Tag: video

The best video editing software 2018

Choose the right piece of video editing software and you can turn long, frustrating hours sat in front of your computer into a pain-free task with coherent movies, dynamic short films and sharable videos as a result.

Click through to page two for our newly updated list of the best free video editing software if you're not ready to commit to a paid option just yet.

The video editors we've recommended in this buying guide are jam-packed full of features to turn your footage into celluloid gold. whether you're using one of the 5 best laptops for video editing or another device, we've picked the best options to suit you. You'll find the best video editing software for Windows PCs, Mac and Android devices. 

We also have a cheap option if you're on a budget, but still want something more capable than the free software. And there are brilliant choices for beginners and experienced video editors alike. Read on to discover the best video editing software for your needs.

Adobe is an instantly recognisable name to most, and its Premiere Elements 15 program is a great choice for both beginners and experienced editors. It isn't as complex as the more heavyweight Premiere Pro video editor (listed below), which is best suited to full-time video editing professionals. But Adobe Premiere Elements is packed with excellent features, such as face detection, audio effects and bundled soundtracks. And it's friendly to use, too.

Whether you're an editing newbie or a pro, automated functions – such as motion tracking and smart toning – will make your life a lot easier. And the same can be said of the video stabilisation option and simplicity of editing. 

Premiere Elements 15 comes with all the video effects you’d expect in a consumer video editor: transitions, chroma-keying, opacity and so on. The media library is also intelligently organised, with smart searches making it easy to find finished and draft files. 

Read more about Adobe Premiere Elements on TechRadar

Crank things up a notch to Adobe Premiere Pro CC and get an all-singing all-dancing video editor that's used by multitudes of industry professionals. And it's easy to see why it's so popular for Windows 10 users – it can handle an uncapped amount of video tracks, which can be imported from pretty much any source you can think of: files, tapes, cameras of all standards, and even VR. 

The automatic sync is a gem when you have multi-angle shots, and it's hard to fault the fine-tuning tools that really make your video stand out from the crowd.

Read TechRadar's Adobe Premiere Pro CC review

What Adobe Premiere Pro is to Windows PCs, is to Mac users. It's the best video editing software for Mac. And, as you would suspect with Apple software, the must-have editor is consummately easy to use and comes packed with enough features to warrant the admittedly high price tag. We like the grouping tools, effect options and the simplistic way you can add and edit audio.

If you're already entwined in Apple's ecosystem, you'll appreciate how Final Cut cleverly coordinates with your Photos or iTunes collections.

If you think that trying to edit video on your smartphone or tablet is a pointless exercise, will make you think again. Available for Android devices, iPhones and iPads, we've highlighted this option as the best video editing software for Android because it goes way above and beyond what you'd expect from a mobile app. 

It packs the ability to edit multiple layers, add handwriting and text annotations, experiment with up to four audio tracks and precisely edit at a frame and sub-frame level.

We could go on with a looooong list of features, but at this price it won't hurt the wallet just to download the video editing app and give it a try.

offers a great way into video editing for novices. It's brilliantly easy to get going with straight away, thanks to its intuitive interface, but you won't find it wanting for features. 

There's multi-cam editing, 4K video support, 360-degrees VR video support, a music library and loads of effects, to name but a few. Not bad at all for the price.

The more you use VideoStudio Ultimate, the more you'll notice and make use of its little features and flourishes. It's a great option for beginners, and still a pretty good option for more experienced video editors, too.

This one isn't for the faint of heart. CyberLink PowerDirector is a serious bit of software for serious video editors: this is excellent video editing software that delivers professional and high-quality features, without a Hollywood budget.

Get cracking on the 100-track timeline and you'll soon find yourself making the most of multitudes of stabilisation and video correction tools, professional effects, multi-cam editing, motion tracking and surprisingly easy trimming.

There's 360-degree video editing as well, together with support for all the file standards and formats you can imagine. And if you're finding it all a bit of a struggle, then there are plenty of video tutorials to help to get you sorted.

