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Using the VSE as a Video Editing Tool

  • Software:Blender 2.72  ·
  • Difficulty:Intermediate

Powering Up with the VSE

Blender’s Video Sequence Editor, or VSE for short, was designed as a simple animation string out tool. A means of adding together a series of 3D animation shots to sound files. You can easily substitute a still image for live animation (via OpenGL replay), then substitute that for fully rendered and composited animation. But the VSE can do so much more. It is the only free and completely open, multi platform video editing tool available. As a side bonus it is also totally portable. There is a range of basic editing tasks you can achieve:

  • ­simple multi­track sound mixing and mixdown exporting.
  • basic audio pitch/speed control.
  • trim, slide and slip video and audio clips in the timeline.
  • add transitions between media.
  • change the speed of camera.
  • group media into larger ‘meta­strips’.
  • perform color correction and color grading per clip or per scene.
  • stabilize shaky footage.
  • composite media with masks.
  • add 3D media to camera media

For all of these wonderful tools there is a fundamental drawback in it’s design, at least when it comes to video editing. There is no way to add metadata to your imported camera clips. So you cannot increase the value of your media in a semantic manner, that is with more descriptive labeling and timing details. For example you may be creating an instructional video comprising of some interviews and general overlay video. You might want to have a record of the interview and it’s key moments, they would be available in a searchable manner. You should be able to quickly find and use these components in your finished edit. With this method of using the VSE you can make it into a powerful traditional editing machine. You will be able to log and annotate your media, and retain a searchable version of the clip available at any moment.