Using Adobe Spark as a free video maker simply couldn’t be easier. After selecting the “Video” option from the main menu, you’ll be taken to a title screen — where you can give your video project a title. Enter some text, or skip this stage and head straight to the design interface. Don’t worry if you want to change the title later, as you can make unlimited changes to text. You then get the opportunity to choose a video template or start the design process from scratch.
Several of the products here (Adobe Premiere Elements is a notable exception) still support 3D video editing if that's your thing, though the this has been replaced by 360-degree VR footage like that shot by the Samsung Gear 360($189.00 at Amazon) as a current home-theater fad, and to be honest, it's light is starting to fade. As is often the case, our Editors' Choice, CyberLink PowerDirector was the first product in this group to offer support for this new kind of video media.
More than 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and the site gets over 30 million visitors per day, YouTube is the most famous video sharing site in the world – a place where anyone with something to say can post content ranging from a quick video captured with a smartphone to graphics, animations and sophisticated mini-films shot by professional videographers.
In the midrange, there's Adobe Premiere Elements, which is cross-platform between Macs and PCs, and offers a lot more features and lots of help with creating effects. Professionals and prosumers have powerful, though pricey options in Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro. Final Cut is a deceptively simple application that resembles iMovie in its interface and ease of use, but it offers massively deep capabilities, and many third-party apps integrate with it for even more power. Final Cut also makes excellent use of the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro, as shown in photo above. Premiere Pro uses a more-traditional timeline and adds a large ecosystem of companion apps and plug-ins. It also excels in collaboration features, and of course plays well with Ancillary Adobe software such as After Effects and Photoshop.
Michael Muchmore is PC Magazine's lead analyst for software and web applications. A native New Yorker, he has at various times headed up PC Magazine's coverage of Web development, enterprise software, and display technologies. Michael cowrote one of the first overviews of web services for a general audience. Before that he worked on PC Magazine's Solutions section, which covered programming techniques as well as tips on using popular office software. He previously covered services and software for ExtremeTech.com.
I've been seeing a lot of attention paid to creating title effects in the applications over the past year. Apple Final Cut Pro X has added 3D title creation, which is pretty spiffy, letting you extrude 2D titles and rotate them on three axes. Corel VideoStudio in its latest version also adds 3D Titling, though not as powerful as Apple's. PowerDirector's Title Designer offers transparency, gradient color, border, blur level, and reflection in titles; Magix has impressive title templates, complete with animations. Premiere Elements offers a nifty title effect in which your video fills the text characters, and Corel followed suit with a similar tool in VideoStudio. Look for an application that lets you edit titles in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) mode, so that you can type, format, and time it right over the video preview.
Smooth functioning: Camtasia provides a lot of nice features in a fluid interface that makes creating screen capture videos and processing them a breeze. You can set the program to record either the screen or a PowerPoint presentation. You can also choose to record your entire screen or only a portion of it that you preset before recording begins. The recordings, themselves, are clear and crisp, providing you with an excellent framework on which to put all the finishing touches and effects you want.
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