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Ask Slashdot: the State of Free Video Editing Tools? 163

New submitter Shadow99_1 writes I used to do a lot of video editing (a few years ago, at an earlier job) and at that time I used Adobe Premiere. Now a few years later I'm looking to start doing some video editing for my own personal use, but I have a limited budget that pretty well excludes even thinking about buying a copy of Adobe Premiere. So I ask slashdot: What is the state of free (as in beer or as in open source) video editing tools? In my case... I support a windows environment at work and so it's primarily what I use at home. I am also using a camcorder that uses flash cards to record onto, so for me I need a platform that supports reading flash cards. So that is my focus but feel free to discuss video editing on all platforms. I've been looking forward to the Kickstarted upgrade to OpenShot; based on the project's latest update, early versions of an installer should start appearing soon. Video editing is a big endeavor, though, and ambitious announcements and slipped schedules both seem to be the norm: an open-source version of Lightworks was announced back in 2010. Some lighter open-source options include Pitivi (raising funds to get to version 1.0) and Kdenlive, also in active development (most recent release was in mid-May). Pitiviti's site links to a sobering illustration about many of the shorter- and longer-lived projects in this area.
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Ask Slashdot: the State of Free Video Editing Tools?

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  • by myoparo ( 933550 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:23PM (#47808665)

    It's free and pretty powerful.

    • by yope ( 656090 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:32PM (#47808797)
      Unfortunately you'd probably find more options if you decided to switch to Linux. Cinelerra comes to mind, or Kdenlive. Cinelerra is very powerful, but needs a lot to get used to and learn to avoid its bugs. IMHO, in the end it's well worth the effort, because it has some really nifty features. If a steep learning curve is not your thing, stay with Kdenlive.
      • One vote for Cinelerra. It has its quirks, but if you work around them and save often, it's a decent package.

    • by HaeMaker ( 221642 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:34PM (#47808833) Homepage
      Not open source yet, but it should be pretty soon. The plan was to release the code when the Mac client was complete. The Mac client is in beta (and pretty solid), so if they stick to the plan, should be "real soon now". Lightworks is my favorite, by the way. Extremely powerful, albeit with some quirks. Familiarity with ffmpeg is very helpful as the conversions are the toughest part. I image someone will integrate an ffmepg front-end once the source is released.
    • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:39PM (#47808879) Homepage Journal

      It's free and pretty powerful.

      It's only free if you're OK with 720p [] output, limited input [], and not being able to move your source material to a different editor. The latter is actually the bigger risk because if Lightworks goes away (let's hope not) there'd be no way to buy the 'pro' version and get your data exported.

      Otherwise it's $279 or you're on a subscription plan. It's probably still the best choice available, but be aware you don't just go buy a GoPro or a Nikon and plan on dazzling folks with the HD output with free Lightworks. From what I've seen, even iMovie parity on Linux costs $79/yr.

      Even if you're very frugal and can use Free, it's probably smart to buy a month once in a while and export your projects.

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        "there'd be no way to buy the 'pro' version and get your data exported."
        But there will be ways to get the pro version.
        Frankly If a company is out of business, I don't have much of an issue with downloading their product simply to export my work.

      • Fucking crippleware, that's all that bullshit is...

    • Free, yes. Powerful, yes. Easy to use, NO!! Closing windows by feeding them to a shark? Priceless.

  • CS2 (Score:5, Informative)

    by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:26PM (#47808717)
    Unless you have an aversion to closed source or need some features it does not provide, adobe has made CS2 versions of their products available for free for some time. You do need to register and login if you do not have an Adobe account, but presumably that could be done with fake info for the paranoid.
    • Re:CS2 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ultra64 ( 318705 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:29PM (#47808759)
    • Re:CS2 (Score:5, Informative)

      by thedbp ( 443047 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:31PM (#47808773)

      This isn't actually true. Technically, you still need to own a copy of CS2 to legally use the software: []

      Will it work? Yes.

      Are you supposed to do this if you don't own CS2? No.

      It is ethical? That's for you to decide.

