Hello and welcome to CNet's the fix.
The show about do it yourself tech and how to's.
I'm Donald Bell.
And I'm Eric Franklin.
This week we're featuring the best how to tips for video.
That's right, we're gonna show you how to edit them, how to upload them.
And how to communicate with multiple people, anywhere in the world, through video.
But first, we start with the basics.
With a few simple techniques, you can get really good looking video from your smartphone.
I'll show you how to make better use of the built-in tools you already have.
Plus, how to upgrade with some affordable accessories.
Lighting is everything.
But, even if the lighting looks right, your phone might end up exposing the wrong area.
So, use your camera's exposure and focus log feature to set the lighting, and keep it that way throughout the recording.
If audio is important, and the video isn't terribly long, there's a simple trick for getting clear audio.
Just cover your hand around the microphone toward the direction of the audio.
That way, noise you don't want gets filtered out.
Finally, don't forget about composition.
Just like with still photography, use the rule of thirds to place your subject away from the center to make a more interesting shot.
With those tips, you're already leagues ahead of everyone else.
But, if you really wanna step up your game, get some add-ons.
Even a little bit of jitter can ruin a great video.
So, if keeping your elbows firmly to your side won't cut it, use a stabilizing accessory.
These range in price and style, but the point is that they give you one handed control that cuts out a lot of the shake that can often ruin smartphone videos.
This one from Photo Jojo is great because it also slips out into a mini tripod, or you can **** off the top and mount it on a standard tripod.
If you want clearer, louder sound, add a mic.
There are plenty of cheap options, but this one's from Dayton and it's only $20 on Amazon.
And finally, the default app on your phone is fine for basic recording, but apps open up a whole world of features.
And, if you're too lazy to edit, there are even apps like Magisto which automatically splice together your footage for you.
You know, I really like using the grid function on my phone.
It really helps for a still shot as well as for video.
Yeah, that makes sense.
You don't want to have a crooked horizon in the background.
No, no, you don't want that.
It really helps to frame my face.
Alright, it's time for a quick break.
When we come back, we're gonna show you how to easily edit video.
Yeah, simple tips that take just minutes.
We'll be right back.
You know when it comes to editing video, there are so many options out there.
It can be really intimidating especially if you don't have a lot of time to get up to speed.
Yeah, but we've got some quick and easy tips on how to share a video with your friends and family in no time.
We all know YouTube is a great way to upload videos and share them online.
But did you know that YouTube also makes a great bare bones video editor?
If you're in a pantry, too intimidated by most video editing software, I'm going to show you how to make some simple changes to your videos using YouTube.
First things first, you've got to upload some videos to YouTube.
Once you do that, head over to YouTube.com/editor, and you're going to see a list of all your uploaded videos on the right, and then a little video editor on the left.
To start editing, find a video you want to edit, and then drag it over to the little corner over here that says drag videos here.
Once you do that, the video is going to start playing, and you are going to see some options over here on the right.
Auto fix, brightness and contrast, slow motion, all kinds of fun stuff you can do with your video clip.
On a separate tab over here, you're going to see filters kind of like Instagram filters that you can use to process your video.
You can lay text over your video.
And you can also adjust the volume of your videos if you want to pump up the volume a little bit.
Another thing to know if you're actually going to fiddle around with the filters and fixes is that if you check the box down here at the bottom that says Preview effects side-by-side with original video.
You're gonna get a extra little window here that will show you the original video next to the effected one.
And its a good way to see if the changes you're making are actually making the video better, or maybe you're layering on a lot of filters that don't need to be there.
Now, of all the tools here, the most useful one is actually down here on the thumbnail.
We have the thumbnail selected, you can use the edges of it to trim the beginning of the clip or the end of the clip.
Maybe the beginning was a little shaky.
Maybe the end goes too long.
You can also hit the scissor icon here to split the clip.
So maybe if I split it in the middle, I can actually intercut other clips into it.
So, if I wanted to cut in a little clip here from the county fair, right in between the two clips, there you go.
Now, while you have your video library open here on the right, you're gonna notice that there's some other tabs up here to explore.
You've got a tab for adding creative commons videos into your own videos so that you want a nice royalty free video of beach rocks.
To open your video, you've got it here, free to use.