Download CyberLink PowerDirector 15

Next page: The best free video editing software

Amazingly, some of the best free video editing software is almost the same as that used by professionals working on big budget Hollywood productions. In most cases, there’s a paid-for version with more features (click back to page one to read our pick of the best paid video editing software), but the free versions we’re going to show you have the majority of the functionality intact. 

In the case of Lightworks, for example, the main restriction is the output format, but VSDC and the amazing DaVinci Resolve let you export your creations in a wide range of formats.

The range and power of the features available in these free video editing software options is remarkable; if you have the talent there’s nothing to stop you putting together a technically accomplished production.

If your needs are simpler and you just want easy-to-use software that sits between Windows Movie Maker and a top-end professional package, then there’s a free video software download for you here as well.

DaVinci Resolve is a professional video editing package that is used on big-budget film and TV productions, and is especially powerful for colour correction and audio – so if those are priorities in your project then this could be the software for you.

As well as traditional colour features such as curve editors and primary colour wheels, there are some incredible features such as facial recognition and tracking, so you can adjust skin tones, eye and lip colour. Audio is the other area of specialism: DaVinci Resolve includes Fairlight audio, which is a suite of high-end audio editing tools that enable you to mix and master up to 1,000 channels.

It’s amazing that this software is available with nearly all the features present in the free version. If you’re looking for the best free video editing software for Windows or Mac, this could be it.

Lightworks is another professional video editing suite used by people working on major Hollywood productions including Shutter Island, Pulp Fiction, 28 Days Later, The Wolf of Wall Street and Mission Impossible, so it’s exciting that there’s a free version that makes it accessible to everyone.

Amazingly, in the free version you get nearly all the features; the main restriction for the free license version is the output formats – you can only export a web compatible file at 720p. If you want to export a few projects into a different format fairly cheaply, you can buy a one-month licence for £14.99.

Lightworks is undoubtedly some of the best free video editing software for Windows 10. What you’re getting is a fast and very powerful editor with a superbly designed timeline. It does everything you can imagine a big production needs it to, with great hardware and video format support, and powerful project sharing so many people can work together easily.

It's a powerful piece of kit for a freebie, handling video capture and advanced editing with ease. The timeline enables a high degree of control so you can trim and mix together your audio and video clips exactly how you want them. 

Because it's a slimmed-down version of a professional suite, you may find that the interface isn't the easiest to navigate. But there are plenty of good tutorial videos that will get you up and running pretty quickly – and you won't have to pay a penny, as long as your projects are non-commercial.

Read TechRadar's Lightworks review

Lightworks and DaVinci Resolve are ideal if you’re making a slick-looking film, but if you’re making a presentation and want to add text, lines, charts and other special effects to it, VSDC might be the free video editor for you.

It includes Instagram-style filters, lots of special effects including colour correction and blurring, and there’s a mask tool so you can apply effects to part of the video (for obscuring faces, for example).

There’s a video stabiliser to help remove camera shake from footage taken with GoPros or drones, and also a powerful chart tool for adding graphs to presentations.

Unlike Lightworks, the free version of VSDC will export to a range of different formats including AVI and MPG. If you’re unsure about formats, you can even tailor the output so that it works well on particular devices for playback. It supports most video formats, so you shouldn’t have any trouble importing your clips, and there’s a built-in DVD burner.

Read TechRadar's VSDC review

No list of the best free video editors would be complete without a mention of Hitfilm Express. It’s capable of producing feature films or music videos with 3D effects, but it’s also good for making videos for YouTube, as direct uploading is built in.

The free version of Hitfilm Express contains everything you need to make a professional-quality production, but in some cases you’ll benefit from expanding its capabilities by purchasing some of the add-on features. 

Add-on packs range in price from £8.85 to £44.25, so you can pay for only the features you need and tailor the software to your needs for a reasonable price. 

Read TechRadar's HitFilm Express review

Not every project requires a cutting edge, professional-level package, and there’s no point putting the time in to learn powerful software that you’re never going to use again. Shotcut is for you if you’ve outgrown Movie Maker and want to go to the next level, but don’t need the complexity of some of the other packages on this list.