      • by Cammi ( 1956130 )
        Incorrect at the beginning. The links you provided was added after the fact. Therefore, not everybody who downloaded are under the NEW terms. Nor can those new terms be applied retroactively.
        • I doubt that. The EULA; End User License Agreement, for proprietary software often contain language in their agreements that the license agreement can be arbitrarily changed at any time for any reason by the proprietor and that by installing or otherwise using the software you agree to that possibility and will abide to any changes. Microsoft in particular has been known to do this and I would think it would be difficult for an end user to contest this.
          • by Cammi ( 1956130 )
            Doubting is ok :) doesn't change what happened.
          • Not quite. Such a contract -- "we can change the terms at any time" -- would almost certainly qualify as an adhesion contract. Websites get away with this in terms of service because they're free to use. But if you shell out money for something and the contract says, "we can decide to give you nothing at all for your money whenever we want to", that probably wouldn't hold up.

            Most likely, however, the CS2 terms always were, "you're only supposed to download this if you bought CS2", and Adobe just wasn't p

    • by Sigma 7 ( 266129 )

      The CS2 versions tend to be depreciated - and I think you need to actually have a registered version to actually download them now (i.e. you need to pass some entitlement.)

      Also, at least one of the packages required for video editing (I think it's Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0), doesn't work at all on Windows Vista or later. There may be a fix, but I couldn't find it offhand.

  • Davinci Resolve Edit (Score:3, Informative)

    by entertainment ( 749138 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:27PM (#47808723) Journal
    Blackmagic has lots of hardware and likely will be supported in the future - davinci is sweet, if this system proves stable it will create a much needed solution. https://www.blackmagicdesign.c... []
    • Except for the whole "it costs money" part, when the submitter was obviously, specifically referring to free software.

      "Oh, but DaVinci has a free color correction plugin..."

      Not the same thing.

  • Resolve (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:27PM (#47808731)

    If you're looking for free but not "libre" check out BlackMagic's "DaVinci Resolve". It started out as a color correction software. Now it's a full fledged editor. It's free unless you need uber advanced noise reduction etc.

    i just migrated to it from Adobe Premiere because premiere isn't great for team work.


    • Nice! I don't know where I've been for all this time, but this looks great. I'm still using pre-X FCP and this might be a nice upgrade.

  • by thedbp ( 443047 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:28PM (#47808743)

    The first one that springs to mind is Cinelerra: []

    There's also the Community Version of Cinelerra: []

    Honestly though no open-source solution is going to come CLOSE to Premiere. And since you can get Creative Cloud for $50/month, it isn't THAT big of an expenditure up-front, and if you're making money from the editing (and, if you're looking at a Premiere-level video editing platform, I would hope this would be something you're monetizing) $50/month isn't much to get all the tools you'd need for editing, compositing, graphic design, etc etc etc.

    So, yeah, my suggestion is to find a way to afford $50/month for Creative Cloud, and barring that, check out Cinelerra.

    • I was thinking creative cloud as well. Naturally it's not the FOSS solution, but it's always nice to be able to utilize the tools that you are used to. Though of course it is more expensive in the long run, you get access to everything as well as all of the updates.
    • You can buy a basic version of Sony Vegas for $80, one-time cost. It does a *lot* for $80.

      • Last time I checked, the cheaper version of Vegas sucked, mainly because it had a *very* limited limitation on the number of video tracks allowed on the cheaper non-pro version. That makes it fine for amateurs, but off-limits to anyone looking to do serious work. I love their professional version though, and it blows Premiere away as a stand-alone product (though Premiere has a lot more add-ons).

        • The $80 package I have allows 10 video tracks, which is more than enough for me. I think I've hit the limit once in 100+ videos, and it was really easy to work-around. Without knowing what this guy is doing, it would be hard to say whether that meets his needs or not.

          • Well as the one who originally posted this...

            My personal project is very simple. I have raw H.264 compliant 1980x1024 (@ 30 fps) video from the camcorder I use and I don't even need to do much if any editing of the video itself currently. The biggest things I do need right now are: Ability to add a title screen to the beginning of a video (and probably and ending screen as well), occasional text overlays, and enhancing audio gain (for when the gain ended up being to low to hear over ambient sound). I am als

            • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

              You might find that Premiere Elements will do what you want. It's about AUD$120 here.

              Although (as I mentioned above), Creative Suite/Creative Cloud is a bargain at academic pricing. Are you, or do you know anyone who is a student or teacher?

              My children bought Creative Suite for me......

        • Last time I checked, the cheaper version of Vegas sucked, mainly because it had a *very* limited limitation on the number of video tracks allowed on the cheaper non-pro version.

