Wondershare Filmora Video Editor ver 7.8: A Review
In this YouTube age it is a rarity for a person to have not posted videos (even a single one) online. Some upload a video of their sumptuous food before taking that great big bite to satisfy their hunger. Proud parents post videos of their lovable little toddler and let the world know how happy they are! Young lovers post some emotional moments, like a wedding proposal or that day when she said "yes". Some post a gathering of long lost friends like an alumni homecoming. The comedians or those that love humor(whatever kind it is) post funny videos from everyday adventures. Some even include video-graphing in their daily schedule that they can't live without taking one single video. I mean the ideas, concepts for video (amateur/pro) are endless and further growing!
Lately (well at least in the last two years or so) there has been an onslaught of fantastic "new" and improved video editors that surfaced to the delight of those enthusiasts and regular videographers. All software company/developers who are competing for all of them enthusiasts have done a fantastic job at in the improvement of their respective products. The improvements ranged from adding great/new features to additional freebies all aimed at getting the crowd to notice their software program, try it out, love it, and ultimately buy it. But something new is not always welcome to any user. Oftentimes those new features may not be so user friendly or difficult to use or, adds more confusion to the user. That predicament sometimes results to more issues paving the way for the user to stop and look the other way. That's only a slice of the pie there. Some users also might find the features are too complicated to their liking or frankly they don't want or need that added new feature at all. In one way or another it has been an experience in our lives that a software (or an appliance for that matter) we use/trusted for a long time began getting complicated and right then and there we scratch our heads in dismay. So goes on the hunt for an alternative. The search is never over for more alternative/simpler programs that can do the job well alongside it's user friendliness.
I seem to notice that from experience, especially software's like firewall and AV's -- (a lot say now "why not use the built-in Windows Firewall instead of a 3rd party firewall" --something like that). People do not have the time to be complicated on what they use and just want simpler things to get desired results. Time is of the essence. Time is gold. I do not have the time etc., etc.
This is where Wondershare Filmora fits in. Simple and yet has all the features that the average user can use and admire atop from getting the best (if not great) results for your video editing needs. So to give you an idea of how Wondershare Filmora can fill that simplistic need for your video editing projects I took it for a further spin and made this review especially on some of it's functions and features which I have not used before.
So lets get it on!
Wondershare Filmora Video Editor ver 7.8.0
When you start Wondershare Filmora you will be taken to an interface where you are to select: (1) Aspect Ratio (4:3 or 16:9), (2) Mode either "Easy Mode" or "Full Featured Mode". The "Easy Mode" is as the word implies "easy" mode where Filmora provides you with built-in themes. You just simply have to import your media files, select a theme, add your preferred music and your finished! Quick and easy! The "Full Featured Mode" opens up full featured editing for your media files and offers more granularity based on your preference. At the upper-right corner you can see an "Open Recent" which is a "quick access" to the recent files that you have made with Filmora.
The user interface is clean, modern (like most of the new edition of video editors) and isn't clogged/cluttered. There two skins provided: (a) Dark skin, and (b) Light skin. Ease of access to the features of the program is a click away.
The "Full Featured Mode" interface is composed of: (a) Media Library Window -- where you place/see all the media files you import for your editing (b) Toolbar -- provides easy access to your editing features. (c) Timeline/Storyboard -- where you will arrange all your video editing. (d) Preview Window -- where you can view what you are editing as with the previewing effects, transitions, overlays etc., prior applying them to your edit. (Let it be noted that for this review we will be using the "Full Featured Mode" for you to be able to see what Filmora can offer you).
Media files can be imported via the Media Library Window>Import> interface or you can drag and drop files from explorer or from another application (as in my case FSViewer.exe) to the Media Library Window. There is also a built-in video recorder and you can directly get media files from that provided you have the webcam connected to your PC. Best and fastest way (at least on me) is to get all those that you need (music, video, elements etc.) and place them in a project folder. From there you can click "Import > Import a Media Folder" and Filmora will get all those that are in the folder, or you can just drag all those files (from that project folder to the Media Window! Kindly see the image below where from FSViewer.exe I dragged an image to the Media Window.