Its interface is uncomplicated and approachable, and you can even customise it to match your needs via dockable and undockable panels. It supports a huge range of formats so you’re unlikely to run into trouble in that department, and there’s a rich assortment of filters and quite advanced special effects that are easy to manage and apply. 

This is one of the best free video editors that will do everything required for most projects.

Read TechRadar's Shotcut review

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11 best video game character designs

The world of games is full of weird and wonderful characters. Everyone has a favourite video game character, right? From Lara Croft to Master Chief, there's arguably no better way to immerse yourself in a game than with the perfect protagonist (or a cracking baddie).

Here are 11 of the best video game character designs and why they're still winning the show. The following creations combine impressive 3D art skills and some clever character design touches.

01. Trico – The Last Guardian

Taking care of Trico can be a real test of your patience, but it’s worth the effort

While your character in Fumito Ueda's The Last Guardian is an unnamed boy, the star of the show is Trico, a giant baby half-bird half-mammal creature that you're trying to guide to safety. Immensely powerful yet ungainly, vulnerable and easily spooked, Trico takes a lot of looking after and can veer wildly between completely adorable and utterly infuriating.

Trico can be encouraged to perform certain actions, but it's like herding a ten-ton kitten; he has his own personality and it's often at odds with the tasks you're trying to accomplish, driving you to distraction but ultimately making success feel all the more rewarding.

02. Abe – Oddworld

Abe was created by Oddworld co-founder Lorne Lanning in 1997

When we're first introduced to Abe, his comical appearance and dim-witted voice make him seem wilfully unprepared for his mission. Undeniable funny, cunning and sneaky, this surprising juxtaposition of appearance to abilities is what gives the player the drive to take Mudokon Pops off the menu for good.

03. Lara Croft – Rise of the Tomb Raider

Best character designs in games

Lara Croft has become an iconic character since she first appeared in the 1996 video game Tomb Raider

Lara Croft is a refreshing step away from the male-centric character design in the original Tomb Raider but still keeps the universal truths that make her iconic. She would be nothing without her gymnastic abilities and utility belt.

04. Alyx Vance – Half-life 2 

Best character designs in games: Alyx Vance

The 2004 design of Alyx was based on the looks of actress Jamil Mullen

Based on the looks of actress Jamil Mullen, the design of Alyx was impressively uncanny. Similar to the evolution of Lara Croft, Alyx as a character is well written and individualistic rather than gender centric.

05. Vaas Montenegro – Far Cry 3 

Best character designs in games: Vaas Montenegro

Vaas is a guy you wouldn’t want to mess with

Surrounded by drugs, guns and paradise has made this 2012 character slightly insane. Although he is never seen directly in the game, his cut scenes are some of the best acted and most memorable. Couple that with the great first person camera work, he really was a fantastic example of a guy you wouldn't want to mess with.

06. GlaDOS – Portal series

Best character designs in games: GlaDOS

Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System is a fictional artificially intelligent computer system from 2007

All she wants to do is carry on testing. She doesn’t see it as a bad thing and can’t understand why you, the test subject, doesn’t want to stay locked up in a research facility until the end of time. You can’t help feeling sorry for her whilst listening to her lie and deceive to keep you there. Plus there is cake… So that’s a bonus.

07. Master Chief and Cortana – Halo series

Best character designs in games: Master Chief and Cortana

Cortana and Master Chief’s continuously developing relationship that makes them some of gaming’s most iconic characters

Halo (2001) was the game that defined the early days of Microsoft's Xbox, and has continued to do so since. The story is only as good as its characters, and Bungie created two classic figures – Master Chief, the Spartan soldier leading the battle against the Covenant Armada, and Cortana, the sharp witted artificial intelligence that guides the Chief through the games. 

It's their banter and continuously developing relationship that makes them some of gaming's most iconic characters.

08. Joel and Ellie – The Last of Us 

Best character designs in games: Joel and Ellie - The Last of Us

The relationship between Joel and Ellie is extremely well executed

This game (2013) has some the best characterisation in a video game or in any media, the relationship between Joel and Ellie is so well executed that this game is about as close to playing a movie as you can get. 

