Software is a decent expense item. Especially if you have to deal with such complex and resource-intensive applications as 3D editors, non-linear video editors, multimedia converters, and so on. Fans of video editing, as well as those whose work is directly related to the processing of digital video, better than others know how difficult it is to find a good and inexpensive tool for work. Prices for video editors are hundreds and hundreds of dollars, while there are very few free alternatives. In this article we will look at some of the most interesting and functional applications for video editing.
If you compare Lightworks with other free tools for video editing, then by editing options it will leave many competitors far behind. But it is by no means impossible to consider it ideal. Moreover, the free version of the video editor has annoying limitations on both the export formats and the resolution of the video being processed.
This program leaves a double impression. On the one hand, Lightworks is truly one of the most powerful free video applications and one of the rare cases when a free video editor supports multi-track editing. On the other hand, it is a program that is difficult to learn independently. Lightworks has such an unusual interface that working in the video editor at first resembles a real quest. If you have a lot of time or you like to be "not like everyone else", be sure to try the simplest operations for editing video clips in Lightworks. Even the training video from the official website of the program does not immediately clarify. Lightworks is its own logic of actions, which is difficult for the user to understand. Even the working area of the timeline is only outwardly similar to a similar tool in other programs.
The order of placement of fragments, the management of clips, even the usual cutting and gluing is performed in Lightworks in a special way. As you study the program there is a feeling that certain actions are actually implemented more conveniently. However, we venture to assume that few understand this understanding, because the user may simply not have the patience to study the "national characteristics" of Lightworks.
"Why was it necessary to break stereotypes and create such a confused and illogical system of commands?" – you ask. The matter is that Lightworks in a certain sense itself is the standard in the field of digital video editing. The very first version of the video editor was released back in 1989, when video editing with the help of a computer seemed a great miracle. Since then, the project has moved from hand to hand and, finally, in 2009, he got to the British-American company EditShare. For the video editor, this event became significant, as a year later the company announced that Lightworks would become an open source program.
To date, Lightworks is a cross-platform application running on Linux, MacOS and Microsoft Windows. With his help, many popular films were mounted. Among them, "Batman Forever", "The Island of the Damned", "Centurion", "The Departed", "King says", "Aviator", "Maps, money, two trunks", "Pulp Fiction", "Notting Hill" and many others .
Of the features of Lightworks, you can select a convenient option to create a backup copy of the project. Typically, the transfer of the mounted movie to another working computer is associated with the problem of copying all the multimedia files involved in the work and checking the correctness of references to them. In Lightworks, everything is much simpler – one menu command copies all data to a single folder. And in this program you will find many professional tools for video editing, which are not in other free applications. For example, in Lightworks there is a vector control for audio control, it is possible to work with masks, color correction profiles are available, also support for keying when working with a color background and even support for 3D video is built in.
VSDC Free Video Editor 3.0
This free utility gives more than you would expect. Unlike the huge number of pseudo-free video editing applications, VSDC Free Video Editor does not really have any limitations and will not upset you at any stage of editing, calling for a license to activate all options.
The video editor is free, but caution should be exercised when installing it. If you do not want to clog the system with software of questionable use, at a certain stage it will be superfluous to choose the option of installing Custom Install, to disable the installation of the add-on to the browser and other applications not related to video processing.
With detailed consideration, the VSDC Free Video Editor is a very interesting application. The system of arrangement of interface elements, editing tools and a special order of work with video evidence that this program was done without looking at already existing software of this kind. Starting with the third version (which was released in March 2015), VSDC Free Video Editor can be considered a full-fledged non-linear video editor. This means that each editing object can be on the scene in any place and have any dimensions, and the position and shape of the object can vary in time.
The VSDC Free Video Editor arsenal is not that strong, but it is not too scant. The included toolkit is versatile enough to solve the vast majority of video editing tasks. Is there a need to perform multitrack editing? No problem. Need to convert the video to a different format? The program will do it quickly and efficiently. The speed of working with files is high, although the application does not use the full potential of the hardware of the PC, because it is 32-bit. A handy "helper", the master of creating a slide show, simplifies the compilation of the video mix, and by the number of video filters VSDC Free Video Editor is comparable with the graphic editor of the middle level. There is the possibility of creating an animation of static images, the function of adding text, you can control the transparency of layers. Low system requirements make the program very attractive in the eyes of those who are looking for easy software for video processing.
During the testing of this program, we found three significant drawbacks. Firstly, the video editor does not work with a tool for downloading an online video from YouTube. The second drawback was a random error of the program, due to which it was necessary to call the process manager and shoot the task.
Finally, one more disadvantage can be considered too isolated interface with its own strange terminology. "Its" – it's very good, but in originality you need to know the measure. The program can be understood, but unusual designations are constantly confusing, and it takes time. For example, it's difficult to understand how to control the volume of imported video clips.
