Want to learn video editing but don’t know where to start? There are so many video editing courses online that you couldn’t even begin to count them.
In this article, we help you navigate through the many paid and free editing courses and provide a guide for learning the art of the cut in no time.
Best Way to Learn Video Editing
Video editing is the sort of thing you only learn by doing.
The first step you should take to learn video editing is to use a simple and free editor to get the hang of the basics. You have, for example, iMovie (macOS) or a simple smartphone app.
Although video editors differ widely, their essential tools and interface will be very similar. So learning with beginner-friendly software is a great starting point instead of jumping into professional editors like Premiere or Final Cut right from the start.
If you have already done some video editing before, keep reading to find the best courses. But before we delve into that, consider these points first:
What Editing Software to Learn
Focus on learning one video editing software at a time. After using a more beginner-friendly editor, we advise you to pick a widely used software like Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, or Final Cut Pro. This is because these applications have larger communities behind them, with more tutorials, courses, and resources available for beginners. Let’s take a look at each:
Premiere Pro – Premiere Pro is used by many industry professionals and YouTubers today. The great thing about Premiere is that it is available for both macOS and Windows. The community also features a vast catalog of 3-rd party plugins and other resources available.
A big dealbreaker with Premiere, though, is Adobe’s subscription model. You will have to pay monthly for the software and to get the lower price plans, you have to choose the yearly commitments.
DaVinci Resolve (Free & Paid) – Second on this list, we have DaVinci Resolve, a professional-level editor with a free version. This gives you a great starting point for learning this vast software and all its features without initial investment.
Resolve is an industry standard for its color grading. It combines video editing, audio mixing, and graphics into one tool. Davinci is both available for Windows and macOS.
Final Cut Pro – Lastly, we have Final Cut Pro developed by Apple. While this editor has declined somewhat in popularity recently, many YouTubers still use it to edit their videos today. The most significant limitation of Final Cut is that it only works on macOS systems.
Defining what software you want to learn will help you pick out a course that fits you. Again, you can’t go wrong with these three as long as they work on your computer.
Define a Focus Area
Post-production and video editing consist of many different parts: audio editing, color grading and correction, and graphics and VFX. Once you know the basics of editing, it’s a good idea to define what you want to focus on and what you will need to learn for the projects you plan to edit.
If you don’t know yet, don’t worry. Just take an all-around introductory course where you can try out a bit of everything.
Work on Your Own Projects
Lastly, you will need something to edit. While most of the courses mentioned below feature downloadable projects or exercises you can work on to learn, it is often best to work on your own videos.
It is always more enjoyable and motivating to work on your projects. So we challenge you to start shooting some of your videos as well, even if it’s just with your smartphone. We recommend a course in this list called “14-Day Video Production Challenge: Plan, Film & Edit Videos,” which helps you do just that.
If you really don’t feel like recording your own videos, you can always use stock footage and make something out of that. Check out the CINEMASTUDY Vimeo channel with some cool editing and stock-footage practice resources if you are interested.
Now, let’s jump into the best online video editing courses:
Best Online Courses for Video Editing
1. Adobe Premiere Pro CC Masterclass: Video Editing in Premiere
Comprehension: Beginner – Intermediate
This is currently one of the best-selling Premiere Pro courses on Udemy. You will learn professional editing techniques, how to create graphics titles, add effects, and much more. All this through 24.5 hours of on-demand video to guide you through the practices!
The course instructor, Phil Ebiner, has been editing with Premiere for over a decade and has created many best-selling video editing courses in the past.
This might go without saying, but to follow along, you must have Premiere Pro installed, as a lot is based on practice exercises and downloadable resources for the software.
Overall, we recommend this course for people who have already tried Premiere a bit before or some other editing software and are ready to master video editing.
2. Shawn Academy Video Editing Course Online (Premiere & After Effects)
This extensive course will teach you several video editing software, like Premiere Pro and After Effects. The classes are divided into the Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Proficient sections.
At the start, you will learn how to use Premiere for more basic things like montages, grading, and audio. The course soon delves into using After Effects for removing green screens, motion tracking, and some VFX work.
We find this is one of the best Premiere Pro and After Effects courses, in our opinion. It is especially great if you plan to make informational-style YouTube videos or documentaries.
Austin Peay State University also approves this online course, and it is globally recognized as an excellent certification on your resume.
3. DaVinci Resolve 2022 – The Complete Video Editing Course
This course was also created by Kashif A and Phil Ebiner, who are both very skilled in video editing. As with the previous course, you must have the Davinci Resolve installed to follow along.
This is the course for people who want to learn one of the best free editing software on the market. Not paying for a monthly subscription like Premiere here is a huge plus.
4. Video Editing with Final Cut Pro X – From Beginner to YouTuber
Yet another popular video editing software is Final Cut Pro. This course focuses on video editing techniques for YouTubers. As described on the description page, you will learn a 3-part workflow for creating each video:
- A-Cut Assembly
- B-Roll Shenanigans
- Coats of Polish
This course is about more fundamental editing techniques, but some intermediate and advanced tips are included. But overall, it warrants a beginner comprehension rating.
The course instructor is Ali Abdaal, a working YouTuber with over 2 million subscribers. So it is definitely more content-creator-focused!