Ellie in particular was designed to remain close to the player and to echo their experience in the game's world. The design also built to foster a relationship between Ellie and Joel, as she was created to lead him to cover when needed, whilst he naturally puts his arm around her, creating a relationship between the two.

09. Prince of Persia – The Sands of Time 

Best character designs in games: Prince of Persia

The Prince’s amazing agility forces players to utilise new ways to get around
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The Sands of Time (2003) featured some great animation and characterisation that felt and looked like a cool cartoon. This was especially highlighted with the Prince's amazing agility in the game, forcing the player to utilise new ways to get from point to point.

10. Ida and Ro – Monument Valley 2 

Ida and her mum’s designs are simple, but very effective

The original Monument Valley charmed us with its interactions between Ida and the Totem, and while Totem makes an appearance in the more recent Monument Valley 2, this outing focuses more on the relationship between Ida and her mother, Ro, who teaches her daughter how to navigate the game's strange worlds and gives the game plenty of new emotional beats.

11. Mario – Super Mario Bros 

A list of top gaming characters just wouldn’t be complete without Mario

We couldn't talk about video game characters without mentioning Mario. Designed to make it easy for new players to understand the game, Mario's character was engineered to engage and excite fans in the game, using subtle design attributes to achieve this. For example, making Mario small so that he can then become big which left players feel more content.

Mario has been through many iterations since he first graced our computer screens in 1981, but the original 8-bit version remains our firm favourite.

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The best computers for video editing 2018

You might have captured the footage of a lifetime, but if you don't have a decent computer for video editing, you won't be able to make your footage sing. Fortunately, that's where we can help. In this guide, you'll find our picks of the best video-editing computers, at a range of different price points to suit your needs. 

Why choose a desktop computer instead of one of our best laptops for video editing? Well, assuming you have a permanent base for it, you'll benefit from better specifications for less money. Also, being able to work on a broader display allows you to pick out minute detail more easily, and see what your film will look like on a bigger screen.

As well as highlighting our top choices of the very best Windows PC and Mac computers for video editing here, we've also got you covered if you're on a budget. (And if you aren't sure which program to use once your computer's sorted, then you can check out our favourite video editing software, too.) Read on for the best computers for video editing…

Apple iMac Pro

We know it's eye-wateringly expensive. But Apple's brand new iMac Pro is the new daddy of computers for designers: if you have the cash, this is the best video-editing computer currently on the market. (If you're after a more affordable model, try the excellent iMac at number four, below.) 

So what do you get for your money? Firstly, there's the 27-inch 5K resolution, which is 43 per cent brighter than standard Apple Retina monitors and delivers up to an astonishing one billion colours. There aren't too many screens around that will flatter your footage more.

Starting with an 8-core Intel Xeon processor, the least expensive iMac Pro option is already immensely powerful, with an outrageous 18-core option for those who can afford it. 1TB to 4TB of SSD internal storage means that you'll be able to store tonnes of 4K footage before you need to think about additional external drives. And it's not short on ports, either, with four Thunderbolt 3.0 ports and a 10GB ethernet port. Plus, of course you get the benefit of the platform's formidable Final Cut Pro X editing software as well.

Read more about the new iMac Pro

HP Z2 Mini G3

Don't let the name fool you, the HP Z2 Mini G3 may look diminutive on the outside, but this Windows PC's specifications make it an absolute behemoth on the inside. Thanks to its Quadro GPU and Xeon CPU, the G3 can power up to four 4K monitors via its DisplayPorts. This enables you to drive 8K worth of pixels. And it still manages to squeeze in 1TB of onboard storage. Remarkable, considering the machine's dimensions.

Because the Mini G3 is such a pint-sized PC, it will fit seemlessly into your home office or studio. Whether stood up or lying flat, it offers a compact alternative to those traditionally massive workstations.

Read our sister site TechRadar's hands on HP Z2 Mini G3 review

Dell XPS 27 AIO

This is another PC that will stretch the budget, but hear us out. This astonishing all-in-one from Dell comes with a mighty 27-inch 4K Ultra HD touchscreen display and an ear-busting set of six speakers. That makes for the ideal platform from which to view – and hear – what you've shot and get the best from it in post-production.

