How to Make YouTube Videos Better Quality Using YouTube Editor
By Aaron Parson
YouTube includes a free video editor that you can use through your Web browser. Even though it can't compare to professional-level video editing software, the YouTube editor offers a range of effects and settings that allow you to improve the quality of your presentation. You can either use the editor to produce a new video using existing clips, or apply fixes to an existing upload.
Working With the Video Editor
To open the full video editor -- which allows you to piece together a new production using video and audio clips -- press the "Upload" button on YouTube. Rather than selecting a file to upload, click the "Edit" button. Drag video clips onto the timeline to add them to your production. Select any clip on the timeline to display the enhancement options. Any fixes you choose apply only to the selected clip. After creating your video, click "Publish" to post it as a new upload -- the tweaks you make to clips will not affect your existing uploads.
Improving Video Clips
The Quick Fixes tab in the editor displays options for improving the quality of your clips. The "Auto-fix" check box will attempt to balance the lighting and color of your video. You can also use the Contrast and Brightness sliders to manually tweak the appearance. To improve material shot with a handheld camera, check the "Stabilize Video" box and use the slider to adjust the strength of the effect. If you check the "Preview Effects..." option, YouTube will play the original clip and your adjusted clip simultaneously to help you compare your settings. To change the volume of a clip, open the "Audio" tab and use the Volume slider.
Editing Existing Videos
To improve the quality of an existing upload, click "Edit" by the video you want to modify in the Video Manager, and then open the "Enhancements" tab. The fixes available on uploaded videos are a bit different from those in the video creation tool. Instead of a Brightness setting, you can adjust the "Fill Light" option, which can only add light, not darken the video. You can also manually adjust the saturation and color temperature of your video. Unlike when creating a new production, the "Stabilize" effect does not offer a strength slider, and you can't adjust the video volume. After making changes, click "Save."
In order to make changes to an existing video, the video must have under 10,000 views and run less than two hours long. You also can't edit videos that have a Content ID match. If your video doesn't meet these criteria, you can instead click "Save As" to create a second copy of your video with the changes applied. These limitations do not apply to new projects in the video creation tool.
Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.