Best free video edi­tors

Free edit­ing soft­ware for mak­ing your own amaz­ing videos

Windows 7 Help & Advice - - CONTENTS -

1 Light­works

Light­works is an in­cred­i­ble tool that’s pub­lished free with the noble aim of mak­ing pro­fes­sional qual­ity video edit­ing soft­ware avail­able to ev­ery­one.

Light­works is far more than a sim­ple ap­pli­ca­tion for com­bin­ing video clips and ap­ply­ing fil­ters; it’s been used to pro­duce Hol­ly­wood movies in­clud­ing The King’s Speech and Road to Perdi­tion.

As you would ex­pect for such a pow­er­ful video edi­tor, you won’t be able to mas­ter it overnight, but that’s cer­tainly not some­thing you could hold against it.

Light­works is de­scribed as the pro­fes­sional video edi­tor for ev­ery­one, and we reckon that’s a fair sum­mary. De­spite its power, it will run well on fairly mod­est hard­ware, and it han­dles video cap­ture and ad­vanced edit­ing with aplomb.

If you’ve tried other free video edi­tors you’ll prob­a­bly find that the in­ter­face is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent to any­thing you’re used to, but you can ar­range the var­i­ous con­trols and win­dows to cre­ate some­thing that suits your way of work­ing.

2 DaVinci Re­solve

DaVinci Re­solve is a free ver­sion of a pre­mium video edit­ing suite, but is so fea­ture-packed you prob­a­bly won’t miss the few tools it lacks.

DaVinci Re­solve is a pro­fes­sional-grade video edi­tor, with in­tu­itive in­ter­faces for edit­ing, colour cor­rec­tion, au­dio mas­ter­ing and ex­port­ing. There’s the usual multi-track time­line for ar­rang­ing video and au­dio clips, plus con­text-sen­si­tive trim­ming, as well as a vast col­lec­tion of fil­ters and ef­fects.

Colour cor­rec­tion is one of DaVinci Re­solve’s stand­out fea­tures, whether you want to ad­just a whole video or just a se­lected part. There’s HDR sup­port, and you can work on Raw files di­rectly from your cam­era.

A few of the fil­ters are ex­clu­sive to the pre­mium DaVinci Re­solve Stu­dio, and there’s a max­i­mum ex­port res­o­lu­tion of 3,840x2,160, but those are the only lim­i­ta­tions. It’s overkill if you just want to trim a video, but for big­ger projects DaVinci Re­solve is hard to beat.

3 HitFilm Ex­press­press

HitFilm Ex­press is an­other video edi­tor that prom­ises pro-level fea­tures for free – and it de­liv­ers.

The ba­sic edi­tor is very im­pres­sive, with ad­vanced cut­ting tools, a great set of au­dio and video fil­ters, lay­ers and mask­ing, com­posit­ing op­tions, and chroma key­ing for cre­at­ing green screen ef­fects, where you can su­per- im­pose your sub­ject on ex­otic back­grounds – just like they do in real Hol­ly­wood movies.

Ad­di­tional tools are avail­able for a fee, start­ing at £8.85 for a pack fea­tur­ing colour-cor­rec­tion, ex­po­sure ad­just­ment and split screen mask­ing, as well as var­i­ous creative fil­ters.

The down­side of all this power is that HitFilm Ex­press is much more de­mand­ing than either Light­works or Shot­cut, which is the main rea­son it’s dropped to third place. Make sure you check the tech­ni­cal re­quire­ments be­fore down­load­ing it to avoid dis­ap­point­ment.

4 Shot­cut https://shot­

Shot­cut is an­other pro­fes­sional-feel­ing free video edi­tor that re­quires a lit­tle pa­tience if you are to achieve the re­sults it is so ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing.

The slightly un­usual in­ter­face can be put down to the fact that Shot­cut started life as a Linux ap­pli­ca­tion, and lit­tle has changed in its con­ver­sion to Win­dows, al­though it re­mains one of our favourite free video edi­tors.

To start with, the in­ter­face may seem a lit­tle stark. You will need to not only load a video, but also choose which edit­ing mode you would like to work in and which tools you’d like to use.

There’s no get­ting away from the fact that Shot­cut has a steep learn­ing curve. It’s pos­si­ble to achieve some im­pres­sive re­sults by ap­ply­ing one of its many fil­ters to your video, but the real re­wards will be reaped by those will­ing to in­vest the time and en­ergy into fully get­ting to grips with it.

Like Light­works, DaVinci Re­solve is used for TV and post-pro­duc­tion.

Light­works is pow­er­ful, free and works well on even mod­est hard­ware.

HitFilm Ex­press is a very pow­er­ful free and ex­pand­able video edi­tor.

Short­cut en­ables you to layer fil­ters and ef­fects on top of one an­other.

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