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"Best" software for Video Editing


CTRL-ALT-DEFEAT
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This may not be in the right place....

I'm interested in trying my hand at crafting up some themed videos for platforms, but I'm not sure which software would be the best to go with. I currently just use Windows Movie Maker/Expressions Encoder 4 for some basic editing, but would like to do animations and such, so I know I'm going to need to upgrade to something more professional. Before I go spending hundreds of dollars on a license, any suggestions or recommendations from the folks here that are already doing this? I am new at this, so preferably something that doesn't have a huge learning curve before you can get going with stuff, but I do want the ability to make high quality themes, too. I'm a Windows guy, too (if the Movie Maker/Expressions didn't give it away), so I would want something Windows-based.

Thank you!

Edited by CTRL-ALT-DEFEAT
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The entire Adobe Suite is really what you'd want. Primarily. Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and After Effects would be the 4 main ones for graphics and video. For the work I do for LaunchBox, I primarily use Audition, Premiere Pro and Photoshop, with a lot of help from After Effects, but the other 3 are open way more often.

Edit: I do pay for Adobe CC 2017, I grabbed it on sale for $30 a month instead of $50, and it includes every piece of software they have. I was even able to install Photoshop on my wifes computer, just logged in as me. For me, it's just a business cost that I factor in to what I get paid, and what client work I do. $50 a month over a year (because if you choose year you get locked in to a year), over several years is still cheaper than CS6 outright, and it's severely more updated. I don't think CS6 (Premiere Pro) for example deals with h.265, 4k video or 360 degree video. Creative Cloud gets faster and more updates, over the entire year, which is also invaluable as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use Vegas for video editing and Photoshop for image editing. I've used Vegas (and Acid, which is what I use for music) since it was a Sonic Foundry product. They were bought out by Sony years ago and remained so for a long time until they sold it to Magix very recently - which is just as well because Sony were basically letting them wither away. I had been using Vegas Pro 11 for a long time but recently upgraded to 14 during Magix's Christmas sale ($100 off, reduced to $299). The "Edit" version is perfectly sufficient for basically anything that you would need it to do - the higher tier versions contain stuff that you probably won't miss, most of which you can still accomplish with the "Edit" version anyway if you know what your'e doing. Vegas is great. It's easy to pick up and use and there's a whole lot you can do with it once you actually dive in.

I pay $10 a month for the "Photographers" Adobe suite which includes Photoshop. The rest of the Adobe suite is stuff that I don't really care about.

I'm working on a set of platform videos myself to go with the Cityhunter theme:

 

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@Zombeaver

I'm going to download the trial of Vegas and give it a spin. How would you say GIMP (if you have much experience with it) compares to Photoshop? I use GIMP now  for editing images and I'm not sure if there are any compelling reasons that Photoshop might be be a better option over it.

Great job on the themes! I'm mostly interested in making themed videos for a hacks and fan-made category and game-specific themes for less paid attention to platforms like Amiga (which, another thank you for that tutorial you did. It's the only reason I bothered adding Amiga as a platform; tried using WinUAE a long time ago, but ended up giving up on it, so your tutorial made getting FS-UAE setup a breeze), MSX and some of the Japanese-specific consoles like PC Engine or Super Famicom. Not sure how it will work out since, artistically speaking, I'm a traditional media (paints, pens, pencils) type of person, but it'd be fun to at least try it out. :)

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10 hours ago, CTRL-ALT-DEFEAT said:

I'm going to download the trial of Vegas and give it a spin.

Good call - the trial is a really good way to get acquainted with it. The trial version is identical to the "Edit" tier, and doesn't have any feature limitations - just the time limit. Let me know if you have any questions about it.
 

10 hours ago, CTRL-ALT-DEFEAT said:

How would you say GIMP (if you have much experience with it) compares to Photoshop? I use GIMP now  for editing images and I'm not sure if there are any compelling reasons that Photoshop might be be a better option over it.