Like Lightworks, Shotcut is a cross-platform open source application that supports Windows, OS X and Linux. However, unlike the more famous video editor, free Shotcut has no limitations.
Shotcut has a number of differences that distinguish it from the total mass of free video processing applications. This program, for example, boasts a history of user actions, so you can quickly return to any stage of project editing (similar to how it is implemented in Adobe Photoshop).
Shotcut is not just another alternative to applications in the spirit of Windows Movie Maker, but an attempt at last to make a convenient free tool for more or less large projects. The editor was clearly created with an eye on the future, and some of its functions suggest that based on Shotcut it would be possible to make a good professional product. The editor's interface has a convenient, customizable view, which includes separate docking panels with tools. The program provides support for multi-track editing, there are several deinterlacing algorithms, and in the options you can even find configuration support for PCs with multiple monitors. Filters for some reason apply to the entire track as a whole, we did not manage to assign this or that effect to the fragment on the track.
The video editor supports many graphic formats, including BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, SVG, TGA, TIFF, and also can work with sequences of frames. Thanks to the set of libraries FFmpeg the program copes with almost any video format. The list of codecs available in the program does not even fit on the screen entirely. To adjust the hues, you can use a triple color correction system with the help of circular palettes, as well as filters, white balance and sepia tone. On the video, you can add plain text and large text.
Still, Shotcut will not become a "killer" of professional video editors – at least in the near future. A thoughtful and convenient interface is only half the battle. The program should work stably, and this just can not be said about Shotcut. Video Editor now and then hangs, crashes, and the GPU support option still remains experimental. With such unstable operation, the program does not care about saving the current state of the project, so if you decide to work in Shotcut, do not forget to save the result after each action. The product is damp, but you should not criticize it, because compared to the same Lightworks Shotcut has a much shorter history.
⇡ # Free video editors in the browser
Online service can not replace the usual video editor, but for the simplest publication on the Internet, a video from a smartphone or camera will do. There are a lot of free video editors now, but their capabilities leave much to be desired. Consider several web applications for video processing, which, in our opinion, are the most practical.
The YouTube Editor tool is part of the online CREATOR STUDIO utilities (in the Russian version of the interface it is called "Creative Studio").
The video editor is designed for a wide audience, so it is made so that both the child and the grandfather can use it. It is understandable, simple and without any secondary options. In addition, all the work in this web application boils down, of course, to the publication on YouTube.
The library of video effects includes 25 filters. True, it is not very convenient to view them, since after filter selection it is immediately applied, and when you select another library effect, the effect of the previously selected filter is not canceled.
The online video editor from Google has no problems with the resolution – with its help it's easy to create a simple video sequence with quality up to 1080p. The mode of working with the timeline is not, but by and large it is not needed here. Editable video can be adjusted by color, and the image is easy to stabilize, and the stabilization process itself can be controlled using the parameter responsible for the degree of alignment of the frame. Allows you to rotate the image and slow down the playback speed. Google also offers a legitimate use of the library of footage and audio recordings.
It is understandable the desire of the owners of Wevideo service to monetize their project. The service offers users several tariff plans, each of which contains certain restrictions. The free version of Wevideo supports the export of video with a resolution of 720p, and another 10 gigabytes of cloud storage. Too good to be true? The catch of the free tariff plan lies in the duration of the clips and the watermark (in the corner of the frame). On a free monthly account, you can only export up to five minutes of video. With this limitation, the proposed 10 gigabytes of storage is unlikely to be used, so that the amount of data storage is nothing more than an adware move.
Although the service library includes only nine filters, among them there is a tool for image stabilization. Effects can be applied to a single clip or to all the video fragments of the project.
Wevideo has a special tool that facilitates batch processing and visualization of the video sequence. So-called themes (themes) are templates of registration of all video fragments of the project. Applying this theme, the user receives an additional clip – the title screen at the beginning of the movie being mounted, and the video is treated with a special algorithm for processing all the fragments used (stylization under the old film, thematic transition effects, the use of color filters, etc.).
The video editor can work in one of two modes – storyboards or work with tracks (the mode of the timeline). Switching between them is not very successful. To do this, click on the icon " hamburger" (three horizontal lines), open the popup main menu and there already select the desired interface option. In the mode of working with the timeline, the user is offered a very important function – the ability to add new audio and video tracks. For an online video editor this is a definite plus.
In the mode of working with the timeline it is very convenient to adjust the volume of the audio track – on the audio track it is displayed as a line. If necessary, the user can set control points anywhere in the line and change their position – raise and lower, respectively increasing and decreasing the audio volume.
Video export is not limited to uploading a video to YouTube video hosting alone, as in the case of a video editor from Google or a free version of Lightworks. Wevideo supports many popular services for publishing video on the Internet – Dailymotion, Vimeo, YouTube, and there is also the option to save the result to Google Drive or Dropbox. It is worth bearing in mind that in the settings of the service, you can select the Russian interface language.
