A free application for video montage. Despite the freeware status, the program has everything you need to create your own movie.
A video how-to tutorial for VideoPad Video Editor:
If you ever came up with the idea to edit video on a PC, you probably faced with the question, which of software to use for this purpose.
We usually start our way with Windows Movie Maker, but it soon becomes clear that it is not enough capacity to process the video at the current stage of technology development. The old version (which was part of Windows XP), for example, strongly "kills" the quality of the picture and not allows outputing video with an aspect ratio different from 4:3. New versions of the WMM (from the Windows Live) has only basic functionality so it isn't suitable for any serious projects :(.
So, what to do? Somebody will advise to buy some type of licensed software like Pinnacle Studio, but this variant is clearly not appropriate for us :). We can learn free Virtual Dub, expanding its functionality with plug-ins, but its interface is not too friendly, I would not advise it for simple users. I've been looking for an application being simple as Movie Maker, but with a functional level of paid solutions, and finally found! It appeared a non-linear editing system VideoPad. Its appearance and functionality resembles quite famous package from Sony – Vegas Pro. I suggest to compare:
Comparison of free video editing software VideoPad Video Editor with paid analogue Vegas Pro
|Video capturing from an external source||+||+|
|Effects and transitions||+||+|
|Unlimited number of audiotracks||+/-||+|
Besides that VideoPad allows to:
- record voice narrations;
- edit envelope and apply effects to audio tracks;
- use a professional tool Chroma Key;
- connect third-party plug-ins from Virtual Dub;
- use a rather extensive online sounds database.
There is truth a program has one trouble. A full functionality VideoPad has only for 14 days, after which it blocks some outgoing video formats (remains only the basic: .avi, .wmv, .asf и DVD), and (according to unofficial sources) it limits the number of tracks for two and blocks a third party plug-ins support :(. Unpleasant, but not mortally (miserably only for plug-ins...), because the most popular format is still .AVI, and musical arrangement can be (and even desirable) to prepare in advance in a separate sound editor. Oh yeah! Interface language is English only…
VideoPad Video Editor installation
So, I suggest installing VideoPad . During installation, will appear a window where you can install a whole bunch of "additional" soft:
Do not be tempted to it as it is all paid! It is also desirable to remove all marks from the items relating to the installation of the toolbar to the browser (no reasons to clutter your browser with unnecessary stuff). Disabling all unnecessary, you can complete the installation as usual. However, as we tried, but in the "Start" menu besides the point to run VideoPad it appeared two additional folders: «NCH Software Suit» and «Video Related Programs». There are some links for a lot of additional applications from the developer company. Both the above folder, you can delete without regret, to save space in the program list.
VideoPad Video Editor interface
Let's run a VideoPad:
Interface, as you can see, is somewhat different from Movie Maker, but it is also quite simple and convenient. At the top we can see a small menu panel, which we mostly will not use. There is a pannel with some tabs, for toolbar content control. For example, it has such tabs as Clips and Audio. We'll find a toolbar below, which we'll discuss a little later. It has different buttons, depending on the tab.
There is an area with "containers" (a library) in the left top part of the window, where you can add files. There are 4 default containers - Sequences, Video Files, Audio Files, Images – but you can add new ones, calling them as you like. The library is used to add files, you will be working in this project. That is, if you add a sound file by pressing «Add File» button on the top, it will be added to the Audio Files container, an image – to the Images and so on.
By adding your container, you will be able to add any media files. there are two preview windows on the right. the first one (Clip Preview) allows you to view the newly added media file in one of the containers. The second window (Sequences Preview) allows us to see media are already mounted on the scale.
There is a project timeline on the bottom. It's a scale, where al the montage will be done.
VideoPad Video Editor how-to examples
We will consider working with VideoPad on concrete practical examples, so I propose to start with adding a new set of multimedia files. To do this, click «Add Media» button to open the Windows Explorer window and select the files you want. As I mentioned, media files will be sent to the appropriate container - as I have in the picture where I've added video.
