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Freeware/open source VIdeo Editors


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#1 Keith Walters

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 06:28 AM

I'm compiling a list of Free Video Editors for some students.
I wonder if some of you can suggest any software you have found useful.
They basically have to be free, and for PC format only.

For general editing I've found Videopad is pretty good.

I'm also a great fan of Avidemux. Although it is cranky, unreliable, doesn't do all that much, and appears to still be a work in progress,
what it does do superbly is allow you to extract MPEG data streams out of digital TV broadcasts and DVD VOB files, without re-encoding, and is blazingly fast.
With the right burning software you can make un-transcoded DVDs of broadcasted commercials, and extract top quality video from DVDs for showreels.
However it's such a pain in the arse to use, I'd be keen to hear about alternative software that can do the same thing.
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 06:36 AM

cranky, unreliable, doesn't do all that much, and appears to still be a work in progress



Welcome to free software.

On the other hand, the Lightworks beta is still free.
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 07:47 AM

Lightworks is no longer beta, but there is a free version. You may need to do some transcoding, but there's 3rd party free software that people are successfully using for this purpose. The pro version has a broader range of codecs available. http://www.lwks.com/...d=45&Itemid=184

A number of people seem to be using or planning to use Lightworks with their students. It's not cutting and pasting, but it has a simple logic of its own.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 08:48 AM

Oh, yeah, s'what I meant.
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#5 Keith Walters

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 08:29 PM

Lightworks is no longer beta, but there is a free version. You may need to do some transcoding, but there's 3rd party free software that people are successfully using for this purpose. The pro version has a broader range of codecs available. http://www.lwks.com/...d=45&Itemid=184

A number of people seem to be using or planning to use Lightworks with their students. It's not cutting and pasting, but it has a simple logic of its own.

I just tried for the second time to set up an account with Lightworks. I can't remember exactly what happened the last time, but this time it let me enter my details and sent an account activation email, which seemed to be accepted. However, when I try to log in, I get a white-screen-of-death with "Invalid Token" in tiny writing in the corner.

Maybe it's because I'm not using Internet Exploder.

Anyway, seeing as people seem to be recommending it, I'll give it another go. I might even lash out for the paid version, for myself anyway.
By the way, does it still digest latest generation R3D files? I have never succeeded in transcoding an R3D file, even with Red's own software! The fact that the user interface looks like a deranged version of the Reduser site doesn't help.
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#6 Keith Walters

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 08:49 PM

Welcome to free software.

True, but once you figure out enough workarounds, it's amazing what you can sometimes do.
Most free or "consumer" editing software takes the coward's way out and decodes everything to 4:2:2 video and then re-encode for the output.
Avidemux on the other hand doesn't actually allow frame-accurate cuts for MPEG2, you can only edit in GOP format. That restricts you to 1/2 second increments, but it means that the final render is more or less a straight copy, at around 600fps or more.
It also doesn't set the sound/sync timing automatically with TV Transport stream files, you have to set that manually, by trial and error!
Fortunately, it lets you abort the conversion early so you can just make a short file and check the timing.
While all this sounds frightfully tedious, the main advantage is the blazingly fast editing speed (cuts only), and the fact that with TV transmissions for example, the final MPEG file is identical to what was broadcast. Same with VOB files from a DVD.

Freemake is a pretty good DVD maker, it's only vice is that it transcodes all files, even if the DVD is only going to be 15 minutes long!
The version of Power Producer that came with my Blu Ray drive, has enough intelligence to use the MPEG files directly where possible, and it turns the final DVD out in no time and in the same quality as the original source material (Although the Menu Screens are pretty nauseating) :rolleyes:. However if the files are too big for a single DVD, it re-encodes them, and then the results are terrible! Freemake does a much better job in that case.

Freemake's only real vice is that it insists on putting www.freemake.com on the menu screen :rolleyes:
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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 02:35 AM

I just tried for the second time to set up an account with Lightworks. I can't remember exactly what happened the last time, but this time it let me enter my details and sent an account activation email, which seemed to be accepted. However, when I try to log in, I get a white-screen-of-death with "Invalid Token" in tiny writing in the corner.

Maybe it's because I'm not using Internet Exploder.

Anyway, seeing as people seem to be recommending it, I'll give it another go. I might even lash out for the paid version, for myself anyway.
By the way, does it still digest latest generation R3D files? I have never succeeded in transcoding an R3D file, even with Red's own software! The fact that the user interface looks like a deranged version of the Reduser site doesn't help.


I've got Firefox, so the browser shouldn't be an issue. Some people have had problems with activating Lightworks, it seemed to depend on the combination of software on their machines. However, that issue seems to be much reduced with the latest build. When installing I had to hand type my activation code, although I gather that was because you needed to be careful of copying the empty spaces when copying and pasting it - I believe this issue has been solved.

You get used to the interface, it's very flexible (you can set it up how you want) and you notice when going back to to other NLEs how cluttered and rigid they look. It's best not to try using it exactly like you would the other NLE's you've used, although there are similarities.

I haven't heard of any problems with R3D files, the main issues currently seem to be centred around the performance while natively editing h264 (they're working in this) and items listed in the known issues list. However, some users also want to use less standard codecs. The 64bit beta version is due out shortly and this may solve some of these issues.

An upside is that their forum is very friendly and hasn't the signal to noise ratio of REDUser. The downside is that training books and tutorials are in the process of being written for the latest builds, however, there are the first 10 new tutorial videos made by Lightworks and older videos made by users for the old beta.
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#8 Keith Walters

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 03:44 AM

Hmmm, I went back to the site just now and it remembered who I am and everything, so maybe it was just a temporary site problem. I haven't got time to download it now, so Ill have another go tomorrow. They've sent an activation code to my email address at any rate.
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Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

The Slider