All the applications we reviewed fulfill the same basic need; however, they differ greatly in their interface layouts, workflows and toolsets. In our tests, we assessed how easy each program is to learn and use. We also tracked how hard the application makes it to perform common tasks like editing video footage; adding effects, transitions and titles; picking menu templates; customizing projects; and burning finished DVDs. We found that all the programs are relatively easy to use once you know your way around the interface, although some were much more straightforward than others.
The Express Projects module offers a library of preprogrammed video templates to choose from. PowerDirector walks you through sorting your footage, choosing the best shots for your video and letting you experiment with where to place footage in the template. This is important for two reasons: First, it allows beginner and novice users the opportunity to complete a project without being intimidated by the complexity of the software; second, it does so in a way that teaches you to use the tools in the Full Feature Editor, making the jump that much easier.
The whole experience is geared around making it as easy as possible to turn your project into reality. There are two modes in this program: Easy and Full Feature. Easy mode guides you through the video editing process step by step. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the process. You can create some fine videos in this mode, but to really take advantage of Filmora’s wide toolset, you need to use the Full Feature Mode. This mode gives you access to tools from basic trimming and cropping to advanced features like picture-in-picture editing, audio mixer, chroma-key, split screen, video stabilization and much more. Filmora excels at teaching users to use these tools, and anyone with the patience to learn will find it useful. Filmora also has some of the best sharing options of the programs we reviewed. When you’re done with your project, you can export it to a file, upload it to YouTube (or other video-sharing site) or even burn a DVD.
Windows' included video editing software is all about simplicity: There's really no simpler way to combine your clips into digital movies with titles, transitions, background music, and effects. In earlier releases, the program was so simple that it wasn't capable of doing things people commonly needed, but little by little, stuff like voiceover recording and even anti-shake have made their way into what is now a very useful free app for digital video editing. Let's be clear, Movie Maker still lacks a lot of effects and tools you get in Apple's entry-level video editor, iMovie, not to mention enthusiast-level products like Adobe Premiere Elements or CyberLink PowerDirector, but for basic needs and ease of use, it hits the mark.
Crank things up a notch to Adobe Premiere Pro CC and get an all-singing all-dancing video editor that's used by multitudes of industry professionals. And it's easy to see why it's so popular for Windows 10 users – it can handle an uncapped amount of video tracks, which can be imported from pretty much any source you can think of: files, tapes, cameras of all standards, and even VR. The automatic sync is a gem when you have multi-angle shots, and it's hard to fault the fine-tuning tools that really make your video stand out from the crowd.
The simplest way to create a digital movie in Movie Maker is to add your clips to the timeline and choose one of the seven AutoMovie Themes—Default, Contemporary, Cinematic, Fade, Pan and Zoom (best used with photos), Black and White, and Sepia. It's nowhere near as extensive a set of options you'll see in iMovie, let alone Adobe Premiere Elements, but they're in simple good taste. These are displayed as thumbnails in the center of the Home ribbon. They add an intro title screen, transitions, and credits to the production.
Purchasing the full version of VideoStudio Ultimate X10 adds a whole extra set of options that beginners will quickly love, including multi-monitor support, easier title creation, and even stop-motion animation. Corel supports almost every output format imaginable, so it's ideal for sharing socially or for hosting online for the world to see. Another highlight for beginners is the inclusion of storyboard mode, which will help draft the exact vision they have in mind for a finished product without wasting hours and days on edits that may never see the light of day.
YouTube Movie Maker is a free and total solution for Make, Upload and Manage YouTube Videos, it can be used to make/edit and upload YouTube videos from various videos, pictures, audios, musics, texts, lyrics, subtitles; provides hundreds of special effects to make cool YouTube videos, fast batch convert and upload lots of various videos onto YouTube, manage and promote YouTube videos. YouTube Movie Maker is the best tool for all YouTube user.
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Most video editing software for consumers and mainstream users is best used for one or another of these specific functions, but there are a few generalists out there, too. We look at the full spectrum: Free video editing software; paid consumer video editing programs that cost $80 or less; and "prosumer" versions that offer deeper feature sets, though usually for high purchase prices.
Nero Video 2017 is slightly cheaper at $50 than many competing video editing suites, but it offers most of the same features, including Ultra HD 4K support and intelligent curation features for your media library. And with H.265 format support for mobile devices and the handy ability to switch between a basic and advanced editing mode, Nero will please a wide range of users. It’s mostly intended for burning physical media, and doesn’t have good social exporting options. But even if you’re not planning to do DVDs, Nero is worth a look if you want a budget option for video editing software. (Read our full review.)
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However, simple editing can be done on the cheap if you’re willing to ditch powerful, high-end software such as Final Cut Pro, or Adobe Premiere, in favor of a more modest program. Let’s face it, you’re probably not going to be taking home the Palme d’Or with the film you cut on your laptop, but your home movies and YouTube uploads can take on a whole new shine with a few straightforward tools.
Other measures of performance include startup time and simple stability. Again, video editing is a taxing activity for any computer, involving many components. In the past, video editing programs took longer than most other apps to start up, and unexpected shutdowns were unfortunately common, even in top apps from top developers such as Adobe and Apple. The stability situation has greatly improved, but the complexity of the process, which increases as more powerful effects are added, means crashes will likely never be fully eliminated, and they often raise their ugly heads after a program update, as I found with the latest version of Pinnacle Studio.