You'll also notice here you've got options here for adding your own photos to your video, adding music to your video.
But the most useful two tabs up here are the tabs for transitions and the titles.
With transitions, you can add a cross-fade or a cross-blur or other kinds of nifty transitions.
And then, with the title tab you can add a centered title or a banner or a sliding title.
Kind of, nifty different effects, here.
And, you just drag a title onto the timeline, and then enter your text and it's immediately there.
All right, now that you got the basic idea, let's do one in earnest.
I'm gonna start from scratch, I'm gonna delete the current project.
It's not deleting my videos, it's just deleting the project here for the editor.
And I'm going to get these clips of my kid at the county fair.
I'm gonna add them all to the time line here.
Drag them down.
This clip, the first one is a minute of my kid going up and down on a county fair ride.
I probably don't need the full minute.
I'm just gonna trim that.
Then, I'll move onto another 30 seconds that I'm going around on helicopter ride.
Again, 30 seconds might be too much to bare for that one.
So, now I've got four relatively short clips.
I'm gonna go to the transition tab and drop a few fades in between them to that kinda make it have a more professional look.
And then, to cap it all off, I'm gonna give it a title.
Just drag the title down to the beginning of the timeline.
And there you go, I've got a title.
I've got all these little clips stitched together in a way that makes the whole video more interesting.
Now, when I'm ready to publish this, I'm just going to go up here to this button at the top which says publish.
And my video gets processed.
Now, once it gets published, it's still gonna take you to a few minutes to get your video edited just the way you want.
Here we go, fun at the faire.
It's a masterpiece.
So, there you go.
That's how to edit your videos using YouTube and nothing else.
It's pretty simple although there's a lot more to it than I was even able to show in this video.
You can really take this thing pretty far and to gather your masterpiece and share it with the world.
Another cool thing about editing your videos in YouTube is that the editing is non-destructive.
There's no chance you're gonna **** up and butcher a video you've already uploaded.
Cool, that's a nice perk.
You know, video is also an effective way to communicate live with your friends and your family, even if you're not all in the same location.
Yeah, and these services are free now, too.
Check it out.
Remember when video chat was a thing we only saw in sci-fi movies?
We'll, maybe I'm the only one old enough to actually remember that.
But thankfully, it's not a fantasy.
And now, we can video chat with multiple people completely free of charge.
First, probably the best way to get a group chat session going is to use a service like Skype.
Now, you'll need either a PC, a Mac or an Xbox One to get into a group chat.
Just make sure you have the latest version of Skype installed.
We'll show you how to do this on both, PC and a Mac.
Open Skype and sign in.
On a Mac, select File then New Conversation, then start typing in the names of the contacts you want to add to the call.
And then, click on each one.
When you're ready to start a video call, click the arrow next to the call button and choose a video.
As participants answer the call, they'll be added to the group chat.
Skype can have three to ten people in a group chat.
To add more members, just click the plus button and add new names, as you did before.
However, for performance sake, it's best not to go over five.
If using a PC, once you're signed in, just select the create a group icon.
From the contact list, just drag the contacts you'd like to add to the group conversation into the highlighted area, then click video call.
Just a reminder, you can't use your smartphone if you want to get into a group chat on Skype.
At least, not right now.
If you do wanna use your smartphone for getting to a group chat, you can use Google Hangouts, however that requires a Google account.
Now on Google+, start a new Hangout.
Click on the names you wanna add, and then click the video icon.
Now, you can add up to nine names to start up your group video chat session.
However, for performance sake, it's best not to max it out.
On your Android phone, tap the plus button, add the name to start a session, then tap the video icon.
There are other free apps that allow you to do group conversations, but these two are not only the easiest to get up and running with.
But because of the popularity of Skype and Gmail, they're probably the ones your friends and colleagues will most likely already have accounts for.
Group chat is a great way to communicate with your friends, conduct interviews, and catch up with your relatives.
Now that you know how to use it,, you have no excuse.
Have your mom watch this video, and then start calling her every week.
That's it for this week's show.
Thanks for watching.
You can send us your ideas, your questions, your comments, your how-to ideas.
I can be reached at @nidopal on Twitter.
And I can be reached @donald.
And I wanna hear your ideas.
Yeah, we all do.
See you next time on The Fix.