Video Editing with Descript has been fun to learn, and I’m using Descript to record and edit my YouTube videos almost exclusively now. Descript video editing has come a long way and they’re always updating the app, so I finally put together this Descript video editing tutorial for you!
Video: Video Editing with Descript – Complete Tutorial
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To streamline my workflow, I seek tools to make video editing more efficient. Recently, I’ve tried Descript, a software with unique features that differentiate it from others. This post details my experience using Descript! In particular, its ability to record and edit both audio and video, and its user-friendly interface.
Record Videos with Descript
One of the most impressive features of Descript is its ability to record both audio and video directly within the platform. To get started, all you need to do is hit the record button at the top of the screen and choose the recording option that fits your needs. You can choose to record audio only, camera only, or camera and screen, depending on the type of content you’re creating.
What I love about Descript’s recording feature is its flexibility. You can easily select the source for your audio and camera inputs, ensuring that your content is recorded with high-quality sound and video. Additionally, as you record your content, Descript automatically transcribes your words in real-time, making it easy to follow along with your script as you record.
Once you’ve finished recording your content, you can begin editing it directly within Descript. The platform’s intuitive interface makes it easy to navigate through your recordings and make edits as needed. For example, if you want to clean up a section of your recording, you can easily do so by highlighting the section and using the editing tools to remove any unwanted sounds or words.
Record Screen with Descript
Descript also offers a powerful screen recording feature that makes it easy to create engaging screencasts. To get started with screen recording, simply select the screen recording option and choose whether you want to record your full screen or a specific portion of it.
One of the standout features of Descript’s screen recording feature is its ability to record both your camera and screen simultaneously. This makes it easy to create engaging content that combines both your voiceover and on-screen actions. Additionally, because Descript records your camera and screen as separate files, you can easily edit them separately or remove them from your edit altogether.
Descript Scene Rail
Once you’ve finished recording your content, you can begin editing it within the Descript platform. One of the key features of Descript’s editing interface is its Scene Rail, which is located on the left-hand side of the screen. This feature allows you to easily navigate through your recording and jump to specific sections as needed.
As you edit your content, Descript automatically creates scenes within your script, which are indicated by slashes in the text. While scenes can be a useful way to organize your content, it’s important not to get too bogged down in them during the initial editing stage. Instead, focus on making rough cuts and refining your content before worrying about more advanced editing techniques.
Related: Save Time When Creating Videos
Descript Script Area
After recording, I see the Descript Scene Rail on the left-hand side. This displays the different sections where I stopped and started recording. The words in the Doc Area, also known as the script, correspond to the video.
Descript indicates the start of a scene with a slash before the words. While Descript’s concept of scenes can be confusing, it’s best not to add them unless necessary to avoid confusion later on.
The preview window or Descript Canvas displays the actual video in front of me. I can preview the video as I edit and make changes as needed.
Effects, Controls, and Settings
On the right-hand side of the Descript window, you’ll find the Effects, Controls, and Settings options. These options change depending on what you have selected in the canvas.
If you have your video selected, you’ll be able to adjust the location, size, and orientation of the video. Descript offers various editing tools such as split clip, delete, copy, and paste to make it easy to edit videos.
Shorten Word Gaps
Before moving on to the timeline, I like to let Descript do its magic by editing in the doc. One of the first things I do is select the Shorten Word Gaps option by clicking on the magic star icon.
Descript scans the script and looks for any gaps that are one second long or more and shortens them to one second. This removes the places in the script where it gives us that rest symbol or indicates a pause.
This tool is like magic and saves a lot of time. It removes all of the gaps where I took a long breath, took a drink of my coffee, or paused. I can always get these gaps back if I change my mind.
Correct Mistakes in Descript
Once I’ve shortened the word gaps, I move on to the rough cut. During this phase, I watch the video and remove anything that doesn’t belong or anything that I know I want to get rid of.
If I see a mistake in the transcript, I may correct it on the spot. However, I try not to spend too much time correcting the transcript at this stage. If I decide to reshoot something or edit it differently later, I may end up getting rid of sections of my video that I spent time correcting the transcript.
To correct a mistake, I highlight the incorrect word or sentence and hit the C on my keyboard. This brings up a text box where I can put in the correct word. The transcript will be corrected without affecting the video.
Ignore Text in Descript
If I want to remove a sentence, word, or paragraph from the video, I highlight it and hit delete on my keyboard. However, instead of deleting it entirely, I prefer to use the Ignore option.
The Ignore option crosses out the text in the transcript and removes it from the timeline, but it’s still there in case I change my mind. This allows me to easily skip through all of the mistakes and just go to the spot where I started the good take.
