Apple’s revamped video editing software boasts speedier performance, a friendlier interface, auditions for alternate clips, good organization tools, powerful new multicam support and support for both Thunderbolt and studio-monitor output. While you can’t import projects from previous Final Cut versions without a third-party plugin, this new software is a consumer-friendly upgrade to a pro-level Mac editor.
It’s the stripped-down version of Adobe Premiere, an industry-standard editing program used to create movies, TV shows, music videos, commercials and online video content from major brands. Although the workflow is much different than Premiere, Elements give you a taste of the tools used by professionals in a user-friendly way. It has three modules to make videos: Quick, which is great for making short videos quickly. Guided, which teaches you the ins and outs of the program, and Expert, which removes all the training wheels and lets you delve deep into your creative ventures. All projects made with Elements can be exported for transfer into the professional Premiere application.
Ok—so to those of you working with PCs, this one won’t really apply; but we’d remiss to leave it off the list. If you’re looking for simplicity and elegance, it doesn’t get much better than Apple iMovie. iMovie’s ten high-fidelity filters are some of the classiest in the video editing game; and if you’re shooting on your iPhone, or have been editing a project on your iPad, you can use AirDrop to wirelessly and seamlessly transfer your project over to your Mac.
Lumen5 markets itself as a tool that turns blog posts into social promos. While the process isn’t perfect, and you’ll likely have to do some tinkering to get your blog content looking just the way you want it, the rest of the video creation process is a cinch. Merely refine some copy that teases your blog post; drag and drop some gifs, screengrabs, or video clips; add some music; and your engaging social video will be ripe for Facebook and Twitter.
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If you want something that is aimed more at the professional from a marketing standpoint, it couldn’t hurt to look into the Vegas Pro line. On its 15th iteration, Vegas has introduced a ton of new features, from hardware acceleration harnessing Intel QSV to a picture-in-picture OFX plug-in, all the way to a super intuitive new instant freeze frame option for referencing shots without stopping workflow. If you opt for the premium, upgraded package (which won’t run cheap), you’ll even get an exhaustive package of NewBlueFX fIlters to color your projects like a true Hollywood flick. What’s interesting about Vegas, and what we think gets overlooked, is they’ve attempted to give you an intuitive set of controls that takes the best of Final Cut, Premiere and others and merges them into one. Sure, it might not have the streamlined, Adobe CS-friendliness of Premiere, nor is it even compatible with Macs, but that’s OK. The workflow in this might just give certain users who can’t quite jive with the other guys a place to truly shine.
The second big draw is communication. The app creates a unified inbox for comments on Facebook and Instagram and messages from Messenger, so that you don’t have to bounce between different apps in order to respond to people. The app doesn’t seem to cover every possible messaging vector inside of Facebook’s services, but it sounds like a handy start.
Windows Video Maker is an easy-to-use solution ideal for beginners. Although the program is offered for free and come standard on virtually every windows PC, it provides all the basic features for a perfect introduction. The software utilizes the most common workflow elements of the professional video editing systems. However, it offers an intuitive interface that is easy to navigate even for the novice editors. The interface provides a simplified version of a standard video editor timeline. The timeline features clips that are characterized by Long thumbnails and ease of use.
Other recent features include a basic audio editor, the option to make previews for apps you’ve developed, and the even ability to make your own movie trailers complete with transitions and end credits. It’s not a tour de force in terms of video editing, but it’s perfectly suitable for home videos and minor projects. Consider combining it with free audio recording software!