Apple computers have long been aimed at the creative professional, particularly when it comes to photo and video editing. Unfortunately, industry-leading packages like Adobe Premiere, After Effects, and Apple’s own Final Cut Pro aren’t cheap.
- Free Video Effects Software For Mac
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- Best Video Effects Software
- Best Video Editor Software For Mac
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Fortunately, there’s a selection of capable free video editing apps for Mac to sink your teeth into. Some are made for beginners, while others will satisfy seasoned video editors with their impressive feature sets.
Apple iMovie is the ultimate Mac video app for novice filmmakers, combining professional trailers and themes,abundant special effects and an easy-to-learn interface. Top 6 Best Video Effects Software #1: Filmora Video Editor (for Mac and Windows) Filmora Video Editor for Windows (or Filmora Video Editor for Mac ) is designed for video editing beginners and professionals, and it contains almost all the effects that users need to make their video stunning on Mac (macOS 10.13 High Sierra included) and Windows.
- Looking for the best GoPro video editing software for PC/Mac? This article introduces to you 6 best video editors for GoPro. 10 Best Free Video Editing Software on Mac OS X in 2018. This article will introduce you the 10 best free video editor for Mac and let you know how to make and edit videos/movies on Mac with free video editing software.
- Apple iMovie is the ultimate Mac video app for novice filmmakers, combining professional trailers and themes,abundant special effects and an easy-to-learn interface.
These are our favorite free video editors for Mac.
Summary: A free, consumer-grade video editor. It’s well-optimized for Apple hardware and suitable for most personal projects.
iMovie is free for anyone who owns a Mac. Plus, the iOS version is free to all iPhone and iPad owners. The software is aimed at consumers who want to quickly create videos with footage stored in their Photos library. To facilitate this, iMovie uses a simplified timeline editor that doesn’t allow for multitrack editing.
Despite the linear editing and basic UI, iMovie is a highly optimized piece of software that can handle 4K video and green screen compositing. It also supports picture-in-picture video and slow-motion/fast-forward visual effects. iMovie can generate titles, drag-and-drop transitions, and motion graphics like 3D globes and travel maps.
The app comes with built-in music and sound effects that are ready to go. It can generate Hollywood-style trailers using footage that you supply. Additionally, the app allows you to export directly to YouTube and Vimeo at up to 4K resolution.
2. DaVinci Resolve
Summary: A powerful, professional-grade video editor that lacks the color grading tools the developers are famous for.
The Studio version of DaVinci Resolve costs nearly $1,000, but the basic version is completely free. Better still, it includes the same high-quality image processing abilities as the pricier version. You get a powerful video editor, some of the best color correction capabilities around, and even support for external hardware panels to enable faster editing.
There are limitations, of course. The main one is that Resolve can only output in SD, HD and Ultra HD, which is likely more than enough for most users. Also, the app places limits on some of the advanced grading and tracking tools. However, these restrictions are mainly in place to convince professional users to upgrade.
The app might have quite a learning curve, but DaVinci Resolve is one of the most powerful video editing suites on the planet and you get a lot for free. See our comparison of DaVinci Resolve and HitFilm ExpressHitFilm Express vs. DaVinci Resolve: The Free Video Editor BattleHitFilm Express vs. DaVinci Resolve: The Free Video Editor BattleWe pit HitFilm Express vs. DaVinci Resolve and compare to see which one wins the free video editor battle.Read More for more on how it stacks up.
Download:Da Vinci Resolve (Free)
Summary: A free and open source video editor with an impressive list of features. However, the interface is outdated and may put some users off.
OpenShot is a cross-platform open source tool that’s been around since 2008. It’s built with the aim of providing a stable, free, and accessible video editor. The project receives several major updates per year, in line with the expectations for an open source project with a small team.
OpenShot’s feature list has grown over the years to include great support for a variety of formats, keyframes for animation, and unlimited video/audio tracks. It also packs in transition and compositing support, titles, and a heap of extra features you’d expect from a modern video editor.
