We created, exported and reviewed all of the results. We watched every video we made, looking for imperfections in the video and audio. Flaws such as pixelation, compression artifact, motion blur and more were present in most of the videos we examined, but they varied greatly depending on which program we used. Each program was given an A to F quality grade based on this evaluation.
I like the simplicity of Windows Moviemaker. I like that the application can be used by a beginner in video editing. This application is perfect for splicing together slideshows and putting together home movies. It's pretty cool that you can also easily share your video. Furthermore, Moviemaker is versatile in that it allows the importation and exportation of a wide variety of file types.
Remember, if you are looking for a video editing software, this is not it. This is simple cut, drag, paste, add transitions kind of work. It will do great for a presentation or slideshows you would like to create, but it will not be the one you want to make an actual film or quality videos. If you like the user interface of it, try teaming it up with other video editors to give you a better chance at reaching your vision with your project! I have connected it with all of the Microsoft office programs, VSDC, Pinnacle Pro, and iMovie to create better looking projects with the same easy interface!
Advanced abilities continue to make their way into accessible, affordable, and consumer-friendly video editing software as each new generation of software is released. For example, multicam editing, which lets you switch among camera angles of the same scene shot with multiple video cameras, used to be a feature relegated to pro-level software. Now this and many other advanced effects are available in programs designed for use by nonprofessional enthusiasts.
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.
When asked if he had any advice for newbie editors learning the software, he recommended third-party resources. “Classes are great if they’re available and affordable,” Dutcher said. He also advised new video editors to “buy the manuals that are not published by the software companies, such as 'Final Cut Pro for Dummies,' because they’re written by actual users, and written in language that’s more accessible.”
I decided to upgrade (pay) when the free version only allowed 5 min videos max. So I paid for a gold class and now I am told I can only make 10 min videos - WTF! You would assume once you pay you can make much longer videos! That cost me $42 AUD. I also notice that once the video is "completed" some of the processed video is black and only has sound. Windows Movie Maker (which was actually FREE) never did this, and its controls were much easier to use. The controls are also very hard to use.
Movie Maker uses a very simple version of standard video editor timeline along with clips which are represented by “long thumbnails”. The thumbnail tracks provide options to show the audio waveforms along the bottom, such that you can where are the quiet and loud parts of your video. You also get five different size choices for the thumbs, along with zoom control at the bottom to let you stretch out these clip representation. You can easily trim and split clips by using the cursor insertion point combined with available edit buttons.
For the most advanced, least fiscally prudent of beginners, there’s Apple Final Cut Pro X. $299.99 might be a little steep for a product you may well have a difficult time understanding; but for those among you who enjoy a challenge, and who aspire to some level of professionalism in video editing, why not go for it? Apple has made the transition from iMovie to Final Cut Pro more painless than ever—so if you’re the kind of guy or gal who enjoys him/herself an Apple product, and has worked with iMovie to the point of mastery, it might be time to splurge on Final Cut Pro. The power is still daunting; the interface, significantly less so.
We also spoke with Richard Dutcher, an independent filmmaker and director of eight feature films including “Brigham City,” “Falling," "God's Army” and “Evil Angel.” He told us that the time you spend learning a new program is at a premium. “I like things that are intuitive and with the fastest learning curve. The less time spent becoming familiar and proficient the better. The sooner I can get to work and putting the film together - that’s the most important thing to me.”
The main problem we have in regards to training is knowledge transfer and simplifying training of processes when on-boarding new staff. We do have some videos created from other platforms but no way to share. As we are primarily a Windows shop, using Movie Maker allowed me to create training videos using Microsoft approved codecs and made it much easier to share videos with other team members. The main benefit of course is they can now get some training from the videos we've created and cost savings by not having them go to another facility or rely on other training tools.