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Thread: Free or super cheap video editing software?

  1. #1
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    Free or super cheap video editing software?

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    I didn't actually UTFSF, but I looked back four pages on this board and saw nothing.

    I'm looking for a video editing/compositing/mixing program that's maybe a step or two up from what I'm using. The best I've found so far for what I'm trying to do is NCH Prism. It does what Windows MovieMaker does a bit better, but not a whole lot more. Not that I need much more, but...

    What I really want is a good way to "mix" or overlay two or more videos (and/or still images) with the option to use different merge modes. Don't know if "merge mode" is the standard term for it, in Photopaint it tells how to treat overlapping objects and has options like Add, Subtract, Difference, If Lighter, etc...

    The ability to zoom and pan each layer separately would be nice, and keyframing would make this even better.

    And I want support for both importing and exporting a fairly wide variety of file types. HQ Youtube ready output is a must!

    I don't know. Right now my needs are fairly modest. I've lusted for Adobe After Effects since the mid '90s, but I don't think I have a machine even now which could run it well, and I definitely can't justify that kind of expense. Hell, I can't really justify any expense! If there was something that does those things mentioned above well for $100 or less I might splurge a bit, but it would really have to be noticeably better than what I'm using.


    Edit - Guess I should mention that I'm running XP 32 bit

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    You should be looking at Sony Vegas.

    Try this link:
    Amazon.com: Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 Production Suite [Old Version]: Software

    You might find an even cheaper version, but this one does a lot!!!

    Edit: Just reread your post. This version won't do the masking edits which is what I think you are looking for. You need to spend $600 for the full version to get masking capabilities. It does everything else and if you're creative, you might find a way to accomplish what you want.

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    Thanks. I had actually looked at that package. I'll probably grab the demo when I get a chance. OTOH I just found out that the Adobe CS2 suite is available for free now, so I might go grab Premier and/or AfterEffects and see how they work out.

    It's funny, I've never had any luck with the "big boy" video packages - Premier, Vegas, etc... They hang up and crash and are just generally unusable. The cheap/free "consumer level" stuff has always been more stable for me. Can't explain it, and there are likely other factors involved, but this has been my experience so far.

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    I've experienced the reverse. Moviemaker seems to crash and burn at random, whereas Vegas has been extremely stable.

    I can't get my head around Adobe products: their workflows don't seem to match how my brain likes to think about things.

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    I suppose it's possible that when I have tried the more full featured applications I actually tried to use those features, and ended up pushing the machine significantly harder than I would with a simpler program. Really the only problem I've ever had with WMM (aside from the severe limitations) was when some other application decided to install an older version of DirectX. Neither WMM nor VideoPad would work, and it's a bunch of tucking around to get it fixed.

    One of these days I'll actually get time to play with some of these things and see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
    I suppose it's possible that when I have tried the more full featured applications I actually tried to use those features, and ended up pushing the machine significantly harder than I would with a simpler program. Really the only problem I've ever had with WMM (aside from the severe limitations) was when some other application decided to install an older version of DirectX. Neither WMM nor VideoPad would work, and it's a bunch of tucking around to get it fixed.

    One of these days I'll actually get time to play with some of these things and see.
    Video editors are so much like DAWs. They lock up if overloaded. And of course, video is way more power hungry than audio.

    A couple things to try that might ease the load is to not run all the process plugs until you are ready to render (mixdown in audio terms). Also, you can render small clips with all the effects running and import it back into your main project (akin to freezing a track).

    Color correction, like reverb, is very cpu intensive.

    Is adobe CS2 really free? The adobe website is a little confusing and all the blogs contradict each other dependiing on when they were written. I downloaded after effects and it seems to work on my win7 computer. Evaluation purposesnonly, mind you. It doesn't do .mts files, but if I can learn it, then i will eventually spring fornthe full version. Unless, of course, cs2 is truly free.

    GZ what do you think?

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    Well, they are available for download with working serials. The page does say that it is intended for folks who have already purchased the product...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chili View Post
    GZ what do you think?
    I don't really think anything.

    I recal having a go at a variety of video editing packages as I was getting in to it. I ended up settling for Vegas, which matches my level of expertise. SO I am content with it. The added bonus is that its workflow is similar to Reaper's.

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    To the OP. I also am just getting into vidding. Sony movie Studio has a few more bells and whistles, but the easiest pro I repeat pro editor I found is Corel Videostudio formerly refered to as Ulead Videostudio. You can find past versions of either one online for less than 30 dollars. The latest versions only cost about 80 bucks. I found Videostudio pro x3 for 22 dollars and it even came bundled with 2 Corel graphics apps.

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