          I have about 30-40 credits on Hollywood features in sound editorial. I've seen a picture editor maybe go out to three video tracks. More than one is unusual, unless you're on an NLE that puts titles and dissolves on second tracks.

          Some guys need dozens or hundreds tracks of layers for compositing, but that's not the same domain as a

          • More than one is unusual, unless you're on an NLE that puts titles and dissolves on second tracks.

            That's exactly what Vegas is and does. And believe me, on the front end of the editing process, it can go WAY over 10 video tracks, even for a relatively simple video. Hell, I've used more than that just for one title sequence.

            • And believe me, on the front end of the editing process, it can go WAY over 10 video tracks, even for a relatively simple video. Hell, I've used more than that just for one title sequence.

              I'm not sure title sequences are editing. I mean, like, Eisenstein didn't write a book about the 6 forms of Matte Keys. Editing is rhythm and storytelling and capturing the best of the performances. It's not kewl explosion transitions with 6 background layers that make the client piss his pants.

              • Even a simple sequence with no major FX can involve composting many video layers these days. I can count probably two dozen layers in the opening sequence for my local news. The old days of a single video layer and single title overlay were becoming obsolete even before MTV and Avid came along.

                • I can count probably two dozen layers in the opening sequence for my local news.

                  But that's comping, not editing -- as a general rule, if you noticed something, it's either bad picture editing, or not picture editing at all. On features, the crew who does the opening sequence may do it in Vegas or After Effects of some other "editing" workstation, but they're not called "editors," they're called "designers." People who layer VFX shots aren't VFX editors, they're compositors. The people who actually go by

                  • Most people at the indie level do it all-in-one these days. If you can afford to hire specialists to just do compositing, or just editing, or just graphics, then more power to you. But if you see an smaller shop asking for a Premiere or Vegas developer these days, you can expect to be asked do all that (and probably some FX too). Luckily today's software makes all that pretty easy to do.

      • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )

        For the money, it's hard to beat Magix Movie Edit Pro. It's feature rich and not as limited as the Sony product. That being said, it does tend to run slow, but you can throw hardware at it. It's not free; it's not open; and it's not Adobe, but it is better than most of the Windows free/open options. []

    • by richlv ( 778496 )

      i never got anything done with cinelerra, i guess i was too dumb :)
      the ones i could get some simple things done with were avidemux and kdenlive

  • no real winners (Score:5, Informative)

    by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:31PM (#47808781) Homepage Journal

    My desktop power user workflow wrt video is:
    cat (unix command) to piece together the 2gb splices the camcorder makes (avchd)
    ffmpeg to change the container from whatever the camcorder uses to a more editor friendly mkv, you can use the copy option for blazing fast remuxing without reencoding.
    kdenlive or cinelerra. They are both prone to crash so save often. Cinelerra has best curves for fading but it's a very peculiar GUI.

    If you know your stuff, you can do pretty decent videos.

  • Blender (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SaXisT4LiF ( 120908 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:32PM (#47808791)
    I found that Blender [] has a surprisingly intuitive Video Sequence Editor. It might be worth looking into.
    • blender is good for video editing, but there's no way on earth that you could call it initutive. The quirky UI takes a steep learning curve.

      • blender is good for video editing, but there's no way on earth that you could call it initutive. The quirky UI takes a steep learning curve.

        This is definitely true of their modeling UI, but I found the video editor quite intuitive, and my last video editing experience before that was several years prior, Adobe Premiere 2.0 or so. With only the tooltips, I quickly figured out various helpful keyboard shortcuts without referring to a tutorial or cheatsheet or anything. The only thing that tripped me up a bit was how to change the output settings (you have to go back to the Scene view/window/whatever it's called in Blender parlance).

        • If it was to be intutitive, at least they should have the basic commands accessable from the menu. For instance, to cut the track can only be access via a secret shortcut.

      • Not trying to flame here, but I'm kind of tired of this. Blender's interface has a ton of tools. That's not quirky, it's called depth. It takes a ton of time to learn because of the amount of stuff there is to learn. Not because it's difficult to understand the UI. IMHO blenders interface is easier than some professional interfaces for similar software.
    • I've used Blender for years, and use it for tons of stuff. But really when I want to edit, I use KDENLive. There are just to many things that take a lot longer to do in blender than kdenlive. For instance if your output video is a different framerate than your input video you will have to ditch the sound in it, split it out using another program and then import it into blender so that it matches the output video. Also keyframing for audio and video effects are available in kdenlive. I know that I can a
  • Blender... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Qybix ( 103935 ) <> on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:32PM (#47808803) Homepage

    Blender is mostly for 3d animation, but it does have it's own video editor built in. Added bonus that you can animate things like callouts, thought clouds, etc... Added bonus that the community for Blender seems massive.


