• Wondering which camera, gear, computer, or software to buy? Ask in our Gear Guide.

EDITING: Best free editing software?

At the moment, i've been using VideoPad Video Editor for PC and its been okay. The good thing is it works with a lot of types of video and does a lot of the things i would need for beginner level to intermediate level editing. The problem is I've been used to using Sony Vegas Pro 8, and since it doesn't work on my Win7 PC that i recently bought, I resorted to using Video Pad. I was wondering if there are any freeware that you would recommend I use? One problem I have is Videopad's lack of a good chroma keying feature, and its b-roll track is a little difficult to use since there is only one main video track, rather than multi tracks for video and audio like it does in Sony Vegas or even Final Cut Pro.
just tried lightworks... wow a horrendous experience...

when it installs, it doesn't put a start shortcut in the start menu.. you can only find the uninstall button..
but it does put one on your desktop...

then i tried importing videos for it.... it imported them, and then nothing happend... i tried all different sorts of formats. Nothing.

It's also not very intuitive i must say...

so i uninstalled it right away, and went back to my old programs...
Lightworks is difficult but powerful. It requires the same amount of intensive learning to master as you'd expect with FCP and Premiere (it's actually probably closer to Avid in terms of difficulty).

But it's definitely the best software that's available for free.
I think the real question you need to ask is how long it will take you to earn the $45 needed to purchase Movie Studio 11, or the $65 needed to upgrade to Movie Studio Platinum 12.
Lightworks definitely does have a learning curve but it is a great editing system. The system is very difficult to master unless of course you have a console but the downside of the console is that its like $2,800. Not something one can come up with easily. With Lightworks you really have to read the manual and i know not many people like to because they expect to sit down and edit. I've been cutting on it for about 2 years now and i'm happy with it. Its the most distraction free editing system i've been in. If it helps watch the tutorial vids and read the learn Lightworks in 1 hr quick tips guide they have. Helps a lot. I know Shaun from the Lwks.com forum makes great tutorial vids.


I hope this helps for those who are interested in Lightworks
I'm having some issues with Lightworks...what kind of format do the videos need to be? I have the free version and it wont let me import my .mov files, saying that it is "unlicensed" or something. HELP
I think the real question you need to ask is how long it will take you to earn the $45 needed to purchase Movie Studio 11, or the $65 needed to upgrade to Movie Studio Platinum 12.

This is what I was considering purchasing now, so glad you gave it a shout out.

I have an older Mac version of Final Cut Pro, but that is missing its serial # and the hard drive it's on no doubt isn't the OS boot drive, bla bla Mac G4 old as all get out bla. :D

So, with my Acer PC I just need something that will work. Surprisingly Movie Maker will not import anything. It just flickers in the menu window and won't play the footage. Also, this POS won't import MP4s. What good is that? I have only been able to get it to import WMV files which it then won't play. Ha.

I'm offline at home on the PC, so no software that requires an internet connection will work for me. Too bad, because HitFilm looked really nice. I personally detest the new software scheme of constant rental fees or an internet connection for monitoring. I'm so glad to have my Creative Suite 2 on the old Mac that still works.
I'm actually a fan of Creative Cloud. I'll gladly pay $20/month to have access to the best editing software in the history of the world. I get every upgrade. And the tutorials? They have a tutorial for everything!

I realize that it's not feasible for everyone to make that monthly payment, and that's not at all what this thread is about. But if you have an online connection, and a decent computer, and can afford the $20/month, that's totally the way to go.

Sorry, Stich, I'm not trying to rub it in your face. But since you brought up CC...

Anyway, I hope you don't mind unsolicited advice, but I think your biggest concern, regarding editing, should be your computer. You can edit on an older computer. It's possible. I've done it.

But the editing process is sooooo much easier on a newer computer, with more RAM, and a large monitor. Splurge on the large monitor, it's worth every penny.

So do what you gotta do now. Don't stop filmmaking just cuz you don't have an optimal computer. But I promise, you'll be glad if you save up some scratch and purchase something better in the coming months.

And yeah, Movie Studio is legit. It's not my favorite, there are some aspects of the editing controls that always weird me out. But it does give you full editorial control, as opposed to most of the other low-end editing software, most of which are dumbed-down for soccer-moms and soccer-dads, so that they can easily put cheesy titles over their kids scoring a goal against the arch-rivals from the other side of town. The dumbing-down of editing software makes it very difficult for a legit filmmaker to do their job, so it's very necessary to get software that has a little bit of a learning curve.
No, that's cool. Plus, you are doing a collaborative project that uses it, so why not?

I got into audio production a few years ago but still have not gotten something other than Reaper, as I feel it meets and exceeds my needs. There's always a better program out there with more features and the ability to store video clips in the cloud sounds great.
There's not a lot of good "free" software out there. Resolve comes to mind as a good choice, but it doesn't run great on low to mid range computers and if you're looking for free, you probably don't have something that great. Lightworks isn't bad and if you're familiar with Avid, it could be a way to go. Cinelerra is garbage. Shotcut looks promising. You also have Blender, which while great for generating CGI and motion tracking, I find it's compositor and editor lacking severely.

In the affordable range you have Adobe (which I loathe) and Avid (the recently started offering both a cloud and full price model, the cloud being just $50 a month). Personally I'm going the Avid route right now. It's affordable, and since I do narrative films, it makes sense to use the same thing that Hollywood uses.
Yeah, I'd deff recommend Resolve as it's incredible what they allow you to have access to in their free version. Though yeah, I guess the one drawback is it does take a bit more powerful of a computer. But worth the try I would think.

Note: wow this thread is old.