Video Editor

Use free video software to create and edit videos of any complexity from a family greeting card to a company presentation. Cut, merge video files, apply visual and audio effects, use filtration and image correction, make slideshows and add an appropriate soundtrack. Use multi-color Chroma Key and advanced parameters settings to give your video a professional look. All popular video and audio formats are supported.

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Video Converter

This program is intended for converting video files from one format to another. Nearly all popular video formats are supported (both reading and saving). In addition, the program drastically simplifies the task of converting videos for playback on specific multimedia devices, such as iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or Huawei P30 Pro. The program is extremely easy to use, has a modern interface and all necessary video processing functions.

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Audio Converter

The audio converter will help you convert audio files from one format to another. All key audio formats and codecs are supported. The program also allows you to manage playlists and meta tags, extract audio from video files and save these tracks on your computer in any format.

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Audio CD Grabber

This audio tool is intended for grabbing audio tracks from compact discs and saving them to the user’s computer in any format. Nearly all popular audio formats and codecs are supported. The program can also extract track details from the FreeDB server for automatic file renaming and updating meta tags.

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VSDC video software is freely available for download to Windows OS-based PCs and laptops.

How to Synchronize Video Effects to Music Beat in VSDC Pro

The new version of VSDC Video Editor allows you to easily synchronize video effects, animation, text, or image appearance to the beat of your audio.

Wondering what it may look like? Then imagine an audio visualizer that reacts to each sound beat, or a heart image pumping to the rhythm – you’ve surely seen them on music channels. In the same manner, you’ll be able to synchronize any image or effect to your audio track and make it “react” to the frequency and intensity of the sound.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is an example. If we add an image to the scene, apply the Zoom effect to it, and then synchronize the effect to the beat, the image will be “zooming in and out” based on the rhythm of your soundtrack. Check out the video below to see what it looks like (sound on!).

The new VSDC Pro tool that allows you to achieve this effect is called “Edit the beat” and it’s available in the version 6.4.5.

If you’re curious how it works, here is a quick breakdown. When you activate the Edit the beat mode, VSDC scans the waveform of the selected audio and generates a rhythm graph based on the sound values - such as frequency and intensity. Each value is represented by a control point. The rhythm graph is then applied to the values of the effect of your choice.

For instance – let’s go back to the Zoom effect example – if you choose to synchronize the level of the Zoom effect to the beat, in the resulting video, the louder the sound is, the higher the zoom level will be. Meanwhile, during the moments of silence, the image will appear in its original state.

How sound peaks influence the effect intensity value in the “Edit the beat” tool

That was a very basic example to give you a general idea of what it means to synchronize video effects to music. With the Edit the beat feature, you’ll be able to use automatic synchronization presets or adjust the graph manually. And in this article, we’ll show exactly how to do it

Before getting started, download the latest version of VSDC Video Editor here.

If you prefer a video tutorial to the text version, feel free to check out the one below.

How to activate the Edit the beat mode

First of all, import your footage to VSDC. You can either use a music video with the original audio track or add an audio file separately.

Next, you need to decide which effect you would like to synchronize to the sound. For our example, we’ll add Zoom to make the video “pump” to the beat. To add the effect, select the video layer on the timeline, open the Video effects menu, proceed to Transforms >> Zoom. Go through the Object’s position settings window to confirm the position of the effect on the timeline and hit Ok.

Once you’ve added the effect to the scene, make a double-click on the video file. Then right-click on the effect layer and select Properties from the menu.

The Properties window contains the Zoom effect parameters. At this point, you need to decide which parameter you want to synchronize to the music beat. Typically, you want to use the key parameter of the selected effect – the one defining its intensity. For Zoom, that will be the parameter called “Levels”.

To synchronize the selected parameter to the sound, click on the three-dot icon as illustrated below and choose Edit the beat from the Templates menu above the timeline. Then hit the button titled “Create points”. You’ll see a new graph on the timeline with points distributed based on your audio waveform values. Again, the higher a point is located on the timeline, the higher will be the value of the Zoom level at this particular moment.

