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PowerDirector 9 is an easy to use video editing program that has a well designed and simple graphical interface for video capture, editing and production.

Even if it’s your first time editing video, PowerDirector can make the process easy. At a price tag of just $99 with an online free trial, PowerDirector is many first-time editor’s first choice.

Here’s how to use PowerDirector 9.

Step 1: Importing or Capturing Media

 

The first step is to bring all the video you want to edit into PowerDirector 9. If you have videos in the form of files already, all you need to do is import your media.

Clicking on “Import Media Files” will allow you to import one file at a time. Clicking on “Import a Media Folder” will import an entire folder. All the media you collect will be added to your Media Room.

If you don’t have the media in file format yet and need to import it from a digital camera, just connect your camera, make sure it’s turned on and click on “Capture.” PowerDirector will automatically detect your camera and import the videos.


Step 2: Add Media to the Timeline

 

Add the video files from your Media Room to your timeline. Put them in the order you want them to play in. To do this, just drag and drop the files.

Once the files are in the timeline, you can move them around by clicking and dragging.


Step 3: Splitting and Trimming

 

Splitting a clip allows you to cut a clip into two parts. This is useful for quickly deleting parts of clips you don’t want, or for applying effects to just one part of the clip.

To split a clip, just position your cursor where you want to make the split, make sure the clip is selected and click “Split.”

To trim a clip, meaning to remove excess videos from the beginning, the end or both, click “Trim.”

In this top center is the preview box. Right below that is the “trim results” timeline and below that is the original timeline.

Use the original timeline to navigate to where you want your clip to begin. When you find the exact spot you want the clip to begin, click the “Mark In” button (left arrow.) All the video to the left of that “Mark In” will be grayed out in the upper timeline.

Repeat the process for ending the clip with the “Mark Out” button (right arrow.) Click “OK.”

The video clip will now begin and end where you marked it in and out.


Step 4: Inserting Transitions

 

Transitions make videos a lot smoother by having each clip blend into one another, rather than choppily having one end abruptly where another begins.

To insert a transition, first click on the “Transition Room” on the left hand side navigation.

In the Transition Room, you’ll see a variety of transitions to choose from. Click on any of these transitions to get a preview.

Make sure the two clips you want to insert a transition into are positioned next to one another. Then click and drag your transition of choice to the place where the two clips meet.

Select both clips and hit play to make sure the transition looks the way you want it to.


Step 5: Inserting Text

Click on the “Text Room” on the left navigation to begin the process.

Click and drag a text template into video track #2. This will overlay your text on top of the video.

Double click the text in the timeline to open up the text edit box.

In this box, you’ll be able to edit your type’s font, size, curve, text and even add special gradients.

Edit the text as you see fit, then click “OK” to finalize changes.


Step 6: Adding a Sound Track

 

To add a sound track, first add a sound file to your media library. Then, click and drag that sound file onto an empty sound track. If your video didn’t have audio, the empty track will be in track #1. If it did, it’ll be in track #2.

To change how loud the sound is from one track to another, click on “Mixing Room” on the left.

Adjust the bars for Audio 1 and Audio 2 to get the exact mix and volume you want. One extremely common technique in film and TV is to mix a low-volume soundtrack of suspenseful music or sad music in the background while the characters are having a conversation in the foreground. Sound mixing allows you to do this.


Step 7: Producing Your Video

 

Once you’ve finished making all your edits, it’s time to produce a finished video file.

Unlike many video editors, PowerDirector makes it very user intuitive to produce a file.

To start, click the “Produce” button along the top. Then, just hit one of the big file format buttons. Then hit “Start.”

That’s all there is to it. No complicated compression settings, no need to get into the nuts and bolts of encoding a video. PowerDirector does it all for you with one click of a button.

If you intend on using the video for YouTube or other online media and want a very small file, you can do so by clicking “YouTube” along the top.

PowerDirector has a very neat feature that allows you to plug in your YouTube login and password directly into PowerDirector. Once it’s finished producing the video, it’ll automatically upload the video for you.

You can also produce a Facebook-friendly version by clicking “Facebook.” That said, PowerDirector doesn’t upload directly to Facebook.

You now know how to import media into PowerDirector, how to position your media where you want it on the timeline, how to move clips around, how to trim unwanted video off your clips, how to add transition between clips, how to add a soundtrack and how to produce your video in high quality or web format. You have all the skills you need to make a simple yet high quality video.

Michael Rockwell