Video Editing Software Programs Archives

Video Editing Software Programs Archives

Video Editing Software Programs Archives

Video Editing Software Programs Archives

The best free video editing software in 2020

Don't buy video editing software until you try out the best free video editing software first. If your needs are modest, the best free video editing software can let you do much of what the paid programs offer.

For example, if you're looking to spruce up those videos of your child's first steps, your cat doing weird things, or that concert you went to, free video editing software can go a long way to making it look and sound better. 

If you're new to video editing, these programs are also a great way to learn the fundamentals without investing your hard-earned dollars. But just because something is free doesn't mean it's good. That's why we've tested a number of the leading free video editing software programs to see just what they can do, and if they're right for you.

What is the best free video editing software?

After testing numerous suites, the best free video editing software overall is HitFilm Express 14. It works with both Macs and PCs and has a revamped interface that's powerful but easy to use and customizable to your needs.

HitFilm Express has threaded rendering, as well as GPU decoding for AMD, Intel and Nvidia GPUS on PCs, so if you have a discrete graphics chip, you should see much faster speeds when rendering video. While HitFilm is free, the company offers 30 add-on packs which range in price from around $15 up to $50, and include such features as 360-degree video editing, 3D titles, as well as advanced color-grading tools and LUTs, even audio tools such as Doppler Shift and noise reduction. 

Mac users who only need a simple video editor will find that Apple iMovie is the best free video editing software, because of its strong integration with Apple's operating system and easy-to-grasp editing tools. iMovie supports 4K video, and has some good tools for smoothing shaky video, adding titles, and even soundtracks from music in your iTunes library. However, you won't get advanced features such as 360-degree video editing and special effects. 

Of course, there are some features that can only be found in paid software packages; be sure to check out our picks for the best video editing software under $100. But if you need just the basics, you've come to the right place.

The best free video editing software you can download today

1. HitFilm Express 14

The best free video editing software overall

Compatible with: Mac, Windows | Minimum system requirements: Windows 8 (64-bit), Mac OS 10.13 Sierra

Drag and drop special effects are easy to apply
Library of great free instructional videos
New light interface is too bright
New users must pay to switch to the dark interface

Hitfilm Express is the best free video editing software, as its high-energy style appeals to budding filmmakers who want to put a special touch on a personal event or get creative with a video blog, but it's still easy enough for the adventurous friends-and-family crowd. 

The latest version, Hitfilm Express 14, now supports resolutions up to 4K, GPU-accelerated decoding on Nvidia, AMD, and Intel graphics cards (on PCs only), changes to the interface, and native support for Dolby AC3 audio. It also supports VEGAS files and effects. And, it has a new light interface—but if you prefer a dark interface, that'll set you back $9. 

Other great features include the ability to create your own lightsaber battles, support for 4K video, as well as such features as 3D effects, 360-degree video editing and lens distortion correction from action cameras. You can also purchase a number of add-on packs, starting at around $10, to add functionality to the program.

Read our full HitFilm Express 14 review.

2. Apple iMovie

The best free video editing software for Mac users

Compatible with: Mac

Professional-looking themes and trailers
Lacks multicam, motion tracking and 360-degree features

iMovie is the best free video editing software for Mac users, as it delivers themes, Hollywood-style trailers and video effects with minimalistic panache, a cinematic flair, and deep integration and optimization with the Mac OS. Recent updates tweaked the interface and added Touch Bar support for the latest Macs.

While you can now edit and share 4K videos, iMovie lacks features found in other free apps, such as the ability to edit 360-degree video, multicam editing and motion tracking. You also have limited control over output settings.

Because it's so deeply entwined with the macOS, iMovie was one of the fastest apps when it came to encoding video. Once that's finished, it also gives you plenty of sharing options: You can upload directly to YouTube and Vimeo, and share any video frame as an image. When you couple iMovie with iMovie Theater and iCloud, you can also view your creations on any Apple device or via Apple TV.

Read our full Apple iMovie review.

This free video editor makes it a cinch to export your creations to YouTube, Facebook, Dropbox, Flickr, Google Drive and an assortment of mobile devices through a simple pull-down menu. You have to sign in to these services first. And while YouTube uploaded directly to my channel without incident, you may have to save your video to your hard drive with social media specs and then upload to the social network yourself.

