Lights, camera, action! Want to add a professional touch to your home videos? Take a peek at the best free video editing software programs available on the web.
Express your inner movie buff by transforming your home videos into feature films. These editing programs range from beginner to expert level and have a wide range of effects and animations. Discover which programs are best for your needs and learn how to make your very own professionally edited movie.
Windows Live Essentials: Movie Maker
This free editing program designed by Microsoft is in a class of its own. Simple to use, it walks you step-by-step through the process of creating your own movie. Adding footage directly from your camera into Movie Maker is a breeze. Once inside, you can move scenes around and add tons of effects like zooms, wipes, sweeps, shatters and pans with the simple click of a mouse. If you’re not sure which effects to add, you can let the program do the dirty work with an AutoMovie theme. The program will trim scenes, add transitions, audio and other effects so your finished video looks polished and professional. And the best part? It’s already installed on most new PCs that are running Windows, so you don’t even have to go to the trouble to download it yourself.
If you are working on a Mac, iMovie is the clear choice for a free movie editing program. It has everything you need to import your videos and enhance them with a range of exciting effects. The interface is simple to use and it’s easy to pick the effects you want to add to your film. Transitions, themes, titles, background music are all just a mouse click away and you’ll have a blast choosing from the unique effects available like earthquake, aged film, electricity, fairy dust, lens flare and more.
Is animation your gig? Then hop on over to Moviestorm for a free 14 day trial. You don’t have to be a professional animator to make a professional looking film with this award-winning software. Simple how-to videos walk you through the process of designing your own characters, sets and scenes using machinima technology. The explorative game-style interface is especially user-friendly for anyone who is into gaming. Dive into the world of animation and let your creative side be free.
Looking for something a little more professional? Wax started out as a college project and has since turned into one of the most popular free video editing software programs on the web. This high performance program offers flexible video compositing and special effects with a well-organized interface. Once you’ve transferred your files to the timeline, you can easily move them around as needed. A large variety of plugins is also a big advantage for those who want to create a wide range of 2D and 3D effects.
Another fun way to spice up your home videos is to incorporate still photos. You can load them easily into any video editing software where you can then add graphics, text and other special effects.
More on family and technology
What to do with your home videos after you take them
Must-have gadgets for family vacations
What internet speed is best for your family?