Why do we edit a video? It maybe that we do not want some parts or we want to improve the overall video that we have or we just want to simply cut it and shorten it to our liking. Here in this part we can edit all sequences of the video that we have. You can either split, join, trim, crop, rotate a video or parts of it to your preference. To start off you have to drag a clip to your timeline. To zoom in/out of your timeline you just have to place the cursor on the timeline grid and wait till it changes to "left-right drag icon". Drag left or right to desired timeline view.
From the video you placed in the timeline, you can either play and stop it at the location or you can drag the timeline slider to the position you want to cut the video. I want to cut some unwanted parts from that video. I have determined that I want to cut at:
First cut is at 00:00:22.23 (-- 0 Hours : 00 Minutes : 22 Seconds . 23rd frame)
Second cut is at 00:00:31.08
Third cut is at 00:01:5.20
I will place the slider to the "first cut" location which is 00:00:22.23 and then click "Split" --scissors icon. Set slider to 00:00:31.08 (and click "Split" --scissors icon) and then the same procedure for the 3rd cut. Kindly see the image of the "Goat Video" below.
You can join your new "cut" video when you export it. The export function will be discussed later on in the review.
Rotate/Flip and Edit Options
There are options provided so you can edit your video to your preference. Just right-click on the video and select "Edit". The Edit options will appear which contains functions/options wherein you can edit your video. They are:
- Rotate 90 deg (Clockwise or Counterclockwise)
- Flip Horizontal or Vertical
- Contrast (slider adjustment)
- Maturation (slider adjustment)
- Brightness (slider adjustment)
- Tint (slider adjustment)
- 3D LUT (Lookup table Files -- where you can select your 3D preference viewing)
- Enhance -- Auto-Enhance checkbox
- Speed adjustment -- where you can adjust playback speed by increments of 50x, 25x, 20x and 10x
- Play Video in Reverse --as the phrase implies gives you the option to play videos backwards.
There is also an "Advanced Option" for Color tuning manually or by presets.
See image below.
To crop/zoom on your video (the same procedure also for images/pictures) you just have to "Right-click the video > Crop and Zoom". The Crop and Zoom dialog box will appear showing you the video constraints option:
Manually --manual crop
16:9 -- for aspect ration 16:9
4:3 -- for aspect ration 4:3
You can use the slider to view your video when you make the crop/zoom so as to check whether what you crop is actually cropped or needs more adjustments.
See image below.
You can also add a watermark to your preference via the way of elements or PIP. Just select an appropriate image you like and place it on the location in the timeline for the "elements/pip". You can also edit the watermarking image like any video via the "Right-click the image > Edit". Adjustment handles are present to drag and position your watermark to your desired location. You can also rotate it. Just place the cursor at the cross-hairs until it changes to the "rotate cursor", press and hold as you rotate the image.
Filmora gives you great options and editing for the text effects you want for all occasions. Kindly see the text edit functions and advanced options (offers more granularity to the preset settings) in the images below. The project that I did required a "title" to distinguish it from the other videos I have done. Kindly see images of adding a text or title below.
Using Filters and Overlays (PIP)
A video overlay is an element placed over the top of your video/image enabling you to place two simultaneous videos on the screen. It is also known as "PIP" --picture-in-picture effect. Filmora has built-in overlay effects included in the software install and you can download more free effects at the Wondershare Filmora site. You can also add additional PIP effect overlay atop an existing overlay. You can place a "Filter" on top of an "Overlay" (or vice versa --same for all PIP elements) and apply the effect simultaneously provided you place them one-on-top of each other in the timeline view. If you want to an effect of an "Overlay" first and then a "Filter" that can also be but you need to arrange them in sequence depending on what will be first as shown in the image below.
See the Joker GIF add-in overlay. That one was placed above the existing "Ink Overlay" and is of a nature of picture-in-picture effect. There seems to be no way of adding a fade-in/fade-out on the PIP's as I cannot find any way for any "fade" command or tool except in the "Transitions". One thing to remember is that the preset overlay are non-editable so when you "Right-click > Edit" it will show "there is no parameter". The Joker GIF add-in overlay you can edit like any video via the right-click procedure. Editing options are the the same as with any video.