VideoPad support almost all video and audio formats, as well as any non-animated images. I noted several features, which I think is necessary to mention. First, it is not always correct work with GIF format (so you should refrain from adding such images), and secondly, some errors in color reproduction when working with HD-video with a resolution of more than 1280x720 pixels (although there may be an problem with my hardware of rather weak PC).
These comments relate to the older version of the application. The app has pretty much changed, so in the new version described problems may not occur. But, forewarned is forearmed!). By the rest VideoPad is much more universal than Movie Maker.
Adding video to the timeline
In order to be able to work with the added to the library video, you must drag it to the timeline. It is on the bottom. To do this, you can also click the button:
Now, we see, the picture appeared in both the preview panes and video stretched on the timeline. It is interesting that the application broke it on the video track and audio track itself. Few details about the item enabled in the interface. In the first preview window we can see the original video (or other media file) without the applied effects in the form it was added to the library. The second window display the processed video with transitions, subtitles, and the rest of the lining.
You can see some buttons below these windows. There is a group responsible for navigation through the video on the left. A Central button here allows to start/stop playback, pair of top (Step back | Step forward) moves the current position of cursor in the progression to frame forward or backward, and a pair of lower allows you to jump to the beginning or the ending of the selected video clip. There is a button (with the camera icon) on the right, which allows you to save the current frame as a separate image.
Working with Timeline
Let's go to the storyboard area. There is a line of time in seconds and minutes above it. The size of this line (and, so, the frame rate on the storyboard) can be adjusted with the drugging of the buzzer in the lower right corner of the window. There is a narrow strip indicating the applied effects and transitions under the timeline. The effects there are displayed in light green, and transitions are light yellow. There is a storyboard and a sound track of the edited video below.
Now you can already without any problems download into the program all your movies and compose it in your way. Let's look for the addition features of VideoPad. First of all, it's effects and video transitions. If you want to apply effects to the file, first select it (or its part) on the timeline and only after this the «Effects» button on the «Home» toolbar will activated.
An Effect in VideoPad will automatically aplied to the current clip. Go to the tab «Effects» and see a list of available effects. To apply it simply select the desired segment in the timeline video (or image), and then double-click the appropriate function. In our example, we used the effect «Black and White», which, as you know, makes the image monochrome. An applyed effect you can see like a light green strip below the timeline.
Adding transitions between frames
Now let's deal with transitions:
First we select a clip (or all the videos on the storyboard) after which we should insert a transition, and see a list of available effects. Now select the desired effect, set the parameters of its duration and press Ok. The transition is ready! It will be displayed on the effects indicator scale in yellow.
Editing audio tracks envelope
An important advantage of VideoPad is the ability to customize the tracks envelope:
For audio editing, you have just to highlight the desired track. Herewith it will be shown a track curve with the blue line im the middle in a first preview window. This line enables you to adjust the sound level at any given time (that is, to draw an envelope curve). To automatically create a fading or growing of the voice you can use the options from the context menu (Fade Out and Fade In respectively).
Capturing video from external sources
Above I said that we would return to the VideoPad's toolbar, and now this time has come :). We are already know the first button «Add Media», so I will tell you about the following. The first in order are «Add Text» and «Add Blank» buttons, but we will not consider them. Next one is «Record». It is used for video capturing and recording from external sources (cameras, video recorders, etc.). This function allows you to record video from your laptop camera or webcam, capture screenshots, adding them to the «Images» container and record voice narrations.
Monochrome frames inserting
Let's go back to the «Add Blank» button, which can insert plain monochrome frame into the video:
This function you may need, for example, in order to make the smooth video appearance at the beginning or ending of your movie (fading from image with black background). By clicking the button, you will get access to the color settings of new frames (default Black, and Full Color for other colors). After the color selecting the effect will be added to the «Images» container. Then you can drag it to the right place on storyboard.
