One of the most common questions I get is, “What is the best FREE video editing software?”
People want to edit their video on the cheap! Fortunately we can do that these days. Read on for advice on which free video programs are high enough quality to be a bargain at twice the price.
Windows Movie Maker and iMove are the two most common “free” programs. They come pre-loaded if you buy either a new Mac or PC. If you want to buy iMovie without the computer, it’s part of a suite of programs (iLife) that sells for around 70 bucks. That’s not free of course, but we count it as free when it comes preloaded.
Movie Maker is not for sale, but I have heard rumblings that Microsoft is going to beef it up and offer it for sale.
At this point in time, iMovie is LOTS better IMHO, but WMM is a decent little program. If that’s what you have easy access to, it will do the basics. In comparison to others it’s fairly limited. You can NOT do green screen with it for example. iMOvie can not do green screen either.
The video editing market is full of dozens of additional free video editing programs. Are they any good? Yes, some of them are fantastic. Others are unstable and difficult to use and this list will help you steer clear of them!
Listed below is a collection of my top 6 free editing programs that you can download and begin using right now. Click on the title to each one to be taken to its download page. Many of the sites feature more free software than just the one program I have mentioned. You can also get free conversion software and other helpful programs.
LIST OF FREE VIDEO EDITING PROGRAMS
–> TABZS4 is a free video editing and compositing tool from Zwei-Stein. It uses a timeline, like most all video editing programs. It has more functionality than Windows Movie Maker as you can apply filters for special effects lie “Green Screen’ (or Chroma key), distortions and color manipulations.
Another free tool with fairly powerful editing and compositing abilities. This is actually quite a flexible tool along the same lines as Blender but isn’t as complicated as Blender so it’s easier to learn. Wax can be used as a stand-alone editor but can also be used as a plug-in to larger video editing tools such as Vegas and Adobe Premier.
Video Spin is the free video editing tool from Avid, which acquired Pinnacle. Avid is truly a long time industry leader in making editing software. In the professional world, their products are considered superior and have been for a very long time. Video Spin is one of the more promising free video editing tools on the market because it comes from Avid. The software is actually a low functional version of Pinnacle Studio that has been rebranded and given away.
One of the more stable and complete free tools available. Apart form being able to cut and handle video it can apply various filters for special effects. Of the programs on this list, this one is probably the most complete and stable.
It also exports to quite a few different formats such as DVD, MPEG2. One drawback is that it does not support multiple audio tracks. Certainly it is much less functional than a big package such as Adobe Premier, but whadda ya want for nothing?
Blender is a powerful, multi-use editing/compositing and modeling tool. It’s one of the best freebies on the market. This tool that will allow you to edit, create 3D graphics, add effects, manage your sound and render out your movies. That’s more than most free programs can handle.
The problem with Blender is that it’s complex and not easy to learn. Honestly, this is the nature of the beast though. What makes video editing complicated is when it can do so much neat stuff! So if you want to be able to wow the world with awesome digital editing and do not mind a steep learning curve, go for blender!
This is one video editing program that breaks the mold a bit. They call it “trackless editing” and it works on a Mac. It does away with the multi-track time line concept and replaces it with a trackless set-up. This means that things like audio and video, transitions and effects can be placed randomly across the timeline without being stuck on a particular track in the timelines. It makes for a different-looking editing layout!
Now one word of caution: If what you want to do is complicated, you may need more than one software program to create your final vision. It is quite common to import graphics, effects or animations made in another program. It’s also common to need another program for file conversion, either into or out of your edit program. The more advanced the program, the more likely it is to cover all functions.
That said, don’t be fooled by the fact that some of these are free – they are good pieces of software. To get this kind of digital editing power for free is really quite remarkable.
Especially if you are new to video editing, take a look at these free options. You can gain tremendous experience and learn a lot about video editing without ever going beyond the free tools on this list!
Who said video making was expensive?
I hope these free video editing tools will help you.
Thanks for reading Video Production Tips.