Creating a video for YouTube using AVIdemux
Posted on February 22, 2010
Before you can do anything, you need to head over to the Avidemux homepage (http://fixounet.free.fr/avidemux/)and download, then install, Avidemux. The site has installer applications for Windows, Linux and Mac.
So, when you first load up Avidemux you’ll see:
First we load in a video file by going to File > Open (or click the Open button) and selecting the video file from the window that pops up. I’ve selected a MOV file from my digital camera:
If you have a video that’s in parts, you can add the second part by selecting File > Append and repeating that for each file.
So now we have our video in Avidemux we need to decide what to export it as. Normally I use XVID for the video and MP3 for the audio, this is done by choosing the appropriate compression from the drop down menus below Video and Audio on the left side of Avidemux:
The next thing I do is some colour correction on the video. This is done by clicking the Filters button which is just above the Audio settings. This displays the Video Filter Manager.
Selecting Colors on the left and double clicking on MPlayer eq2 in the middle will display the MPlayer eq2 settings window. If you don’t have MPlayer installed, you may need to select an alternative colour correction filter, I find the MPlayer one good as it’s quite visual.
The left half of the image is the source video, the right side is a preview of the video with your changes, I find it better to move the slider (above the sample) to a colourful part of the video then adjust the colours:
Quite a difference! Clicking OK accepts the changes, although nothing is actually altered as yet, not until we actually save the final movie. Back in the Video Filter Manager, I then choose Sharpness on the left and asharp in the middle, this lets me visually sharpen the video, usually the default settings for asharp are enough.:
And clicking OK will accept the sharpness settings. With the colour correction and sharpness filters added, click Close to go back to Avidemux. There are a lot of filters to mess around with in Avidemux, it’ll add subtitles, watermarks and so on, so have a play!
The idea of filtering can be done for the audio in your video, but I usually let YouTube replace my (normally empty/boring) audio with a nice piece of classical music.
If you want to see your newly corrected video in action, click the Input menu, beside the Calculator button, and change it to say Output. Drag the slider, or click the Play button (bottom left of the Avidemux window), and you’ll see your new video.
But there’s one last problem. YouTube only allows video files which are ten minutes or less. My video is nearly forty five minutes long! What we need to do is change the frame rate, or frames per second (fps), until we get a video file that is under ten minutes, changing the frame rate will speed up the video significantly, this is what is known as a ‘time-lapse’ video.
To change the fps, click the Video > Frame Rate and in the window, change the frame rate to 100.
And click OK. How do we know if it’s a good value or not? Have a look at the running time under the clip:
In this case it’s now 05mins 17secs long (look back to the image above where I’d just loaded in the video to see the run time difference), this is well within the ten minute limit, so I could probably go back in to the frame rate settings and lower the rate to 60, which would make the video a touch under 9mins long.
Finally, we get to save our video! Click File > Save > Save Video, select where you want to save the file then give it a name. Depending on the speed of your computer it may take seconds or many minutes to convert and save the file, but it will not alter your original video, it’s making a tweaked copy of the original.
After several minutes, you have a video that’s ready for YouTube!
There are many other things you could do to create smaller file sizes, such as resizing the video, using a different compression codec, removing audio altogether and so on, but it’s best to keep it simple for your first few videos. If you like this tutorial and want to know how to upload your videos to YouTube, how to add annotations, replace your audio for some nice classical music (like I do), add subtitles and so on, leave a comment – otherwise I won’t know if you like this or not.
You can have a look at my YouTube videos here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ronnietucker