This is a really troubling prospect because so, so many of the free video editing programs available online are just viruses hidden in a pretty package. Either that or they are malware, or the download links are just malware installers. Even the free ones are not actually that good and often have holes in them for hackers to sneak into your systems. So the question is– what do you do? Well the first thing you can do is check out articles like these.
However, before you start clicking any links to download your software, you really need to do a lot of research. You need to find any sort of negative press about the video editor. You need to do a thorough search online for any mentions about the software; good or bad, in order to better judge its safety, security and legitimacy. Here are a few free video editing programs you may wish to look into. The list moves down from the easiest to use, to the most difficult to use. However, the difficult ones should be easy for people who are used to dealing with video editing.
1. The Microsoft Movie Maker
This comes freely installed with the most recent versions of Windows. It has a limited range of file formats that it can alter, for example it does not like FLV files. However, it is a pretty good video editor to say that it is free. It has a few basic tools such as a “cut” tool and a “speed up” and “slow down” function. It also allows you to remove or add audio, and also allows you to alter the volume of the audio on the movie.
It allows you to use a number of different display and visual effects, and allows you to optimize your movies for tablets, phones, desktop computers, DVDs and HD. It is also a light program that does not use up a lot of your CPU power. Its downside is that it only allows you to cut the film a finite number of times, after which it will give up on you. It also does not allow you to play movies in reverse, and since you cannot cut the film infinitely, it means that you cannot force a reverse footage by snipping the frames one by one and putting them in a backwards order. The 2012 version of the movie makers is pretty good.
2. VSDC Free Video Editor
This is a dangerously difficult video editor to use if you have never had any experience with them before. If you have played with video editors before then you are going to get the gist a little quicker. The fact it has little documentation and few (if any) YouTube tutorials does not help. It is a non-linear video editor, which may take you a little longer to get the hang of.
It has a lot of functions that may alter the appearance of your video. You are given selection tools and drawing tools, along with lots of very good filters. You are given lots of lighting and color correction tools and some very good drawing tools. You can play with some great transitional tools, and you can add and remove both audio and audio effects. You can burn your movie to a DVD or you can optimize it to a mobile device or desktop movie maker.
This tool gives you some of the power and some of the tools that professional video editors are more used to. Just like ballet and photography, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. It looks easy, until you realize how intricate and complicated the whole process is. That is also true of video editing. The Microsoft movie maker makes movie editing look easy, but Lightworks shows you just how much a video can (and should) be altered when editing.
It uses a standard timeline, but it is full of features for editing and effects, not to mention movie manipulation in both the way you look at it as you edit, and the way it looks as it is played. The trimming tools are very impressive and it has real-time effects for you to play with. It supports multicam, which is another feature that professional editors are very used to.
As you can probably guess, the software is hard to use correctly. It is a little like a palette full of colors for the artist who only wants to use black, green and red. There is plenty of documentation to read if you really want to take full advantage of this piece of software.