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Seeking a free video editing program?

Discussion in 'General Entrepreneur Discussion' started by Velocke, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Velocke
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    Velocke Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I wanted to share my good experience so far with the free video editing program, Davinci Resolve. I needed to create a demo video of a product prototype I made and have no background in making or editing videos. I decided to see what was free and came across Davinci Resolve. I found it pretty intuitive and easy to use, plus there are plenty of tutorial videos available. From zero experience creating videos, I put together my demo video in two evenings of work and was very happy with the end result! I used an iPhone to record video clips and Audacity (also a free program) to record narration, then had a pretty smooth time putting it all together in the way I wanted.
    This first project is very basic and there are a ton of features in the program that I didn't touch, but it was nice to find exactly what I needed for a simple, short video project! Just wanted to make the suggestion if anyone happens to be getting started on videos for a website, product demo, or anything else.
     
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  2. MoreVolume
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    MoreVolume Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thanks
    I've been looking for an alternative to the one I've been using
     
  3. lowtek
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    lowtek Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Cool, I'll check it out and report back on how well it works in Linux.

    I've been using Kdenlive which is great for very very basic video editing. It's not super advanced, maybe I can up my game with some more bells and whistles.
     
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  4. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I've been wanting to try that, but from all the warnings on the website it looks like you need a mega-powerful machine to do anything at all. My interest is in some basic editing, combining short clips with a few cuts and dissolves and titles, and playing around a little with the color processing and audio mix pages to learn more about that functionality. Nothing really heavy duty. I'm using a few years old Macbook Pro without a fancy graphics chip. What kind of machine do you have? Does the program run smoothly? Maybe all the guidance about top of the line hardware is only relevant for pros who rely on this for their daily income?
     
  5. lowtek
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    lowtek Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Give Kdenlive a shot, it sounds like it will suit your needs just fine and doesn't require gobs of horsepower to run.

    It's FOSS and multiplatform
     
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  6. masterneme
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    masterneme Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    It does indeed need a capable machine, the latest versions make good use of GPU acceleration so old systems may struggle.

    Keep in mind that DaVinci Resolve is a PRO oriented software that just happens to be free because they make money with paid add-ons and expensive hardware. It's a good way to attract new customers.

    For simpler stuff (that can still look amazing) I second KDEnlive, and for even simpler videos you have Openshot and Shotcut.
     
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  7. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thanks guys. I already knew that Resolve is high end pro software. I visited their booth at the NABshow (giant video tech trade show), and also visited Fairlight before Blackmagic bought them and put the Fairlight audio editing code into Resolve. Got to see the big, expensive hardware control panels from both of them. What surprised me is to learn from @Velocke, is that this software with so many advanced features, is also easy to use for the basics. When I get a powerful new computer, I think my way to go will be to use Resolve for all video projects. Now that I know it's friendly for the basics as well as sophisticated all the way up, why not just use it for everything? At least that's how it seems to me now.

    Thanks @lowtek and @masterneme for the suggestions of simple editors. I downloaded all the ones you mentioned, will try them out and see what works for me.
     
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  8. luniac
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    luniac Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    i use sony movie studio platinum, about 50 bucks and its been great for me.
     
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  9. MMatt
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    MMatt Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Anyone try to editing slow motion video with this program?

    I do a lot of 120fps video and need full 120fps after editing without it becoming choppy.

    I have been licensing adobe premiere, but as I shift away from video creation to selling more products I would like to get away from paying $30/month when I only edit a video once or twice a month.
     
  10. masterneme
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    masterneme Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Oh that's great, did you see any stuff made with Fusion?

    It's amazing to think what it is available right now for anyone for FREE. If you have the skills you can use these tools to make impressive things.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
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  11. Late Bloomer
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    No, I didn't spend any time with Fusion.

    I agree that the range of tools available now is awesome!
     
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  12. Velocke
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    Velocke Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I have an Asus VivoBook E403S. I think the program was a bit of a challenge for it since it's a pretty light-duty laptop, but I didn't really find it difficult. Maybe a little sluggish if there was a lot happening at once.
    I just honestly was impressed by how intuitive it was, at least for my very basic purposes. I figured if I could pick it up so quickly, it was worth sharing with others who may be feeling daunted by the prospect of starting with video projects. :)
     
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  13. Velocke
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    Velocke Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    It really is, haha! The range of options is both encouraging and overwhelming.
     
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  14. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    The world of open source video editing software looks like a mess. Some projects have huge hype from the past that shows up in search engines, but the projects have long since been abandoned by the coders.

    Some projects are still running, but are hostile towards the users, with no tutorial information at all. They have complex interfaces that must have made sense to some code engineer, but not to anybody else.

    Some projects have an interface that makes sense in its own world, but it's weird compared to any other a/v program ever made.

    Some projects do a few things okay but then you hit their limits.

    If this is going to be hard, why not pick a free professionals' program in the first place?
    One that is very obviously under ongoing development by a major company, that sees this software as mission-critical to their business plan.
    A program that has plenty of free tutorials and documentation books available.
    A program with lots of features and an editing-friendly dark user interface by default.

    So after considering Lightworks but not trying it, I signed up for the Davinci Resolve download from Blackmagic Design, and installed it.
     
