A Note on Terminology: Since the editor is primarily designed for video editing, this article uses the term "video" for the media being edited. However, the information and procedures also apply to any audio-only files you may have. It does not apply to interactive media (videos with polls embedded in them). You cannot currently edit the video portion of interactive media; you can only add, remove, or edit the embedded polls, and as such the Edit Media command for interactive media is disabled.
EchoVideo's video editor provides a basic set of video editing functionality, including the ability to:
- Customize the preview/thumbnail - Select a specific image to use for the media card thumbnail and the preview image shown to users for media posted or embedded outside of EchoVideo. Thumbnails for channels three and four, in the 4-Channel Universal Capture (Beta), are currently not available.
- Trim and Tail - Cut out the beginning and end sections of a video, to remove the "dead space" that often occurs at the beginning or end of a lecture recording.
- Split into multiple - Using the Trim/Tail capability along with Save As, you can take one video and split it into two or more different, distinct, and shorter pieces of media.
- Remove Segments - Cut and remove segments from within a video. Playback of the resulting media shows only the parts of the original that were left in place.
- Insert Media - Allows you to insert a different piece of audio/video media INTO your existing video.
- Add, Remove, or Replace Tracks - Allows you to completely add, remove, or replace one or more tracks for existing media.
This article discusses the interface and functionality of the media editor, including what all the buttons do and where to find the options.
We encourage you to review the basic information below, but to also experiment with the video editor. You can safely do so using the Save As command. Save As creates a whole new piece of media, just like using Save As on a document or presentation you edit. It allows you to make changes, review your results, and hone your skills, without changing the original. You can always delete any newly created media and try again.
Final note about the editor: If you spend time experimenting with the editor, but do not want to save your changes, click your browser's Back button OR click an EchoVideo menu item at the top of the screen to navigate to a different page. Any work in progress will be saved within the Editor only, and will be visible next time you open this media in the editor, but the changes are NOT applied to the media and not visible by others until you actively Save them.
This, however, does NOT apply to only setting a custom thumbnail/preview image. When you Set Thumbnail in the editor, this change happens immediately and does not require you to Save your changes.
Accessing the Video Editor
The instructions below access the editor from the Media Details page through your Library or a Collection where you have Edit Media permissions (the location of Edit Media command is the same). If you are an instructor or teaching assistant and media editing is enabled for the course, you can also click Edit video from the icon menu in the Class List to open the editor from there.
Opening the editor for a piece of media adds a "Capture edited" entry in the Activity tab of the media details page, even if no changes are made. If you or another user make changes and save them, additional entries for processing also appear. You can always restore the original from the editor, if necessary, using the command described later on this page.
To open the video editor
- Click on a Video in your Library (or the Admin completed captures list) to open the Media Details page.
- Click Edit Media option below the preview panel, identified in the below figure.
The video opens in the editor.
Video Editor Buttons and Controls
Most of the buttons and options in the EchoVideo video editor are fairly easy to understand, but the overview is here to be sure you know what they all do and where they live in the interface.
The question mark icon, identified below, opens a side panel that contains the Editor Shortcuts article. This includes a list of the keyboard shortcuts for the tools described on this page as well as links to video tutorials for using the editor, and links to other help articles (including this one).
Undo and Redo
The EchoVideo video editor allows you to undo and redo your edits as you go along. Use the Undo and Redo buttons shown below to revert or restore any changes you've made.
Discussed in more detail in Removing Video Segments and Inserting Other Media, the Trash Can icon, identified below, is used for deleting any segment of the video that you have placed cut marks around.
The basic steps are:
- Mark the beginning of the segment you want to remove.
- Mark the end of the segment you want to remove.
- Click on the segment between the marks.
Note that the pink trim handles will appear on either end of the selected segment. Unless you need to change either end location of the segment, you can ignore them.
- Click the delete button (trash can).