Filters and Overlays -- What's the difference..?
"Filters" mean "internal effects" while "Overlay" means "external effects". But there isn't really any huge difference in both. The way you apply it to the video/image that you edit is the same. It all depends on what you want your final edit to look like and Filmora by default has provided more than enough options for your average editing endeavor.
When doing a video project that is quite long or has many elements involved like images/pictures/GIFs aside from videos the timeline view gets longer but when you drag to shrink it there isn't much left to see there (I always get the feeling that I should have gotten myself a big screen monitor when I still had the money...Rats!). Well at least there is the storyboard view that I can use specifically to insert the transitions that I want per video/image/GIF etc. The "Storyboard View" only shows transitions and the video/images/GIF so I maximize it's usage plus given that reason it's easy to set options for all of them individually without being bothered by the clutter of the elements you applied.
Transition effect only applies between two files(image/video/GIF etc) on the video track timeline. Also some state that it is not allowed or unwise to place a transition at the beginning of a video. But on me it depends on the project that you are doing. In this project I have applied a starting transition.
To apply/use a transition you have to click the toolbar where it says, "transitions" and from there select from the preset transitions given. Depending on your project and your preference you can either apply a transition (a) one-by-one in between each video (b) apply random transition to all (c) apply a single transition to all. On this particular project that I am making as I do this review I selected "Dissolve" as the main transition but there are some locations that I did not apply any. Why? It is because that the video/GIF that is at the left and right of the supposed location of the transition is "fast" and the end-result is much better without.
The "Elements" you apply the same as that of Overlays and Filters. It is also considered as PIP. There isn't much a big a difference from it's application but I'd like to show you that this is where I have created the PZD_GIF that I posted here with this review. The chosen element was "Particle Swirl 4" and you can edit it via the right-click procedure (Right-Click on Element > Edit) and drag to either left/right to lengthen or shorten it's duration. I chose that particular element so that it may have a "magic effect" as if the phrase "Programy Za Darmo" and "Forum Programy Za Darmo" will come out from that element. Thus the sequence is:
Blank Slide > Element 1 --Particle Swirl 4 > Programy Za Darmo> Blank Slide > Element 2 --Particle Swirl 4 > Forum Programy Za Darmo> Blank Slide
Programy Za Darmo.GIF
The project that I did also included the use of "Elements" at the scene where there was this cat that was attempting to jump from a parked vehicle to a nearby roof. I placed a "Wham" element with a corresponding sound effect of "broken glass".
Split Screen is a technique where you can split your screen to two or more allowing yo to play simultaneously video clips at the same time. A lot of people use this one when they want to clone themselves and make it look like you are talking/interacting with yourself. It's pretty much text-book in Filmora as you only need to select what type of split screen you want and then select the video that you will drag from the Media Window to the Dropzone. One thing that we should take not is that unlike in the normal video editing, the split-screen video that you drop in the timeline is not editable. So it's pretty much what you see and get. Some o the videos that you select may not have the same length and does not gel well with the others so the thing is that before you use split-screen, have a concept/idea first(as with all projects) and prepare it all first. Thus if you want some editing for that split-screen effect that you chose, edit all the videos first before you drag/drop in the Dropzone.
Power Tool - Tilt-Shift, Mosaic, Face-Off, Flash and Hold
Filmora provides some nifty effects that you can use for your video editing scenarios. Like "Tilt-Shift". The "Tilt-Shift effect" is normally used to blur some parts of the videos giving the illusion that you are miniaturizing the video itself. "Mosaic" is used to cover some parts of the video that yo do not want seen or exposed. Maybe some sensitive information or part of body that may have been exposed and is not suitable for viewing.
"Face-Off" is similar to "Mosaic" but in the latter gives you more option to blur any area in the video clip. Face-Off as the word implies, only covers the moving faces ion the video. "Flash and Hold" is a close-up effect that oftentimes we see in TV commercials or mainstream movies. This is used to make the viewer focus on the face of the character or some portion of the video that you should not miss or must be emphasized.
Filmora gives you the option to record media from: (a) Your WebCam (b) PC Screen (c)Record a voice-over -- which is nifty if yo are making tutorials.
