Every Vlogstar must start with the essentials. Your phone will always be that vital tool to capture great footage and upload it instantly.
Beyond that, you might want to get more creative in post production, and though there are some great mobile apps you can use, they can be very limiting. If you’re looking to get the most out of the footage you’ve filmed, using a video editing software is a must.
This guide will give a good understanding of what programs you can access on your laptop or desktop, and help you choose one more specific to your needs!
We’re going to split this list into affordability and difficult so you can go straight to the program which best suits you!
So let’s start with the free stuff!
Movie Maker (Windows) and iMovie (Mac).
These are as simple as it gets for an introduction to desktop editing. They both have an easy to use interface, use very little computer memory and includes a bunch of basic effects and transitions. They both even export video with very decent settings, with Movie Maker exporting up to 1080p (full HD) and iMovie exporting to 4K (Ultra HD). Just be mindful about the quality of video you’re importing (they might struggle with anything more than standard iphone HD) and it’s obvious limitations such as multiple editing tracks and more complex effects.
VideoPad, VSDC Free Video Editor and HitFilm Express (all platforms).
This is when it starts to get impressive. Considering worse editing programs are on the market for £50+, these three offer so much you’ll be amazed. You’ll be expected to have some basic understanding of video editing before using these as they fill the interface with a lot of information and options, but for that you get multiple tracks, fully interactive timelines, importing functions for objects and layers, colour grading and audio editing. Videopad is probably the simplest of the three so opt for that if these interfaces make you a little nervous!
Lightworks and DaVinci Resolve (all platforms).
If you now feel comfortable with basic editing and timelines, it’s time to look at the professional grade. What really takes editing up a notch is that basic functionality alongside advanced video effects and colour grading - and these two programs really offer that. In fact, they both are programs which are still regularly used for high-end productions.
Resolve was initially designed as a colour grader, and it here where it really shines. You get the raw-esque adjustments, curves, colour wheels, scopes, nodes and the ability to key-frame any colour changes. Naturally, the better quality of video you have the better these effects function (raw video editing here is phenomenal).
Video effects in Lightroom are probably the best you will ever find for a free version, allowing you to tweak every aspect of your clips to the smallest detail. It also has some outstanding features such as multi-cam editing, advance title effects and powerful timeline trimming. The major drawback with the free version is the export settings are limited to 720p which might be a problem for some Youtubers.
Softwares that come at a cost!
Though it might seem silly to pay for editing programs when there are so many excellent free choices out there, be aware that they all have limitations, such as export settings, limited video tracks or simplified effects. For the standard Youtuber this might not be an issue, but if you’re looking for top of the line effects or looking to get into video editing as a career, you might have to pay a little for them.
Sony Vegas Pro and HitFilm Pro (all platforms).
Advanced animation and key framing, particle simulations and effortless editing, these are straight forward but professional programs which will let you preform on the highest level, and for a reasonable price of around £200 each.
Final Cut Pro (Mac), Premier Pro and After Effects (all platforms).
These are your most advanced and powerful editing tools. In regards to timeline editing though, there is nothing too new here, but the video and audio effects are certainly not for beginners. A career in editing will expect full knowledge of either if not both suites, so if that’s where you want to end up it’s a good idea to make one of Premier or Final Cut your standard editing choice. After Effects offers something completely different, with advanced Chroma key cutting, text animation, visual effects, camera tracking and motion tracking included, all of which have become a standard part of professional editing.
There you have it! Remember you can use a variety of programs to get the finished look you want, you don't need to install just the one! So play around with the software and incorporate a few of them into your workflow. Don't forget that there are many tutorials online for all these programs if you're struggling!
Let's us know if there is any other software you use which you would recommend to other vloggers too.