VSDC aims to provide the most affordable video editor for creators
There is no shortage of professional video editing software on the market. However, if you are on a budget, you might run into a few challenges.
On the one hand, there are well-known professional players, such as Adobe and Cyberlink, offering unparalleled performance with a hefty price tag. On the other hand, there are tools like Davinci Resolve: free, but highly dependent on GPU performance and requiring a powerful computer with at least 4 GB of dedicated VRAM.
So what would be the solution for low-budget creators whose computers aren’t wired for such resource-intensive software?
Meet VSDC, the video editor for those looking for an affordable tool that will work even on a low-end PC.
What is VSDC?
VSDC is well known as a free NLE for Windows that is both lightweight and feature rich. It brings a non-linear timeline with unlimited tracks, tons of color correction tools, cinematic transition effects, motion tracking, handy export profiles, and even 360 video editing.
Due to its compatibility with all formats and smooth 120fps processing, VSDC is officially recommended by the GoPro team and considered one of the go-to options for action camera and drone owners. For an NLE, it’s also surprisingly undemanding: you can run VSDC with as little as 1-2GB of RAM (given you’re not trying to process hour-long 4K footage).
While the majority of VSDC users seem happy with the free version, the project is monetized through the VSDC Pro subscription, which is available for $ 19.99 per year. The premium tier brings some advanced features, such as motion tracking, hardware acceleration, masking, HSL chroma key, video stabilization, and cinematic transitions.
Let’s take a closer look at VSDC to see what it brings under the hood and what’s worth trying.
VSDC has a modern, dark-themed interface designed for first-time users. There is a ribbon style menu at the top and sliding windows with additional settings for basic effects, properties, and object handling.
The large preview panel is located in the center: to add files you can either use shortcuts or just drag them directly onto the Stage. The timeline contains an unlimited number of video and audio tracks and allows you to use both non-linear and linear file sequences depending on the project you are working on.
Depending on your working style, you can switch between 4 different workspace layouts, detach panels and use markers on the timeline.
Whether you’re a beginner or advanced user, VSDC offers a range of color correction tools from fast Instagram-style filters and LUTs to pro-level RGB and Hue & Saturation color wheels.
You can enhance your footage, isolate any color, or achieve more complex color tone effects.
Customizable video effects
Basically, there are two types of effects in VSDC. First of all, there is a huge library of video and audio effects that you can customize precisely to your needs. Even more, once the right look is achieved, you can save the adjusted effect version to the library as your own template and use it later. Some of the more impressive options are Glitch, Zoom, Shattered Glass, and Paper Burn effects.
Now, in addition to the built-in effects, there are plenty of tricks you can do manually by resizing, rotating, and moving objects right in the preview panel. While this approach might sound slightly unorthodox, it actually allows you to easily manipulate videos, images, and titles.
For example, you can achieve the popular split screen or picture-in-picture effects by simply resizing the videos on the stage and placing them in a way that suits you.
Crop modes for perfect slow motion
Quick editing is one of the most requested features in post-production, and VSDC handles it well thanks to the powerful crop modes. Although it is relatively easy to get a fast forward effect even for beginners, it can be difficult to get a perfect slow motion effect because videos with a reduced number of frames tend to look choppy. .
To help you get rid of unwanted flicker, VSDC offers two cropping modes: Blend and Optical Flow, the latter of which is powered by AI algorithms. Cropping allows you to fill in the gaps between frames and make a slow motion video smoother even after drastically reducing the speed.
The object-based approach allows you to apply any effect from the video effects library to images and titles. This means that you can easily create a glitch title, apply zoom, transparency, or any other transition effect. However, there are also dedicated text animation effects available. For example, by following the tutorials on the company’s YouTube channel, you can recreate a typewriter effect or popular video game intros.
One of the main updates VSDC has received this year is Bézier Curves – the technology that allows you to draw complex shapes and create smooth, personalized animations. The former comes with the free version and can be handy if you need to apply a clipping or inverted mask in a video. The latter is a higher-level feature that can be used for any effect with curve-based parameters: transitions, object transformations, and effects like Zoom or Glitch.
Motion tracking (Pro)
The motion tracking module is available in the VSDC Pro version and allows you to attach a piece of text, image, icon or mask to any moving object in a video. The software first analyzes and records the trajectory of a moving object and saves it in a separate file. From there, you can apply the path to any third-party object added to the scene.
This technique is widely used in video ads, travel, and real estate videos where moving objects need to be marked or named. However, this is also useful if you need to censor a moving object in a video by hiding it behind an unsharp mask.
AI art generator
The AI Art generator uses the power of neural networks to create videos in the styles of Picasso, Van Goth, and other great artists. While this particular tool does require some extra computing power, it does add a surreal touch and overall it can be fun to play around with.
The art style templates are available on the VSDC website, so you will need to download them to your PC before applying them to your video. For more effects, you can also use VirtualDub plugins from any open source effects collection available online.
The easiest way to export video is to select a device or platform that the video is intended for. Based on your selection, VSDC will automatically apply the best performance settings, which you can change in the export profile settings if needed. In terms of output options, there are many formats and codecs to choose from, including the latest H.265 / HEVC codec designed to maintain the best quality after compression.
There are preconfigured export profiles for YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Those looking for some time saving tips can use the option to skip saving the clip on the PC and upload it directly to YouTube.
Who should turn to VSDC Video Editor
For beginner video editors on a budget, VSDC can be a great place to start. It brings the much-requested intersection of a low-cost solution that also saves your PC’s resources. The free version provides everything you might expect from the prosumer-level video editor, while the Pro version adds the tools you might want to explore once you take control of the platform.
The biggest drawback for new users might be the organization of the non-traditional interface leading to a steep learning curve. However, you can make the onboarding process easier with the text and video tutorials available on the company’s website and YouTube channel.
At the end of the line ? If you casually shoot games, GoPro videos, or travel vlogs and want to master video editing without investing in expensive software yet, it’s worth giving VSDC a try. There are no conditions attached to the free version: no watermark, format limitation or trial period.
Download VSDC from the official website and see if it works for you.
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