How to activate the Edit the beat mode in VSDC

Most times, however, you’ll want to adjust the distribution of the points – simply because the abundance of sounds and their values jumping up and down may create an unwanted effect. Below, we’ll show you how to do it.

Edit the beat: rhythm graph generation

Once you’ve selected the Edit the beat mode, a new window named “Edit the beat settings” will pop up. This is where you can adjust the parameters of the template.

First, in the Audio object menu, you can select an audio file that will be used for scanning and generating the rhythm graph. It can be either the soundtrack from your video or any other audio file you’ve added to the project.

What deserves your attention next is the dropdown list called “Beat preset” with several options of how you want the graph to be generated.

Various beat presets available for synchronization

Here is a brief overview of the available presets:

  • Maximum sensitivity and frequency range – the graph will be generated precisely based on the audio frequency and detection of every minor sound change.
  • Maximum sensitivity – the graph will be generated based on sound changes while the audio frequency will be ignored.
  • Merge nearby points – control points with similar frequency values will not be treated as dynamic changes and will be connected in the form of a straight line.
  • Skip low-power sounds – low-power sounds won’t be included to the graph.
  • Prefer powerful beats – the graph will mainly contain powerful beats.
  • Only powerful beats – the graph will be generated based on the powerful beats only.

Choose any of these templates and generate the graph based on your needs. You’ll further be able to adjust the distribution of the points and other details.

Edit the beat: settings overview

The easiest way to show you how to fine-tune the rhythm graph is to go over each parameter in the Edit the beat settings window.

First, you need to decide whether you want to apply the effect to the entire project or just to the area where the effect overlaps with the audio. For the latter option, make sure the “Overlapped only” box is checked.

The“Selected area only” option means that the effect will only be applied to the piece you’ve selected manually on the timeline.

How to apply video to music synchronization to a selected area

Next comes an especially important parameter, called Silence value. It is the initial value of the effect you’re applying, and it will be used during the moments of silence.

By default, the silence value is often equal to zero, and that means the effect isn’t applied at all.

Amplitude is the parameter that sets the deviation of the effect from its silence value. In other words, this parameter helps you control the maximum effect value applied at sound peaks.

For example, if the Silence value is 100, and the Amplitude value is 30, at sound peaks the effect value will be 130. At the negative sound peaks, the minimum effect value will be 70. For the Zoom effect we’ve applied previously, that means that the image will be “pumping” to the beat, and the Zoom levels will be changing between 70 and 130.

Time between points helps you set time gaps between control points. There are two options here: minimum or maximum. By changing these parameters, you can set the minimum and the maximum possible distance between control points.

The tricky part is that the software will generate control points based on the “Time between points” value even if the audio track does not exactly correspond. For example, if you set 5 sec. as the maximum time between points, and there is a whole minute of silence in the audio, VSDC will still place control points on the rhythm graph every 5 seconds despite the silence and the absence of dynamic sound changes.

Priority frequency is a menu for advanced audio frequency detection setup. It allows you to change the following parameters:

  • Range – sets minimum and maximum values of the detected audio frequency.
  • Preset – contains templates with audio frequency variations for different goals.
  • Reset frequency – allows you to reset the Priority frequency value to the default minimum (0 Hz) and the default maximum (22050 Hz).

How to change frequency detection in “Edit the beat”

Sensitivity – determines how accurate audio frequency detection will be. The higher the value here is, the more points the graph will have. That means the effect will react to every slightest frequency change.

Max dropout limit – is a percentage of the maximum sound value. It sets the bar below which all the points will not be syncing to the effect.

For instance, at Dropout limit = 50%, the values lower than half of the maximum sound value will be ignored, and all the points located below the graph will form a straight line. The straight line will be gradually increasing to the point where it reaches the indicated dropout limit.