Adding Sound to your project
Adding sound to your project is as simple as ABC. The same procedure as you just to have the sound file in the Media Window and from there drag it to the timeline location. Now Filmora offers two (2) location where you can insert your sound files. I use both because there are instances when I am to place a soundtrack for my edit alongside some sound effects. Filmora can also make edits of your soundtracks. Like the edit options given in video, you can also cut/split, join and edit options via the Right-Click > Edit.
Filmora gives you the options to export your edit work via:
(.wmv, .mp4, .avi, .mov, .flv, .mkv, .ts, .3gp, .mpeg-2, .GIF, .mp3)
(iPhone, iPad, AppleTV, iPod, Galaxy S5, SmartPhone, Android Generic, Nexus, Xbox one, PS4, Wii, Sony TV)
I know what you are thinking there...no .m4v format! Well you can't have it all But these file types are the most commonly used one in the market. Perhaps in the future Wondershare will consider adding it up just like it did with .mkv format.
So I think that's as far as I will go for now.
OBSERVATIONS AND FINAL WORD
Wondershare Filmora is not really a new kid in the block as it has been around for some years now. I remember when I was just a newbie trying to edit some videos that we took from the manufacturing line. That was for a presentation that we will be doing for our visiting customer auditors. There was this little 'ol me trying to understand Wondershare Video Editor that was installed in the laptop of one of my staff. It was difficult because this was a first time for me (I was used to delegating that job) but after a couple of days I finally made a decent edit. After all those years I am still a novice-to-intermediate (eventhough I can edit some videos now with ease from experience). If I can sum up what is Filmora to me, I'd state that (a) it is simple (b)intuitive/user friendly (c) has features that you will like and admire (especially the free effects) and (d) has defintely more potential. You do not need to be experienced using Filmora as it is straight-forward enough for any beginner to understand. Filmora's out of the box approach is great and the learning curve is not as steep as the top notch ones. Most inexperienced user will love it instantly.
You can download additional themed effects add-on package's for holidays and the like from their website. The free effects downloads are great and even I was surprised and liked it a lot. Well look at the "PZD GIF" I did! Very nice effects elements added. Although .m4v isn't included (as mentioned earlier in the review) it is compatible with all the popular video, audio and image formats and has an export option to a specific file type or a file for a specific device like your smartphone/tablet for that matter. If you fancy you can have your video exported to YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo directly from the interface.
Some observations that I need to state as I made this review on this version.
Option to Set Numerical Data Manually
The sliders are a good thing especially when adjusting editing options but I hope Wondershare will consider adding the capability to type-in the numerical data alongside the slider. You are dependent on the slider and the value that the slider shows. Sometimes you are tired and you can't handle the mouse button the way you used to handle when it you started fresh so sometimes it'll take time to set things properly(or if your mouse is going nuts). If the numerical data of the sliders can be punched-in/typed-in then it would be a nice touch.
Opacity Controls / Chroma / Mask / PIP Fade-in -Fade-out
In one of my video editors I usually do video-on-video effects. One video (main video) has opacity set to 100%. The other/s at my preference depending on what I need to be seen or portrayed. In Filmora you can do video-on-video but I do not see "Opacity Controls" especially for those PIP that are not preset, as in my example a video-on-video arrangement. Filmora can suffice for the "presets" there is the "Alpha" adjustments that works like opacity but when I added a picture overlay on top of the video there was none. Same was for the second video for the video-on-video arrangement. You can use chroma and get rid of the surrounding surfaces to have that opaque look but that's just about it.
Chroma function needs improvement as the interface for the chroma is SMALL and too BRIGHT. May I request a bit darker one please! It's a bit blinding to the eye especially when doing chroma (especially with that interface color)! There isn't anything that you can do there also because it's too small you can't see clearly. Why not make it like the "Text Advanced Editing Options" --dark interface and medium sized window or better yet a dark interface (so we can not go blind) and a minimize/maximize window option. The masking option is okay --reminds me of PowerDirector but there is no "feathering" so no further effect can be applied (no opacity, as well as, preserve aspect ratio)
During this project creation/review I was looking for a way to "fade-in/fade-out" an inserted element (PIP) but was not successful at that. I was only allowed to "fade" the main video which was also from the "Transitions Effect --Fade". No option to fade-in/fade-out elements can be found. What happens when the need may arise that a PIP fades-in/fades-out "slowly"..? On this project I did, at the portion of the "cat that was attempting to jump from a parked vehicle to a nearby roof" a PIP instantly appearing is warranted because it was meant to emphasize the cat's failed attempt. But on a slow-concept or emotional video the fade-in/fade-out effect is needed.