    • by Anonymous Coward

      Blender has a very good build in video editor and can be used just for video editing.
      You need to know a few tricks and get to know the interface, but there are plenty tutorials out there. It's not that hard.
      I also started out with adobe premiere several years ago in school, but for my personal projects I nowadays use blender and am satisfied with the workflow and result.
      Here's a thing I edited with blender:

  • by Anonymous Coward
    If Adobe Premier is what you know and are most fluent in, why don't you keep using it? Why do you feel the need to reinvent the wheel?

    Grab a free copy from TPB and get to work on what you love. You'll not be profiting from your work, so no harm done.
    • As the original question poster...

      It has less to do with copyright infringement (even though I don't want to run the risk of being sued for it), but the simple crazy amount of hurdles to do it with Adobe products. The last time I looked into it was(because I'd lost physical copies of the disks for the old master suite work had bought me and I'd had to do all the editing at home as my work PC at the time was a meager Celeron cpu with barely 1 GB of ram, which was no match for my home system with a dual core

  • by alexhs ( 877055 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:32PM (#47808809) Homepage Journal

    I need a platform that supports reading flash cards.

    What are you trying to do? Referring to []? It's a completely different technology!
    Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

  • KDEnlive (Score:5, Informative)

    by TyFoN ( 12980 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:32PM (#47808811)

    I've been using KDEnlive a lot, and I find it really nice for my personal use.
    It hasn't crashed in about a year either, and uses MELT underneath.

    Slightly OT: I've also replaced adobe lightroom with darktable now, and I like it a lot.

    • Kdenlive, is far and away more advanced than Openshot. It has tons more effects, some of which are keyframeable. It has a built in title page creator and allows importing/exporting of almost any format. It's biggest problem is very large projects that seem to overwhelm it and make it slow and unstable. As long as my scenes aren't to long I don't seem to have a problem, even on my 4 year old AMD desktop.
    • I find Kdenlive's stability has improved dramatically over the years. It is quite full featured, though not all features are fully polished, for the most part they are at very least competitive. It certainly supports more input formats than Lightworks, which is the only competitor on Linux I'd put in the same class. Don't get me wrong, Blender is an excellent program, but with Kdenlive I can almost make do without the documentation. Blender, not so much.
  • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <> on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:32PM (#47808813) Homepage
    AviSynth is extremely versatile and often leads in state-of-the-art filters long before any other video editor gets them, including professional ones. The trick is that there's no UI for it -- to edit videos, you write scripts.
    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      Yep, AviSynth is a wonderful tool, escpecially for encoding. It has among the best filters for duties like de-interlacing, scaling and enhancement. Is also does a good job at split and merge operations.
      However, if you intend do actually produce something like a short film from camera footage, the lack of good GUI frontends make it very teidous.

      Another thing is that AviSynth is Windows only as it relies on DirectShow. This is somewhat surprising considering how "linux-like" this software feels. The cross-pla

    • by Sydin ( 2598829 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @02:12PM (#47809245)
      Actually AviSynth does have a (very basic) UI: AvsPmod [] It's not the fanciest thing in the world, but it does the job. You're still writing scripts, but it comes with some nice options like error reporting and previewing, which make life a lot easier.
  • Impossible (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:33PM (#47808821)

    Free software hates patents and most modern camcorders use H.264, hence a free video editing tool is impossible.

    Or has Mozilla been bullshitting us all this time about H.264 support in HTML5?

    • by tepples ( 727027 )
      I thought all you had to do was obtain a job offer and work visa in a country that doesn't recognize patents on MPEG codecs.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Free software hates patents and most modern camcorders use H.264, hence a free video editing tool is impossible. Or has Mozilla been bullshitting us all this time about H.264 support in HTML5?