Past criticisms have panned OpenShot’s reliability, but it’s still worth a shot for free.
Summary: A capable open source editor with an interface that’s superior to OpenShot.
Here’s another free, open source, cross-platform video editor. Shotcut’s feature list is just as impressive as OpenShot, but Shotcut features a great-looking interface. It more closely resembles a pro-tier application than a free one.
The app supports a wide range of video files and formats, including 4K, ProRes, and DNxHD. Shotcut also includes great support for working with audio, an impressive list of video effects (including compositing and transitions), and a flexible UI.
Of note are support for advanced features like 5.1 surround sound, three-way color correction, and a huge number of video and audio filters. There’s even a full set of official Shotcut video tutorials you can watch to get you up to speed with the editor.
Summary: Not a purpose-built video editor, but it’s a powerful tool for free.
Blender is a free 3D modeling and compositing app used in some high-profile productions. Yet many don’t realize Blender is also a capable non-linear video editor, provided you’re willing to take the time to learn.
You can use Blender to cut and splice video, mix and sync audio, or apply adjustment layers, transitions, and filters. You probably won’t edit a whole film together in Blender, but for basic editing tasks it might suffice.
Blender isn’t the easiest system to learn, but underneath the hood is a powerful non-linear video editor. Check out Daniel Pocock’s quick guide to editing video in Blender and the official Blender video sequencer manual to learn more.
Download: Blender (Free)
Summary: A powerful editor with plenty of features, but some seriously restrictive output options make the free version feel more like a trial.
Lightworks is one of the most powerful apps on this list. I’d happily recommend it above all other packages if it wasn’t so restrictive for the free user. The free version includes video effects, multicam editing, and titling, as well as the usual multi-layered timeline approach you’d expect from a comprehensive editor.
Unfortunately, rendering (exporting your project) is limited to 1080p output on Vimeo, and 720p output to YouTube. You can also render to Lightworks Archives, but you lose H.264, MP4, or even DVD export options.
So while the toolkit is vast, Lightworks isn’t a very appealing free editor unless you’d like to thoroughly try it out for free and upgrade at a later time.
Download:Lightworks (Free, premium version available)
Summary: A capable freebie, but lacking in polish and features.
Avidemux made our list of the best Linux video editors7 Free Open Source Video Editors for Linux7 Free Open Source Video Editors for LinuxVideo editing on Linux is constantly improving. A good selection of open source video editing software is now available to Linux users, and we've got seven of the best for you to check out.Read More. Though it’s basic in nature, it works well for simple editing tasks. The app supports a wide variety of input and output formats. The project undergoes several updates a year, with development continuing at a steady pace.
Thankfully, the team maintains parity among all three major versions, so you won’t miss out on any features if you opt for the Mac package.
Free Video Effects Software For Mac
Avidemux is best reserved for simple tasks like cutting a video down to size, applying video or audio filters, and transcoding. If you’re willing to dig a little deeper, you’ll find a highly capable script editor to automate many of these common tasks.
Be sure to check out the Avidemux wiki for learning materials, and the Avidemux forum can help in case you get stuck.
Mac Video Editing on a Budget
So which is the best video editor for you? iMovie is probably the best all-rounder. It’s free, easy to use, and carefully optimized for Apple hardware. There are plenty of features in it to satisfy beginners and mid-tier users. However, it lacks the raw power to compete with Final Cut or Premiere Pro.
Da Vinci Resolve, on the other hand, is surprisingly-feature rich. It offers multi-track editing and a huge number of professional-tier features to play with. Blender is open source and powerful, but is bogged down by complexity. Shotcut and Openshot are pretty evenly matched, so why not test drive them both? And if you’re looking for something specific to 4K video editing, check out VideoProc.