See images below.
See video below re: jasonX_PZD_Filmora Sample Project
Media Window / Preview Window / Time Stamp aide
Preview Window can use some functions to be docked/undocked. So even if you resize the Media Window, it will still be visible and will not be affected. Now in this version you can resize the Media Window as well as the area for the elements but the Preview Window suffers and gets smaller. Also the last version (ver 6.3) I used had the guide for the time stamp which was placed neatly below the time stamp itself. Version 7.3 and version 7.8.0 took it out. If a beginner video-enthusiast uses Filmora version 7.8.0 he may need to decrypt that "00:00:31.08".
Wondershare Filmora Effects Pack
Wondershare team should be commended on this beautiful and best of all FREE effects pack. Though a sizable download (for some with shit internet --like me) close to 400mb the largest, the effects pack augments any video project that you will come across. If these free ones cannot suffice for you then just and surf the Wondershare Effects Store so you can check out the effects that may be of your liking. The direct download links to all the free effects pack are located below as with the pertinent links of Filmora.
Online USER Guide / YouTube Channel / Get Creative Site
There is this online user guide that Wondershare has posted so you if you do not understand something or came to a standstill on you project then an interactive reference is just a click away. There are more than enough tips and tricks that you can learn there. This reminds me of DirectorZone but not quite like it. A user guide that can be downloaded but you will go through Wondershare CS to get it. A download link is provided for you as well as pertinent links to Wondershare Filmora below.
So I guess that's about it for this review.
I hope observations mentioned will be considered by Wondershare development team. I seem to see that it lacks those which I see/use in the other video editors I have. I use around 3 editors to get me by. Still I cannot deny the fact that after years of using it Filmora has grown on me and with this version I like it more because of the effects included and the same ease-of-use features. Just never really tried out some functions that I normally do on my "other" video editors with Filmora so with this review I finally experienced using it further. Thus I mentioned at the start of this review " --taking it for a further spin".
Wondershare Filmora definitely still fills my video editing requirements. When I want to do a fast project but still with effects that are different and makes something of a "wow" effect I use Filmora. Simple, intuitive, no-fuss video-editor. Simple as it may seem it has all the features that the average user can use and admire atop from getting the best (if not great) results for your video editing needs. I'd recommend it anytime especially to the beginners and novice users or if I may, to advanced user who want to make fast video editing that can be at par with the results from video editors from bigger software companies(but to advanced users --because you are "experts", Filmora needs more features). It all depends on you --the user, your project, what you want to create and achieve.
Do have a peak on the project I made (posted at YouTube) for this review of Wondershare Filmora. Latest version is Wondershare Filmora ver 7.8.0 (which is what I used). If I make you feel sad at start you'll definitely smile in the next!
jasonX_Send In The Clowns_Slides_Video
jasonX_PZD_Filmora Sample Project
Whats NEW in ver 7.8.0
- New advanced color tuning features (Temperature, Tint, Lights, HSL, Vignette and more);
- 45 color presets and supports loading 3D LUTs (Lookup table files) for tuning color of videos and images;
- New Pan and Zoom feature for adding and customizing animation for still images!
- Supports customize animation, font, size or color of Text effects and save as new presets;
- New transition modes without affecting total duration of the two clips;
- New Magnetic Timeline to make texts, effects and overlays bound up with clips on main video track;
- Supports adjusting frame rate and resolution when recording from WebCam;
- UI modification for some popup windows;
- Adds Arabic Localization
You can further check out Wondershare Filmora below.
Wondershare Social Networking Sites
Wondershare Filmora Effects Pack Download LINKS