Video Editing & Creative Software 2021

LandyVlad

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Video Editing & Creative Software 2021​

Context

‘Back in the day’ when people were looking for a professional, feature-rich video editing solution there was really only one answer on everyone’s lips “Adobe Premiere”. Fortunately since then things have changed for the better. There are a lot of players in the market offering high quality software at reasonable prices or in some cases for free. Free doesn’t always mean worse or with fewer features. I've highlighted the free ones in red below so they are easy to find.

Adobe still has excellent offerings, undoubtedly, but their move to a subscription-only model (where previously they offered one-time purchase options) left a lot of us out in the cold. Particularly people like myself who only edit occasionally, and don’t earn money from it. The Adobe model is just way too expensive for me to justify.

I’ve produced a list of many of the Video editing software options – showing the Adobe product and various alternatives.
I’ve also included other relevant creative software from Adobe and some replacements – audio editing, photo editing, vector graphics and so on.

Choosing your software.

First know that choosing one video editing program over another will not automatically make you a better editor. Video editing is a process, a skill to be learned - that's on you irrespective of the software involved.

Everybody's use case is different. You need to decide whether you want
  • a basic, quick to learn editor with limited features, or
  • an advanced editor with immense capabilities but a steeper learning curve, or
  • something in between.
There is actually no wrong answer, so while a choice may seem daunting there's no need to get overwhelmed.
(After all, if you ultimately don't like what you chose you can change).

Have a quick look at what they can do, choose one and start learning how to use it.
YouTube is your friend here with PLENTY of tutorials out there for the popular programs, and most will also have tutorials and manuals on their websites.

I suggest that you start with one of the free options, and build from there.

The following is not a complete list, but covers the bulk of the popular options.


VIDEO EDITING

Adobe Premiere Pro
Site: https://www.adobe.com/products/premiere.html
Price: Part of creative cloud, subscription model, price varies. From USD $21/month
Platform: Windows, Mac

BlackMagic DaVinci Resolve 17
Site: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/
Price: Free (fully featured - Video editing, motion graphics, audio editing, colour grading)
Studio version USD $295 (adds extremely advanced features like stereoscopic 3d and surround sound etc)
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Forum: https://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewforum.php?f=21

Wondershare Filmora
Annual Plan USD $62 / year
Perpetual Plan USD $90 (one-off)
Free trial available (watermarked)
Platforms: Windows, Mac

Pinnacle Studio 25
Site: https://www.pinnaclesys.com/en/
Price: 3 feature tiers. From AUD$86, One-time purchase
Platform: Windows only
Forum: http://forums.pinnaclesys.com/forums/default.aspx

Vegas (Vegas Pro 19)
Site: https://www.vegascreativesoftware.com/us/vegas-pro/
Vegas has moved to a subscription model for their software, but does offer a perpetual licence option (at the moment) .
Vegas Edit 365 $13 / month (perpetual license $250).
Vegas Pro 365 $20 / month (perpetual license $400).
Vegas Post 365 $20 / month (perpetual license $600).
Free trial available
Platform: (Windows only)
Forum: https://www.vegascreativesoftware.info/us/vegas-pro-forum/

MAGIX Video Pro X
Site: https://www.magix.com/us/video-editor/video-pro-x
Price: Currently USD$249 (RRP USD$399).
Free Trial available.
Platform: Windows only
Forum: https://www.magix.info/us/

MAGIX Movie Edit Pro
Subscriptions from USD $2.99/month

Cyberlink PowerDirector
Site: https://www.cyberlink.com/products/powerdirector-video-editing-software
Price: Various feature tiers.
Power Director 19 Ultra $99
Power Director 365 subscriptions from $4.33 per month
or included in Director Suite 365 from $8.08 per month
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Forum: https://forum.cyberlink.com/forum/forums/list/ENU.page

FXhome Hitfilm Express
Site: https://fxhome.com/hitfilm-express
Price: Free.
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Forum: https://community.fxhome.com/

FXhome Hitfilm Pro 14
Site: https://fxhome.com/hitfilm-pro
Price: USD$349 (various bundles are available)
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Forum: https://community.fxhome.com/

OpenShot Video Editor
Site: https://www.openshot.org/
Price: Free
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

VSDC
Site: http://www.videosoftdev.com/
A basic video and audio editor.
Price: Free. (A pro version is available for $20 (RRP $50)

Ashampoo Movie Studio Pro 2
Site: https://www.ashampoo.com/en/usd/pin/0482/multimedia-software/movie-studio-pro-2
Price: USD$31
Platform: Windows only

Movavi Video Editor Plus 2021
Price: AUD $60 (Lifetime)
Platform: Windows, Mac
Video Suite also available for AUD$90 (lifetime) which includes screen recorder and media files conversion.