Compared to HitFilm's high-energy interface, VideoPad has a simple, soothing look which makes it the best free video editing software for novices. It works with both Macs and PCs and still lets you edit 360-degree video with the same ease as you would traditional movies, though adding text to 360-degree clips can be a bit tricky. VideoPad also lacks some of the advanced features you'll find with HitFilm, like multicam editing, high-end special effects and motion tracking, but you can purchase a number of add-ons to expand VideoPad's feature set.

Our biggest issue with VideoPad was not knowing which features were disabled in the free version versus the trial and paid versions. We found VideoPad to be a bit slower on our transcoding tests than Hitfilm, too. But that may not matter for those looking for an app that they can use to quickly and easily edit video and then upload to the social media outlet of their choice.

Read our full VideoPad review.

4. DaVinci Resolve

Best free video editing software for advanced enthusiasts

Compatible with: Mac, Windows, Linux

Free with no limits or watermarks
Intuitive interface for most routine functions
Exquisitely deep app for color grading, compositing and audio production
Learning curve for advanced features
No direct export to social media

DaVinci is the best free video editing software for those who are more advanced. A powerful pro-level, cross platform app, you’ll want to use a system with discrete graphics to get the most out of this video editor.

The latest version of DaVinci incorporates Fusion, previously a stand-alone application, which brings with it four high-end video-production modules for editing, color correction, audio production, and video effects and motion graphics. This video editor is quite powerful, but has a bit of a learning curve. If its 256-page manual doesn't intimidate you, high-level enthusiasts will find a lot of tools at their disposal. 

DaVinci Resolve 16 is now available, and includes such new features as facial recognition, fast export to YouTube and Vimeo, and 3D audio.

Read our full DaVinci Resolve review.


A Windows-only free video editor with some good features

Compatible with: Windows

Variety of stylish built-in effects, transitions and audio filters
Consumer-oriented and easy enough for simple video tasks
Includes a screen-capture tool
Old-fashioned, unorthodox interface
Lacks features like 360-degree, motion tracking and multicam editing

VSDC has a hybrid layout that incorporates controls for both creating and editing video projects, along with links to instructional videos, which are a big help when navigating through its interface. VSDC is a non-linear editor, which gives you some more flexibility when editing, but that means it has a bigger learning curve than more traditional video editing software.

VSDC is not bad for basic edits, but its interface has a learning curve, and it lacks some popular features, such as the ability to edit 360 video. VSDC is also a Windows-only program. If you upgrade to the pro version of VSDC for $20 (good for one year for two machines), you get additional features such as technical support, a full multimedia suite, advanced settings, hardware acceleration, sub-pixel resolution, a masking tool, chroma key functionality and a visible audio waveform.

Read our full VSDC review.

6. Shotcut

A powerful cross-platform free video editor, with a learning curve.

Compatible with: Mac, Windows, Linux

Supports many audio and video formats
Large selection of audio and video filters
Steeper learning curve than most consumer apps
Different interface conventions than other video apps

Shotcut is a free, open-source, cross-platform video editor for Windows, Mac and Linux that works with a variety of video resolutions and more esoteric codecs. The platform-agnostic Shotcut appeals to prosumer and enthusiast filmmakers with its broad format support and abundant audio and video effects and editing features. However, its learning curve might be a bit much for novice users, and it lacks an easy way to share videos to popular social media sites.

We like that Shotcut's interface starts out sparsely populated; you can add windows as you see fit, through it can get cluttered quickly. In addition to being cross-platform, Shotcut also works pretty well on systems that don't have discrete graphics, making it more accessible to those who don't have thousands to spend on the latest GPUs. 

Read our full Shotcut review.

Other free video editing software to consider

Lightworks is a free video editor that's available for Macs, PCs, and even Linux systems, and has a plethora of features, including multi-track editing, background import and rendering, and a wide range of import formats. However, the free version limits the resolution of export files to 720p MP4 files. If you pay for a subscription ($24.99/month, $174/year, or a one-time fee of $473.99), this restriction is lifted, and you gain access to a host of other functions, including 3D and the ability to export files in a multitude of formats.

