Support from FASE's Education Technology Office

3.1 Select a no-cost software editing tool

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There are many free video editing tools available on the internet; however, most of them either are trial versions or add a watermark to the exported video. Here are our top four recommendations for free video editing software.

If you are willing to spend some money on video editing software or do not plan on doing heavy edits to your videos, consider checking out our article on what video recording and editing software is right for you.

1. DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve has a clean user experience that is good for beginners as well as professionals. It mimics most of the functionality available in the industry-standard tool suite, Adobe Creative Cloud, and has many innovative editing tools. DaVinci Resolve can be downloaded from their official website.  

The free version is more than capable of editing video footage for lectures/tutorials. However, you can also choose to upgrade to "DaVinci Resolve Studio 16" for $299, which includes more editing features.

2. HitFilm Express

HitFilm Express is an all-in-one video editing and visual effects solution similar to Adobe Premiere Pro. The software is free to download from the official fxhome website and can be used for simple video edits seamlessly. Note that some add-on packages might need to be purchased if advanced features are required. 

3. Blender

Blender is a free and open source 3D creation suite that has many advanced video editing, modeling, and animation features. Learning to use Blender is time consuming and not recommended for beginners.   

Blender can be downloaded from the official website. Note that the software requires a significantly powerful computer to run smoothly; to check if your device is capable of running this software, check out the minimum system requirements.

4. OpenShot

OpenShot is a completely free and open-source video editing software, and can be downloaded from their official website. OpenShot can create videos, films, and animations with an easy-to-use interface. The software is also available in more than 70 languages. There is also a screenshot gallery, video tutorials, and a user guide available to help orient users and familiarize them with the interface and the tools available.

Apart from the three free video editing software mentioned above, Techsmith Camtasia and Adobe Premiere Pro have a free one-week trial and is worth investing in if you plan to use the software frequently or for a long time.

DaVinci Resolve  HitFilm Express
Editing capabilities Trim, transform, cut, transitions and effects, subtitles, annotations, noise reduction Trim, transitions and effects, animations, audio manipulation (NOTE: some effects will result in a watermark being added to the video) Cut, splice, trim, transitions and effects, audio manipulation, filters, speed control, video masking Cut, slice, trim, transitions and effects, video masking, animations, audio manipulation, time-mapping and clip speed changes
Free, but can upgrade to "DaVinci Resolve Studio 16" for $299 Free, but must purchase add-on packages if advanced features are required Free Free
Ideal for:
Users with little to no prior video editing experience who want to do in-depth editing (annotations, transitions, animations) Users with little to no prior video editing experience who want to do in-depth editing (annotations, transitions, animations)
Users who would like to use more complicated editing features (animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, motion tracking) completely free of cost Users with little to no prior video editing experience who want to do in-depth editing (annotations, transitions, animations)
Not ideal for:
Computers with no GPU or low RAM Users who need to use functionality from multiple add-ons, as the price can add up quickly Users with little to no prior video editing experience, as this software has a steep learning curve Users who would like to use more complicated editing features such as the one seen in Blender
Set-up effort
Low Low High Low
Difficulty to learn
Low, especially if you have used Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut in the past Medium High Low
Supported file formats
Quicktime, AVCHD, AVI, M2T, M2TS, MOV, MP4 (AVC/H264 & AAC), MPEG-1 & MPEG-2 (TS, PS, MPE, MPG, MPEG, M2V), MTS, MXF (DVCPro HD), DV, HDV, WMV
Quicktime, MPEG-1 & MPEG-2, AVI, Flash, WAV Most video and audio formats, based on the FFMPEG library
Exported file formats MP4, MOV, Quicktime
MP4, MOV, Quicktime
AVI JPEG, AVI Raw, FFMPEG video Most video and audio formats, based on the FFMPEG library
Compatible platforms
Windows, MacOS, Linux Windows, MacOS Windows, MacOS, Linux Windows, MacOS, Linux
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