If you want a simple video conversion app instead of a full-fledged video editor, try these top macOS video convertersThe 7 Best Video Converter Apps for macOSThe 7 Best Video Converter Apps for macOSNeed a Mac video converter app? Here are the best options for easily converting any kind of video on macOS.Read More. And if you need to edit images as well as video, check out our lists of free and paid image editors for MacThe 8 Best Free and Paid Image Editors for MacThe 8 Best Free and Paid Image Editors for MacHere are the best free and paid Mac image editors, whether you're a professional professional or amateur shutterbug.Read More and free Mac photo editorsThe 8 Best Free and Paid Image Editors for MacThe 8 Best Free and Paid Image Editors for MacHere are the best free and paid Mac image editors, whether you're a professional professional or amateur shutterbug.Read More too.
Image credit: Gustavo Devito/Flickr
Explore more about: iMovie, Mac Apps, Video Editing, Video Editor.
For me, Video Editor MovieMator is the best! It helped me from easy to medium level. Now I use the Pro version to make more fantastic videos (has become my hobby).
The interface of Video Editor MovieMator is the most intuitive and clear one among the 6 apps you talked about and it's perfect for beginners.
iMovie doesn't accept some video formats, FinalCut and Premiere are not that easy to pick up. Compared with them, I would choose MovieMator which is easy, functional and can create films of high quality.
As privacy/security expert I have to warn against Filmora. a) the free download includes UNSTATED limitations and nowhere will the firm tell you what they are, nor have they responded to inquiries. b) the fine print states they monitor use of the software. They do not use the term meta data, but imply it so that they can better understand usage and make the product better. HOWEVER, they partner with the Red Chinese (Army - which owns 51% of all Chinese corporations), presumably coders, which means this software could have a back door used by Chinese Intelligence. Again, the firm declined to address this question. They understood I am a published author in my area of expertise, and still remained silent. I do not take that as a good sign that they actually care about the customer, but it does imply they don't want people to know the answers. They are either a badly run company, or something worse is afoot.
For Mac or Windows users, there is a free online service called Video Grabber. It always helps me edit video by adding basic effects. Its interface looks very elegant. If this is what you need, maybe it worth a shot to look at.
Nice list but most of them don't run as expected. Shotcut closes frequently, KDEnlive doesn't even open a window and gives an error message after start.
Da Vinci is nice! Didn't know about the free option.
Blender is stable, lightning fast and can be used for nearly everything in media business (Modelling, Rendering, making Games, making Movies and so on).
One recommendation: Natron is a video compositor software like blender or da vinci. It's not just for video editing. Very promising open-source project!
Mac users should try Hitfilm Express. Great features, cross-platform (Mac & Win), and free.
Mac users should also try HitFilm Express. Great, cross platform (Mac & Win), free.
You can download the free
then updated it to the latest version automatically it will update and you will have
the latest version of iMove free without having to pay the $14.99 usd
You just earned yourself a place in heaven
Doesn't work any more. The linked file is an updater which, when you launch it, says
'ALERT: iMovie 9.0 or later is required to install this update.'
this article was written in 2012 ! So don't be a smart ass Dima when posting your remarks at the end of 2015
I own a mac but iMovie costs money to download, how can I get this for free?
Sure its free...
you can download it at:
And the updated it to the latest version...
Works like a charm...
Cheers ........ :)
I'm having problems. After I download it and run it, it says 'Imovie 9.0 or later is required.'
Me too! Have you figured out a way to get it to run or update?
I'm having this problem too! Have you figured out a way for it to work or update?
None of these apps are actually on the app store except for iMovie
I HAD iMovie on my iMac, but after a hd crash, I reinstalled the latest version of the OS (OS X El Capitan) and if I want to reinstall iMovie I have to pay 15 euro :(
From where did you downloaded iMovie and what version of OS X you have (name or numeric version or both[better])?
iMovie is not free anymore and doesn't come with iLife. Hasn't been in 2 years. Wtf you are talking about.