The Dell XPS 27 performs admirably against industry-standard graphics-based benchmarks, no doubt thanks to the pacey 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-6700 processor under the casing. And this premium machine also gets premium peripheries in the form of a sleek and stylish wireless mouse and keyboard.

Read TechRadar's full XPS 27 review

Apple iMac with 4K Retina display

Once you go Mac, it's hard to go back. If you're used to cutting and chopping on an Apple machine and want an all-in-one setup for your desktop then the iMac with 4K Retina display is an absolute beaut – and it's a fraction of the price of the iMac Pro.

In fact, the price is pretty spectacular when you consider that a stunning 21.5-inch 4K retina screen is included. It features a wider range of colours than some competitors' monitors thanks to its DCI P3 colour space. Put simply, images can appear more life-like with accurate colours and a greater vibrancy. The kind of little touch that can really add value to your project.

Read TechRadar's full Apple iMac with 4K Retina display review

Lenovo Ideacentre 510

Complete with monitor, mouse and keyboard, it's not easy to find exceptional quality computing for under a grand. But this Lenovo PC is an adequate option if you're on a tight budget. It comes with a 23-inch Full HD monitor and packs in up to a 2TB hard drive and 7th-generation Intel processor.

If you're somebody requiring a heavyweight machine for professional video editing all day everyday, this machine probably isn't going to quite cut the mustard. But for keen amateurs and dabblers, the sub £1,000/$1,000 spend on this Lenovo all-in-one should be just fine. It's worth noting that you can buy an even cheaper AMD-based version, but it will be less powerful and you get a smaller monitor.

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Master video editing with this class

In this new media environment, where visuals are needed to catch people's attention, video editing is a must-have skill. Adobe Premiere Pro CC is the tool trusted by professionals, and you can become one with the Adobe Premiere Pro CC Masterclass, on sale right now for just $21 (approx. £16).

Adobe Premiere Pro CC is the editing tool video pros trust. The best way to learn this powerful app is to go hands-on, and this comprehensive course will help you get to work with this do-it-all video editing application. You'll get 59 lectures and over 5.5 hours of actionable lessons, that will help you pick up skills that will look great on your resume, or just help you put together some great videos to put on social media.

The Adobe Premiere Pro CC Masterclass usually retails for $200. You can get it on sale right now for just $21 (approx. £16). That's a savings of 89 per cent off the retail price for a course that will have you editing video like an expert, so grab this deal today!

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6 best laptops for video editing 2018

Having the right video editing tools can make a world of difference. That's why we've put together our pick of the best laptops for video editing. 

After all, choose the wrong video editing laptop and you'll waste hours in post-production wrestling with erratic touchpads, squinting at pixelated images and drumming your fingers as your work slowly exports: no one wants that.

  • Get Adobe Creative Cloud now

These six superb laptops will take your video-editing skills up a notch. As well as our pick of the best overall machines, we'll tell you the best video editing laptops for a budget (under £500/$500) and at the mid-range price point (£1,000/$1,000). And whether you're a Mac fan or a Windows wizard, we have the laptop for you. 

Plus, check out our favourite video editing software for an idea of what to run on these great machines. Read on for our pick of the best video-editing laptops out there…

It might not surprise you to see Apple's most powerful laptop ever at the top of our list. The eye-catching Touch Bar may have attracted all the headlines on release, but it's the remarkable power, immaculate 13.3-inch Retina 2,560 x 1,600 resolution display and vast trackpad that make it the best for video editing.

Featuring a minimum of 8GB Ram and 256GB solid-state drive, even the entry-level MacBook Pro will be easily fast enough to deal with most editing tasks at a phenomenal lick. Its rich-sounding speakers also stand out for extra praise – handy if you're trying to nail the dialogue and ambient sounds on your latest creation.

Mac devotees will nod sagely when we say that the software available on Apple computers is the ideal companion for post-production. So if you've never used a Mac before, now might be the time to start.

