Whether you are trying to win an Oscar or are simply putting together a commercial, when it comes to movie editing effective software is crucial. Once you’ve gotten a solid set of film making skills (for a skill boost, check out this “Make Better Videos” course, with tips from a film expert), the right software with the right tools can take your movie from average to extraordinary. So if you’re trying to find the best movie editing software program but don’t know what program to choose, check out this list of the five best movie editing software options.
1. Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe’s been around awhile now, since the 1990s. With several updated versions and eighteen years of development, Adobe’s editing features are solid. They include keying, lighting, colorizing, and transforming. Conveniently, a search box let’s you find any effect or transition you need relatively easily. One of Adobe’s feature highlights? A built in speech-to-text function, which creates a search ready index of spoken words in your video. This tool makes editing substantially easier—you’ll never have to go through hours of footage searching for a quote. You can simply search for it directly.
Lastly, it is worth pointing out here that Adobe Premiere Pro is also well integrated with other Adobe programs in the Adobe Creative Suite, including Adobe After Effects and Photoshop. So if you’re already an Adobe user, Adobe Premiere Pro is definitely a solid option. To learn how to use the software and get started, take this Premiere Pro beginner’s tutorial. Or, to master your Premiere Pro skills check out this Premiere Pro master class.
2. Adobe Premiere Elements
Keep in mind that Adobe Premiere Pro is geared towards professionals, as the name suggests. If you’re looking for a high-quality video editing software program but you’re not an editing expert you might want to check out Adobe Premiere Elements. This is a less-sophisticated cousin of Premiere Pro, featuring an easier to use user-interface. Basic editing tools are situated within the Effects Control palette, so they are easy to locate. Though, beyond this the program does offer a variety of more high-tech editing options.
Like Premiere Pro, Adobe Premiere Elements is also well integrated with other Adobe programs in the Adobe Creative Suite. You can actually use Adobe Photoshop to edit any image on the Adobe Premiere Elements timeline, for example. Though Adobe Premiere Elements is much easier to use than Adobe Premiere Pro, it’s still worth taking a training course. If you are interested in learning how to use the software, you might want to check out this Adobe Premiers Elements 11 training course.
3. Sony Vegas Pro
Though often overlooked, Sony Vegas Pro is a high-quality editing program, which yields professional grade movies. Like with Final Cut Pro, you can easily mix multiple video formats and resolutions without recoding. The software program actually started out as an audio editor, known as Vegas Pro, and was later bought out by Sony and it still boasts impressive audio editing capabilities.
4. Apple Final Cut Pro
When it comes to video editing options, Final Cut Pro is one of the best options out there. It has recently been used to edit several Hollywood major motion pictures, including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, No Country for Old Men, and Cold Mountain.
Importing options are one of the program’s highlights. Final Cut Pro supports many different file types– you can easily mix video files of varying formats and resolutions without having to spend time recoding the files. You can import either an entire clip or just a portion of clip, an option that facilitates easy import and simplifies editing. Upon importation, Final Cut Pro will analyze the media for any stabilization issues or color balance problems, as well as the presence of people. Based on this analysis, the program can also create Smart Collections based on the shot type and whether it is stable or unstable. These automatic clip organization options are undoubtedly a huge advantage.
The program features a range of impressive editing features, including one-step transitions, prebuilt movie themes, and GPU-accelerated movie export. It boasts extensive tools for color correction and filtering, as well as stellar audio editing capabilities. The software can automatically fix hum, noise, and peaks, though it also allows for manual adjustment. Over 1,300 royalty-free sound effects are included and you can also match separately recorded tracks.
Final Cut Pro is one of the most expensive pieces of movie editing software out there. Though, it is definitely one of the best options; if you are looking to make a high-quality, professional video it is well worth the investment. To get the most out of your money, it can be a good idea to take a training course to ensure that you know how to use the program to its full potential. You might want to check out this Final Cut Pro video training course.
Like Adobe Premier Elements, iMovie is technically a consumer-level editing program, so it isn’t as high tech as some of the other software programs on our list. However, an easy to use time-line interface combined with a range of professional editing tools make it well worth a mention. It is one of the easiest to use movie-editing programs out there. It features a drag and drop interface, so with a couple of clicks and some dropping and dragging you can conduct high-quality edits that seriously enhance the quality of your video. And although iMovie is user friendly, it offers a variety of professional grade editing tools, including frame stabilization for smoother movie playback, easy configure transitions, and special effects.