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Shopping for video editing software

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Blog entry by Rick M. posted 05-19-2014 06:17 PM 1137 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I want video editing software, under $100, Win7. What does this have to do with woodworking? Nothing directly but it’s becoming more common to video projects and builds. Please share your experience with any of the following software or software you feel I’ve overlooked that meet the requirements (under $100, Win7 compatible). Also looking for comments on Sony MS 12 vs. 13. Thanks.

What I’ve tried: [updated]

Premiere 2.0: good but outdated, no HD video, new version is too expensive

VideoPad trial ($40 to buy): I liked it but feel it’s expensive for what it is. There is a free version that perhaps has a few more features than MSMM.

MSMM Microsoft Movie Maker ($free): Simple to use, intuitive, not compatible with 3gp files (my phone), output is questionable. Basically this works if all you want to do is string clips together with no audio or visual tweaks.

Jahshaka (open source), Blender (open source); both way above my paygrade.

Sony Movie Studio 13 ($30): Interface is bland and Win98-ish, bare bones editing software. A very minor step up from MSMM. Might was well use the free version of VideoPad.

Sony Movie Studio 13 Platinum ($80): Same as above but with a few more features and extras. Compared to Corel the interface is slightly clumsy but easy enough to use. Lacks auto correct functions for audio and visuals. Buttons are childishly large even in the advanced setting and color scheme choices are white which is the worst background for video editing and a medium grey. Blandness McBlandybland. However it is rock solid stable.

Cyberlink Power Director 12 ($62): Kind of a middle ground, good interface, works, very resource hungry. Uses 2X the memory of Sony MS just sitting open with no project. Only one of the bunch that slows my computer. The interface is like a slightly improved version of Sony MSP.

Corel Video Studio Pro X7 ($65): Beautiful modern interface, very intuitive, loads of extras (transitions, effects, etc). I initially had trouble editing audio but with help realized it was a mismatch between the source video and project settings, seems to be sorted now. There is also an Ultimate version which is only a few extra bucks and has a few more effects. This one is the most fun to use but maybe not quite as fast as Sony.

Pinnacle Studio 17 ($83): Decided not to install it. Recent reviews talk of a lengthy and very difficult installation process that takes hours; and reviews in general of the newer versions were not very favorable.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|



15 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2409 days


#1 posted 05-19-2014 06:23 PM

I have no useful opinion on the software options you’ve listed here but am dead interested in the answers you may get. I think your reason for posting this question is bang on.

Should software be considered amongst the woodworking tools we use LOL!?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View johnhutchinson's profile

johnhutchinson

716 posts in 326 days


#2 posted 05-19-2014 07:00 PM

Rick:

This is what I’ve been using …

Windows Movie Maker 2.6 to make animation clips from stills. and then the current Windows Live Movie Maker to splice them together, add titles, transitions and audio. The old 2.6 is still downloadable from Microsoft because of the outrage that resulted when they introduced the current version. They took something that was great for editing and made it TERRIBLE. But it’s better for adding audio. Go figure.

I suggest that you DON’T try to make a long video. Make short clips and then spice them together with transitions. It’s less of a burden on your computer and it gets you into the habit of storyboarding before you begin.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View johnhutchinson's profile

johnhutchinson

716 posts in 326 days


#3 posted 05-19-2014 07:04 PM

Look at what Frank Howarth is doing on YouTube for inspiration. He’s the MASTER !!!

https://www.youtube.com/user/urbanTrash

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4208 posts in 1077 days


#4 posted 05-19-2014 08:36 PM

I used Movie Maker for the video on this project:
Click for details

The output looks downsampled and MM doesn’t support 3gp files so I have to convert before editing (that may be part of the quality issue). Thanks for the tips on storyboarding, I’m very much a neophyte at putting videos together.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5386 posts in 1929 days


#5 posted 05-19-2014 09:12 PM

Why not convert your files from the phone to a standard format before processing with a tool like Handbrake?

