Can You Edit Videos With Blender 3D?


Blender is perhaps best known as a 3D modeling application suite that allows you to create 3D models and even entire scenes and render them as images or animations. However, its functionality goes far beyond this. For example, did you know that blender could be used to edit videos?

Blender 3D has a built-in video sequence editor that allows you to import video files and edit them within Blender. You can either use external files, such as videos you have taken on your phone, or take animations you created within Blender and position them within the video sequence editor for rendering. You can then export your edited video as one of the numerous file types.

While it may not be known for its ability to edit videos, Blender is a solid video editor and should be considered if you are looking for a free alternative to video editing.

How To Access The Video Sequence Editor?

The video sequence editor or VSE is what Blender uses to import and edit video content. If you were to open up a traditional blender project, you would not find the video sequence editor within any of the selected workspaces.

If you were to go to the icon in the top corner of any panel, you would be able to change that editor. Under the general column, locate the sequence editor option and then left Click to change your selected panel to the video sequence editor.

To get the best format, open up the menu to decide of this button that is labeled as sequence. From the drop-down list that appears, choose sequence and preview so you can display both the sequence editor and an additional window to preview your video.

Adding The Video Editor Workspace

Another way to access the video sequence editor is to use the video editor workspace. Initially, you won’t be able to find the video editor workspace in your tabs. This is because video editing is not considered part of the traditional 3D modeling process. It’s another workflow pipeline entirely.

But that does not mean there isn’t a workspace dedicated to video editing. To add this workspace, click on the plus icon at the end of the workspace tabs.

This will open up a new menu allowing you to add a pre-made workspace based on several categories. The final category in this menu is for video editing, so hover your mouse over this category to open up a sub-menu with two options.

The first will be rendering, and the second will be video editor. Click on video editor to add the video editor workspace to your row of tabs at the top and gain access to this workspace.

Changing Your Starting Template For Video Editing

Perhaps the best way to access the video editing workspace is to use the video editing template. Every time you use Blender you have the option of changing which template you wish to use, but most often, we choose the general template because that offers the traditional 3D modeling workflow.

If I just backtrack a little bit, a template is the set of workspaces made available at the start of a new project. For example, the general template has the layout, modeling, UV mapping workspaces, and more.

If you go to the file menu and hover over new, then a sub-menu opens up with all the pre-made Blender templates. They should be listed below…

  • General
  • 2D Animation
  • Sculpting
  • VFX
  • Video Editing

These are fairly self-explanatory, and the one we will want to select is the video editing template, which then opens a new project with only the Video editor and workspace tabs available at the top.

How To Import Video Content Into The VSE?

Now that you have access to the video sequence editor, your first step is to add a movie file to your editor.

To add a video to your timeline, go to the add menu and select Movie from the drop-down. Blenders file browser then opens up, allowing you to locate your video file within your directory.

Once you locate the movie you wish to import, click to select that file and press the blue button labeled as Add movie strip.

How Can We Edit Our Strips?

While we won’t go into a deep dive of all the things that the video editor can do in this article, we will note a few things that you can do right off the bat.

If you go back to the add menu, you will see that there are other file types that we can import into our strips. For example, you could add a static image or an image sequence that can be generated from Blenders’ rendering system.

An image sequence is just a list of images numbered from zero through to whatever the final frame is. They are then imported sequentially as a sequence and behave much like a movie strip would within the sequence editor.

You can also perform other basic functions quickly, such as adding color blocks to your movie file or text elements to act as overlays. You also have a selection of transitions that you can use to better transition between your clips.

A Quick Note On Exporting

We might as well finish with a quick note on exporting your edited video file once you have finished. This is done in the same way as she would render an animation from the 3D viewport. Just go to render and select render animation.

Before you do this, go to the render properties in the properties panel and ensure that the file type you have selected for rendering is a movie file such as MP4 unless you are purposely looking to render it as an image sequence that will render each frame as a separate image and save it onto your device.

Thanks For Reading

Now that you know how to access Blender’s video sequence editor, try out some of its features and see just how powerful it is as a video editor. If you’re interested in learning more about a sequence editor and other areas of the Blender software, check out some of the articles below.

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