MovieMaker Online is just that: a web-based video editing program, which means that you can use it on any computer with a web browser. It also includes free music and stock photos and images you can add to your video, and add transitions and some basic effects. However, its interface is a bit confusing, ads are intrusive, and it only exports movies in MP4 format.

How to choose the best free video editing software 

Free vs. freemium
There's free and then there's freemium. Some software, like iMovie, is genuinely free. But just as some video-editing packages are sold in tiers — with more-expensive versions offering more and expanded features — a freemium video program may just be the lowest level of a paid version. Or it may be a trial version that hobbles the end product in various ways, like putting a huge watermark on your video or limiting output formats.

But there are variations on this theme. HitFilm, VideoPad, DaVinci Resolve and VSDC, for example, offer paid versions with high-end features that most consumers probably won't miss, but otherwise allow for full use of the basic program.

Another hidden "cost" is periodic or even constant in-line advertising or reminders that an upgrade is available. VideoPad (on the Mac) makes you verify at every launch that you are using the free version for noncommercial purposes.

Both DaVinci and VSDC mix paid features in their basic programs, but they do not explicitly mark these features as such. However, if you try to use them, you'll get an error message and an ad. We can't fault the software companies for trying to get users on board with paid versions, but just be warned that such annoyances are the hidden cost of otherwise-free video apps.

Basic features
The watchword with free apps is often which one offers the best combination of technically complex software for which you would otherwise have to shell out the big bucks. All video editors should, at the very least, have some combination of familiar features like a viewer or playback window, library, timeline, and access to transitions and effects.

Tech support and documentation
One of the big differences between paid and free software is the level of documentation and tech support; paid software has more-explicit and -detailed documentation and guides than the free versions. That said, many software packages post instructional videos of the most popular features to YouTube, and more-complex free packages may offer extensive documentation.

Many independent vendors, who are often sole proprietors in charge of the software, make themselves available to users via social media and email to assist with problems, troubleshoot, take suggestions and criticism, and otherwise oversee the software. Programs with intuitive interfaces and tool-tip hints, and even built-in tutorials to greet new users, make free software popular.

System requirements
Many free software packages technically serve most consumer hardware systems with integrated graphics, as opposed to more-powerful discrete graphics cards. If you have a consumer machine like a MacBook or a Windows laptop with integrated graphics, make sure your machine is powerful enough to run them efficiently.

Export options
Another area where free meets inconvenience may be at the tail end of the project, when you want to export your video, only to discover that the free version will not output to your desired format. Before you start using a free package, make sure that it will save your video to the platform and resolution you need, whether your video will eventually wind up on YouTube or on a Blu-ray disc.

How we test free video editing software

In order to determine which is the best free video editing software, we examine a number of different aspects of the software. For starters, how "free" is it? Some so-called free software is hobbled with limited features or watermarks on all your videos unless you pay a fee. We look at what you actually get for free, versus what you have to pay for.

Next we look at the software's interface. Video editing software that's targeted towards novices should be easy to use, with plenty of guides to help you along the way.

And then, of course, we test these programs by actually editing video, taking note of the workflow, the ease with which we can add such things as filters, transitions, effects, text, and more. 

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, Video Editing Software Programs Archives

With the prolific rise of cheap USB drives, we can store more projects than ever before. You can carry terabytes of storage around for around $100. With digital real estate being so cheap, why is it so difficult to backup and archive projects and media on a regular basis?

The backup and archival process is a lot like going to the dentist — people know they have to go but somehow it always slips their mind or doesn’t fit into their busy schedule. But with the right hardware and methods in place, keeping projects and media safely stored can be done easily and with a lot less drilling.

Backup Protocols

USB drives can be your best friend if you cannot afford an expensive media server like an ISIS 5000. A quick web search will show results of 3TB USB3.0 external hard drives for about $130. There are a variety of drives available including highly-recommended RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) drives which provide redundancy to the data in case part of the drive fails.

There is a way to create a redundant backup system of media by rotating three non-RAID USB drives. Here’s how the system works:

  • Drive #1 is the master drive that you work off of.
  • Drive #2 is the first backup drive.
  • Drive #3 is the second backup drive.
  • On week 1, COPY Drive #1 to Drive #2.
  • On week 2, COPY Drive #1 to Drive #3.
  • On week 3, DELETE Drive #2’s contents then COPY Drive #1 to it.
  • On week 4, DELETE Drive #3’s contents then COPY Drive #1 to it.
  • Continue repeating the steps for weeks 3 and 4.

