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7 Best Open Source Video Editors

Everyone can shoot a good video, just to say the least. Videos are an everyday phenomenon in the modern world, considering the number of events that are quite memorable and one would like to keep a copy of the event for themselves. Your camera will only get you remarkable video shot, especially if your footage is clear, presentable and attractive in the first place.

However, video editing sounds complicated and expensive. This is why we need open source video editing software. Open source not only means free but that the code is open to review by all.  In addition, the software sounds expensive not mentioning the skills required in video editing. Video editing is not complicated as most people may think. In addition, with the right software, it is not an expensive nor a difficult processes to come up with a good video in the long run. There are common video editors such as Adobe, that go for about $65 and offers editing functions that come in handy for both small and large video editing requirements. But there are free video editors that offer the same functions just like the ones that are paid for.

Free Open Source Editing Software

The current free and open source software industry offers a number of video editing tools and open source software to help professional shutterbugs and guru artists to come up with the quality videos in HD, 3D and 2D. A variety of video editing software are out there and most have brought out the argument on which is the best for editing tasks. However, they perform the following basic functions as highlighted below;

  • Support multi track video editing tasks.
  • Clip out unwanted parts of the video.
  • Remove or clip out different kinds of sounds on the video.

Pitivi

Believed to be the next frontier in the video editing software industry, Pitivi boasts of having the latest technology required in editing videos in collaboration with artists and developers all over the world. It has a beautiful and easy to use interface and a clean code base and is fully open source.

pitivi-2012-08-27

This software has been tested over the years after being developed by a French team and it is recommended for its high functionality in video editing tasks. Currently, the software is only available in beta versions. A 1.0 version is yet to be released and the team is still working on it. Features of Pitivi include;

  • Hundreds of animated effects, filters and transitions- They help video editors to come up with dynamic effects and animations in the films.
  • Real-time trimming previews-Thanks to the flexible and efficient tools that assist in time saving, this feature helps in fast video editing. An example of the tool is the non-modal cutting tool.
  • GStreamer Multimedia Framework- This accepts any form or format of videos you want or edited.
  • GNOME Translator- Thanks to this translator, Pitivi supports different languages all over the world.

The Good

  • It offers a true precision of the video.
  • Champions for easy usability because of its simple design and one can never be an eternal newbie in it.
  • It is also a vibrant tool, thanks to its technicians who have designed it to be a strong, interesting while providing users with all conceptual hints required in video editing.

The Downside

  • It is only available in beta version that can frustrate the user bigtime.

OpenShot

This software is licensed under the GPL version 3.0 aka open source by Jonathan Thomas, the program creator. It can take videos, music files and photos required in coming up with a good film that you so want.

openshot

It has been tested and one can easily add transitions, sub titles and effects and then proceed to exporting the video to popular sites like YouTube and Vimeo or preserve them in a DVD in many different formats. Its features include;

  • GNOME Integration- This allows for the drag and drop of films from one source to another.
  • Video transition- This allows for real time previews, cutting of clips and resizing, scaling, snapping and trimming to the required film sizes.
  • Rotoscoping support- This helps in coming up with image sequencing and scrolling of pictures in motion
  • Digital Video Effects- They include Chroma key, hue, greyscale, brightness among others that in providing a good layout for a given video.

Benefits

  • It provides extensive video compositing and editing features designed to support any high designation video editing, for example AVCHD and HDV.
  • It also allows users to insert sub titles, templates, water marks and even 3D animated titles.
  • It is also easy to use and SVG friendly, allowing for the creation and inclusion of credits and vector titles.

Cons

  • Its hit render, used in title creation is slow and cannot be cancelled once the process is initiated.
  • It is only built for Linux.

Lightworks

Perhaps the oldest film editor tool in the market, this Emmy award winning software supports resolutions of up to 4000, both HD and SD formats. Its incredible features are;

  • Supports Major Operating Systems- The powers of this software is that it’s compatible with Windows, Mac OSX and Linux, editing videos from all this platforms.
  • Unmatched Video Format Support- Any video format can be imported to this software without the hassle of transcoding in real-time.
  • Web Export Capability- Sharing of films is easy as this software has a quick export to MPEG/H.264 making the transferability of these videos to YouTube and Vimeo very direct and super-fast.

avidemux

  • Top Quality Trimming Functions- This fast and precise video editing feature puts Lightworks as the best editing software in the world.
  • Multicam Editing- Although multi camera video shooting is not common, this software supports this function, creating a group of synched video clips straight from the camera.
  • Boris Graffiti for Text Effects- This plug in works on videos to come up with an excellent resolution vector text, automated Zooms, True 3D Texts and Lighting and much more.
  • Customizable Interface- The quick and easy to use configurations come in handy when customizing the software to fit your needs. They include language, appearance, shortcut menus and color settings.