At the bottom of the Descript window, you’ll find the timeline. This displays the edited video, and you can expand it to see it better. During the basic phase, I work on the rough cut and remove mistakes, but I still need to clean things up a bit and rearrange or move things around.
By using Descript’s editing tools and Ignore option, I’ve managed to cut down a 29-minute video to a 14-and-a-half-minute video. This removes all of the mistakes, restarts, and places where I stop to take a breath or look at my notes.
Descript allows you to split clips by clicking on the “S” key on your keyboard. This feature makes it easy to create a natural cut in your timeline. You can also use the blade tool to make cuts on your timeline.
Effects, Controls, Settings
Descript provides users with an interface that contains effects, controls, and settings. This interface is located on the right-hand side of the window, and what you see there depends on what you have selected. For instance, if you have your videos selected in the canvas, you can change the location, size, or orientation.
Descript Scenes Explained
Descript scenes work like magnets in your video. Anything you bring into your project, like background music or lower thirds, tries to stick to the scene. To place your scenes in the right position, you have to create them in the timeline editor.
Import Background Music to Descript
To import background music, click on “files” at the top of the window, and select “add files from computer.” The music will appear in your media bin. When you place the music in your timeline, it attaches itself to the scene. You can also adjust the volume of the music and create fade-in and fade-out effects.
Descript’s studio sound feature helps eliminate background noise in your video. Although this feature is handy, I typically do not use it because I do not have a background noise problem in my videos.
Zooming in on Your Video
When you’re recording a video, there may be times when you want to zoom in on a particular section. To do this in Descript, simply click on the video in the canvas, and then open the layout panel. From here, you can adjust the position, width, and height of the video to zoom in on a specific area.
Adding Title Screens
Title screens are a great way to introduce different sections of your video. In Descript, you can create a title screen by using an image and adding text elements. To ensure that the different layers of your title screen are positioned correctly, you can use the “send to back” and “bring forward” options. Additionally, you can add animations to your title screens by selecting an animation preset or customizing your own animation.
B-roll footage can help to add visual interest and context to your video. To add B-roll in Descript, simply import the footage into the program, and then drag it onto the timeline. You can then cut the footage to the desired length, mute the audio if necessary, and position it on the timeline. You can also use the “show all layers” option to ensure that your B-roll footage is visible on the timeline.
Adding Lower Thirds
Lower thirds are a great way to add context to your video and help your audience to identify who is speaking. To add a lower third in Descript, you can use an image or create your own graphic in a program like Canva. You can then add the lower third to the timeline, position it correctly, and use animations to make it appear and disappear at the right times.
Adding Arrows and Shapes
If you want to draw attention to a specific area of your video, you can add arrows and other shapes in Descript. To do this, simply select the shape you want to add from the “shapes” menu, and then position it on the canvas. You can then adjust the size, color, and thickness of the shape to suit your needs.
If you have footage from multiple cameras, you can use Descript to create a multi-cam edit. To do this, import the footage into Descript and then create a new scene for each camera angle. You can then switch between the different camera angles in the canvas, and edit the footage as needed.
Correct Transcript with Descript
The first step in my Descript workflow is to correct the transcript. While Descript does a great job of transcribing my videos, there are times when it doesn’t get the punctuation right or misspells words. To ensure that my transcript is as accurate as possible, I go through it after editing my video and correct any mistakes. This is especially important because I export the srt file for captions, which needs to be as accurate as possible.
Edit Multi Cam in Descript
When recording my screen and camera at the same time, I typically keep my camera feed in the bottom left corner of the screen. However, I also like to zoom in on specific parts of the video, like when I’m discussing a specific web address. This is easily done in Descript by opening up the layout panel and changing the position and size of the camera feed.
Stock B-Roll and GIFs in Descript
To add visual interest to my videos, I like to drop in stock B-roll footage and GIFs. Before editing my video, I go through and highlight specific parts where I know I want to add these elements. Then, I search for footage and GIFs that match the mood or emotion I want to convey and drop them in during the editing process.
Export Video with Descript
After completing the editing process, it’s time to export the video file. Descript makes this process quick and easy by allowing me to publish the video to my own Descript account and then download the file from there. I can also choose to export the video file manually, but this option takes longer.
Final Thoughts on Video Editing with Descript
Descript has become a valuable tool in my video editing workflow, and I’ve only scratched the surface of what it’s capable of. If you’re a content creator looking for a more efficient way to edit videos, I highly recommend giving Descript a try. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if there are specific Descript features you’d like me to cover in future tutorials. And don’t forget to follow me for more video editing tips and tricks!