Video Editing Tools: The 5 Essential Programs

There are numerous video editing tools available for use, regardless of whether one is editing for the first time or as a professional.  For individuals who are interested in entering the film and video editing industry, there are several essential programs that one has to master or at least be acquainted with. Here are some of the most popular computer programs available on the market today.

Adobe Premiere/ Premiere Pro

These two products have been considered staple programs in the video editing industry. Produced and released by Adobe, these non-linear, timeline based programs are geared towards the professional sector and are able to support a wide range of video editing cards and plug-ins for quicker rendering times. The software is often bundled with other programs under the Adobe Creative Suite although it is also possible to purchase and acquire the program separately. Beginning with the release of Premiere Pro CS3, a number of computers running on Mac OS X are also capable of running the video editing software. The program also works well with Adobe After Effects, a computer software program used and known for creating motion graphics and other compositions.

Avid Media Composer

The Media Composer was first released in 1989 and the first non-linear video editing tool created for offline editing. It is geared towards the middle to high end sectors of the video editing industry. Although facing stiff competition from other staples such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere, it is still considered an essential video editing program. It continues to be used in a number of major film productions, one of which was the1996's English Patient which won the Oscar's first Best Editing Award. Initially produced for Mac based systems, later revisions of the program can be run on Windows.

Final Cut Pro

The Final Cut Pro is a professional, non-linear video editing program. In comparison to other video editing tools, this program is exclusive to computers running on Mac systems. The program can edit and render for other Apple products such as QuickTime, iPod, Apple TV as well as Blu-ray discs. It is a powerful program capable of adding an unlimited number of video tracks, 99 audio tracks and includes a number of standard transitions.

Sony Vegas

The Sony Vegas is another professional, non-linear tool which runs exclusively on Windows based systems. It is one of the more recent introductions in the industry, the first version released in 1999. It is a popular tool for mobile video editors that use moderately powered computers. A number of major broadcasters and films use this video editing tool, including ABC News Nightline and the movie Paranormal Activity.

Windows Movie Maker/Live Movie Maker

For beginners, there is the Windows Movie Maker. This timeline and storyboard based video editing tool comes bundled free for computers running on Windows ME and later versions. In comparison to other video editing tools, the amount of tracks that can be added and edited is limited. The file formats that can be edited are also limited. However, the program comes installed with a greater number of transitions and effects that first time users can play around with.