The good

  • It boasts of its ease of use, true and real time collaboration through project sharing for groups and optimized speed in order to come up with a good film in no time.

The bad

  • For users who need to use its console and keyboard, they ought to have the Patented Hardware Console Pro License that is not provided for the Lightworks free version.

Avidemux

Written from scratch by Mean but coded by from MPlayer, FFmpeg and Transcode, this video editing software has been used in video processing and editing. Its features include;

  • Filters by Avidemux- This is a feature used in non-linear video processing and editing that enables the application of visual effects to videos while enabling video transcoding into different formats ported from MPlayer.
  • Muxing and Demuxing Function- This aids in the insertion or extraction of audio streams into a film. Addition of the audio stream is muxing while removal of audio streams is demuxing.
  • Spider Monkey JavaScript Engine- This important design is meant to save options, configurations, preferences and selections into one project file.
  • Built in Subtitle Processor- Thanks to Optical Character Recognition function, hard subtitle editing has been made easy and in different formats for example, Sub Rip(SRT) and Micro DVD(SUB)

The good

  • It functions as a stand-alone program and can decode, read and encode by itself. It also supports different operating software, Mac OSX, Windows and Linux.

The bad

  • The software has not been fully developed and the developer relies one user suggestions to improve the program.

Cinelerra-CV

First released on the August of 2002, this software undergoes regular updating tasks every on a half year basis. It’s specially designed to function on Linux operating system, distributed under GNU General Public Software (Open Source). Its uniqueness comes in its compositing activities such as mattes and keying.

The software has a number of features vital in supporting high fidelity film and audio editing. They are;

  • 64 bit Audio Precision- this is vital in processing sound, and works in both RGBA and YUVA color spaces.
  • Frame Rate Independence- This means that its resolution is high and supports files of different sizes and speeds.
  • Sophisticated Interface- Its interface is similar to that of Final Cut Pro and other editing systems. It comes with a compositing engine which give four screens when in use. The timeline screen, enables the editor to get a time based view of all films and sounds in a project. The viewer screen enables the editor to get a method of scrubbing through the footage, vital in tracing specific words thanks to the play forward and back capability. A resource window gives the editor a view of all sound and video in the project while the compositor screen, gives the editor a snap shot of the how the final film will look like.

The good

  • The Cinelerra-CV, CV standing for community version, enjoys regular updates while also letting users to make changes to its code whenever possible.

The bad

  • The software is download and installation processes are complicated as there is extraction of files at some point, therefore no guarantee that it will work on your computer especially if you are not using Linux operating system.

Blender

This software developed by a Dutch team, offers a cross platform film editing capabilities. It offers more of 3D modelling and animation and can be used with much ease thanks to the following features;

  • Photorealistic Rendering- It has an in-built engine called Cycles that offers a stunning and realistic rendering capability for real-time viewport preview, HDR lighting support and linking with an external software thanks to the Permissive License.
  • Fast Modelling- This transforms and edits models very fast thanks to N-Gon support, Grid and Bridge fill and Edge slide, collapse and dissolve tools.
  • Fast Rigging- This is where a model is transformed into a possible character when making a video game. Blender uses tools such as easy weight painting, mirror functionality and skeleton skinning tools to achieve this.

Blender

  • Ultra Violet Unwrapping- This feature helps in unwrapping your mesh, use the image texts while painting the model directly. One can also get a number of UV layers using this feature.
  • Object Tracker- This allows you to import raw video footage, mask areas while tracking the footage and observe movements live in 3D scene.
  • Built-In Compositor- This eliminates the need of switching from one program to another when exporting videos. The tools used in this include the render layer support, multi-thread supporter and full compositing of film and image files.

YouTube Open Source

YouTube offers editors basic editing and processing rights on the site. One just posts video for editing and goes ahead to clip the edges of the film, plop two different movies into one and remix all your uploaded content with much ease.

Best Video Editing Software For Beginners

 Product InfoFeatures

PINNACLE STUDIO 20
PINNACLE STUDIO 20Click to see Price and more Info-Easy to Use
-Great Built in Functionalities
-Affordable

CAMTASIA STUDIO 8
CAMTASIA STUDIO 8Click to see Price and more Info-Compatible for both Mac and Windows
-Easy to create dynamic videos and share them across any platform
-Free trial available

Best Open Source Video Editor: Verdict

Of the above open source video editing software, Blender stand out to be the best since it is not Avid or FCP. In addition, it offers the best quality and genuine tools. It is also compatible with different operating systems unlike most editing programs available in the industry.