Everyone loves social media, YouTube has fast become the centre for all video footage on the web. Marketers are gaining serious traction with both professional, viral and amateur campaigns. For anyone interested in what it takes to make a career via YouTube, you can get a crash course in YouTube success in less than 3 hours!
But to make a great movie, you are going to need to edit your raw footage. Unless you are after “Funniest Home Video” candid shots, you need to study the techniques for creating spectacular movies on the internet. Now you have the basics together, edit the footage into a dramatic and fun short. You have a range of tools you can use. This guide will outline the alternatives you have to the standard Windows Movie Maker.
Windows Movie Maker is a basic video editing program from Microsoft. It’s free, but it also has a range of benefits. You can combine photos and videos, add special effects and transitions, split, vary the speed of a video, add sound and themes, instantly upload to YouTube and much more. It’s easy to use and has a range of output options, but it lacks in being able to cut videos and is no longer included as standard software in Windows OS.
Not everyone likes this program, and many experienced users prefer the additional features in the premium editing packages. Depending on your needs, there are a range of programs out there to suit whatever you have in editing requirements. This guide covers the most popular software choices, alongside what you need to know about each.
First up are the premium packages. You get what you pay for and power users are going to need the full suite of tools found in these “paid-for” solutions.
Adobe Premier Elements
It’s clear and simple interface provides many of the features you need in video editing software. Audio, text and social tools allow for easy sharing of your videos on Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo. Its drawback is a slightly slower performance than competitors, and no 4K support or 3D editing capabilities. In under an hour, you can study what it takes to master the video editing in Adobe Premier, and start creating fantastic movies today.
Verdict: It allows you to do a lot with your digital movies, but is not as fast or as feature packed as its main competitors.
With the fastest preview ability of any video editing software, PowerDirector is built to impress, yet remains easy to use. It has 3D and 4K capabilities, Blu-ray disc authoring and direct uploads to every popular video sharing site as well as mobile devices, and its support for Ultra High Definition brings it to a class of its own in video editing software. The only downside is a storyboard view that is not very useful, and no search ability in the effects and transitions.
Verdict: Easily the best video editing software in the market, supported by its ability to stay on the cutting edge of the latest technology.
An amazing selection of fun creation tools makes using VideoStudio intuitive and easy to learn. The support for 3D and 4K Ultra HD makes VideoStudio a great editing program, with added motion tracking to generate text, effects and objects along moving elements. Its downside is that it’s not a full 64 bit app, and is slightly slower rendering than the best in the market. There is no ability to search for effects, and there are only 20 video overlay tracks.
Verdict: VideoStudio is a high-powered yet easy to use video editor, leading the pack in stop-motion capturing and motion tracking effects.
Sony Vegas (Movie Studio Platinum 12)
Offering a precise and powerful editing tool, 3D capability as well as DVD and Blu-ray output, you will find loads of effects and transitions to make your movies shine. A decent rendering speed and customizable interface set this program apart, and integrated audio editing makes it simple to add in soundtracks to your movies. The downsides are a 20 track audio limit, and an outdated interface, with occasional program crashes. To make the best use of Sony Vegas, a short editing tutorial will bring you up to speed, allowing you to make full use of the powerful options available in this program.
Verdict: The high performance of this program clashes with its difficulty to use. You have near professional level control, but require a pro-like level of understanding to make the most of this program. Not for beginners.
The free options give you less features and effects, but for basic users you may find that they satisfy everything you are looking for in an editing program, without breaking the bank.
With a good base of support this is a very easy to use and logical editing tool. The final output quality is high for a free editor, and you can directly link your movies to social channels. The only downside is that many high-end video formats will require you to spend an additional $15 on the codec pack, and there are literally no special effects in this editor. The interface that you use to manipulate your footage is tiny when compared to other options on the market, and be prepared for a consistent stream of in app advertising.
Verdict: The best choice for “free” video editing software but be prepared to fork out $15 for the codec pack.
Avidemux is a strong editing program for users looking for a cheap and reliable basic editing of their movies. Supporting most video codecs, users can edit footage from their phone, camcorder or direct downloads from the web. The downside is it’s lacking many of the features found in premium editing packages, and you don’t have the “timeline” view most users are accustomed to.
Verdict: A basic program that allows you to perform simple editing tasks, but lacks the power behind VideoSpin and the paid alternatives.
Any of these video editors will allow you to start making movies today, pick the one that best suits your needs, and begin your crusade to become a YouTube sensation!