Are you suddenly finding yourself with a creative itch to make cool video content and share it with the world? Here are some software and hardware recommendations for getting into video editing.
DaVinci Resolve Video Editing Software
DaVinci Resolve (DR) is a great jumping off point for many starting editors because it’s free yet offers more than basic editing functionality. Color correction, visual effects, motion graphics and audio post production are all available at the free level. The pro version, DaVinci Resolve Studio, has all of that plus 3D tools, extra FX filters, advanced HDR grading and more. Both can host 3rd party plug-ins such as Open FX (more plugins are include with Studio) and VST plug-ins, third party title and motion graphics templates, and more. It’s compatible with a variety of file formats and resolutions so you can move files to other editors with ease, regardless of platform. This is great if you work on both Mac and PC. DR is platform agnostic, requiring Win 8.1 or later, Mac OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 or later and Linux CentOS 6.6 or later. Unlike many of the other programs we’ll discuss in this video, DR relies more on the GPU than CPU, so you’ll want to make sure it meets the requirements, more on that below.
HitFilm Express Video Editing Software
Another popular free editing software is HitFilm Express. It works with both Mac and PC and it’s great for beginners with color coded tracks and a customizable workspace. It also includes unlimited audio and video tracks, a built-in audio mixer and professional effects and features. HitFilm does offer advanced packages for more advanced users if you want things like color grading, chroma key etc. and there’s plenty of YouTube tutorials.
Movavi Video Editing Software
Movavi which is compatible with both Mac and PC and available in two versions: Movavi Video Editor and Movavi Video Editor Plus. Neither are free but there is a 7-day free trial which will put a watermark on the videos, but for a one-time payment of around $40-60, depending which version, you get a lifetime license for one device. The reason Movavi is so popular with beginners is since it’s easy to use with basic features like crop, rotation, zoom, trimming, deshake, transitions, filters and effects. The Plus version features slow motion, reverse, animation, timeline markers, background changes and tons of others special effects.
Which software you decide to go with will ultimately come down to personal preference, system compatibility, desired features and the hardware you have available. Let’s discuss some of the basic hardware requirements you’ll need to get started editing, as well as more specific requirements for each of the software options we’ve already discussed.
If you’ll be working with projects ranging from 1080p to 4k, you’ll want at least 16GB of RAM. If you plan on working with lots of higher resolution footage while also running background projects, you will probably want to upgrade that to 32GB of RAM or higher. Out of the software options discussed in this video, DR will require the most RAM, recommending 16GB for basic HD editing and 32GB or more for 4k. The other options are much less RAM intensive, with HitFilm Express requiring at least 4GB but recommending 8GB or more and Movavi only requiring 256MB of RAM at minimum.
Storage is going to be another hardware consideration for any editor. High res video uses a lot of storage capacity, especially working with multiple large files at a time like multi-cam editing, the speed of an SSD is very beneficial. SSDs are around 4x faster in transfer rate than a hard drive and NVMe SSD is almost 10x faster. The SSD speed benefit means faster rendering times. If you decide to go with DR, know that the application alone takes up about 2GB and more for the rendered files. It also works with external storage options ranging from direct attached hard drives to NAS and SAN systems.
CPU and GPU
After RAM and Storage you’ll want to consider some other components. Since DR relies more on the GPU for rendering you’ll want a dedicated GPU with at least 4GB of GPU memory and more if you will use a lot of plugins. The other software options we mentioned are much less GPU intensive, with HitFilm even able to run off integrated graphics if need be. As far as CPU goes, DR is the most demanding, requiring a CPU like an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7, while HitFilm Express requires only a 4th Gen Intel Core or AMD equivalent and Movavi only requiring an Intel, AMD or compatible CPU at 1GHz or faster.
If there are other editing programs you’d like to see discussed in more detail in a future video, please let us know in the comments.
If you need tips on a video editing PC build sure to watch our other videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAsUq-kEMSD7J1PphS79g9stk-zzEa0vn
If you need to upgrade or invest in some more RAM or SSD please visit our website linked in the pinned comment.