Wondershare’s Filmora positions itself as an “alternative to Windows Movie Maker & iMovie†
we have the tool reviewed before, and were quite impressed with this video editing software† So let’s see how it stacks up now.
start with it
Launch Filmora and you will be honored with a ‘Welcome’ screen. You could click the biggest button to start a new project right away, but it’s worth taking a few seconds to see what else that page has to offer.
For example, you have a menu of aspect ratios. By default it is set to 16:9, probably the one that would choose the most would be anyway.
However, you can select other popular formats, including 1:1 (for places like Instagram), 9:16 (a favorite among TikTokers), as well as 4:3 (the default format for photos) and 21:9 (for a more cinematic feel). ).
But what we found more interesting are the Tools. This allows you to perform actions without actually starting a fresh new project.
Screen Recorder is self-explanatory: you can record everything you see on your computer screen. Auto Reframe automatically resizes a clip for you, based on your chosen preference (see the list of aspect ratios above). Instant Cutter trims the beginning and end of a selected clip, and AI Styliser allows you to instantly add a filter to a clip.
You will be presented with a list of 20 (some need to be downloaded before you can use them); click on one and it is applied.
These are great options if you don’t need editing, but want to adjust your photo and have a little fun with it at the same time.
But this hardly comes to the surface. To enjoy the full power of Filmora, you need to create a project and do some ‘correct’ edits.
A helping hand
Filmora is clearly designed with beginners in mind.
As you import new clips, drag them to the timeline, or perform an action for the first time, a handy little animation window pops up suggesting what to do next.
This type of holding is a very light touch. It won’t reappear if you do the same action again, and it’s very welcome if you’re new to video editing.
The editing process is very simple: adding a clip to your project is done either by clicking the ‘+’ icon (which inserts it wherever the playhead is in your timeline), or by dragging the thumbnail and to the desired location – which could also be on another video layer.
There doesn’t seem to be a way to toggle points on and off before doing this, but trimming the clip once it’s in place is a pretty trivial affair. The only downside to the editing we could find is that it’s hard to tell when clips start and end.
We appreciate that it’s possible to recolor clips to make this easier, but it’s a bit time consuming to do this manually and really shouldn’t be that hard to navigate your own editing.
In addition to your own media, you can also access the Giphy, Pixabay and Unsplash libraries directly from Filmora’s interface.
This can really save you some time if you enjoy using royalty-free stock and stock video collections. There are also a number of bundled music samples and sound effects that you can find in the Audio section.
In Titles, Transitions, Effects and Elements you’ll find all the add-ons you need to refine and polish your editing.
We were quite impressed with the number of transitions recorded and their quality. No more boring crossfades for you, when you can choose from over two hundred, including Color Distance, Warp, Roll and Twirl.
Unfortunately, you cannot manipulate the parameters of a transition. When it comes to effects, the best way to control the intensity is through an opacity filter. It’s not much of a problem in most cases, but it would have been nice to have more options.
Luckily, you get tons of titles. And you can manage and customize many aspects of those you incorporate into your work.
Despite its focus on beginners, Filmora comes with a lot of advanced features.
Perhaps chroma keying (green screen) may not be considered an advanced feature anymore. Nor is color correction for that matter. But they are both present and correct. Other top tools include video stabilization and split screens. And these are definitely worth experimenting with to see what you can produce.
Even better is Motion Tracking, which is already available in a number of revisions. It’s implemented really well and works as expected as long as you start the analysis at the beginning of the clip.
If you want to animate a clip — for example, by making it move around the screen, or grow and shrink over time — you can do so using keyframes.
Time Reassignment is another cool feature, and with it you can slow down, speed up, and even rewind time in any segment of a selected clip.
If you want to try Filmora for yourself, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s a free version available.
Most of the features are included, but the biggest limitation is that your exported product will be covered with a fairly large watermark, and the instructions say you need to keep an internet connection open to use the software, although we were able to work without it somehow . Still, it’s a great way to see what this software is all about.
Purchase options come in two flavors: an annual subscription that is billed every year, or a perpetual license. The former gives you access to each update as they are released. With the latter you can only do one per year.
There’s also a business and team option for Windows-only users, and the price depends on how many seats you need.
Some of the advantages the business option has over the others is that no attribution is required when sharing work you’ve created with Filmora, and legally that version is covered for business use.
Wondershare Filmora is a great video editing app for Mac and Windows. It is designed with beginners in mind. But there’s a lot of power behind it, including some impressively advanced tools, which will please more experienced editors as well.