Best free video editor 2017: the best video editing tools around

Best free video editor 2017: the best video editing tools around

Video editing software doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, some of the best editing tools are yours to download and use completely free.

Whether you’re an experienced home videographer or making your first foray into filmmaking, there’s a free editing tool that will provide all the tools you need. 

If you just want to cut a clip to size or add a new soundtrack, there are lightweight editors that will help you get the job done in seconds, and export the video in a format suitable for uploading online, or playing on any desktop or mobile device.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for more advanced tools like chroma keying and color grading, there are also advanced programs that offer everything you’d expect to find in premium software – except the price tag.

However, not all free videos editors are created equal. Some put strict limitations on the length of your finished products, offer a very small selection of editing tools, or apply a watermark when you export your work. Here we’ve rounded up only the editing software that delivers on its promises, making filmmaking easy and fun.

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Lightworks

Lightworks is the most powerful free video editor around. It’s much more than just a replacement for Windows Movie Maker, and can help you achieve professional results at home

1. Lightworks

Puts professional quality tools within the reach of everyone – regardless of budget. The best free video editor available

Advanced editing tools
Real-time effects
May be intimidating

Lightworks is far much more than a simple tool for cutting clips – the pro version has been used to create big-name movies including The King’s Speech and Road to Perdition.

As you would expect for such a powerful video editor, you won’t be able to master it overnight, but that’s certainly not something you could hold against it.

Lightworks is described as the professional video editor for everyone, and we reckon that’s a fair summary. Despite its power, it will run well on fairly modest hardware, and it handles video capture and advanced editing with aplomb.

If you’ve tried other free video editors you’ll probably find that the interface is a little different to anything you’re used to, but you can arrange the various controls and windows to create something that suits your way of working.

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Shotcut

Shotcut is a superb free video editor that lets you layer filters and effects on top of one another, and adjust each one individually

2. Shotcut

It might look unusual, but master it and you’ll reap the benefits

Advanced, customizable filters
Intuitive interface
Steep learning curve

Shotcut is another professional-feeling free video editor that requires a little patience if you are achieve the results it is so capable of delivering. The slightly unusual interface can be put down to the fact that this started life as a Linux application, and little has changed in its conversion to Windows.

To start with, the interface may seem a little stark. You will need to not only load a video, but also choose which editing mode you would like to work in and which tools you’d like to use.

There’s no getting away from the fact that Shotcut has a steep learning curve. It’s possible to achieve some impressive results by simply applying one of its many filters to your video, but the real rewards will only be reaped by those willing to invest the time and energy in fully getting to grips with what’s on offer.

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VideoPad Video Editor

Hitfilm Express is a very powerful free video editor, and can be expanded with premium extensions if your needs outgrow its standard features

3. Hitfilm Express

A powerful free video editor that’s expandable if you outgrow it

Professional-grade tools
Expandable via add-one
High system requirements

Hitfilm Express is another video editor that promises pro-level features for free – and it delivers. The basic editor is very impressive, with advanced cutting tools, a great set of audio and video filters, layers and masking, compositing options, and chroma keying for creating green screen effects.

Additional tools are available for a fee, starting at £8.85 (about US$10, AU$15) for a pack featuring color-correction, exposure adjustment, split screen masking, and various creative filters.

The downside of all this power is that Hitfilm Express is much more demanding than either Lightworks or Shotcut, which is the main reason it’s dropped to third place. Make sure you check the technical requirements before downloading it to avoid disappointment.

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VSDC Free Video Editor

VSDC Free Video Editor is wonderfully flexible, giving you full control over the clips, photos and audio files you’ve pieced together to make your project

4. VSDC Free Video Editor

A non-linear editor stacked with tools, with more added all the time

Non-linear video editing
Easy to master
No hardware acceleration

VSDC Free Video Editor provides a huge array of effects and filters to enhance your footage, with both wizards and manual options to suit beginners or more advanced users.

VSDC is highly capable, and can yield superb results. As a non-linear editor, it works in rather a different way to many other similar tools, letting you position  clips and other elements on the timeline wherever you like and edit them there.

With the ability to not only work with multiple scenes and transitions, but also to add sprites and text to videos, you can create a professional-quality movie if you’re willing to stick with VSDC’s slightly odd way of working and unusual interface.

The latest version of VSDC adds extra artistic effects, including smoke. There’s also a dedicated Instagram export profile and automatic image stabilization. It’s noticeably faster, too. An excellent choice for creative video projects.

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Avidemux

When you don’t need an advanced, feature-heavy video editor, reach for Avidemux. It packs all the essential tools into a small, easy to use package

5. Avidemux

An accessible free video editor for small editing tasks like cutting

Clear interface
Lots of export options
No timeline

One thing to understand about Avidemux from the outset is that it is not going to help you create the next Star Wars or to become a master movie producer. Rather, it’s a set of essential tools for everyday video editing, covering all of the basics such as converting formats, trimming footage, appending one clip to another, and applying filters and effects.

While Avidemux isn’t offer the most powerful free video editor, it’s not a pared-back Windows Movie Maker style affair either. You might have to go hunting for some of the more advanced options, but spend a little time perusing the menus and you’ll be impressed.

There’s also a handy quickstart guide to get you rolling if you’re totally new to video editing. If you can’t see a tool you need, Avidemux is also expandable via plugins that add features like subtitles and watermarks.

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Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/software/applications/the-best-free-video-editor-1330136

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