These days, one can’t imagine life without videos, especially if you actively share ideas online.
Videos produce an instant impression on the audience and perhaps leave a deeper impact than text content alone. Although with a bit of experience editing video doesn’t require much effort, choosing the right tool in the first place takes time. Luckily, there are free video editors available today for every user category – Windows, Mac, and mobile filmmaking enthusiasts. Let’s have a look at these options.
1. VSDC (Windows, desktop)
VSDC is a non-linear video editor for Windows. Unlike many programs at zero cost, VSDC is completely and truly free without any hidden charges or watermarks placed at the end of video export. It also includes a built-in slideshow creator, along with video and screen capture utilities. VSDC feature set is quite impressive: video and audio effects, numerous transitions, filters, a “picture in picture” effect, green screen, “blurring mask”, video blending, and others.
When choosing the right program to perform video editing, one should pay attention to VSDC because it is compatible with almost all video formats that exist today, such as AVI, QuickTime, MP4, WIndows Media, MPEG, MPG, H.264, Flash Video, and others. You don’t have to convert your footage to any other format before starting to edit – VSDC opens and reads them all. You also get numerous project output options including AVI, DVD, MPEG, MP4, M4V, MOV, and even H265 codec – considered the best one for posting videos to the web.
Bottom line: with VSDC, you get the functionality of an expensive video editor for free, though mastering everything the app offers might take some time.
2. YouTube (Online)
Perhaps YouTube’s online video editor is under the radar for many of you, but it is definitely worth checking out if you have a simple project to work on. It is a free tool created with the purpose of editing videos you’ve already uploaded to your channel. When it comes to formats, of course YouTube has strict requirements because there are several formats only you can upload and edit. They are .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP, WebM.
YouTube editor is highly intuitive and does not require much time or computer resources. Since it works online, you’re fine as long as you have an Internet connection. You can create videos as well as photo presentations. The app provides basic features such as cutting, snipping, trimming, and lengthening footage. You can modify the speed of your video and enhance it with filters, color correction, and shaky footage stabilizer. There is a blurring mask for censored parts of the video and, of course, a subtitle editor.
Bottom line: YouTube video editor will be the right choice if your footage has been recorded in good quality and requires minor enhancements only. This tool is fast and simple, though it is not meant for complicated projects.
3. WeVideo (Online, mobile)
WeVideo has made it to the shortlist because it is a universal solution that works online and, unlike most solutions, it provides a good number of video editing tools for mobile users. In other words, it allows you to perform quick improvements to your footage on the go, which is a great convenience for the busy.
WeVideo has both free and paid versions, and unless you are not a video editing professional, you might be quite happy with the first one. Free WeVideo users can have up to 1GB cloud storage for videos, and 5 minutes of footage time with maximum video resolution of 720p. Projects also have a watermark placed when exported.
WeVideo’s interface is minimalistic. Fragments are placed in the linear timeline by means of a drag’n’drop feature. You can edit short videos and create beautiful slideshows. Another feature that deserves to be mentioned is quick sharing and Google Drive synchronization. The app provides you with a good number of templates, transitions, stylized text options – everything to minimize time spent on a project. Once you decide to become a paid user, you also get access to premium features, such as screen capturing and Chroma Key or “green screen.”
Bottom line: WeVideo free version is a good video editor for personal use, though keep in mind that the free editing features provided are pretty basic and your video will get stamped with a small watermark in the end.
4. Shotcut (Cross platform, open-source)
It’s hard to ignore a tool like Shotcut when reviewing free video editing software for different platforms. This is the only cross-platform solution in the list and, in addition, it is open-source. The latter allows it to work with all formats from FFmpeg libraries, such as BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, SVG, TGA, TIFF, and image sequences. Shotcut supports video resolution up to 4K and includes audio and webcam capture tools. For user convenience, not only there is a drag’n’drop file manager, but also a wide choice of hotkey combinations implemented.
Shotcut is still being actively developed and gets updated several times per year. For now, it provides essential editing features, such as cutting, splitting, trimming and rotating, advanced audio editing via waveform, and a wide array of video effects, such as color correction, numerous blending modes, video filters, speed effect, and more.
Bottom line: Shotcut already has a lot to offer and, due to open source cross-platform technology, it has big potential. So, even if it doesn’t fit you now for some reason, it is worth keeping an eye on.
One post is not enough to review all the free video editing software options available today, so please share your favorite ones in the comments below so we can add them in the future!