The video editing software market is saturated, so if you’re looking for a program to process a piece of video – you’ll find plenty. And it doesn’t matter whether you have a decent amount of experience or you just decided to try video editing for the first time, there are dozens of tools available for any level. So, when you start searching, the challenge is not to find a tool but to choose the one that will meet your requirements.
On the one hand, there are professional solutions and the industry leaders like Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas coming with a high price tag. On the other hand, there is a large number of free or partially free software coming with serious feature limitations and watermarks at the export. So, what if you want a free tool that is capable of professional-level editing and does not have a lot of limitations? Well, this is where VSDC video editor steps into play.
VSDC has been named among the best free video editing programs by various blogs, and even GoPro recommends using it for processing footage shot on action cameras (since the company stopped supporting their own video editor in 2017).
Today, we are going to review the free version of VSDC Free Video Editor. And if you think this is something you’d like to use in the long-term, there is also a Pro version packed with advanced features – such as masking, audio waveform, and multicolor Chroma Key. Although paid, even the Pro version of VSDC is priced much more affordable than any competitor. You can get an annual license for $19.99 only.
Features Of VSDC Free Video Editor
Let’s start with a quick overview of VSDC features making it stand out among the competitors.
Supports All Major and Minor Formats
If you are worried that the video editor might not support the format of the videos your device produces, you should know that VSDC is compatible with all the video formats and codecs you can think of. Here are just some of them:
You can also work with HD and 4K videos, that’s especially relevant if you’re using an action camera or just prefer high-quality videos.
Another feature that most people will absolutely love is that VSDC offers a number of exporting presets for multiple purposes. For example, there are different presets for saving videos based on where you’re going to publish it – on social media, on a YouTube channel, or it will be stored in your PC video archive. In each preset, you can change video quality, framerate, width, height and the format of the video. You also get pre-configured profiles for various devices, whether the movie will be watched on an iPhone or an Xbox.
Advanced Video Effects
VSDC boasts a large number of effects including such demanded ones as picture-in-picture (or video-in-video), split screen (and video side-by-side), Chroma Key (green screen removal), motion blur filter, and color correction tools.
Precise Video Cutting
Cutting is the most often-used feature in any video editor. VSDC makes cutting fast and intuitive, and for higher accuracy, you can either zoom in the timeline or use a separate pop-up window and a set of markers to select a fragment with a precision up to a second.
Playback Speed Settings
Some video records, especially those with a very fast action captured, are better watched when slowed down. And on the contrary, the videos picturing long-lasting routine events, look great when you speed them up. VSDC allows you to easily increase and decrease playback speed, so you could apply a slow-motion or a timelapse effect with a custom pace.
How to Use VSDC Free Video Editor
Now that you’ve got a better picture of what VSDC is about, let’s take a walkthrough and see how the software works, and how you can edit your footage from scratch.
So, let’s not waste more time and have a look.
Step 1: The first step is to download the video editor. You can get the free version from here: http://www.videosoftdev.com/free-video-editor/download.
Step 2: Once you have downloaded the software, simply go ahead and install it on your Windows-based computer. The file size is less than 50Mb and the system requirements are lower than for most similar programs. So even if your PC doesn’t have much memory and runs on Windows 7, VSDC should work well for you.
Step 3: Once the software is launched, you will be brought to this neat home screen where the key features are lined up.
Step 4: For this tutorial, we are going to open a PUBG video that I captured a few weeks ago. To start, simply click on “Import Content” and choose a file on your computer you wanted to work with.
Step 5: Once you are done selecting the video file, a new window will pop up where you will have to set the parameters for the project you are creating. By default, VSDC will leave the original resolution, framerate, video width and height. But if you need to change any of these parameters, you can do it at this step. You’ll be able to do it during the export stage as well.
Step 6: The next step is to simply click on the “Finish” button, and you will be taken to the working area as illustrated below. As you can see, there is a timeline capable of holding multiple video and audio tracks (for non-linear video editing), a detailed dashboard, and a workspace where you can preview the fragment you’re working with.
Step 7: For editing purposes, most of the tools you need are located on the upper menu ribbon. For example, the Cutting and Splitting section allows you to trim the footage, crop or rotate it. It also contains opacity setup, flipping tools, snapshot creation tool and a voice-over feature.
Transition effects, along with dozens of others are accessible in the Video effects tab. And if you need to add another video, image, or an audio file to your clip – use the Add object button. The same tab has an option to add text objects and subtitles. And if you need to correct the video style and color tone, use the library of quick Instagram-like filters.
Overall, the interface may be slightly confusing at the beginning, but after you pass the learning curve, you’ll be able to handle video editing easily.
Step 8: Once you are done making changes to your video, export it using the Export project tab. You’ll be taken to a new window with video export settings. As it’s been mentioned, there is a number of export profiles you can choose from – depending on what you’re going to use the movie for. And on top of that, you can adjust framerate, format, codec, quality, and video width/height.
I will be honest with you here, I have tested numerous video processing programs, and there are a few decent solutions out there. However, every now and then, there is an update to many freeware tools that breaks the experience – often unexpected. The best thing about VSDC video editor is that not only that it is completely free, but also the additional built-in tools it comes with: a video capture tool, a screen capture tools, a YouTube uploader, and an audio grabber.
And if you are like me, starting to process videos as a student without enough money to buy a professional suite, VSDC will be perfect for you.
Its interface is easy to understand, the feature-set is rich, and there are no watermarks placed on the videos after export. The free version is great as it is, and if you like the experience just like I did, you may want to upgrade to the Pro version and it’s powerful enough to become your daily video editing software choice.
- The free version is loaded with features.
- A large number of video effects including PiP and Chroma Key.No watermarks, no format limitations, no trial periods.
- Contains additional tools, such as screen grabber, video and audio capture tool, and YouTube uploader.
- A steep learning curve for those who never worked with non-linear video editors before.