The benefit to this is that there is always at least two copies of the media. Some editors have several master drives. In that case, create folders inside the backup drives that label Master Drive #1 Backup, Master Drive #2 Backup, etc. Remember to physically label the drives. Some yellow gaffers tape and a sharpie work great. When using multiple master drives it is beneficial to tape a list of what projects’s media on is them.

A schedule is key to the backup system working. The media drive backup should take place at least every week. Elements should be backed up in a similar fashion at least every week if not daily. Most importantly, projects need to be backed up everyday. Since projects are generally small in size, get an extra 1TB USB drive solely for the daily backup of them.

One extra note to mention about USB drives is that they must be turned on at least once a month. If they sit on a shelf in a closet longer than that, bad things can happen to the motors and other internal parts. Pull them down every couple weeks and fire them up.

Archiving Protocols

Digital archiving is another vital routine editors need to practice. A simple digital archive is a full-resolution file, like a QuickTime movie or MXF file, backed up to a medium like XDCAM, Blu-Ray or a USB drive. Regardless of where the file is stored, it’s important to have it for two reasons.

  1. It’s a failsafe in case the hard drives containing the media and project die. This should never happen if they are properly backed up though.

  2. It is far simpler to throw a full-resolution QuickTime into encoding software like Sorenson Squeeze or Adobe Media Encoder and export a .mp4 file than to reload the media off a hard drive, open the non-linear editing (NLE) program, quality check the sequence then export a .mp4 (that’s even if the NLE exports .mp4!).

There is a case to be made against exporting a full-resolution QuickTime movie because it will take up drive space and a few hours to create. However digital real estate is cheap, so you don't have to be too stingy. Back in the analogue days, how long did it take to stripe a tape, set the bars and tone, print labels and record at real-time let along having to re-ingest or capture off the tape if it’s needed again?


Many future headaches will be saved with a small investment and a firm schedule of backing up and archiving projects and media. Do you have other methods? What works for you?

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Video Editing Software Programs Archives

15 best video editing software and apps for any budget in 2020

We all know the future is video.

Whether you have fancy lights and a camera that costs more than a car, or you have your iPhone taped to a broom, you know you have to come up with the best you possibly can to keep your audience engaged.

I’m not going to pretend that all media is created equally.

If you’re filming on an R3D, your interview or commercial will look better than if you just have a GoPro, but it’s not all in the capturing of the footage.

Arguably most of the creative storytelling comes from the post-production stage

mean, we’ve seen short films recorded on a handheld camcorder that probably cost $100 make it into Sundance. What I’m saying is, it’s about content and storytelling more than it is pixel count for most people.

Like with all content, with video, you really want to put your best foot forward. Showing the world a cohesive, stylized vision can help sell your brand the way you want to. Conversely, showing the world a haphazard video can lower confidence and opinion of your brand.

But how do you make that story? How do you take the raw footage you have and turn into something that people will talk about and share? Especially as a marketer who may be new to video?

There are a lot of editing programs and tools out there for a variety of budgets and skill levels. If you know your way around an editing suite, great. If not, don’t worry. The internet is full of tutorials and easy-to-use programs.

Learn how to start differentiating your brand from the competition by telling a remarkable story that resonates with your audience.

Free (and nearly free) video editing software and apps for beginners

If you've never edited a video before, don't panic. There are plenty of free and paid video editing options on the market that are easy to use. 



This free program provides a lot of bang for no buck. So, if you’re a beginner, it’s a pretty good place to start.

Included in the program are somewhat advanced options like blend overlays, and the options to mask and key. You can also control the speed of the clips as well as add filters transitions.

If your brand to get cinematic and try out some green screen footage, this might be a good program to start with and with its free filters, it would also be a good option for social media videos.

Some reviews say it’s not exactly user-friendly, and it does have its quirks, but if you’re looking to try out editing and don’t want to put any money behind it, there’s really no downside.

Price: Free! 

2. iMovie

iMovie is a quick and easy way to edit videos for beginners.

