Since the arrival of YouTube in 2005, the world has gradually become captivated by online video-sharing sites. This increased when shorter clips started to be the norm, with the increasing popularity of Instagram and Twitter. Then TikTok arrived, a platform with such a simple premise that draws in enormous audiences. Nowadays, videos are all the rage, and everyone from hobbyists to marketers takes advantage of them.
No wonder videos and their respective software are essential content marketing tools. Whether you’re a one-off YouTuber or a company’s video editor, it’s important to use the appropriate video editor, as well-edited footage makes your audience take you seriously. Fortunately, there are many reliable free programs to choose from.
What To Look For in a Free Video Editor
Even the most basic video editors provide the tools to cut, slice, trim, split, and crop footage. Going beyond this, you should seek out software that comes with visual effects, higher-than-average resolutions, and subtitling (even if it’s just for titles). With this, you’ll have everything you need to edit your video.
Besides its features, it’s also vital that the video editor lets you export in the most used file formats. Additionally, structuring and organizing video files needs to be easy, and everything will run more smoothly if the program has an auto-backup feature. Furthermore, make sure to check whether the video editor exports without the provider’s watermark. If a program also offers built-in stock footage and sound effects, all the better.
In addition to these features, you must double-check the terms and conditions before committing to a free video editor. This is because some companies cover their costs by selling your personal information, so ensuring that advanced privacy settings are activated is crucial. Alternatively, it’s worthwhile to check if the video editor is open source, as that’s usually an indication of a company’s trustworthiness.
Recommended Free Video Editing Software
It’s great when an app has a little bit of everything. FXhome Hitfilm certainly does, as it’s packed with numerous features that serve the needs of both newcomers and experts. It has all the essential tools to cut, slice, trim, crop, and flip your clips. The software also has a scene shifter that follows a drag-and-drop design, making it a walk in the park to rearrange parts of the video. The many presets are all customizable, and visuals can be enhanced with effects like 3D lighting, color grading, and filters. Plus, the software’s subtitling tools ensure that creating titles is as smooth as it gets. Videos are exported swiftly, without a watermark by default, and in up to 8K resolution with 32bit coloring, making the final product easy on the eye.
VSCD Free Video Editor
VSCD Free Video Editor may look a bit outdated at first glance, but, as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover. Beneath the surface is a simple and intuitive interface for a program teeming with valuable features. The basics are all there, together with multiple tools for color correction and object transformation. Likewise, the software’s object filters and special effects, such as color bending, make the final video rich in color. VSCD Free Video Editor supports several file formats and 4K resolution. There are no watermarks on exported videos either, and they can be uploaded straight to social media.
OpenShot Video Editor
OpenShot Video Editor is free and open source, which shows the company prioritizes transparency. The software’s drag-and-drop approach to video editing is user-friendly and there are numerous special effects available, like slow motion. One of OpenShot Video Editor’s most renowned features is its audio visualization tool that allows editors to create waveforms for music, which works best with the software’s 3D animations. Finally, OpenShot Video Editor’s cross-platform support means you can start the editing process on a PC and finish it on a Mac. And the best part is that the software doesn’t add any watermarks to your exported video.
Vimeo certainly has a loyal fanbase. It’s understandable since the software is among the most intuitive on the market, offering several methods of customizing videos to your taste. Other than tools for trimming and merging clips, the editor also lets you switch a video’s aspect ratio and add or remove watermarks. Subtitling, styling, and various colorful stickers are also available, and Vimeo lets you work on custom templates. The only downside is that Vimeo’s free plan limits the number of videos you can upload a month to two. However, considering most tools come without a cost, that’s a small price to pay.
What Are the Five Stages of Video Editing?
The video editing process requires a high level of organization. Therefore, the first step you must take is to arrange your footage into directories. Also known as logging, this is when you get rid of unnecessary clips and only retain the useful ones.
The fun part is when you arrange logged footage into a timeline. This is called the first assembly, and it’s when your clips start looking like a video, although a very long one. A comprehensive video editing app helps significantly with this arrangement. The next step is the rough cut when you throw out everything unnecessary. Simply put, your long take becomes dramatically shorter. At this stage, you can start adding extras like pauses and transitions.
The fine cut is when clips merge into a video. This is when you ensure the end result flows smoothly and add color correction and special effects. You’ll also import music, sound effects, and motion graphics at the very end, in the stage known as the final cut. The right video editor provides samples and templates, which reduces the time spent on these last stages considerably.
Tips on Video Editing
Knowing your way around the editing process is a useful skill, and video editing software makes everything easier. When it comes to managing your work, the keyword is organization. Essentially, the fewer folders and subfolders the better, as having too many can make the process chaotic. While working with many files is unavoidable – especially in the logging stage – keeping them carefully ordered in one place will streamline the task. Moreover, file names should mirror what the footage is about, such as when and where it was taken. It’s also worth considering storing these heavy files on external hard drives.
These steps are most vital in the initial stages. After that, you can focus on arranging your raw footage. It may seem obvious but taking the time to watch all your footage can save you down the line. Once you’ve seen everything, it’s clear which sections should be cut, so you’ll be left with only the highest quality clips that can be ordered efficiently.
Fundamentally, throughout the entire process, the focus should be on engaging the viewer. So, changing visuals frequently, finding the perfect musical accompaniment, and inserting text strategically should all be at the top of your list when editing. By keeping this in mind, you’ll create engaging videos that your audience will love to watch.