You can also place a cut mark near the beginning or end of the video, then select and delete the segment between the mark and the beginning or end of the video.
Zoom In or Out
While editing a video, at any time, you can zoom in/out on the timeline for a more precise view of a section of the video. The Zoom In/Out buttons and slider are located to the right of the timestamp location box, between the playback panel and the editing panel of the editor.
Notice that as you zoom in and out, the timeline segments in the editing panel change to show more granular timestamp/location information.
The cut marker is that blue "signpost" indicator in the editing panel. It identifies WHERE any change you select will occur. The marker itself contains the following buttons:
- A left bracket for "trim in" to identify a new beginning location for the video
- A right bracket for "trim out" to identify a new ending location for the video
- A menu button in the middle, which when clicked provides Insert Clip, Split Clip, and Set Thumbnail commands. The menu is open in the below figure. If you are seeing scissors and not a menu button/icon, clear your browser cache and reload the editor page.
The cut marker also has a timestamp on it, providing location information. The cut marker is ALWAYS IN SYNC with the playhead in the playback portion of the editor. This is discussed further in the below section on Playback and Synchronized Locators.
Trim in and Trim out actions are also discussed briefly later on this page and in more detail in Trimming and Splitting Videos. The Insert Clip and Split Clip commands are discussed in more detail in Removing Video Segments and Inserting Other Media. The Set Thumbnail command is discussed in more detail in Applying a Custom Thumbnail and Preview Image for Videos.
The Actions button is a drop-down menu containing multiple commands or actions (hence the name). It is shown in the below figure.
Clear Unsaved Changes - As the name indicates, this reverts all changes made during the current editing session, or since you last clicked Save.
Restore To Original - Reverts all changes ever made to the video and restores the original video file. This option is only active if you selected to edit a video that had previous edits applied to it. It also means that if you made changes and saved at some earlier time, using this command REMOVES all earlier edits as well as any you may be making now.
Set Thumbnail - This allows you to choose a new thumbnail for your video from a still frame within the video or you can upload a custom image. Thumbnails for channels three and four, in the 4-Channel Universal Capture (Beta), are currently not available.
Save As - Creates a new version of the media from the changes you made. You become the owner of the new media regardless of whether or not you were the owner of the original. Administrators can always change the owner of the media to a different user if needed.
If you are an instructor or teaching assistant, you also have the option to Save Course Copy, which expands the box and lets you post the new media to a class in a course section.
Saving Your Edits
Remember, as stated above, you do not have to save your edits. If you spend time experimenting with the editor but do not want to save your changes just yet, click your browser's Back button. Any work in progress will be saved within the Editor only, and will be visible next time you enter, but the changes are NOT applied to the media until you actively Save them.
You can use the Save As command in the Actions menu, described above, to save your changes as a new media file.
The Save button, identified below, applies your changes to THIS video file and immediately sends the video to the media processor. In this case, you are automatically exited out of the editor. After the processing is finished, the edited version replaces playback of the original in all locations it may reside.
Processing occurs immediately. After saving, the processing of your changes begins immediately. However, processing may take some time to finish, depending on the video length and the number of edits.
This means two things:
1. Students or other users will not see the edited version until processing is complete.
2. You should not try to re-edit the video until the initial changes are processed.
IMPORTANT! CHECK PUBLISHING INFO BEFORE SAVING CHANGES!!
If you use SAVE instead of Save As, the changes you make will appear in ALL posted versions of the video, including sections, LMS embeds, shares to other users, etc. If that's your intention, GREAT! But understand that's what is going to happen. Posting and sharing media simply provides access to the original content. When you edit that content, you change the content being delivered in those access locations.
Playback and Synchronized Locators
Use the playback controls in the TOP "playback" section of the editor page to play the recording and move the playhead. This makes it very easy to find specific locations to mark or cut.
The cut marker is that blue "signpost" indicator in the editing panel. It identifies WHERE any change you select will occur, and contains a menu button, and "top" and "tail" buttons described later on this page.