Magisto's service can be attributed to online video editors only conditionally. The web application has almost no settings or controls, it works completely in automatic mode. Despite the fact that the service uses the clueless principle "clicked on the button and got the result", Magisto still attracted our attention.
If a person searches for an online editor for video processing, most likely, this means that he does not impose high requirements on the functionality of the web application. For such a user, the result is important – a small clip representing a beautifully designed compilation of working video material. And Magisto makes such a clip with just one click. It's enough to download multimedia files to the server, choose the style and music you like, and everything else the web service will do automatically. And you can not do this, but just click on the I feel lucky button.
To be honest, we are skeptical about the idea of creating a film with computer-aided video production. Common sense suggests that the result of such processing is deprived of a creative start and therefore will look ridiculous. However, Magisto proves the opposite. The video generated by the web application based on individual fragments looks pretty neat. The secret of such a successful video editing lies in the Magisto algorithm. The service engine does not just blindly glue together individual clips of the project by transitions, but analyzes the content – for example, focuses on the faces. It turns out such a video mix – without claims of special originality, but beautiful. Users of the service can store the generated videos in the virtual albums of their account, and for more convenient downloading of clips it is suggested to install a special application on the mobile platform or on the computer.
JW Player editor
JW Player editor was created by the joint efforts of Mixmoov SAS, which develops a cloud-based video editing platform, and the American start-up LongTail, whose main product is JW Player, an HTML5-enabled online player. The video editor is an addition to the JW Player project.
Unfortunately, it's difficult to say something good about JW Player editor. It seemed very strange to us that the service paid little attention to its libraries. Just a few filters and a modest set of transitive effects are unlikely to impress even the most inexperienced in processing video user.
You can import media files from a local disk, from Facebook, Picassa or Flickr, or by using the Jamendo music database. In addition, the service supports camera capture and recording from a microphone.
The JW Player editor is extremely meager, and its free version has so many limitations that in practice it turns out to be useless. Разрешение до 400 × 300 точек — это несерьезно.
Сервис Videotoolbox интерфейса видеоредактора как такового не имеет. Его функции реализуются с помощью пошагового выбора опций. Пользователи могут разрезать клипы, выполнять склейку видео, обрезать кадр, накладывать текстовый вотермарк на видео, извлекать видео- или аудиодорожку (демультиплексирование), прикреплять аудиофайл и так далее. Для большинства операций сервис предоставляет предварительный просмотр.
На загружаемые видеофайлы стоит ограничение: в распоряжении пользователя есть только 600 мегабайт, да еще установлена квота на 1 400 мегабайт для выходных файлов.
Очень удобно реализован процесс конвертирования видеофайла. По умолчанию включен режим использования профилей кодирования. Если требуется преобразовать исходное видео в формат, совместимый со смартфоном, плеером или другим гаджетом, достаточно выбрать нужную модель устройства из большого списка, после чего сервис автоматически установит все необходимые параметры кодирования. Для более тонкого процесса настройки конвертирования следует переключиться в продвинутый режим (Advanced) и с помощью мастера настроек определить разрешение, выбрать кодек, битрейт и прочее. Указание настроек облегчается тем, что для параметров сжатия аудио и видео сервис использует по умолчанию вариант «такой же, как у оригинального файла». Эта мелочь во многих случаях заметно экономит время, избавляя от необходимости прописывать размер кадра, частоту смены кадров и прочее.
Конкуренции между бесплатными инструментами для видеомонтажа почти нет. В основном это приложения для узкого спектра задач, лишенные поддержки мультитрековой обработки материала, предназначенные только для обрезки-склейки или ориентированные на преобразование из одного формата в другой. Создание хорошего и многофункционального видеоредактора — это очень сложная задача, над которой могут работать только очень большие энтузиасты. А последних, к сожалению, не так много, как того бы хотелось.
Каждая из рассмотренных программ имеет свои недостатки, и идеальных видеоредакторов найти так и не удалось. Тем не менее среди рассмотренных нами вариантов стоило бы выделить VSDC Free Video Editor: по сравнению с прочими участниками обзора данная программа имеет больше прав называться полноценным видеоредактором. В ней нет ограничений по экспорту, она стабильна и имеет достаточно опций для удобной обработки клипов. Видеоредактор Shocut очень продуман и логичен, однако часто падает и виснет, а Lightworks слишком непонятен, да и экспорт файлов в нем чересчур ограничен.
Что до онлайновых инструментов для обработки видео, то тут пользователя ждет лишь полное разочарование. После того как проект JayCut канул в Лету, серьезных попыток создать что-то стоящее не было. Wevideo — единственный сервис, который можно рассматривать всерьез, но только если переходить на платный тариф. Как это ни печально, те веб-сервисы, что сегодня можно найти в Сети, мало пригодны для объемных и сложных проектов. Остается надеяться, что это временное явление.
If you notice an error – select it with the mouse and press CTRL + ENTER.