GIMP seems like a decent program - I have some friends that use it quite a bit. Honestly though, it would be unfair/disingenuous for me to really answer that question because I'm such a diehard Photoshop guy (and I've been using it for 15+ years) and my experience with GIMP is extremely limited. What I can tell you is that in the time that I spent with GIMP, I frequently found myself frustrated because things weren't where they were "supposed to be" or certain things didn't work quite the way I expected (both in comparison to Photoshop). On a surface level it looks a lot like Photoshop but things were just different enough that it really threw me off when I tried using it. Again though, Photoshop is just second-nature to me at this point so I guess that's not super unusual. That said, I'm also a pretty advanced Excel user and I didn't have any difficulties transitioning to Google Sheets. That's not necessarily an indictment of GIMP's capabilities, I just think they could have done a slightly better job of drawing in potential users from Photoshop's userbase if they made the transition a bit easier. If you're not an avid Photoshop user though, that probably won't have any impact on you - if you get used to using GIMP and it does what you need it to do, go for it. You may want to do some research on feature comparisons between the two - I'm really not proficient enough with GIMP to tell you what it can and can't do.

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I still say that the Adobe suite is best. GIMP has some issues compared to Photoshop, but Photoshop has been in active development for 25 years with money behind it, so that's a bit unfair. With all the Adobe CC stuff, and constant updates, good industry level things as well, it's really amazing.

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Definitely not averse to the Adobe Suite. I don't have a Graphic Design/Video Editing background so I'm the noobiest of the noobs when it comes to that. I've used GIMP the last few years for simple image editing, but I hear people compare it with Photoshop; just not anything detailed. Basically just: "It's like a free version of Photoshop". Free was the operative word for me because I wanted something with some utility to it, but couldn't validate spending lots of money to just edit images either. Now, though, I'd like to get into making some of these themes I keep seeing from other users... just have some trepidation with the expense of the software needed (and personal ability to "get good" with it) and make it look good. :) 

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If you're clever enough, you could... "find free trials" of Adobe CC, but those can also do some injustice as they won't be updated. Ever since I actually purchased Adobe CC it's so much easier. Less bugs, more support, I get access to their downloads too so I get some assets for free and what not. The cloud features I thought were kind of a joke too, until I started using some of them, especially for work. So yea, I do use it for work mostly and can justify $30 a month since I got the complete package on sale down from $50. There is even some free editing software out there too, so if you want to get a full comparison, grab some free editing software, GIMP, then try GIMP and the Vegas Trial. There is even an Adobe CC free trial, a real free trial, if you want to try that too. They give you like 30 days. In all honesty, there's a reason Adobe can command such a high price, but it's really all about what you can afford or "find", and what your level of use is at.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have to side with Brad here. Vegas is awesome for video editing no doubt, but if you want to do the really cool stuff, you are going to have to jump into the Motion Graphics side of the house. I don't know what specifically what James Baker uses to produce his 1080p platform vids, but if I had to guess, he's using Adobe After Effects which is included in the CC suite. There just isn't any comparable product to Adobe CC. I'm going to warn you, there can be a steep learning curve, but once concepts are mastered, they translate into other apps within the suite. With regards to Gimp, yeah its kinda photoshoppy like, just ultra clunky.

Edited by dcsdiver
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1 hour ago, dcsdiver said:

Have to side with Brad here. Vegas is awesome for video editing no doubt, but if you want to do the really cool stuff, you are going to have to jump into the Motion Graphics side of the house. I don't know what specifically what James Baker uses to produce his 1080p platform vids, but if I had to guess, he's using Adobe After Effects which is included in the CC suite. There just isn't any comparable product to Adobe CC. I'm going to warn you, there can be a steep learning curve, but once concepts are mastered, they translate into other apps within the suite. With regards to Gimp, yeah its kinda photoshoppy like, just ultra clunky.

To each their own but honestly there's hardly anything I've seen in any of the intros here, including James Baker's, that I couldn't do in Vegas. It's in knowing how to use the tools at your disposal. Pan, crop, resize, masking, layering, keyframing movement and effects. You can do a lot more with Vegas than simple editing.

