Raw video footage can be easily downloaded into home computer software.
With high-speed Internet, high-powered home computers and advanced digital video recorders making their way into a growing percentage of households, it’s only natural for amateur directors and techno-geeks to want to try their hand at editing video on a computer. Professional video editing software can be prohibitively expensive to the casual user. Luckily, several software developers have stepped in with free software for the home user, each with a built-in library of special effects options.
Windows Movie Maker
Developed by Microsoft and updated with each release of Windows, the Windows Movie Maker is a popular video editing software with special effects freely available for download on the Internet. While it comes with a modest range of special effects in the basic package, a fan base has grown up around the product. They include creators who are always in the process of developing and releasing additional plug-ins to extend the number of special effects freely available. Windows Movie Maker provides the capability to create, edit and share home movies or easily create a movie from video clips. While Windows Movie Maker is an extremely popular and widely used product, there is a sizable audience who have noticed that it tends to freeze and crash a lot. If you decide to give it a whirl, make sure you back up your project early and often.
This freeware package of video editing software is a high-performance, flexible tool for compiling videos and applying special effects. This easy-to-use software is intended to be quickly learned by the video novice. Wax specializes in allowing the user to create 2-D and 3-D special effects. It is designed to be downloaded and installed as a standalone application or added as a plug-in to other video software you might already own. The basic version comes with hundreds of pre-set special effects or you can design your own once you’re familiar with Wax.
Video Edit Magic
This freeware video editing package comes with plenty of special effects that include more than 150 transitions, title effects and more. The emphasis is on usability, with an easy drag-and-drop interface designed to have you creating finished product movies in a short time. The number of special effects included with the basic software is expandable by any DirectShow compatible plug-ins you may come across. Video Edit Magic is free for 30 days. After that you’ll need to pay $70 to own it (as of 2010) or put up with the nag screen suggesting you buy it every time you open the application. If your tolerance for electronic nagging is high, don’t hesitate to give this software a try.