Top 13 Free Video Editing Software for Mac
Have you been looking for that perfect video editing software that will put you on the professional map? Or are you just a hobbyist looking to have some fun?
No matter what you are looking for, these free tools can prove useful:
Hyper Engine AV
Hyper Engine AV is a video editing software free to all Mac users. You can use it to capture, process, edit, export and organize your videos as well as add text and audio in order to create high quality movies or slide shows. This software features twelve effects from Arboretum’s Hyperprism and they are truly great – straight from the studio.
Hyper Engine AV also offers text features for credits, titles of certain parts, karaoke or lyrics and you can edit the fonts, types, sizes, colors and so on – even the scroll direction and style. You can use it to create slideshows and capture screen in pictures and film.
This free video editing software is an amazing choice for all beginners as well as some of the advanced users. It’s easy to learn to edit and after a few trial videos, you’ll be right at home.
Pros: Studio quality effects
Cons: Discontinued until the new version arrives
Lightworks is definitely one of the most popular video editing software for both pros and beginners – although it’s slightly better for professionals. It has a free and paid version. With the free one, you can export videos but your options are limited. Lightworks includes multicam editing, titling and various video effects. You also have a multi-layered timeline approach which is great for professionals and their advanced video editing needs. Paid version, naturally, allows for more options but the free one works great as well. This software has been rewarded because of how good it is. It’s lightweight and compatible for both Mac and Windows.
Cons: Limited effects
This video editing software is a compositing video editor that’s simple to use for beginners and great for professionals – many movies were edited with this software.
However, if you are a beginner, you might find HitFilm a bit difficult to use because of all of its complicated options and features. A few tutorial videos and some practice can help you with that.
This software includes more than 400 effects and a ton of options that people across industries can find useful. The interface is intuitive and quite snappy – depending on your device. Even though it lacks the motion graphic feature, you can still use it and have a lot of fun editing.
Pros: High level video effects compositor
Cons: No motion graphics feature
Apple iMovie is a software that comes with every new OS X and there are no extra fees to using it. The latest edition, iMovie 11 works great for beginners. It has a ton of useful features like movie trailer, one step effect, audio editing and so on. You can easily share your music to YouTube and export videos onto your various devices.
While you might find it a bit difficult when you get started, there are a lot of videos online and tutorials that can help you find your way. This software has a decent reputation as one of the best video editing software for Mac. You can also use it on your iPad and iPhone. The only downfall is that the audio is copyrighted so you’ll have to use royalty free music.
Pros: Available across all Apple devices, simple, lots of tutorials
Cons: Audio is copyrighted
Jahshaka has previously been known as CineFX but they have recently changed their name. In this software, you can do video editing, 2D and 3D animation, color correction and many other things. It’s compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux. The interface and what it does resembles Adobe After Effects but it’s free, which is nice for beginners.
There isn’t much community but this is a great example of an open source software that works across platforms. Jahshaka plans to launch a VR option.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of tutorials for the newest version out there – most of them date back to 2013 – but you can always experiment and try things out yourself before you get further into editing.
While it may seem outdated, Jahshaka is under active development.
Pros: Free, 2D and 3D animation
Cons: Still under development, little to no community
This is a versatile video editing software you can use either on Mac or on PC. There is a strong learning curve which means that you will have to spend several hours browsing through articles and watching videos before you can actually get started with this software but it’s worth it. Even though it’s a free version, you can do a lot with it and you’ll be satisfied whether you are a professional or a beginner.
Shotcut allows you to arrange your editing space so it works for you and it supports a wide variety of files for input and output – even the 4K video. You can edit many elements of the video like audio, color, lighting and add many different effects. Many people are using it because it’s a decent free options so there are plenty of guides and tutorials.
Pros: Versatile, free, custom editing space
Cons: Hard to master
This software used to be an advanced color-grading tool but now it’s a great post-production tool. If you want to apply a high quality color correction, this tool is the place to go. There are a lot of other features you can choose from, naturally. There is the timeline curve function which is a powerful feature you can use to edit a specific scene and there is also the full 3D editing system.