COLOUR GRADING

Cyberlink ColorDirector
Site: https://www.cyberlink.com/products/colordirector/features_en_US.html
Price: Various feature tiers.
Color Director 9 Ultra $97 (one off)
or included in Director Suite 365 from $8.08 per month
Platforms: Windows, Mac


PHOTO EDITING

Adobe Photoshop
Site: https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop.html
Price: Part of creative cloud, subscription model, price varies. From USD $10/month
Platform: Windows, Mac

Affinity Photo
Site: https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/photo/
Price: Windows and Mac versions AU$80, IPAD version AUD $31
Platforms: Windows, Mac and iPad

Gimp
Site https://www.gimp.org/
Price: Free
Platforms: Windows only

Cyberlink Photodirector 365
Site: https://www.cyberlink.com/products/photodirector-photo-editing-software-365/overview_en_US.html
Photo Director 12 Ultra $75 (one off)
Photo Director 365 subscriptions from $3.17 per month
or included in Director Suite 365 from $8.08 per month
Platforms: Windows, Mac

---

Remove Image Background
URL: https://www.remove.bg/
Price: Free
Platform: Web browser.
To remove the background from a jpg, gif, etc and convert to a transparent background PNG file.
It's surprisingly, but not universally effective. It relies on good contrast between the object and the background, so great for sky removal.


VIDEO CAPTURE & LIVE STREAMING

OBS Studio
Site: https://obsproject.com/
Price: Free
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Forum: https://obsproject.com/forum/


AUDIO EDITING

Adobe Audition
Site: https://www.adobe.com/products/audition.html
Price: Part of creative cloud, subscription model, price varies. From USD $21/month
Platforms: Windows, Mac

Cyberlink AudioDirector
Site: https://www.cyberlink.com/products/photodirector-photo-editing-software-365/overview_en_US.html
Audio Director 11 Ultra $97 (one off)
or included in Director Suite 365 from $8.08 per month
Platforms: Windows, Mac

Audacity
Site: https://www.audacityteam.org/
Price: Free
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Forum: https://forum.audacityteam.org/


FILE CONVERTERS

Stellar Converter For Audio Video
Site: https://www.stellarinfo.com/audio-video-converter.php
Price: USD $25
Platform: Windows, Mac
Converts videos and audio files to between formats, codecs, frame rates, resolution & bitrates. Basic video editing, GIF creation, metadata insertion.


VECTOR GRAPHICS

Adobe Illustrator
Site: https://www.adobe.com/products/illustrator.html
Price: Part of creative cloud, subscription model, price varies. From USD $21/month
Platforms: Windows, Mac

Affinity Designer
Site: https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/designer/
Price: Windows and Mac versions AU$85. IPAD version AUD $35
Platforms: Windows, Mac, iPad

Inkscape
Site: https://inkscape.org/
Price: Free
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Forum: https://inkscape.org/forums/


MOTION GRAPHICS and Cinematic effects

Adobe After Effects
Site: https://www.adobe.com/products/aftereffects.html
Price: Part of creative cloud, subscription model, price varies. From USD $21/month
Platform: Windows, Mac

Fusion Studio 17
Site: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/fusion/
Price: USD$299
Platforms: Windows, Mac.
(note that a free version of Fusion is included in DaVinci Resolve, and the Studio version is included in Resolve Studio)

Blender
(3D modelling, animation, compositing, motion tracking etc)
Site: https://www.blender.org/
Price: Free
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Forum: https://blenderartists.org/

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Linux: There are likely many Linux options I haven’t mentioned, but most Linux users will already be across them.
Feel free to contribute to the thread if you use any, and I can include them in the list.
 
Last edited:

LandyVlad

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My personal choices, which may or may not align with YOUR needs.

For Video editing: DaVinci Resolve 17,

Pros: Free, Available on all platforms, Feature rich (as good as Premiere Pro), an "all in one" solution (video editing, motion graphics, audio editing, colour grading).
Cons: Relatively steep learning curve. Can be demanding on hardware,

For stand-alone Audio editing: A no brainer this one. Grab Audacity. Free, feature rich, widely used., and highly regarded.

For Video capture: grab OBS Studio - Free, feature rich, widely used, highly regarded.