      Practically, all you need to do is install a non-crippled copy of ffmpeg or x264 because if you can transcode a video - that is, decode and encode it again - you can edit a video. Whether using those codecs without a patent license is legal depends on your jurisdiction, but the editing software doesn't have to deal with that as it could just use the system codecs. By default you would have Theora and H.264 would either come with your distro or be one command away. Mozilla could have done that, but they refu

    • by ssam ( 2723487 )

      Smart editors use a framework like gstreamer so that they don't have to care about codecs. The user can add what ever codecs from whatever sources (e.g. fully licensed ones from Fluendo or open source ones from ffmpeg/libav).

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Smart editors use a framework like gstreamer so that they don't have to care about codecs.

        And when the editor happens not to include licensed copies of installable codecs for the framework, watch people blame the publisher of the editor.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Not many people know that Blender [] has a Video Editor. Its not the most intuitive, but once you get used to it you find that it is very stable just the the rest of Blender.

    A quick search finds this video:

  • It still sucks. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:35PM (#47808845) Homepage

    Nothing is really useable and stable enough. Lots of people dabbling, NONE doing feature length or even 30 minute tv episodes.

    I go down this road every year and crawl right back to the single Windows box with Sony Vegas and After Effects on it. I really wish I could replace it with a linux system but it will never exist as the open source options are still not as good as even Adobe Premiere in 2004.

    All pro and prosumer cameras record in MOV or AVCHD and if your editor can not handle those natively it is a major failure. I have no interest in spending 8 hours converting video and introducing generational losses right off the bat.

    • Re:It still sucks. (Score:5, Informative)

      by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @03:05PM (#47809727)

      Reading this thread, the conversation of "video editing" seems to lead directly to

      • hundreds of tracks
      • 3d modelling
      • Writing your own video filters (probably in Lua or something)
      • extensible command line interfaces
      • free codecs

      "Video editing" actually requires

      • never crashing
      • interop with industry standards like AAF and SMPTE MFX (patented or not)
      • long timelines
      • Well-designed and stable UIs (like, buttons and icons don't change for decades)
      • Thorough sound and audio metadata, sound matchback workflows, video (or even film) matchback workflows
      • never crashing
      • 98% of the time, cuts. 1% of the time, an A/B dissolve, 1% of the time, something more complicated a vendor has done for you.

      Professional video editing is all about workflows and reliability. "Open source video editing" is all about hacking for 10 hours on a python script for animating the title transitions in your Kickstarter Dr. Who Fanzine Screencast.

      • and stable UIs (like, buttons and icons don't change for decades)

        Why does this matter?

      • +1 for never crashing. I gave up on a commercial tool I was trying after it crashed. I had done some saving, but this particular failure mode ended up destroying my saved project file (IIRC, it was clearly in a state of crashing so I tried to get off a save...that attempted save overwrote the good save and I was SOL).

        Can't remember if it was MAGIX Movie Edit Pro or Sony Vegas that did that to me...but I literally gave up on that project (still have the raw footage sitting on my drive) because I didn't w

        • I use Magix all the time and have for years. It has the best UI of any video editor that I've used and its cost is very reasonable. It'll burn DVDs, has multi-core support, includes lots of audio and video effects, and will let you construct your own menus and titles in whatever fonts/colors/etc. you want. It will crash if it's fed an improperly formatted MPEG file. Once passed through the convert function of VLC media player, Magix accepts anything.

          Free software that doesn't do what you want is worth wha

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @01:39PM (#47808877)

    I tried the free/open source route on video editing and ended up falling back to a commercial tool (MAGIX Movie Edit Pro). I still use Camtasia at home. For me, the key things that saved me time ($$$) when looking at commercial tools were:
    - ability to quickly integrate still shots and movies (without a separate save/load process like some editors - e.g., VSDC)
    - ability to see the voice-over waveform (makes it very easy to close up dead spaces, do in-line retakes and edit out "ums" and stumbles)
    - ability to control every audio track independently (without an explicit "split the original video" step)

    I just took another look out there for a quick project at work and STILL ended up with a non-open-source (but free) editor in VSDC (and CamStudio 2.7 for screen recording), but I'd be embarrassed to put my name on the resulting videos if they weren't just for internal use.

  • If you are open to using Windows, buy a copy of Sony Vegas Movie studio for fifty bucks. It's a stripped down version of Sony Vegas, which is a very powerful professional editing package, I prefer Vegas to Premiere and Final Cut.

    Basically I did not see any limitations with the movie studio edition that would prevent you from making nice, clean HD videos. The editing interface is far better than Premiere's as far as I'm concerned.