You can trim videos easily and fix your color grading.
The best part is that this tool is really simple to use and it’s really approachable to beginners. Learning to work with DaVinci is quite simple and easy.
Pros: Easy to learn, advanced color grading
Cons: Unfriendly single screen editing
This is a handy video editing software which you can use for capturing footage of your screen – this is what it’s best for as it’s a video editor and a screen recorder built into one. You can record both the video and the audion of your computer or mobile device. This is great for tutorial videos. You can also add webcam footage of you while you are working on the screen. It has a ton of options that a regular video editor would have like transitions, animations,audio and so on. You can also make a presentation video and add it in the PowerPoint.
This tool is perfect for YouTubers or anyone who wants to put together a tutorial for any purposes.
Pros: Screen filming, not hard to learn
Cons: Not a lot of features, not good for professional video editors
This is a free and simple video editor. It’s great for beginners to hone their video editing skills. There are tutorials and guides across the web but in essence, this isn’t a difficult tool to master quickly.
You can do basic video editing and 3D animation rendering. Language barrier for people who don’t speak English isn’t an issue either because this tool allows over 70 languages. You can easily slice your videos, edit titles, add effects and animations as well as 3D titles and also save waveforms while editing.
Pros: Free effects and animations, 3D rendering
Cons: Buggy sometimes
Blender is available across platforms and it’s a free 3D graphics application, considered one of the best video editors for Mac. You can use it for rigging, texturing, modeling, skinning, animating, various simulations, compositing and creating 3D animations, video games and other visuals. It has a lot of tools that you will find useful like character animation tools, modeling tools, Python for embedded scripting and so on. It supports CPU and GPU renderings as well as various sculpting tools and brushes.
Pros: Fast poly modeling tools, customizable input
Cons: Unintuitive layers system, animation management not smooth
Even though most of the development and compatibility is for Linux, you can still use this tool seamlessly on your Mac computer. Kdenlive supports all media formats and adding files to the multitrack timeline is simple and easy. You can create 2D titles that will light up your videos, align texts and rotate it as well. You can also use proxy for a better editing experience on large videos. You can customize shortcuts and edit several tracks easily.
You will have to learn a bit about it before you can get started but you can find plenty of videos and tutorials on the web.
Cons: Not user-friendly and it updates slowly
This is yet another excellent and free video editor that you can use for simple tasks like cutting, filtering and similar tasks. It’s available across platforms which is great if you want to use it on multiple computers with different OS. It supports a wide variety of audio and video formats as well as images like AVI, MP4, MOV, JPG and many more.
You can cut ads from TV recordings or just save a small part of the video. It offers filters you can use like color correction or effects. You can truly make a video beautiful here.
It has a clean and easy to use interface which makes the learning curve that much easier to deal with. It’s a free tool, so there are a lot of guides and different tutorials for you to watch and learn faster.
Pros: Clean and easy to use, open-source
Cons: Exporting is slow
ZS4 Video Editor
This is a free editor for Mac which serves best for combining different media types into one file. It’s available on Windows and Linux as well. It has more than 150 video effects that can help you make your videos better and more interesting.
But the best part is that you can add multiple formats into one and create a single file – no more downloading and using many different programs or apps. It’s very simple to use and you won’t have a lot trouble finding your way.
Pros: Lots of video effects
Cons: Not user-friendly
These have been some of the best free video editing softwares for Mac. Each one has its own perks and faults but you have to decide which one would work best for you. Base this on the level of your experience and your personal needs from a software. As always, when in doubt – test it.
Martha Jameson works as a content editor and quality manager. She used to be a web designer and then a manager but she found her calling in writing for Academic Brits. Martha would like to help more people find themselves and their perfect jobs by motivation, sharing her knowledge and experience with her readers