Video editing software can be divided into two basic categories – closed-source and open-source. Closed source is the normal video editor that offers all the basic functionalities like cropping, rendering speed, adding a soundtrack, etc. An open-source video editor tends to have a bit more of a professional touch than what you’d find in a closed-source one.
Open-source video editing software contains source code that enables you to customize the program to your needs. So, anyone with a bit of coding knowledge and video editing experience is going to likely prefer the use of an open-source video editor.
Video editing is one industry that has undergone a lot of evolution in the last few years. The ability to perform simple tasks like cropping a video or adding a background soundtrack is far easier than it used to be. No longer do we have to run to video editing shops or seek the help of professional editors to get things done. We can do it all ourselves in the comfort of our very own homes.
There are loads of options out there to choose from when it comes to video editing software. The real obstacle is finding the right software for your needs. Downloading an inferior option will only lead to frustration and a poor finished product. This only illuminates the need for you to pick the right one the first time.
The Best Open Source Video Editing Applications
So which option is the best option? That answer depends on the kind of video editing you’re attempting to accomplish. Do you need a green screen or picture-in-picture feature? If you’re a YouTuber, this is most likely a loud “yes!”
What about the ability to share the finished product directly to social media once it’s complete? What about certain smart features like varying editing modes or smart clipping?
These are the things you’ll need to ask yourself when deciding on a video editing software to use. The below entries in this list attempt to cover all of the bases for what you’ll need in most situations to simplify the tasks necessary in producing a more professional product.
Quite possibly the oldest film editor tool on the market, Lightworks is an Emmy award-winning open-source video editor. It supports resolutions of up to 4000, both SD and HD formats, and is compatible with all major operating systems such as Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.
It’s an incredible tool that enables you to create professional edited, high-quality videos for free. Lightworks is incredibly fast, offering editors Hollywood level detailing for their video projects which you can share with other members who use the app.
The interface is a bit different from most free editors out there but it’s customizable and allows you to rearrange the various controls and windows to suit what works best for you.
There is a paid version of Lightworks – Lightworks Pro – that is offered for a more premium video editing experience. The free version gives you all the rudimentary things that you may want, and there’s a Red Hat Package Manager file (RPM) or Linux Debian (.deb) download available.
The Pro version provides the ability to export in formats other than MPEG, publish 4K video directly to YouTube, and export 3D videos. Truth be told, you can find everything you’re likely to need in the free version. If, after giving the free version a spin, you want to upgrade, it’s there when you need it.
Overall, Lightworks is easy to use, provides true and real-time collaboration through project sharing for groups, and amazingly optimized speed that will have you making Hollywood blockbusters in no time.
One of the best free video editing software currently available has to be Blender. This is a 3D graphics tool for creating animated movies, 3D applications, video games, and visual effects. The program offers features such as 3D modeling, rigging, texturing, smoke simulation, fluid, animation, rendering, skinning, and video editing.
Blender is an open-source program that offers more than what typical video editors do. It is a full-blown 3D animation tool that allows for rendering, modeling, and motion tracking, among other activities. The video editing side offers many features such as transitions, filters, speed control, adjustment layers and much more.
The 32 slots availed for adding audio clips, video clips, effects, and images help you to produce a video that is incredibly complex.
For the beginner video editor, all the available functionality that seems overwhelming at first can become familiar. It will take some time to learn all of the ins and outs of Blender. As a beginner, it would be best to find a few tutorials on YouTube to help speed things along and get you on the path to becoming a serious video editor.
The bottom line, if you would like to produce a professional quality video and avoid dealing with watermarks, consider using Blender as it’s one of the best solutions for creating and editing videos.
DaVinci Resolve 16
DaVinci Resolve 16 is a professional grade level video editing app that’s incredibly powerful and free to use for anyone who wants to take it for a spin. All of the standard basic features such as creating a project, joining clips together, trimming, adding a soundtrack, and even using color looks for mood and tone are rather easy to use.
This is even true for video editing beginners because of the app’s classic interface. Anything beyond the basics, though, and you’ll want to consult the manual.
Editors who fall somewhere in between amateur and pro will find that DaVinci Resolve offers plenty of rewards to those willing to invest time learning how it works. You will need a pretty powerful rig if you expect to use it, however. Powerful apps need a machine that can handle what something like DaVinci Resolve 16 has to offer.
If your ambitions are tempered, and all you really need video editing software for is some casual video editing to share with family and friends on Facebook or YouTube, you might be better off with a more consumer-oriented app. But if you plan on sticking it out as a potential art and filmmaker, you will not be disappointed in the least with this product.