    • by bugnuts ( 94678 )

      I have the full version of Vegas, and for shorts I don't use more tracks than the cheap version allows. IIRC, that's the main limitation, so it's a great deal. The thing I like most about it is the speed of rendering.

      You might want a compositing engine to go with it, though. That's something I miss, and sony vegas isn't good at it. Even a simple greenscreen is difficult with bugs and threshold issues.

  • Mow 2 lawns and you have enough for Premier.
    • Are you talking about Premiere Elements (not the real thing at all) or are you talking about $400 lawns?

    • Lol, maybe where you live... I live in the middle of nowhere in PA. People don't hire people to mow their lawns... Hell the 'economic recovery' never came here, the unemployment rate is still crazy high and the support system for people without jobs has basically broken. I have a job, but it's part time and minimum wage, though it is basically 'in my field' which is sort of a plus. I'm considered lucky where I live to even have that. Some of my neighbors finally got jobs working manual labor jobs at a food

  • While I have been using blender here and there for a few years now, the Video Sequence Editor (VSE) in Blender isn't something that I have used often, but I will say that it's not too shabby. It can deal with a decent variety of formats, and when it comes to chopping and slicing video up, it works fine. I don't know that it can demux/mux audio and video together yet, though. You also get a great node based compositing system tossed in for free.

    That being, Blender seems to have a very strong community behind

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      If your product need an ungodly number of tutorials, you have an interface issue.
      I'm sure it's not as bad as blender..wait.

      • On that basis, all Adobe products, WIndows, OS X and every firearm in existence has UI problems.

        Oh. Wait.

        • You need a tutorial to use a gun? A safety, a fire rate selector (on guns that are pretty much illegal here in the US), and a trigger is to complex? Heck the last firearms I've seen could even be disassembled by anyone who thought about it for a few minutes...

      • when you software has an ungodly number of uses!
  • by Anonymous Coward recently posted their Best Free Video Editor Roundup []. Although, the field of contenders doesn't look too promising considering Windows Movie Maker was the runner-up.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    For Windows basic resizing I still use virtualdub32, which is open source. I didn't like Windows Movie Maker which is free. I bought Adobe Elements 10 and am content with it, even though its buggy and really hard to configure 1080p video. If you're really trying to pinch pennies you can buy old software on eBay in the box with a manual, also maybe a student version isn't crippled too badly.

  • It's coming soon, it's free, open source, and is shaping up to be a really kickass video editor: [] Kickstarter was here: []
    • So far, it still doesn't have everything that kdenlive has even after the work I don't see what's better about it?
  • Just the way it is. Particularly if you want something that can do native, no proxy editing of AVCHD which I presume you do from the "flash card" part.

    Best economical solution is Sony's Vegas lineup. The basic Sony Movie Studio 13 can be had for $13. The Platinum version, which is probably worth the extra, can be had for $55. They'll ingest AVCHD and edit it native. Also can ingest lots of other common formats like WMV, MPEG 1/2, MP3, and image files. Very easy to use workflow.

    Should you find you need more,

  • But OBS (open broadcaster software) does a good job of video mixing/overlays greenscreening. []

    Corel Video Studio isn't quite free, but you can get it for around $50 on sale (or less if you go with a backlevel version 3 or 4) and it is pretty full-featured. It's not designed for full blown professional use because the front-end does more hand-holding than a pro would want, but the key features are all there.

  • I've been thinking about doing a series of videos covering some basic math for a while now, but I'd like to be able to do some (very simple) animations of equations and graphs. How do people do those? I see all these Youtube videos with effects and I have no idea how people are pulling it off.
    • by ssam ( 2723487 )

      Have you looked at synfig []

      • by guises ( 2423402 )
        I have not, much appreciated. This whole thread has been edifying - all I'd previously heard of for open source video editing was Avidemux, which no one's even mentioned here. Seems that options are much broader than I'd realized.
  • by Noah Haders ( 3621429 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @03:24PM (#47809899)
    if you're open to other platforms, check out iMovie on mac. it's cheap like $20, and runs OK on older hardware. Trolls in three, two, one...
    • I don't have a Mac to run it on... So it's kind of out by default... If Apple ever wanted to go the OS as software for sale route, then it would be... At least for me.