Voice narrations recording
To record a voice narration, you have to go back to the «Record» button. By clicking on the arrow select the «Narrate» item from the dropdown menu.
Here, you must firstly select the right desired voice recording device from drop-down lists, such as a microphone. And then just press the record button and spoke into the microphone desired text. When finished recording your voice will be automatically added as a separate audio track under the timeline, and its audio file in an «Audio» container.
A «Subtitles» button gives us an opportunity to add to our video some subtitles in text format:
By clicking a «Subtitles» button, you'll see a dialog to add subtitles. Firstly, enter the text in the box below. Then add a subtitle to the storyboard by clicking «Add Subtittle» button. To specify the location of the subtitles on the video (by default it will appear at the beginning), click to add subtitles in the field, which is located just above the input field.
Then select its location on the timeline by first pressing the checkbox «Show» or «Hide», and then adjust their position with the sliders. Now you only have to format it as desired. On the toolbar, you can set the font, font style, font color, as well as its size in the «Text Attributes» area.
Now let's try to overlay our video with some content. This may be done with the «Overlay on Sequence at Cursor» command, located in the menu clip. But firstly you need to add a video or image that we need to impose. So, I added a picture through «Add File» button and I want it to be inserted into the frame. To do this, select this picture (or video) in a container and press the already voiced «Overlay on Sequence at Cursor» button.
A new band that is responsible for the overlay appeared in the timeline section. It is possible, for example, to integrate into a clip an image or video in such way.
The same settings can be applied to insert images and video. Moreover, when dealing with the last it is manifested another very interesting feature like – chromakey. It allows to remove a solid background of the original video or image, replacing it with the background of the main video!
To add an effect, you need again to add the picture or video, highlight it, and perform a certain command by selecting the «Effects» menu.
Project's saving and exporting
Finally, the last stage will be saving our project as a video file. For this purpose, we can use the «Export Video» button or the corresponding «File» menu.
It will be appeared a save format choosing window. Before the expiration of the trial period of VideoPad there are available such ways of video saving:
- Direct-to-disk recording (DVD or data disc).
- Saving to a file for playback on your PC.
- Creating a file with parameters suitable for portable devices (iPod, iPhone, PSP, mobile phone).
- Chains of graphic files creating.
- Uploading videos to the online video hosting (YouTube, Facebook, Flickr).
- 3D stereoscopic video creation!
Despite the diversity of opportunities, it's best to save the file directly to your PC, and then perform any action with it (to the same after 14 days will be only able to write to disk and file). Therefore, choose a «Computer / Data» item, specify the folder to save our film, and then the desired format. If you are not particularly strong in the video settings, then you should better to use one of the presets in the dropdown menu «Preset».
However, if you wish (and the know what to do) VideoPad lets you to customize almost all the nuances, from the aspect ratio, to the codecs parameters! To save you should click «Ok» and wait until the application transcodes the video project.
Summarizing, we take another look at the positive and negative characteristics of VideoPad:
Pros & Cons of VideoPad Video Editor
- free of charge :);
- support almost all video and audio formats;
- availability of the necessary video transitions and effects;
- the ability to add overlays (including the chromakey effect);
- extensive customization options when saving the video to a file.
- a full version works only for 14 days;
- incompletely subtitle editor;
- color distortion in high-definition video;
- long time for movie encoding.
My verdict: a non-linear editing system VideoPad is quite suitable for both amateur and professional video editors. It has nothing superfluous, and at the same time are present all the most basic and necessary tools to create high-quality video. Therefore VideoPad is almost the only decent free alternative to expensive video editing systems.
P.S. This article is intended for free distribution. It is welcome to copy with the Ruslan Tertyshny's authorship and all P.S. and P.P.S. preservation.
P.P.S. If you are not a beginner in video editing, then the next video editor for you:
Video Editor http://www.bestfree.ru/soft/media/video-editing-en.php