What is Dropout limit in the “Edit the beat” tool

Max interpolation threshold – this is the value at which peaks of similar intensity will form a straight line. To determine which values should be considered similar, the Interpolation threshold (% max) sets the possible point value deviation.

Right above the Max interpolation parameter, you’ll notice the Keep peaks checkbox. Make sure it is ticked to keep the peak points in their original locations. If you don’t do it, you’ll lose the dynamic changes of the effect value.

Below, you can set a Scale factor value. The scale factor is a multiplier that allows you to increase or decrease the value of the applied effect for all points at once.

Here is how it works. If the scale factor equals 1, the effect is applied with the original values – based on the audio waveform. If you increase the scale factor to 2, all the effect values will be doubled.

How the Scale factor affects the rhythm gram on Edit the beat

Finally, Point distribution mode is a dropdown menu where you can choose point distribution variations.

Here are your options:

  • From silence value to peaks up. If you choose this option, the points will be distributed increasingly starting from the Silence value.
  • From silence value to peaks down. Points will be distributed decreasingly starting from the Silence value.
  • Vibrations according to silence value. The points get distributed equally in both directions from the Silence value.
  • Inverted vibrations according to silence value. The same equal distribution in both directions as described above – but inverted.
  • Increased vibrations according to silence value. The points get distributed equally in both directions and their values are maximized.
  • Inverted and increased vibrations according to silence value. The points get distributed in both directions – but they are inverted, and their values are maximized.

Point distribution options available in “Edit the beat”

Go ahead and try the new tool available in VSDC!

Synchronizing video effects to music is an advanced level of post-production involving a steep learning curve – especially if you’ve never worked with sound adjustment before! But once you get the hang of the new feature, you’ll be able to create captivating videos where the visuals are perfectly synced to the music – and that is a huge step forward from the amateur editor level to the level of a post-production professional.

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Master Page Turn Transition Effect with VSDC Free Video Editor

You may think that the page turn transition isn’t the most mind-blowing effect, especially given that it’s available in every slideshow creator. Well, get ready, because you’re about to change your mind.

It’s true that the page turn effect, in its basic version, has been around for a while. But guess what? Even such a simple transition can be taken to a whole new level if you have the right tools at hand. For instance, when you use the page turn effect in VSDC, you can get really geeky about the angle, the curl, the shadows, and other little details.

Now, you may be wondering if that can create a real difference. Fair question. See it for yourself.

In the tutorial below, we’ll show you how to achieve a similar result using completely free video editing software for Windows, named VSDC. Before starting, make sure to download it here.

How to quickly apply a basic Page Turn effect in VSDC

The page turn transition can be created within a couple of clicks. Then, using the advanced settings, you’ll be able to make it look like a post-production masterpiece.

So, let’s start with the basics. To quickly add the page turn transition, do the following:

  1. Import your footage and place a cursor at the moment where you want to start the transition.
  2. Select the file you want to apply the transition to with a left-click. Further in the tutorial, we’ll be referring to this file as a “turning page” or “page”.
  3. Go to the Video Effects menu at the top, proceed to Transitions and select Page turn.

How to apply page turn effect in VSDC

And this is it. The basic version of the page turn effect is ready. Use the video preview feature to see how it looks.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll show you how to tweak the settings and make the effect look exactly the way you want.

Page turn effect settings

First, go ahead and make a double-click on the video you’ve applied the transition to. When you do that, you’ll see the Page turn effect layer. Right-click on the layer and select Properties from the menu. The Properties window will slide in from the right-hand side, and that’s where all the major settings are located.

Page turn effect settings in VSDC Free Video Editor

The Properties window includes 4 sections:

  • Common settings
  • Effect adjustment settings
  • FadeFX settings
  • Advanced settings

Let’s take a closer look at each set of parameters.

The Common settings section allows you to create a title for the effect layer, manually set the moment when it should appear and the exact duration of the transition.