      • not sure what you mean by OS as a software for sale. The new OS Yosemite is free for all mac users, and iMovie is like $20. They'll never make iMovie for Windows. it's all about selling more macs.
  • Pitivi is approaching being a good basic editor. From the pre-releases of 1.0 it is looking good. Gstreamer is getting pretty solid now and picking up things like GPU acceleration. Format support is as wide as the plug-ins you install.

    They are also teasing some updates []

  • My Experiences (Score:5, Informative)

    by ewhac ( 5844 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @07:02PM (#47812045) Homepage Journal
    First, a gratuitous plug for my Let's Play/Drown Out video series, currently focusing on 3DO console titles: []

    Why is that link relevant? Because they were all made using Kdenlive.

    When I first started mucking around with digital video, I tried a bunch of free/libre packages, and formed the following opinions of each:

    Windows Movie Maker
    Yes, $(GOD) help me, I gave it a serious try. To my utter surprise, it mostly worked and did what I wanted without crashing. However, the UI was rather inflexible, and I needed more than the handful of features it offered, so I kept looking.

    Every Google search for free video editing software always turns this up, so I tried it. Then, ten minutes later, I had to stop trying it because it kept crashing and/or hanging at the slightest provocation. It has an impressive-looking array of features, and the editing timeline looks quite powerful. Evidently, you can do some fairly impressive things with Cinelerra, provided you can identify and avoid all its weak spots.

    The last time I tried this, it was unreliable, under-featured, and incredibly slow. Just loading a one hour-long video clip into the timeline took several minutes as it tried to generate thumbnails and an audio waveform for the clip.

    Assuming I'm remembering this package correctly, all it does is assemble edits -- that is, you can tack together a bunch of clips one after the other to create a larger work. If you want to do any effects or titling, you're SOL. Perhaps the Kickstarter-funded upgrade will yield some improvements.

    I had to learn something the hard way with this package: This is a professional package. By that, I don't mean it has a ton of features (although it certainly does). I mean it expects a certain level of media asset before it will operate on it in the manner you expect. Us mere proles are satisfied to use MP4 or MKV or ($(GOD) help us) AVI files. However, in the pro space, you have files that contain not just compressed audio and video, but also timecode. And not just timecode measured relative to when you last pressed the RECORD button, but also a master timecode from an achingly accurate central timecode generator fed to all your cameras and microphones. This not only means all your cameras and mics are in precise sync ('cause otherwise their internal clocks will drift relative to each other), but you can trivially sync all your master footage and then intercut shots without even thinking about it. Also, near as I can tell, there's no such thing as inter-frame compression in professional video. Each frame is atomic, which means you can cleanly cut anywhere, but it doesn't compress anywhere near as small as, say, H.264.

    The result is that, if you don't have equipment that generates all this metadata for you, then you need to convert it from the puny consumer format you're likely using. This means having truly monstrous amounts of disk available just to store the working set, and tons of RAM to make it all work. And hopefully your conversion script(s) didn't cough up bogus timecode.

    So, yes, Lightworks is very very nice, if you have the proper resources to feed it. I don't, so I've set it aside for that glorious day when I get some proper equipment :-).

    Kdenlive is built on top of the MLT framework [], and is about the best and most reliable thing I've found out there that doesn't cost actual money (either directly or indirectly). It has a non-linear timeline editor, it supports a wide variety of media formats, and it has a modest collection of audio and video effects (almost none of which you will use).

    One of the more amazing things Kdenlive does is transparently convert sample and frame rate

  • I use the bundled capture software that came with my KWorld composite dongle, it's pretty damn nice, though if I'm in a hurry and/or just want to stream through, I use VirtualDub. Either one will use the SVideo/composite/component/1394 inputs of my dongle or my Pinnacle card/jump box (I don't use Pinnacle, never liked it, I just like the hardware). For editing I'll generally fire up a frameserver in VirtualDub for TMPGEnc DVD Author or import directly into Movie Maker (which does what I want it to do, so wh

  • I realise that it is not free, but it is offered at an accessible price and it is smooth and rich enough for non-professional movie editing. More stable and less hassle than any of the open source editors that I experimented with previously. Also a product wih a future.
    Avid had a free DV editor package but that was discontinued. Perhaps you can still find it. Roughly similar in features as a previous generation iMovie.
    Currently I simply use the current iMovie on my Mac, I realise that the OP doesn't have

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie