2.1, which was on his machine. REALLY liked that software! Wow! Just my style! Guess we’ll have to switch over the softwares OR p.c’.s! 🙂

    Proceded to upload a couple of short videos for our Christmas newsletter using Windows MovieMaker and the Windows “web upload” companion service, “Mydeo.com” (first month free). Enjoy Mydeo very much, too. Great and easy.

    Unfortunately, we live in the woods of Maine, where DSL is not offered, and cannot afford cable. So, only hitch I encountered was that I could not view what I had uploaded! (And the upload itself at 49.2 kps dialup was about 50 minutes for a video length of 1 min. 18 sec. — not ideal! But, my husband has bought a wireless card for his laptop, and the public library in town offers free wireless connection, so there’s hope!)

    Would anyone like to check my work for me, and let me know what the video quality is like? It is about 5 MB heavy. Too much? Not enough? Maybe my bit rate is a little too high and cumbersome? The original video was taken with a digital camera — an .avi file — and weighed 142 MB. Here is the link to video #1:


    Also, our Christmas newsletter is web based this year, if anyone would like to see it:


    Within our newsletter I put a link to the above video (where it sits at the Mydeo.com site), and embedded a video player (with Mydeo provided HTML code) for a second short video. You can see the second video at the VERY end of our (long!) newsletter.

    Well, any suggestions welcomed.

    God bless and Happy New Year!

    Mary Tetreault

  • Hi Everyone,

    Just wanted to leave a quick note that if you put video on your pages using the OCC Beacon sites / through your webmasters page you need to put [html] before all the code for your video and [/html] after all your video code and then save your changes.

    In His Service,

    Jon Harrison

  • I strongly recommend Sony Vegas as a video editor, ranging from $90 for 4 audio and 4 video tracks editing ability, to $525 pro with unlimited trak options. Both are bundled with customizable DVD authoring. Both are very sympathetic on computer system requirements.
    See :
    for Sony Vegas. I use it. I love it.
    for tons of training material
    search for older release versions for lower costs older operating systems. I’m stil using Vegas 4.0

  • OK, my pastor wanted our sermons online but not rotated, but have an archive! Wow, the hard disc real estate was mind boggling…

    1) We tape the 2+ hours of music/sermon
    2) I import into PowerDirector, an inexpensive, EASY editor, that will render to MP4 (ipod/PSP format)
    3) Almost NO major editing (gives you that “you are there” feel)
    4) After rendering I upload to Google video (they like MP4, since they convert it to that anyway, plus the compression is great for online)
    5) After it’s LIVE, I embed the 2-line code back to the site for the most recent & provide Google video links for the rest!
    6) Now we have a FREE archive of all sermons, no disc space or bandwidth issue, and Google video is the only show in town with FREE, unlimited file size & no time limits!

    I won’t win any videography awards but we get the job done.

    Feel free to contact me if you have an questions fadetoblackmm@yahoo.com

  • I was reveiwing all the info on this page.I would like to suggest Newteks Editing systems,If it is live switching ,editing,sound graphics,animation your looking for ,this is the all in one system.If its just editing your footage then they have a new software,time line and storyboard editng,built in graphics and CGs,etc called speed edit for under 500.00 for ministries .Full blown studio in comparison with a 100,000,000 dollar Broadcast Editing sweet you can get into for 6500 to 15,000 depending what you put in it along with the video card and software which retails alone without comp foe 3999,00 I think. You also can out put streaming video live or just edit and save ,send it to God Tube,You Tube,Etc and reach the lost and the christian bro and sisters ,whats nice is there are a lot of veiwers and there is now cost to air your program. If you want to go to Tv.Send a pilot to Sky Angel .At one time they would air free of charge anyone who has Dish Network should have it as one of there channels.If your looking for a avenue to reach by radio,check out RadioBlog.Com.You can air a weekly show free and have guest call in.There is a lot of venues,we must reach the people,our time is short and love them like Jesus did.If you need help with anything ,feel free to email me at mr.boutwell@hot mail.com
    God Bless
    Agape Productions
    Michael Boutwell

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