5. Mastering Final Cut Pro by Coursera (Free)
Coursera lets you enroll in this course for free without access to the graded items, but you can later choose to purchase a certificate if you are happy with the course to add to your resume.
The course is divided into sections with 5-10 minute videos, readable material, and exercises you must complete. It takes you through the very basics of exporting and opening projects to color correction and motion graphics.
The instructors are Jason Cox and Nick Harauz. Both are Apple-certified trainers and have vast experience working with Final Cut Pro and other video editors.
In total, the course is expected to take 40 hours, according to Coursera.
This is definitely a more basic course on Final Cut Pro, but nevertheless a great starting point for beginners, and it’s free!
6. Adobe Premiere Pro: The Fastpass to Premiere Pro CC (Free)
The course is taught by Jeff Napolitano, a teacher with a degree in film and knowledge of editing.
His approach is to teach you editing with Premiere by breaking down examples from commercials and films and showing you how it is done.
Overall, the course is quite basic as it only features 1,5 hours of video. Even so, it’s one of the best free video editing classes on Udemy.
7. 14 Day Video Production Challenge: Plan, Film & Edit Videos
Learning video editing is hard when you don’t have any material to edit. Sure, you can use the resources provided from the courses above or royalty-free stock footage, but it’s always more fun and challenging to work on your own projects.
This course provides you with a challenge and guidance to plan, shoot and edit a video commercial. Not only will you get a better understanding of the video production process, but you will also be more creative!
8. Adobe Premiere Pro CC – Essentials Training Course
Comprehension: Beginner – Intermediate
This is yet another Adobe Premiere Course on this list, this time offered by Skillshare.
What we liked about this course and what makes it different is that you will work a lot with practice cases.
Through the exercises, you will practice doing weddings, parkour, talking-head, and other types of videos. All these mini assignments will be great additions to your portfolio when finished.
While this course is called Premiere Pro Essentials, it also delves into more advanced techniques and features as well, like workflow streamlining, custom graphics, and specific tips for each type of video. So it’s not simply a beginner course.
9. The History of Film and Video Editing
This one is a little different; If you are into video editing for films, it is excellent to learn the history and techniques of filmmaking masters through the decades.
This course from LinkedIn takes you on a journey of essential film editing techniques and milestones with historical examples.
Nothing outstanding here, but this is a good overview course that can also give you some more theoretical knowledge.
Other Video Editing Resources
Even though online video editing courses are a great way to get started, you should also look into additional learning resources. There are tons of learning resources on video editing on the web and beyond, and a lot of it is free.
Video Editing YouTubers
Justin Odisho – He is a YouTuber with tons of Premiere Pro tutorials (and some other Adobe software). He is great if you want to learn how to do specific effects, graphics, and techniques to improve your production value.
Cinecom.net – With over 2 million subscribers, Cinecom.net is big in the video editing sphere. They have tutorials on all kinds of topics within post-production and primarily focus on Premiere Pro editing.
In addition to channels, we are also going to recommend some very in-depth video editing tutorials on YouTube that are completely free:
Free Premiere Pro Tutorial From Envato:
This is a 3-hour introduction tutorial on Premiere Pro on YouTube. It is great and has sequel tutorials with even more advanced stuff.
Taran’s 4-Hour Premiere Pro Tutorial:
Taran is the main video editor for Linus Tech Tips, a massive channel on YouTube with millions of subscribers. In this 4-hour tutorial, he shows you many advanced techniques, features, and tips. This guide was made for video editors with some experience, so as a complete beginner, a lot of it will fly over your head.
After Effects Beginners Tutorial
This is a whole 1-hour intro tutorial on After Effects from a VFX artist. It teaches you the interface, motion tracking, and how to work with layers, keyframes, and other tools.
Video Editing Podcasts
Art of the Cut – You might have gathered that this podcast is all about video editing by the name. The episodes average about 1 hour with in-depth interviews of some of Hollywood’s top editors. The host himself is Steve Hullfish, a professional video editor who has worked on big-budget features and Tv-series. This is very much a podcast focused on video editing as a profession and focuses a lot on industry knowledge and the post-production process. This podcast is for you if you want to work as a video editor.
FXGuide – FXGuide focuses on interviews with VFX artists and professionals. If VFX is what you are more drawn to in the post-production process, this is the podcast for you.
Film Riot – Finally, we have Film Riot. They don’t only have a podcast, but their main content is on YouTube. They don’t focus solely on editing but on filmmaking in general if you want to learn more about filmmaking tips, guides, and a better understanding of how editing relates to filmmaking as a whole.
Best Books on Video Editing
Maybe you are better at taking in info through reading. In that case, you should really look into video editing books. Here are a few we recommend:
Adobe Premiere Pro for Dummies – The “Dummie” series books are great for getting started in any given subject. If you want a basic intro to Premiere Pro, we recommend this book because it features many images, graphics, and practical step-by-step guides.
In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing – This is the book for people after a more theoretical approach to video editing, focusing on cutting films. Actually, “In the Blink of an Eye” has been recommended by many prominent editors and industry professionals.
There you have our list of the best video editing courses online. We hope you found those useful, as well as our recommended resources.
Learning video editing doesn’t happen overnight It’s one thing you have to practice to master; The best way to do that is to create your own projects as you learn. Being creative is the best motivator of all to keep you learning. Good luck!