NOTICE that the cut marker (the blue "signpost" indicator) in the editor panel moves with the playback head. The cut marker will always be in sync with the playhead in the playback panel.
There are several ways to move the playhead/cut marker to the location you want:
- Play the video to the location you want to work with.
- Use the Skip Forward/Back buttons in the video player to move the playhead by 10 seconds in either direction.
- Click on the playhead and use your right and left arrow keys skip forward or back 10 seconds.
- Click and drag the playhead to any location in the video.
- Click ON the playback timeline to move the playhead to that location.
- Click and drag the cut marker to an approximate location. You can then use the player to play or scrub in the video player and fine tune that location.
Furthermore, the timestamp box will also be in sync with the playhead, and provides location granularity up to 100ths of a second. You can TYPE into this box to move the playhead and cut marker to a very precise location that you cannot get to via scrubbing or playback.
The figure below shows the playback controls with current location of the playhead and cut marker identified, both as the timed location, and within the playback bar itself.
If you have already made cuts in the recording, note that playback will skip the cut areas, so you can see how the edits affect the final product.
One item to note, particularly if you are not familiar with video editing tools. Any time you click on ANY portion of the video in the editing area of the screen, trim handles appear on either end of the segment. This applies to any segments you have cut around, or to the whole video (it's just one big segment). This is visible in the above image. These are there simply for trimming the ends of the video or for changing segment length. Their use is described in the articles that deal with those actions. You can ignore them if you don't want to perform that action right now.
Cut Marker Commands
Mentioned briefly above, the cut marker in the editing panel identifies the location of the action you are taking, and contains buttons for enacting those actions, described below. Use the links to the other more specific help articles for detailed instructions on using these features.
Cut Marker Menu
The menu button on the Cut Marker opens a short menu of options that include making cuts to remove a segment or inserting a different piece of media INTO this video. These actions are described in the other media editor help topics linked at the top of this article.
If you are seeing scissors and not a menu button/icon, clear your browser cache and reload the editor page.
Cut Marker Trim In
The left bracket icon on the cut marker, identified below and located left of the menu button lets you mark a NEW BEGINNING LOCATION for the video. This action is referred to as "Top" or "Trim in". Move the marker to a new location to make the icon active; it's logically not available if the marker is still at the current beginning of the video.
After you move the cut marker and click the Trim In icon, the left pink trim handle moves to match the location of the cut marker. Notice that the portion of the video that used to reside before that location no longer appears in the editing panel. You can still play that portion of the video, because it exists in this media until you Save. But the editing panel shows the new starting location for the video (or segment).
Cut Marker Trim Out
The right bracket icon on the cut marker, identified in the below figure and located to the right of the menu button, lets you mark A NEW END location for the video. This action is referred to as "Tail" or "Trim out". Move the marker to a new location to make the icon active; it's logically not available if the marker is still at the current end-point of the video.
After you move the cut marker and click the Trim Out icon, the right pink trim handle moves to match the location of the cut marker. Notice that the portion of the video that used to reside after that location no longer appears in the editing panel. You can still play that portion of the video, because it exists in this media, until you Save. But the editing panel shows the new ending location for the video (or segment).
Reviewing New End or Beginning Locations
To see where the new END point of your media is, in the editing panel, click just inside the new end point of the video this moves the cut marker and the playhead to that spot). Then click Play. Then click Play in the playback panel. Playback will STOP at the location you cut for "trim out".
To see where the new BEGINNING point of your media is, check the timestamps below the left trim handle, and type that value into the location box. Then hit Enter. The playback panel will move to that location. So will the cut marker.
When you open the Editor, you can 'lock' it from being edited by anyone else so that only one person at a time can make changes. Other users attempting to edit a locked video will see the error message shown below.
The lock will eventually time out if no edits are actively being made (for example, if you opened the editor but left the page and forgot to close the tab).