Here’s an Easy Way to Make Videos in Lightroom

By Chris Malinao

There's an easy way to make videos in Lightroom and it's a doozy! If you're struggling with Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro (man, I feel you), this is for you. If all you want is to make a video to send to grandma, or maybe make something to show on Facebook to impress the barkada or craft some tutorials to populate your budding YouTube channel, try this out. Scorsese or Tarantino you may not be, but if you do this right and creatively, who knows? You might just be the next viral video celebrity.

The Lightroom Video Control, at lower center, is where all the magic happens. It’s elegant and simple, not too many things to worry about, and it delivers. Just click on that little wheel to start trimming your video.

Here's how to do it in Lightroom: First you need to have a video; you shot something this morning with your phone, right? Use that. Do your DSLR frames later. In this project, you can process your videos along with your photos. We are actually leveraging the Slideshow module of Lightroom to create edited videos here.

Next thing to do is import those photos and videos into Lightroom. File > Import Photos and Video. Make a Collection Set and inside it a Collection of all photos to contain those videos and photos. Now, switch to Grid View (press G on the keyboard) to see that you have everything in this collection. You want your material photos and videos in there.

Double-click on a video, and here's where the magic happens. The video control in Lightroom appears! This is where you can trim a video, that means you can splice selected cuts and assemble them later in one continuous flow.

Say, you have one longish video footage and from this one continuous shot there can be two or three select cuts that you can use for your final video.

Here's what you do: Play the video and mark the start and end points of a single cut. If you don’t see the frames of your video, click on that little wheel at right so you can start trimming. You can visually remember them and move the video sliders to where the desired cut should begin and end. Those sliders are to the left and right of the frames in the video control. Even better, for more precise markers, let the video run and press Shift + I to mark its start point, and Shift + 0 for the end point. Now you have your first cut.

Right-click on this first cut and choose Create Virtual Copy. This separates your first cut from the main video.

Now, Lightroom is non-destructive and you can go back to the main video to select your second cut. But first you need to pull its end marker back to its original position. Play the video again and mark the start point with Shift + I and the end point with Shift + O and making another virtual copy of the second cut. Do the same if you have a third or fourth cut from the same main video.

Next, separate those video cuts and some choice photos into another collection inside your Collection Set. Only those that will appear in the final video will be in this collection. Make sure that all photos and videos will appear in the order that you want by click-dragging on the film strip (those thumbnails at the bottom of Lightroom).

If they are in proper order, switch to the Slideshow module to produce the movie. All work now shifts to the right panel where options are self-explanatory. Turn off all options now for this exercise and attend mainly to Music where you can choose audio to play with your video. I like to set transitions to Slide Length = 2.2 sec and Crossfades to 1.8 sec. You see that slider on the right labeled Audio Balance? Keeping it at center brings in both your music and whatever ambient sound you have in the video. Sliding it fully to one side plays the music only or the ambient sound only.

At this point, do not forget to click the button up there that says Create Saved Slideshow. This is important to preserve all that you’ve done in assembling your video. You can come back later to your saved slideshow to edit it some more.

You may click the Play button now at lower right, next to the Preview button to see how your video (your slideshow, actually) will play. If you’re satisfied with how it looks, you can save it now (Export Video at lower left) as low- or high-resolution video, MP4 format.

And that’s it, enjoy your video and share it with friends!

How do you edit a video in Lightroom? How do you change its exposure and color parameters? Can we do color grading in Lightroom? That, in the next tutorial.