Honestly, I've still yet to figure out how to get iMovie to do anything, but I haven't tested it in the past few months. I find that, for a VERY basic editor, QuickTime actually fulfills my needs, which is literally just syncing audio and footage. Just something to keep in mind for beginners looking for baby steps.
I didn't even realize that I had iMovie on my Mac. Thanks
my iMovie keeps on crashing....
iMovie is TERRRIBLLE. Do not get Apple made programs for your computer. Apple is making all their money from iPhones, so they've pretty much stopped making things. Adobe is pretty much taking over, so get their stuff. I updated my laptop and iMovie doesn't even exist anymore...
iMovie Agreed IT IS TERRIBLLE!!!
I bet you just don't know how to use it because its great!!
it's hard to get to know this program as the stupid, frigging thing crashes every time you open it. iMovie = FAIL
How come we have to pay for iMovie now? (just a random question) Just sometime ago I downloaded a free version?
I'm having problems uploading videos to iMovie . Any video I have on file is not an option, I was going to try loading the file to the iMovie selections but not sure that will resolve it….
Lightworks is just out for Mac users yay my windows is too slow for the program finally my mac can be put to good use.
I tried most of this software and I have to say that
- iMovie isn't free
- Blender is 3D modeling software so use it for video editing is a little bit hard
- Kdenlive requires all KDE packages installed, and I prefer something other
- Jahshaka is something from another reality, it's hard to learn
- VLMC looks good and simple but it's PRE-ALPHA now, so it's buggy
- I haven't try Avidemux because I can't find any working dmg
My choise is VideoPad, it's simple and can do anything I want.
Shame on you cause I spent whole day to test all this things
at first I was shocked thet you put imovie on number 1 . Then I realized this article was written in 2012 . Imovie 13 wasn't born yet :)
Great article! Saw the amount of work you put into this and thought I'd just say thanks man! Very helpful.
iMovie isn't free
iMovie should serve most of mac user well
Imovie ha sa lot of bugs. Impossible to share your movie on your pc.
Daniel do you love me?
iMovie for me is the best.
A pal was trying to get info related to this editors a couple weeks ago..will def forward him this link!!
Can't wait for Lightworks. The Windows version is nice.
Didnt know you could edit video in blender
I edit my wrist in a blender
OOOps ! ...for mac , sorry :)
Don't worry it's all good.
You forget Novacut , it's in dev ; kickstarter funded
The cutting workflow is very good,
works with ubuntu 12.04q
in works : the multitrack sound and multicam,
so it's a project to follow :D
I can't believe all these software are free! They look so professional , I'm starting to move from win to Mac so this kind of article are attractive and useful for me.
KDEmlive on Mac is a pain in the ***.
I don't have a mac but my uncle does and I remember us trying out loads of different video editors to compare them to the full priced equivalents (premiere pro, final cut pro, sony vegas) and I remember us trying out the first three. The limitations of iMovie may be a downfall for enthusiastic video buffs but for the novice it's great and also it's pre-installed, even better! Blender was also a pretty good one, as I recall you could import your 3D modelling into the video suite for some nifty animation. CineFX I think was probably our favourite, pretty easy to use and was like an advanced iMovie, loved every second of using it! hope this helps anyone :)
Mmm... maybe I should try Jahshaka looks really cool.
I have Lightworks on my desktop and it really is nice, but my computer just isn't powerful enough to run it very well. I guess a lot of it has to do with only having 3gb of RAM, but the video card and processor aren't all that great either. Hopefully my new computer (which hasn't arrived yet) will be able to run it (and everything else) better.
Using free video editing software is a convenient way to edit your videos. Plus, most of them are so easy to use that they're great for beginning editors.
You might want a video editing program if you need to extract audio from a video or add different audio, cut out parts of the video, add subtitles, build a DVD menu, merge video files, or fade a video in or out. Most vloggers need a video editor of some kind.
Because most free video editors limit their features to advertise their professional versions, you may find roadblocks that stop you from making advanced edits. For editors with more-advanced features but that aren't free, check out mid-level digital video software or top professional video editing programs.
