How to Edit Smartphone Videos to Look Great

Although smartphones generally have capable video cameras nowadays, in many cases the videos that you record may fall short of your expectations.  That could happen for many reasons, and it is why it is important that you’re able to edit your videos if you want them to really look great.


At first glance editing smartphone videos may seem daunting, and you may not even know where to start. While there is no ‘one size fits all’ formula for editing smartphone videos, there are a few areas that you may want to focus on:


  • Trim the fat

One of the first things that you should do is go over the footage that you’ve recorded and see if there are any parts that you want to remove. To be more specific you should focus on any footage that is problematic for any reason, or that serves no purpose in the video.


While you’re trimming out unwanted parts from your video – remember to keep its pacing in mind. On top of that you should try to make sure that the transition between shots is as seamless as possible so that viewers aren’t distracted.


Needless to say this is especially the case if you’re compiling a video from several clips that you shot on your smartphone.


  • Stabilize any shaky video

Some flagship smartphones nowadays have fairly advanced optical or digital stabilization built-in – but many do not. As such your smartphone videos may look a bit shaky, especially if you were holding the camera in your hand instead of using a tripod stand or some other way to keep it steady.


On the bright side most video editors will allow you to digitally stabilize the video, and should take care of any minor shakiness. However violent shaking may not be able to be stabilized effectively, in which case you should consider removing that part of the video or re-shooting it.


Sometimes if your smartphone wasn’t held steady and there was a lot of shaking it may cause issues with the focus as well – which will have to be corrected through other means.


  • Think about the audio

Although technically audio won’t affect how a video ‘looks’ it will play a role in its overall appearance, and unfortunately it is an area that suffers in most smartphone videos. Simply put the built-in microphone on smartphones isn’t great, so the audio that you record is likely to sound tinny and indistinct, with lots of background noise.


While there is no perfect way to fix the audio, you can edit it to improve it somewhat by removing background noise, adjusting the sound levels, and so on. Of course if you want it is possible to remove the audio entirely when editing your video and replace it with background music or some other audio.


  • Crop and reframe the video

Cropping videos are more useful than most people realize – mostly due to the fact that it will enable you to reframe the video that you’ve recorded. One reason you may want to do that is to ensure it matches the aspect ratio it will be viewed in so that there are no unsightly black bars on either side.


Another reason to reframe videos, however, is to frame them in a manner that is more appealing. In particular, you could use a composition technique such as the rule of thirds when you reframe the video in order to make it look more impressive. Alternatively, you could ‘close crop’ the subject to remove any distractions.


  • Correct (and possibly improve) the color

Very often you’ll find that the color of videos you record on your smartphone is a bit off, and is over-saturated or looks washed out. In a video editor you’ll be able to correct the color by adjusting settings such as the brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, and more.


Generally the goal of basic color correction is to balance the colors so that the footage looks the way the scene would outside of a video. Many editors nowadays have automated features to white balance or enhance the quality of videos by balancing the color settings – so it shouldn’t be too hard.


If you want you could take it a step further and manipulate the color settings to give your video a particular visual aesthetic. That is what is known as color grading
, and it can give your video a distinct appearance and vibe.


Each of the methods listed above will help you to improve the videos that you record on your smartphone and make them look more impressive. Most video editors can perform the alterations that were described, and for example, you could click here and check out Movavi Video Editor if you want a user-friendly option.


At the end of the day editing smartphone videos is still subjective, and you should first go over the video footage and determine how best to improve it. By knowing what you should look for that part should be easy, and you can then proceed to edit it in order to fix and improve it so that it looks great by the time you’re done.

By Dhruval Patel

Blogger | Entrepreneur | Social Media Strategist | | Travel Freak