So you have just digitized your old videotapes and now you have a laptop folder full of unedited home video files. Is there an easy way to remove the boring parts and when Uncle Al took camcorder shots of the ground? What software is available that doesn't require weeks of training for the non-technical user to learn?
We'll cover a few of the free and low-cost editing programs that are ideal for beginning users to master in order to create home movies with titles and color correction. The programs we'll briefly cover are iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, VideoPad, and Filmora9.
If you have a Mac or iPad, then you already have an excellent video editor included with all the other standard Apple software. iMovie lets you drag clips to the sequence of the video you want, trim videos and crop or rotate photos and video clips. There is a magic wand feature that corrects brightness, skin tones, white balance and color. Titles are very simple to add as are soundtracks or music backgrounds. In addition to your digitized videotape files, other types of videos are easy to import including those from GoPro, phone videos, and even 4K videos. Special effects features include green-screen (aka chroma-key), freeze frame, slow motion and fast motion. Once your video is finished, you can easily share your masterpiece by email, to your iTunes Library, or to YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo. iMovie only saves in the MP4 format but this is a universally supported file format.
The last version of the Windows Movie Maker is Movie Maker 2012 and it is no longer provided with the Windows operating system on new computers. But it's far superior to the free video editor that is on the Photo editing program in Windows 10 and the 2012 version is a free download available from the MiniTool website. MiniTool is even working on an updated version of Movie Maker. This video editor is very simple and lets Windows users create and edit videos as well as publish them on OneDrive, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, and Flickr.
VideoPad Home Edition
VideoPad Video Editor from NCH Software is an affordable, entry-level video editing application that is popular for those folks creating videos for publishing to YouTube or Facebook. But it's also a very easy application to use for editing your home videos. It lets you fine tune brightness, saturation and color, add still photos and digital images with a button click, and apply effects such as black & white, sepia tone and negatives. Text captions and music tracks can be added to video clips. The user interface is a bit dated and not as well designed as other editing packages and there is a free version but plan on spending $35-$50 for the Home Edition.
Filmora9 from Wondershare is a complete video editor for newbies. A media section holds all your audio and video files. Then you have sections for Audio, Titles, Transition effects, elements and so on. You can add effects like music, text, transitions, filters, overlays, or more and Filmora9 runs on both PCs and Macs. The program supports 480+ effects & 50+ formats. You can download a free trial of Filmora9 and then upgrade to a lifetime license for around $50. Highly recommended.
With the dramatic advances in features and ease-of-use for consumer video editing software, it's not difficult at all to enhance your raw footage into home movies that make great gifts for birthdays, Mother's Day and the holiday season. Try out a few of these programs and you will see a big improvement in the quality of your videos.