If you need to convert your video files to different file formats such as MP4, MKV, and MOV, this list of free video converters has some great options.
OpenShot (Windows, Mac, and Linux)
What We Like
The easy-to-use interface.
It's open source.
Great user forum.
What We Don't Like
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The application has multiple layers of setup.
Editing videos with OpenShot is extraordinary when you see everything you can do with it. You can download it free for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.
The supported features in this free editor include desktop integration for drag-and-drop, image and audio support, curve-based keyframe animations, unlimited tracks and layers, and 3D animated titles and effects.
OpenShot is also good for clip resizing, scaling, trimming, snapping, and rotation, plus motion picture credit scrolling, frame-stepping, time-mapping, audio mixing, and real-time previews.
The fact that you get all of this for free is reason enough to download it yourself and try it out before you purchase a video editor.
VideoPad (Windows and Mac)
What We Like
Supports a wide range of video formats.
Easy to install and use.
Another video editing software program for both Windows and Mac is VideoPad, from NCH Software. It's free for non-commercial use.
It supports drag-and-drop, effects, transitions, 3D video editing, text and caption overlay, video stabilization, easy narration, free built-in sound effects, and color control.
VideoPad can also change the video speed, reverse the video, burn DVDs, import music, and export movies to YouTube and other similar sites and a variety of resolutions including 2K and 4K.
Freemake Video Converter (Windows)
What We Like
Supports many input formats.
Burn files directly to a disc.
Easy-to-use editing features.
What We Don't Like
May require purchase of needed features.
Can be slow to make conversions.
Limited number of output formats.
Freemake Video Converter is a free video converter with simple and easy-to-use editing features that set it apart from some of the more complex and confusing editors.
Being able to do light editing to your videos with the same tool you use to convert the file to a variety of other formats, or even burn the files directly to a disc, is convenient.
Some of the video editing features of this program include adding subtitles, clipping out sections you don't want in the video, removing or adding audio, and merging or joining videos.
VSDC Free Video Editor (Windows)
What We Like
Features you won't find elsewhere.
Exports to a variety of file formats.
Includes optional screen recorder.
Video Editing Software For Mac
What We Don't Like
Best Video Effects Software
Not super user-friendly.
Some video lag with free version.
VSDC is a full-featured free video editing tool that you can install on Windows. A fair warning though: This program might be a little hard to use for beginners because of the sheer number of features and menus.
However, if you poke around for while and play with your videos within the editor, you'll find that it's not quite as daunting as it seemed when you first opened it.
There's even a wizard you can run to make things easier. Use it to do add lines, text, and shapes, as well as charts, animations, images, audio, and subtitles. Plus, as any good video editor should, VSDC can export videos to a variety of file formats.
The VSDC Video Editor setup lets you easily install the company's video capture program and screen recorder. These are optional, but they may come in handy in certain projects.
What We Like
Plenty of tools to improve video and audio quality.
What We Don't Like
Limited features available.
Output controls not robust.
iMovie is free for macOS users. It offers many options for editing video and audio plus adding photos, music, and narration to your videos.
One of the best features of iMovie is its ability to make 4K-resolution movies. You can even start doing so from your iPhone or iPad and then finish on your Mac. That's pretty cool!
Movie Maker (Windows)
What We Like
User-friendly with a classic Microsoft feel.
Great for beginning video editors.
Movie Maker was Windows' pre-installed free video editing software. While it is no longer pre-installed, you can still download this application from some third-parties and use it to create and share high-quality movies.
It's included in this list because it's already on lots of Windows computers, which means you might not even need to download anything in order to start using it.
Best Video Editor Software For Mac
If you've tried out these video editing programs but prefer some other options or you're more interested in editing videos online for free than downloading software, there are several online editors that function in the same way as these downloadable tools:
Best Screen Recording Software Mac
These services are great for re-editing and remixing web videos, and some even let you produce DVDs of your videos.