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View johnhutchinson's profile

johnhutchinson

716 posts in 326 days


#6 posted 05-19-2014 09:28 PM

Why not put your (excuse my French) freakin’ phone away, use a digital camera, and forget the conversions. I shot the frames for this one with my little $58 Fuji point-and-shoot. https://vimeo.com/78777697

I made the video in 2.6 and then added the music in the current Windows Live Movie Maker.

Your Articulated Arm Camera Mount would be fun to shoot as a stop-action video. People like to watch moving things MOVE.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View SalvageCraft's profile

SalvageCraft

274 posts in 1223 days


#7 posted 05-19-2014 10:35 PM

Lightworks is a free and open source professional editing program. Plenty of major motion pictures have been made with it. It’s a non-linear editor, so there’s a bit of a learning curve, but I got used to it pretty quickly when I tried it. I’d still be using it if I had windows 7 but it doesn’t run on my xp pro machine. A Mac version is due for release next month as well.

-- Jesse --

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4208 posts in 1077 days


#8 posted 05-19-2014 10:41 PM

I have a camera that takes better photos than my phone but not better video. Someday I’ll get a nice video camera but I have plenty to learn about editing yet. In the end I think most people appreciate good editing more whether they realize it or not. Agree about the stop motion. I just finished another articulated arm, maybe I’ll do some stop motion with it.

db, I used Freemake for the conversions. Great program.
http://www.freemake.com/free_video_converter/

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4208 posts in 1077 days


#9 posted 05-19-2014 10:45 PM

Thanks Jesse. After trying Jahshaka and Blender, I didn’t even download Lightworks. Reviews say it has the same steep learning curve as Blender. No doubt I could learn it given time but since I will never be a professional video editor I think my time is better spent elsewhere.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View SalvageCraft's profile

SalvageCraft

274 posts in 1223 days


#10 posted 05-19-2014 11:28 PM

I’ve looked at jahshaka and blender and my first impression was that they were more complicated than I cared to mess with.
Lightworks strikes me a much more straightforward. Compared to moviemaker or imovie, there’s a bit to learn, but it really makes sense pretty quick. Good luck!

-- Jesse --

View crawdaddy's profile

crawdaddy

2 posts in 165 days


#11 posted 05-20-2014 01:03 AM

Adobe has a new subscription service that permits different levels of access for I believe under $30 bucks a month.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4208 posts in 1077 days


#12 posted 05-22-2014 04:09 PM

Looking like Sony Movie Studio Platinum will be my choice. It’s kind of like a nerdy friend – loyal, reliable, but socially awkward.

Some sample clips of the Corel audio problem. First part is unedited, then sped up 2X. The Corel forum folks are still trying to understand the problem but I don’t believe there is a solution.

And Sony MSP13 doing it correctly

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View johnhutchinson's profile

johnhutchinson

716 posts in 326 days


#13 posted 05-22-2014 04:44 PM

They look and sound fine to me, Rick, but you’re getting your left wrist awfully close to the spinning blade at 1:24 in the first video. You might want to slow down just a tad.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4208 posts in 1077 days


#14 posted 05-22-2014 05:48 PM

1:18 is a good point to hear the audio clipping.

Illusion because of the angle, my wrist was outside the left miter slot and 6-8 inches above the blade. And 1:24 is a sped up clip. Look at the position of my shoulder in this screenshot, I’m way left of the blade. The camera angle just makes it look closer.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4208 posts in 1077 days


#15 posted 05-25-2014 04:32 AM

Update on the Corel sound issue. Trevor over at the Corel forum realized my project settings didn’t match the source video and that was creating the sound clipping. Sony defaults to asking if you want to match the settings and I always choose yes which is why it worked in that program; but Corel doesn’t ask by default and it was screwing me up. So Corel is back in the running; it’s down to Corel vs Sony.

The more I use Sony MSP 13 (I’ve made 3 videos with it now), the less I like it. The interface is a bit clumsy compared to Corel VSP X7 and many things like audio and visual edits must be done manually whereas Corel has auto-fix functions. But I can get the previous version of Sony MSP (v.12) for about 1/3rd the price of Corel. So I have a couple weeks left on my trials, I’ll use that time to keep evaluating—and yes, I am one of those people who researches these decisions like my life depends on it.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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