Read our sister site TechRadar's MacBook Pro with Touch Bar review

Last year's Windows 10-based Dell XPS 15 is quite exceptional and pushes the MacBook very close to the title. It's a wonderful-to-use piece of kit in every department.

The beautiful combination of 4K 3840×2160 resolution InfinityEdge display (the bezel is barely there) and top-of-the-range graphics card will make your footage sing as you chop and cut. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 card is powered by 4GB of video RAM, which doubles that of the MacBook. The graphic capabilities of this beast of a PC top anything else in this price range.

There's a Kaby Lake processor and 8GB of RAM as standard under the hood, but you can pay extra to ramp up the RAM to a roaring 16GB. Rapid.

Read TechRadar's full Dell XPS 15 review

You don't need to be in the film industry to know that the sequel is rarely as good as the original. But quite unlike Jaws, Speed and The Exorcist, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a definite improvement on the first generation. 

In fact, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a mere whisker away from toppling the XPS 15 for best Windows laptop for video editing. But when it comes to 2-in-1 laptop-tablet hybrids, there are none finer. Give the 15-inch screen a tug and it satisfyingly detaches from the keyboard, enabling you to use it as a huge tablet. Handy if you have a work in progress that you want to pass around a table. But, coming with the Surface Pen stylus, it also means you can get more control using the touchscreen for seamless video edits. 

Study the Surface Book's spec sheet and it impresses at every line. The 3,240 x 2,160 resolution display is sharper than the majority of laptops on the market (including every MacBook in existence) and 4K footage will look just how you imagined it. The presence of the GPU and Nvidia GeForce chipset gives it yet a further boost in the graphics department, while the stacks of RAM and state-of-the-art Intel processor (all configurable) make it a processing monster.

If the words of praise keep getting drowned out by volume of the price tag, then the original Surface Book is still available and would still make a more than competent companion to any video editor. You have to settle for a 13.5-inch screen, but the savings can reach as much as a grand.

Read our full Microsoft Surface Book 2 review

Despite Apple's reputation for great expense, you don't have to pay top dollar for the sleek, powerful pleasure of owning one of its machines. The super-slim 13-inch MacBook Air makes for a brilliant sub-£1,000/$1,000 video editing machine.

The processor speed has just been upgraded to 1.8GHz and the default RAM has been boosted to 8GB instead – meaning silky smooth processing and fast exporting. It's a noticeably more powerful laptop than previous Air iterations. It has more ports than most MacBooks, featuring two USB 3.0 ports, a Thunderbolt 2 and a full-sized SDcard slot.

In addition to its price tag, the MacBook Air's portability make it attractive to many creative professionals. The battery life is epic and at a lightweight 1.35kg on the scales, it's svelte enough to carry around with you without feeling too burdened. Ideal if you want to work away from the office.

Read TechRadar's full MacBook Air review

The Lenovo Yoga 720 hits a real sweet spot between price tag and capabilities. It may not quite have the power or street smarts of the premium machines from Apple, Microsoft or Dell, but there's much to like – including the smaller impact it will have on your bank balance.

It manages to offer a full HD 15-inch display for somewhere close to a grand, if not under. And with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card as standard, you'll have the ability to experiment with effects not alien to those more powerful machines. It lacks none of the elite finish either, with the aluminium casing and backlit keyboard common to more expensive laptops.

We do rather rue the lack of an HDMI out port. If you like to instantly transmit your work in progress to a bigger screen then you'll need to find another way of going about it. But as far as compromises go, it feels like a small one. You still get an accurate touchscreen for fingertip control of your footage and sufficient processing power for frustration-free use.

Read TechRadar's Yoga 720 review

It isn't easy to find a decently specced laptop with a large screen and still get change from £500/$500. But that trusty stalwart HP has somehow managed to produce a cheap laptop that isn't a disaster zone.

This isn't one for the pros, but if you're a beginner or keen amateur learning the ropes of video editing, the Pavilion is a good choice. Even the entry-level models have loads of storage for rolls of footage, and a little extra cash can get you more RAM, a better Intel processor or a full HD display.

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