Blog: Best Free Editing Software

People, it’s time to share some free stuff! And by free stuff, I mean my opinion and a lifetime of collected information, as that is really all I have to offer.

I was chatting with one of my Australian friends in New Zealand, and he asked me what I thought might make for decent FREE editing software. I think that any self respecting screen junkie like you and I ought to be able to have an answer to that kind of a question.

If you think that a “good” answer to that question is either iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, you may need professional help.

As it stands, I don’t use the free stuff. I am media-professional that is a PC-based (*gasp*) Adobe CC user (*double gasp*). I know, I know. I just happen to like having a powerful machine for a fraction of the cost of an Apple equivalent, and I like the interconnectivity afforded by the suite of Adobe products. Nevertheless, there is some pretty powerful stuff that is available for free: and today I want to offer you the same two suggestions that I gave my friend.

  1. Blackmagic Design: DaVinci Resolve Lite.

This is my number one suggestion by far. To be honest, Resolve has a reasonably steep learning curve for the beginner: you won’t create a masterpiece by simply playing around with it for an afternoon. With that being said, a masterpiece is possible if you’re truly interested in learning how to harness all the power that Resolve can offer.

Despite being the Lite version, there are hardly any features missing compared to the Studio version. Sure it won’t do multi-camera editing or 3D, and you don’t have access to some minor features such as noise removal, but other than that, this is the same stuff the big boys use.

  1. Lightworks.

Lightworks has been used to create Hollywood movies such as The Wolf of Wall Street, so it has some credibility. Like Resolve, there is a free and a pro edition, with the main difference being the output formats and the resolution (you are limited to 720p with the free version).

The editing tools in Lightworks are powerful though, and even though both versions offer a limited range of special effects like transitions, TV programmes and Hollywood movies rarely use anything other than fade from/to black – so it shouldn’t be a problem. Aimed at professional video editors, it is a fascinating tool. It doesn’t do a lot, but what it does is pretty excellent.

And that is it. I know that I’m not giving you easiest to use options here – but that was never the intent. The point was to show you that there are two incredibly powerful editing tools at our fingertips – and they will cost us nothing more than the time it will take to learn them. So long as we are willing to pay that price, the potential outcomes are amazing.

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