The Effect adjustment settings allow you to change the transition transparency level of the footage you apply the effect to.

The lower the transparency value is, the darker (more transparent) the footage gets. By applying this parameter, you can control how soon the following scene will be entirely visible to the viewers.

The transparency level can be set up to change gradually as the transition progresses. In other words, at the beginning of the page turn transition, the page can be completely non-transparent, and at the end of the turn, the page will fade out.

To see what it looks like, let’s open the transparency level dropdown menu, set the initial value at 100% and the final value at 10%.

Initial value – 100%. The footage is absolutely non-transparent when the page turn transition kicks in.

Final value – 10%. At the end of the transition, the level of transparency will only be 10%, and you’ll start seeing the following image entirely even before the transition is over.

The FadeFX settings bring two modes: simple and advanced. When the Simple mode is selected, it allows you to choose:

  • whether the page should be folding or unfolding (“Directly”: False or True)
  • whether the page will fold completely by the end of the transition (“Transition levels”)
  • from which corner the page starts to fold (Parameter named “Type”)
  • how many folding cells the page will be divided into (“Cell width divider” and “Cell height divider”).

Page turn effect, cell with divider parameter

Finally, the Advanced settings menu allows you to set the shadow from the turned page and adjust its intensity.

Once you switch the Mode in the FadeFX settings menu to “Advanced”, additional parameters will appear. Let’s review them in detail.

Page turn effect in VSDC: Advanced mode

The key advantage of the advanced mode is the ability to precisely change the appearance of the effect: the page turn angle, antialiasing, and shadows. All these parameters allow you to achieve a more realistic illusion of a turning page.

For instance, the Page angle settings allow you to change the angle at which the page will fold over. If the Page turn value is equal to 00, the page will be folded vertically. If you set the Page angle value at 900 – it will fold horizontally.

If you want to create the effect of uneven folding, you can set different values for the beginning and the end of the transition.

For the illustration below, we’ve set the following values:

  • Page angle, initial value: 10
  • Page angle, final value: 125

The next parameter is called Antialiasing, and it helps you smooth the edges and curves of the object during the transition. There are three options in the Antialiasing menu:

  • None – nothing will be applied.
  • Vertical – only the vertical lines will be smoothed.
  • Full – edges and curves of the entire object including its shadows will be smoothed.

Page turn advanced settings overview

When the FadeFX settings mode is switched to the Advanced mode, the Advanced settings menu at the bottom of the Properties window gets a plethora of new controls you can play with. We’re going to review each one and explain what happens when you change their values.

The following four parameters define the size of the shadow produced by the page fold. Their values are calculated as a percentage of the file width, and you can set different values for the beginning of the transition and the end of it by adjusting the “Initial value” and the “Final value”.

Max empty space shadow size

This parameter allows you to change the size of the shadow that appears under the page because of the fold.

Empty space shadow correction for page turn effect

Max shadow size from turned page

Unlike the previous parameter, this one helps you adjust the size of the shadow that appears on the video you’re applying the transition to.

Drop shadow editing for the page turn effect

Max bright area size

The bright area is the most prominent zone of the fold that is typically brighter than the rest of the page because light hits it. And yes, you can change the size of it, too!

Bright zone on the edge of the page curve

Max inner shadow size

The inner shadow is the shadow on the outer side of the fold right next to the bright zone.

Inner shadow parameter to make page turn effect ultra-realistic

Inner shadow left size

Now, if you look at the inner shadow – the parameter we’ve just described above – you’ll see that it is essentially a gradient. And you have control over the left-hand side of that gradient  – specifically, the area that goes from the light zone to the darkest zone. The value here is calculated based on the inner shadow size.

Page curl offset

How strong should the page curl be? By changing this parameter, you can imitate a more dramatic curl as well as a barely noticeable one.

Page curl deformation

The page curl deformation parameter is paired with the curl offset to help you achieve a more prominent, realistic page curl. Its value determines where the maximum page curl offset is located on the page fold.