There are a ton of templates which makes this the ideal software for quick turnaround projects and the transitions and animated titles give your production a little extra with almost no effort. It’s also good for just quick clip cutting and cobbling together something simple.

Marketers would find this useful for quick culture videos on social media or those that only need basic cuts and fades. If you’re new to video editing and intrigued by the idea of templates, I would steer clear of these when it comes to crucial sales videos or those on your website.

As iMovie is a popular tool among general consumers, using them could be seen as unprofessional or low-budget.

Aside from that word of caution, the only really annoying thing to note is you can’t transfer project files which hurt me with a client before.

Price: Free (but only available on Macs)

EaseUS Video Editor

Editor’s Note:  This article feature was sponsored by EaseUS 

Whether you're a hobbyist or a video marketer, EaseUS boasts a powerful, yet easy to use editing platform to help you produce professional-looking finished products without advanced technical knowledge.

It includes over 50 visual effects and transitions that allow you to add colored filters, overlays, and text (among other things) to enhance your messages and give you a polished look for sharing on social media, your website, or even a DVD. 

In addition to this, the tool enables you to fine tune elements like video speed, saturation, and hue as well as import and mix multiple audio tracks or record your own narration without leaving the tool. 

It also allows you to export for optimized  playback on all major mobile devices including iPhone XS, iPhone 8, iPhone XR, iPad, Samsung Galaxy and HTC. 

EaseUS is available as a limited-feature free trial, but for as little as $17.97 a month, you can upgrade to a pro plan that unlocks all of the features and enables you to export in 1080p resolution and without a watermark. 

Overall, EaseUS is a great option for video marketers and creators just getting their feet wet. The only downside of this tool is that it is only available on PCs at this time.

Price: Free (for a limited-feature trial) or starting at $17.97/month for a pro plan


Now, this free program is easy to use once you get a hang of the UI.

It has good video and audio filters, making it a good choice for posting to social, but it has a limited amount of preset export formats.

Knowing the destination of your final export is important for quality. If you’re focusing heavily on YouTube or Facebook Marketing, you may not want to use this tool until you’re more familiar with the settings best used for each platform.   

There also doesn’t seem to be a huge support community for questions, which can be tough for newcomers.

Price: Free

4. Magisto

Magisto is basically automatic editing.

You can select your own music or use one of their suggested tracks, and it’ll put something together for you assuming you don’t need to trim anything out in the app.

This automation is cool and efficient if you need a video quickly, but it does limit creativity as there’s to control the order of the images you put in there.

There’s also a time limit for the length of your video with each budget. Still, it’s a fun way to put something quick together if you’re looking to post mostly to social. It’s especially great to use on mobile.

Price: Best value is their $9.99/month Professional plan

5. Adobe Premiere Clip

Edit on-the-go with this free app!

It has a clean interface, comes with background music, and has a good collection of filters.

You don’t need a paid Creative Cloud account for this, but if you have one, you can export what you started on your phone and finish it in Premiere, , finish it on your phone and upload straight to social media.

This is ideal for the marketer who’s always on the move, but posts to social media frequently. Adobe is always the peak of professionalism so it will make your Instagram and Facebook videos really stand out.

Make sure you film , horizontal orientation though, because you can’t rotate your clip in this. There’s also no real templates or transitions, but it’s simple and fairly easy to use.

Price: Free

Advanced video editing apps and tools

Now, if you've dabbled in video editing before -- or you like to think of yourself as more of a video pro -- you probably want to dive right into video editing software that caters to the more seasoned marketer.

We are all for that, but not without a word of caution first.

Advanced tools may seem appealing to a beginner because you will get more "advanced" results. However, you should only take that step up in sophistication if you already have the skills in-house, or if you have a team member who is dedicated to learning the art of video editing.

In short, if you don't have advanced resources, don't pull in an advanced tool.

With that caveat in mind, here are a few of our favorite advanced video editing software options.

6. Adobe Premiere Pro

I won’t lie, I’m an Adobe girl myself.

I basically started out editing on this program and have rarely been disappointed in it.

This is an advanced editing software, and while it is possible to learn, if you’re looking for a quick turnaround, you might want to start somewhere else.

That being said, if your team needs to edit an interview for a customer testimonial or has the need for a lot of graphics, it’s very easy for this to be your only software and be more than enough.

