The video editing software market offers a wide choice of tools. However, most advanced near professional-level programs aren’t too affordable for an average user. Meanwhile, most free video editors are noticeably feature-limited in one way or another. This is exactly where the video editing software named VSDC stands out. It boasts a strong set of features you typically don’t see in freeware, and it’s indeed available at zero cost.
According to the team behind VSDC, their aim is to make non-linear video editing affordable to a wider audience, and this post, we’ll review what exactly this tool offers.
First of all, in case you’re unfamiliar with the term “non-linear”, technically that means you can place objects in the scene using any sequence. In other words, instead of only being able to merge video files and images in direct sequence (strictly one after another), you can have two or more videos appear in the same scene simultaneously. The most obvious example is a side-by-side video illustrated below or a widely used picture-in-picture video effect.
The biggest advantage of the non-linear method is that you have multiple videos and images overlap and create unique compositions similar to those used in the filmmaking industry.
The program has a ribbon-style interface with all the key tools conveniently located on the top menu. At a glance, there are over 30 video effects available, multiple ways to split, cut, and crop footage, apply quick color correcting Instagram-like filters and speed effects: slow motion, fast-forward, and reversed playback.
You can also make use of a built-in text editor to create nice-looking titles for a clip and even apply such effects as “video inside text” also known as a text mask.
The working area is built around the preview window and the timeline that can be detached for your convenience. One nifty solution VSDC preview windows has is the ability to decrease the quality of the video being previewed. It comes in handy when you’re working with a large or a very high-quality file (especially those shot in 4K) and when you’re trying to preview the results of your editing, the video looks choppy because of how overwhelmed the PC processor is.
Apart from the tools for working with video files, VSDC boasts a large number of audio effects and filters to help your movie sound clear and solid. And when you first launch the program, you’ll also notice that there is a webcam video capture tool, a screen grabber, a voice recorder, and a slideshow creator available.
Some noteworthy effects available in VSDC
When you dive a little deeper into the array of video effects available in VSDC, you’ll see tons of eye-catching tricks to play with. Here are just some of them:
- Chroma Key (easy green background removing)
- Blending modes (to achieve such effects as double exposure, for instance)
- Video side-by-side and split screen
- Advanced color-correction toolset including LUTs
- Gradient brush
- Quick DeLogo filter (allows you to pixelate or blur faces in a video)
- Audio spectrum visualizer
- Cinematic black bars
And there are many more. The best way to see what VSDC is capable of is through watching their YouTube channel where over 200 short tutorials are already published for you to get inspired.
Format compatibility and export settings
The drawback of many free video editors is the inability to either process some formats and codecs, or a narrow choice of export formats. As a result, you often have to resort to converters before or after the project.
With that said, one of VSDC’s strongest sides is full format compatibility, which means it virtually supports all the popular audio and video formats and codecs. It is even capable of working with the newest H265/HEVC codec that allows you to export clips in the highest quality without them being too large in size. Due to that fact (and also smooth processing of 120fps videos), VSDC is officially recommended by the GoPro team for action footage editing.
And while we’re on the topic of formats and quality, it’s important to mention that to make your life easier, VSDC provides over a dozen export profiles that are preconfigured based on your purposes. Thus, you get dedicated profiles for videos that will be mainly watched on a PC, uploaded to YouTube, published on Instagram, played on a gaming console, recorded for a DVD player, and so on.
All the features mentioned above, just like many more that one review wouldn’t be enough to cover, are a part of VSDC free version. That literally means you can edit a video clip, from the beginning to end, have it exported in the desired format and uploaded to your preferred platform without paying a penny.
VSDC does offer a Pro version including advanced features like hardware acceleration (faster video export), video stabilization, audio waveform, video masking, and more. The annual subscription for VSDC Pro costs $19.99, but with so many tools accessible for free, you might not even need anything extra.
It has ultra-low system requirements, so you can use the program even if you don’t have too much RAM on your PC. So do give VSDC a try and tell us what you think about it in the comments below!