The best free video editing tools

Did you shoot some video clips with your digital camera or your smartphone/tablet? Then you can easily edit them to show them to the world (or a select group) in a fun way. Remove certain fragments, provide your videos with a text message or subtitles or apply filters or effects to them. We tell you which free tools you should have for video editing.

Tip 01: Video Editors

There are of course many editors that allow you to compose your own videos based on existing clips and photos, including animated transitions and effects. Well-known commercial tools include Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, Pinnacle Studio, Corel VideoStudio, and Magix Movie Edit Pro. Such packages are often very expensive. Fortunately, there are also video editors that don't cost you anything, such as Shotcut, OpenShot, Lightworks and DaVinci Resolve. If you are looking for solutions with a less steep learning curve, you can turn to VSDC Free Video Editor or VideoPad Video Editor, among others. Until recently there was also Windows Movie Maker, but unfortunately Microsoft has pulled the plug on this tool. You can still find the program online here and there, but beware: there are also sites that try to extort money for this software. If you absolutely want to install it on your PC, first check the download carefully for potential malware (for example with www.virustotal.com).

Anyway, in this article we largely ignore these all-rounders and focus on user-friendly programs that focus on a few specific features.

Tip 02: Photo video

If you have a series of photos that you don't want to just present in the form of a regular slideshow, you can use the Photos app, available for free in the Microsoft Store. With this program you can put together a photo film with music with a few mouse clicks. Start the app, press the button To make and click Automatic video with music. click on folders to add additional photo folders to your collection if necessary. Then click on Collection and select all the desired photos – it is also possible to include video clips in your selection. When you're done with this, press in the top right To make. Give your video a name and confirm with OK. The app will start working and after a while your video will be ready. If you don't like the result, press the blue button above one or more times Have a remix made. Are you satisfied click on Export or share and choose one of the three available quality options. In all cases, the result is an mp4 file.

If you don't like the result, have a new remix made quickly

Tip 03: Photo Video Effects

Do you want more control over your photo film, for example over the style or the order of your images? Which can. when you're on Video editing click, appears at the bottom of your video's storyboard. You can simply move items here by dragging them with the mouse. At the top of this storyboard you will find several options, including Filters, Text, Movement and 3D Effects.

With the option Filters you can apply an effect to a selected photo or video clip, for example sepia colors a classic look or black and white. Confirm with Ready to apply an effect. Logically you can with Text put a title on your selection. You can choose from nine styles and six layouts, such as Big title, above and Right. With the option Movement you add a Ken Burns-like effect: you then look at your photo through a moving or zooming camera lens, which suggests a movement effect. 3D Effects gives you access to a whole bunch of gimmicks, often allowing you to set both size and angle of rotation. This concerns effects such as a shower of sparks, rose petals, a laser beam, smoke and so on.

To set the sound level of a clip individually, right-click it and choose Volume.

Tip 04: Cut

The Photos app also allows you to trim video clips to remove excess video clips, but that doesn't work ideally. The free open source program Vidcutter is specifically intended for better cutting work. The tool also makes it very easy to merge the cut fragments into a new video.

Once you have installed and started the tool, you will Open Media the desired video. If you can't see the video in the preview window, click the gear icon at the bottom right, open the section Video and uncheck Hardware decoding. Here you will also find the section General to: when you're here Enable SmartCut , VidCutter will trim your video down to a keyframe (although VidCutter operates a little slower in this mode).

Cutting a clip is no harder than the button Startclip at the beginning of the clip and the End clip at the end. The clip now appears in the right panel. You can add other fragments in the same way. The added fragments can be moved with a simple dragging movement. To cast these clips into a separate video, click Save media and give the new mp4 video a suitable name and location.

Tip 05: Invert & Rotate

It happens that a video is upside down or sideways. This especially happens when the camera is rotated during filming. Or that it is mirrored (for example because it was filmed with the front camera of a telephone). With the tool Free Video Flip and Rotate you can arrange that quickly. After you have started the tool, you first download a video file, which is also possible by simply dragging your video to the program window. You will see a preview window and you can also play the video here. At the bottom of the screen you see the buttons to rotate the video (90 degrees to the left or right or right 180 degrees) and mirror (vertically, horizontally or both). Each action can also be performed with a hotkey. You can see the result immediately in the right panel. However, before pressing the Save button to save this, first select the desired video format: avi, gif, mkv or mp4. Unfortunately, keeping the original format is only possible in the Premium version.

Tip 06: Thumbnails

You have a number of videos and you would like a few screenshots of each video, for example so that you can quickly see what is happening in the video. Rather than taking those screenshots piece by piece with some screenshot tool, you do this job automatically! You can with AMT Auto Movie Thumbnailer. It analyzes all the videos in a certain folder and automatically creates a page with thumbnail images of the keyframes from those videos. For each video, those thumbnails are saved in a separate image file.

Basically you don't have to do more than the button Input and highlight the desired folder(s) containing your videos. Leave the check mark Recursive Search if you also want to include subfolders. Then press the button Start Processing in: the result may take a while, but already provides a nice series of thumbnails for each video in one jpg file.

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