The essential graphics panel gives you presets that you can fit your needs, whether it be names and titles for your lower or an opening graphic for your video.

These features do a lot of the work for you and make you look professional and polished. If you create your videos with it, you can publish confidently on any platform, whether it be social, web, film, or even TV.

You can get all sorts of paid and free third-party plugins to help you along your creative adventure too!

If you keep reading, you’ll find a few of my favorites, but these plugins can range anywhere from color correction presets to light flares. They add that extra glitz to your videos that will make people remember them.

As a subscription SaaS, Premiere also rolls out updates to make sure you’re getting the most out of your software at all times. Sometimes they are glitchy early on, but they are quickly resolved, and the community is always helping out with solutions.

Plus, with literally millions of subscribers, you can bet that their online support community is solid. Only once or twice have I been unable to fix a problem thanks to their very specific forums.

Overall, this software is but is not really geared towards those starting out, especially with monthly subscription pricing model.

Price: If you have the skills or have time to invest to learn the software and $40 a month, or $20 if you’re a student (or $20 for just Premiere, and not the entire suite), it is definitely worth it.

7. Final Cut Pro

I learned on this one when I first started at film school. When I used it, it was basically iMovie’s older brother. It has that same layout feel and ease of use to it, but with a lot more function.

It now supports 360 and HDR includes Mac Touch Bar and has over 100 video and audio effects. It’s also good for color correction, but bear in mind, this all comes with a bit of learning curve. There are a limited amount of codecs and file types included which will limit what kinds of footage you can work with.

This is a program that can give you a more cinematic look and feel to your projects. If you want your brand to look professional and artistic, but don’t have a huge budget, this tool will definitely help.

This program is for a marketer on a budget that wants to get the most out of their and isn’t afraid to get into the weeds with their editing.

Similar to Premiere, you can add third-party plugins as well.

However, honestly, I’d say if you’re serious about putting together professional marketing videos, are a Mac user, and don’t need the razzle-dazzle elements of Premiere, this is the best choice.

Price: For a flat rate of $300, you are also entitled to any updates they do for free.

8. PowerDirector

Now, for the price, PowerDirector is definitely the PC pick for me. It is extremely user-friendly, but you get advanced features like 360 footage editing, motion tracking, and keyframing and it supports 4K as well.

If you’re looking to create complex videos and have an editor willing to learn, this is the software for you.

It can be a little overwhelming for beginners, but there are tutorials out there. Users have also reported weak color matching, but if you keep your white balance in mind while shooting, you should be fine.

Price: There’s a 30-day trial version you can do before you go for either the $100 or $130 version.

9. Lightworks

This Mac and PC-friendly software free and quite robust. It supports a wide range of video formats, allows you to make proxies, which let you edit huge video files at a lower resolution and replace before exporting, and has easy timeline editing.

This program is for marketers with their eye on their budget, looking to post mostly to social media sites mainly because the exports it offers align with what is optimal for those sites.

Although you can use it on Mac, users of the machines have reported it isn’t very Mac-friendly and that there’s a steep learning curve.

Price: Free (but the free version only allows you to export to 720p web resolution. You have to pay extra to get more.)

10. Sony Vegas Pro

Sony Vegas Pro is on the pricier side for sure, but you get the pro-editor features like motion tracking, HDR support, 360 footage support, video stabilization, speed control, masking, and good presets for color correction.

This is for a marketer who knows what they’re doing and wants a professional finished but also has the budget. If you’re going to spend the money, I suggest you already know how to use the best features of this program (or have someone on staff who does).

If you’re looking for a flat rate program that nearly stands up to Premiere, this is your guy.

Price: Another flat rate program, it’s yours in differing packages from $400-800. Only available for PC.

11. Blender

I love me some 3D animation, and this software lets you do it!

You can get some truly amazing stuff out of this program, and there are tons of websites like Turbosquid to lend a hand in free and paid objects for you.

Whether it’s realistic 3D renders of real or animated characters for an explainer video, there’s not much you can’t do with 3D animation.

Blender can help you add a little variety to your videos, and possibly add a lot of value if you get someone who becomes a pro. There’s also a ton of tutorials and online support, which you’ll need to get going since it’s a little quirky.

If you’re looking to get started with 3D editing, this is a good place to start.