  15. Late Bloomer
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    Resolve has been far easier to learn and use than I expected. Overall I'm pleased, especially for free. The features missing from the free version are things I don't need now. If I do need them, I'll buy the bigger version of the program. Giving away the free version to make an industry standard at the entry level, with enough free features to do real work, is brilliant. Thanks Blackmagic Design!

    I put in my email, phone number, and city. They haven't yet called or written to invite me to a local demo workshop, with free snacks and an 80 channel console as a door prize.

    It would be nice if the "checking your system" piece was a small little program you could run first, rather than the full gigabyte. Fortunately my system got the green check marks. I'm using a 2012 era entry level Macbook Pro, upgraded to 8 GB RAM and an SSD, without a special graphics chip.

    The program works on this machine, but it's not ideal. The user interface was designed for bigger screens, preferably multiple monitors. I have to scroll around a lot for basic tasks. On the audio page, the preview window is small (about 2 by 3 inches), and there's only room for a few tracks and a few faders to be visible if the mixer is open. To automate an audio fader, I have to click Record then come down from the top, because if I click Record then come up from the bottom the mouse will stick on the horizontal scroll bar for the mixer, rather than letting me vertically grab the fader I want to ride.

    The program repeatedly crashes in two ways. Sometimes it just disappears instantly. Whatever media was playing stops playing. I can immediately run it again, but have lots everything since the last save. Sometimes the program window instantly goes full black, with audio continuing to play. I can use the keyboard commands to Save and Quit, then immediately reload the program, reload my project, and find my place again with about a minute lost.

    There's an autosave feature I turned on to save every few minutes, and I hit command-S for Save after each tricky step, so I don't lose much work. The program always reloads within half a minute. I'm willing to assume this is a problem with insufficient RAM or GPU on my machine. If it crashed several times per hour for everyone, there would be a lot of screaming about this on the support forum and on third party sites, but I don't see any.

    The program is obviously several different programs that got smashed together into a single application. Each page works consistently in its own way, but many things are inconsistent between pages.

    For example, the Edit page has a razor blade tool to slice clips apart into multiple clips, and so does the Fairlight Audio page. But the tools work differently on these two pages. On Edit, you select the track, position the scroller, click the razor blade tool, then move to click within the clip to divide it. On Fairlight Audio, you select the track, position the scroller, click the razor blade tool, and that click itself divides the clip, which is more convenient.

    My guess is that having put all these programs from different companies inside a single application, the company will next probably put some attention on making things work consistently. Perhaps they'll give us two different razor tools such as Divide At Current Cursor vs. Locate Then Divide. Or they might make each page's razor tool work the same way, with a Control-Click choosing the other way to work.

    It is nice that all of these features are in the one program. I like this better than a suite where you constantly have to export and import your projects, or where it's slow and clunky to link or embed from one program to another.

    There are already some things that are totally consistent, like the horizontal zoom slider, and the easy on the eyes dark gray theme. That's nice. I hope that consistency will grow with future versions.

    It's easy to preview and import audio and video footage, then to drop it onto the timeline, slice out and delete the parts I don't want, and put the new parts into a continuous sequence. On the Fairlight Audio page, it's easy to make a track large to see the waveforms, then make the track small when I'm done editing it.

    Each individual feature obviously had some attention from someone who wanted to make the user interface consistent throughout that page. That's nice.

    I can think of a lot of features I've seen elsewhere and would like to see put into Resolve. In Edit, I'd like to see an edit decision list. In Fairlight Audio, I'd like to attach fade ins and outs to clips rather than to time locations on tracks, so if I rearrange clips their fades will stay with them. I'd like to be able to click and drag to vertically reorder tracks, rather than having to use right click/move track up over and over to move the dialogue I'm editing now up to the top. I'd like to be able to hide the Media Pool panel on the left side once I've dropped my clips onto the timeline, so I get more horizontal space to work in. As I think of these things, maybe I'll send a note to the company and see what kind of response I get.

    My projects so far are a few minutes of video, either one continuous clip, or a handful of shots put together with simple cuts. One project added a fixed black bar across the bottom for the entire length of the program, to mask out intrusive subtitles burned into the source footage. Audio is dialogue plus music plus sound effects, around one to two dozen tracks in all. These are all 720P projects. Rendering to Youtube compatible 720P takes anywhere from 4 to 34 frames per second.

    I tried rendering to a more compact format within Resolve. Haven't figured that out yet. Once I have my clips in Youtube compatible format, I use the free open source utility TEncoder to re-encode them to a more compact format, around 3 MB per minute. This makes a short clip small enough to attach to email within Gmail.
     
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  16. Velocke
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    Velocke Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Wow, that's a detailed review haha. Glad you've found it to be useful so far. :)
     
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  17. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Detailed tech reviews might be part of my future business!
     
  18. jmusic
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    jmusic Meep. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Another happy Resolve user here. Works well on my Dell XPS 15 (beast of a laptop though). I shoot drone footage with D-LOG, and right now I'm having trouble figuring out how to apply the same video processing settings to multiple clips.

    I'm actually not hating on Windoze 10 as much as I used to; on my last laptop it kept force restarting to try to install an update (that kept failing too) with NO notice, and happened during working hours despite me telling it not to!!

    This time around has been very stable so far (knock on wood). I even have an Ubuntu console built in without needing a VM for my web development stuff.
     
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