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Creating Videos and Editing

Programs, equipment, and advice to support video creation and editing. Development for UNIV 2115, but helpful to anyone.

Video from other sources

When you use video that you have not filmed, it's important to distinguish it from your footage and credit the creator. Keep in mind that your source of the video and the creator/producer may not be the same. Always confirm the original content creator. This will in turn help you make sure that the information is correct and factual.

Example situation:

You find the perfect news program segment that illustrates your point on YouTube posted by n3wsjunkie.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you certain that the clip is factual? Can you confirm this really aired or really happened?
  • Is there anything that n3wsjunkie has done that makes this segment important?
    • If n3wsjunkie's commentary and analysis of the segment is what makes this important, then you could make a case for using the clip and citing n3wsjunkie.
    • If what important is the original news segment, then you should find the original source of the news footage.

Finding an original source:

Using someone else's footage for a class

  • Check with your instructor about using video that you have not filmed. Follow the assignment guidelines.

General guidelines, in and out of class

  • Use footage from other sources only if:
    • You can make a defensible Fair Use argument
    • You have obtained permission from the correct source, or purchased use rights.
  • Where possible, indicate the source of the video as it plays in a lower third caption. You can add this very easily in a video editing program. You find this type of example frequently on news sites.
  • If there is a logo or identification on the video (ex: CBS Sports, NBC network logo, Olympic logo) do not crop it or remove in editing.
  • If you cannot credit the clip while it is playing, use end credits.
  • You can add acknowledgements to a launch page description (ex: Vimeo, YouTube, WordPress)

Extraction and Conversion

There are many free software packages that allow you to extract video files from websites or social media. Many of these have extensive or or misleading advertising on their sites and it can be easy to click a download button and find that you have downloaded malware or software you did not intend to use.

Finding safe software

Software that you purchase, can be safer, but even those options can be problematic.

  • Check for reviews
  • Check to see if there is a Wikipedia entry for the software with source articles listed.
    • If there is an entry, it may have developer information and release history.
  • If you use a free software, check for open source information.
  • Check for a manual, wiki, or user support community.

Extractors and Converters

  • Handbrake will extract and convert.
  • VLC is primarily and player and converter, but you can use it to extract some type of video files. Check the support pages and look for online tutorials.
  • (With caveat) ClipGrab - Recent PC downloaders have reported malware with download of the software. If you download, run a malware/anti-virus scan to be safe. This had not been a widely reported issue prior to 2018.

Screen Capture

Screen capture can be very important for instructional videos, or videos that show online communication.


  • Camtasia has a free trial period, but this robust capture and editing program is over $200.
    • There is a less robust program by the same maker called Snagit.
  • VLC is a free, open source program.
  • (Mac) Quick Time Player - Quick Time is more than a player, it's a convenient and free screen capture program. Quick Time comes free on most Apple computers. If you have a Mac, this is the easiest option.

Note: Not all free screen capture programs export in MP4. When using a screen capture program, make sure you know what file type it will produce. This has become less of a problem since applications started moving away from Flash (.swf), but double-check.