I’ve done some more research on free video editing software since my last video. I took a look at a number of video editors such as VideoPad, OpenShot and Shotcut, as well as 3D animation software Blender. With the exception of Blender, these were in my opinion not any better than the best ones in my previous video.
The problem with Blender however was its complexity and inefficiency. Basically you can use Blender to make some really good videos but it takes a long time to learn how to use it and it’s not optimized for video editing as it is more of a 3D modeling and animation software.
But there were two other programs that I found to be better than Lightworks or VSDC from my previous video. These are the video editors I have reviewed in the video above and I will briefly comment on them in the text below.
#1 DaVinci Resolve 12
DaVinci Resolve 12 is a free non-linear video editing program available for Windows and Mac. It has most of the features you need for putting together good quality videos.
The editing itself is done on a timeline with multiple video and audio tracks so video clips, text, image overlays, music and other audio can be layered on top of eachother. You can cut, trim and move items around quite easily, and apply transitions and other effects to videos and audio.
One weird thing I found was that it only supports .WAV audio files and not any other audio file formats like MP3 or OGG. So you better get Audacity and use it if you need to convert any audio files. It may also have other compatibility issues, so it’s also a good idea to have Handbrake installed incase you need to convert your raw footage into other formats.
Overall it’s a really good program, I like it a lot and it does remind me of some commercial professional video editing software I’ve used like Adobe Premiere Pro. I have made a basic guide to help beginners get started with DaVinci Resolve 12, it is linked below.
#2 Hitfilm 4 Express
Hitfilm 4 Express is another good free non-linear video editing program also available for Mac and Windows. Hitfilm 4 Express is more focused on special effects than Resolve.
Hitfilm also has a timeline with multiple video and audio tracks where your footage can be layered to produce professional quality videos. Cutting, trimming and moving items is easy and you can use transitions and a number of special effects.
However if you want to add text to your videos it’s slightly more complicated than with Resolve as you have to make new composite shots and then add those into the project timeline. Same thing if you want to animate videos or images in the timeline, as in make them change their position or size with the use of markers.
One slightly annoying thing I did find was that Hitfilm 4 Express does not seem to support PNG files with a transparent background, it just turns the background black.
But when all is said and done, Hitfilm 4 Express is a really good software and while the program itself is free you can purchase special effects and other feature packs in a pay-as-you go fashion, which is quite handy as you don’t need to spend a huge sum upfront as with other commercial video editors. Check out my basic video editing guide for beginners, it is linked below.