Now, with that said, are there things that can be done with After Effects that I can't do in Vegas? Absolutely. No question there whatsoever. It's a much more specific piece of software for specific needs. That doesn't mean, however, that those elements are necessary for what we're talking about or typically even used in nearly anything I've seen here. Want to have some art assets kindof hovering around while showing some resized, positioned, and layered video clips? You can easily do that in Vegas. Want to make something like dmjohn0x's Big Box intro? That's way outside of Vegas' capabilities.

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I have installers for the trials to both; just haven't enough time to devote to digging in yet. I'm definitely approaching this as a hobbyist and nothing more. Not shooting for the next James Baker quality themes; I would just like to see some theme videos for the lesser paid attention to platforms like Amiga, Atari family, MSX, etc, so figure I may as well make them myself. I paint & draw, so I have the artistic flair for creating, but I don't have a huge amount of time to learn a complex piece of software before crafting up anything and I don't want to get nuts with it either, so that's why I was looking for something cheap and easy to jump into.

I agree that GIMP is ultra clunky... but it's also ultra free! :P Get what you pay for I guess, but so far it does what I need it to do (Google has definitely been my friend with regard to using it).

 

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You get what you pay for is exactly what I was getting at, but it does come to down to what you want to get out of it in the end. I can only recommend Adobe stuff because I've been using it for 7 years. I used to use other stuff, and once I switched over (in the less legitimate way), it was one of the best things for my work. Once I actually had the means to afford it, and it was on sale, it was a no brainer, but not everyone wants to be a video editor or after effects artist, or your scope doesn't really call for spending a ton of money.

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5 minutes ago, SentaiBrad said:

You get what you pay for is exactly what I was getting at, but it does come to down to what you want to get out of it in the end. I can only recommend Adobe stuff because I've been using it for 7 years. I used to use other stuff, and once I switched over (in the less legitimate way), it was one of the best things for my work. Once I actually had the means to afford it, and it was on sale, it was a no brainer, but not everyone wants to be a video editor or after effects artist, or your scope doesn't really call for spending a ton of money.

Definitely. I want to try out both of them and see how I like the feel of them (and, who knows, I might even get really enamored with editing video :) ). I do really appreciate the suggestions and input from everyone! Hopefully I'll have some new stuff to add to the downloads page for people in the near future.

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4 minutes ago, CTRL-ALT-DEFEAT said:

I have installers for the trials to both; just haven't enough time to devote to digging in yet. I'm definitely approaching this as a hobbyist and nothing more. Not shooting for the next James Baker quality themes; I would just like to see some theme videos for the lesser paid attention to platforms like Amiga, Atari family, MSX, etc, so figure I may as well make them myself. I paint & draw, so I have the artistic flair for creating, but I don't have a huge amount of time to learn a complex piece of software before crafting up anything and I don't want to get nuts with it either, so that's why I was looking for something cheap and easy to jump into.

I agree that GIMP is ultra clunky... but it's also ultra free! :P Get what you pay for I guess, but so far it does what I need it to do (Google has definitely been my friend with regard to using it).

 

Agreed. It really comes down to your expectations, finances, and time to commit to a particular platform. There is no doubt both platforms will serve you well, especially when starting out. Been using Adobe products since the mid 90's in both personal and professional settings, and I have made my personal choice. All I can suggest is kick the tires on both, and determine what works for you.

Good luck brother and hope to see some of your Vids!

Diver

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2 minutes ago, CTRL-ALT-DEFEAT said:

Definitely. I want to try out both of them and see how I like the feel of them (and, who knows, I might even get really enamored with editing video :) ). I do really appreciate the suggestions and input from everyone! Hopefully I'll have some new stuff to add to the downloads page for people in the near future.

Looking forward to it!

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  • 4 years later...

If you want some basic video editing tools like cutter, cropper, converter, merger, recorder, compressor, watermark remover, etc. maybe you could try Joyoshare VidiKit (https://www.joyoshare.com/vidikit/). It is an all-in-one and easy-to-use video editor. But if you want more professional features, maybe you can try OpenShot, iMovie, etc. They are much more powerful. 

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