Saturday, March 20, 2021

Basics of Video Editing using the FREE Olive Video Editor - 1

 Basics of Video Editing With Olive

In case you haven’t heard, Olive is the best free video editor available right now. I say this because it is indeed free of charge to download and use (no watermark, no limit on the length of your video, etc.) and also because, with a little bit of ingenuity, you can make professional quality videos absolutely free of charge. The quality and length of the film you make is limited only by the computer you own. Yes, well, Olive Video Editor works only on a desktop or laptop. So, if you want to make a long, high-quality video, the only constraint you have is the configuration of your computer – the RAM, Hard Disk capacity, etc. However, for short videos that don’t tax your computer, Olive Video Editor is the best, as testified by several video experts. Just Google “Olive Video Editor review” (without the quotes) and you’ll see what I mean.

So let’s start with the absolute basics – where to get the Olive Video Editor:

The editor can be downloaded from:

I recommend the 0.1 version, since it is more stable than the newer version.

Once you download and install the editor, you can start to edit and create movies, and this blog post tells you exactly how to start making a simple movie using the basic features of the Olive Video Editor.

The Olive Video Editor Opening Screen

The opening screen tells you that Olive is still in Alpha testing so it may crash, etc. Just click the OK button. So far, Olive has worked fine for me as long as I work within the constraints of my simple desktop computer. If you import heavy videos, Olive may freeze or crash but that’s because your computer simply can’t handle the requirements of a heavy video file. As practice, use low-resolution video files until you get the hang of using Olive and then you can experiment with video files of a higher resolution.

Once you click OK you see the Olive editing interface. It’s a very simple layout and the following image tells you what the various sections do.

On the top left you see a window that shows you the video clips and images that you have imported into the project. A project is simply the Olive video editing “document” (to make it easier to understand) that you are creating. Hit Ctrl+S to give your project a name and save it on your hard disk.

Next to that window you see a window that shows you details about the currently selected clip / image and any effects that you apply to that clip / image. I’ll tackle effects in a future blog post.

Next to the clip / effects window is the Sequence Viewer window. This shows you what’s on your timeline; the rectangular part that’s under all these windows. The timeline is where you will arrange and manipulate video clips, images and titles (you know, those lines of text you see in some videos.)

Importing video clips and images

To understand how to use the Olive video editor you will need some sample video clips and images. You can download some from For now, download them in a lower resolution. You can download in higher resolution as you get more familiar with the editing software. Download the videos / images to a folder on your hard disk, then simply drag and drop them onto the top left window. Alternatively, you can right-click in that window, select “Import”, navigate to the folder where you’ve downloaded the video, then select it an OK your way out. The video will be added to your project. I’ve imported a video into my dummy project to show you what it will look like.

You can import other clips and images into your project right at this stage or import them as and when you need them later, the choice is yours. What IS important is to save your project often so that a software crash doesn’t wipe out all the hard work you’ve put in. Crtl+S is your friend, use it every minute or so.

The next step is to start using the clip you’ve imported. To do this, simply drag the clip from the top left window down to the timeline window. If the clip has no audio track, you’ll see just one “chunk”, If it has an audio track, you’ll see two chunks, one below the other. The top chunk is the video track and the bottom one is the audio track. Check the image below:

Once you drag the clip onto the timeline you can start to manipulate it. I’ll be explaining how to do that in the next blog post. For now, try dragging the playhead (see the image above) back and forth to see how the view in the view window changes and to hear the corresponding audio. I recommend using headphones whenever you are editing a movie so that you hear exactly what the clip has in its audio.

That’s all for now, stay tuned for the next steps in editing your movie using Olive!