Price: Free

12. Adobe After Effects

There’s so much you can do with this program. I’m obsessed with it, honestly.

Marketers will get the most out of this program if they’re looking to do advanced/custom motion graphics, a lot of motion tracking (for example, personalized videos for Vidyard), or animated explainer videos.

Like Premiere, it updates with new features every so often, the support community is amazing, and the tutorials are seemingly limitless. It also integrates with C4D, another 3D editing software, which comes with it for free.

There are also tons of amazing paid and free plugins. I mostly use it for motion but have been known to use the occasional green screen or even turn someone’s eyes into demon eyes for Halloween.

You can do almost anything you set your mind to in here. That being said, it’s not geared towards newbies, and it’s still that monthly Adobe rate instead of the flat fee.

Price: If you have the skills or have time to invest to learn the software and $40 a month, or $20 if you’re a student (or $20 for just After Effects, and not the entire suite), it is definitely worth it.

13. DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve offers full editing, but most of my editor friends that use this program don’t necessarily do their cutting in here. They do rely on it for color correction pretty heavily, however. It’s compatible with Final Cut, Avid, and Premiere so you can move the color correction or whatever you do between projects easily.

With a helpful community, you can find great info on color correction, motion tracking, and even noise reduction.

These functions can help bring your video to that Hollywood style color that you see in movies (with enough practice) for no cost.

It is a steep learning curve, and you really need two screens, especially if you want to color correct, but if you’re a person, you’ll like this program.

Price: Free!

14. Avid Media Composer

This is the video editing software you’ll get for free.

It has a lot of high-end tools like speed control, color correction, and footage stabilization that can take your footage from looking merely amateur to pro pretty quickly.

If you’re looking for really technical controls to add some polish to your videos, but you don’t want to pay for it, try Avid.

It does have a steep learning curve, and the free version doesn't support or a lot of image formats.

Price: Free (or upgrade for more features starting at $19.99/month)

Editing extras

Editing programs are all well and good, but sometimes you need or want a little extra sparkle These are like the sprinkles on a delicious donut - not necessary for the final product, but definitely make it look better.


A great toolkit to have to start out with can be found here on Shutterstock.

They have a ton of animations, transitions, LUTs, and overlay elements for free. I personally love adding a little dust or some light leaks sometimes, and it can be hard to get those organically.

These are awesome for that extra touch for someone with no budget to make your videos pop.

It also comes with instructions on how to use it. It’s compatible with Premiere and Final Cut Pro.

Price: Free

Red Giant

I couldn’t resist putting this in here.

If you have a serious budget and a serious will to learn, you can have a lot of fun with Red Giant’s plugins.

I got to play around with their suite and things you can do with it are incredible. You can create volumetric light, smoke, snow, rain, or almost any other VFX you can imagine.

These plugins range in complexity. There are almost Hollywood level VFX you can achieve, but there’s also motion graphics packages if you want to make your intro cards and lower thirds really stand out.

It’s compatible with a fair amount of programs too, but probably best used on Adobe. There’s also a lot of support and tutorials for it, so you won’t be alone in your investment.

Price: Ranges for each suite, but you can expect anywhere from $100-$400 for each suite

Video Copilot

anything from Video is awesome.

I love their tutorials, and their plugins look amazing. They have an elements package that gives you a huge range of sound effects, motion graphics, and 3D elements like fluids and particles.

If you want to channel your inner JJ Abrams, they have a package of optical flares you can buy, starting from around $125, if you’re a Michael Bay fan, maybe go for their Action Essentials package, starting at around $100.

This is an add-on for a marketer on a budget who just needs a little extra flare to their videos.

It’s also compatible with After Effects, Final Cut Studio, Premiere, and other QuickTime based software.

Price: Depends on the package, but usually in the $50-150 range

What it all comes down to

Whether you’re just starting out, or into the weeds with editing, these are some helpful tools to get the most out of your footage.

This isn’t the dawn of film. Audiences can spot a bad edit, even if they don’t know technically why it’s bad.

Having these valuable tools can make or break your video marketing strategy because what you create, and how well you’re able to create it will tell the world exactly what value you have to offer.

If this seems way too overwhelming, we can help with that. Whether it’s our video training or our in-house production team, we can assist your video needs.

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