Empty space shadow intensity

We talked about the empty space shadow a few paragraphs earlier. It’s the shadow on the area under the page that’s being folded. By changing its intensity, you can make it lighter or darker.

For instance, if its value is equal to 255, you’ll get the darkest shadow possible. If the value is equal to 0, there will be no shadow visible at all. To get a better idea, check out the illustration below.

Bright area intensity

Similarly, the bright area intensity defines how bright the edge of the fold will be.

For example, if the bright area intensity equals 255, that’s the maximum brightness you can achieve. If the value is 0, there will be no bright area.

Shadow from turned page intensity settings in VSDC

Inner shadow intensity

Need to darken that shadow next to the bright zone? This is the parameter you need.

If you set the inner shadow intensity at 255, the shadow will be the darkest possible. At the value equal to zero, there will be no inner shadow visible.

Turned page shadow intensity

The last shadow in this menu is the one displayed on the page under the fold, and you can decide how visible it will be. Check the illustration above to get a better idea of where it’s located. Again, 255 is the maximum value that will produce the darkest shadow possible, and 0 will remove that shadow completely.

Ready to create the most sophisticated page turn effect possible?

Chances are, you won’t need to use all these settings when working on your page turn transition effect. However, being able to fine-tune them at such a high level certainly opens a lot of possibilities for you as a creator!

There is a way to visualize a slow, smooth page turn, and there’s a way to create a harsh, impulsive page turn. By playing with the shadows and the bright zone, you can imitate pages being turned in a dark room or a well-lighted place.

Which one will be the best option for your video? That’s up to you. The VSDC tools are absolutely free, so make sure to use them to your advantage.

8 Motion Tracking Ideas to Try in VSDC Video Editor

Have you heard the news? There is a new kid motion tracking software on the block. It’s called VSDC Pro, and it is perfect for anyone from the beginner to the intermediate level of video editing experience.

If you’ve never tried VSDC, it’s a solid video editor for Windows with tons of features available for free. In this article, however, we’ll focus on its motion tracking tool which is a part of VSDC Pro – the upgraded version of the software. We’ll briefly talk about what motion tracking is, show you how to perform motion tracking in VSDC Pro (super easy!), and of course, bring lots of examples for your inspiration.

Before we get started, you can download VSDC here. The package brings a free version, and you’ll be able to upgrade it to Pro whenever you want (it’s just $19.99 per year).

Ready to dive in? Let’s do it.

What is motion tracking?

In the world of video editing, motion tracking is a process of tracking the movements of an object within a scene. Once the movement trajectory has been tracked, it can be applied to any other object that initially was not in a video: a piece of text, an image, an icon, a mask, captions – and practically any clipart.

For instance, let’s say you want to place an arrow above the head of a moving football player to help viewers always keep the player in sight. And because the player is constantly moving around the field, you’ll need the arrow to move along. That’s exactly the case where you’d want to use motion tracking. To solve the task, you’ll need to track the player’s head movement, then add an image of an arrow to the scene right above the player’s head, and assign the movement trajectory to it.

There are many other motion tracking examples used in post-production including tracked masks and moving text. We’ll cover them in a couple of paragraphs.

In the meantime, let’s use that same football game example to see exactly how motion tracking works in VSDC Pro, so you would have a better idea of what you’re getting yourself into.

How do you do motion tracking in VSDC Pro?

Motion tracking is often considered a fairly advanced effect. For newbies, it may even sound intimidating. But if you’re serious about video editing, eventually you will feel the need to master it anyway.

Besides, you’ll be surprised how much easier-than-it-sounds motion tracking is! Below is a detailed guide to applying motion tracking in VSDC Pro. It only has 7 steps:

Step 1. Import the main video to VSDC.

How to create a movement map in the VSDC Motion Tracking tool

Step 2. Make a right-click on it and select “Create movement map” from the menu. The pop-up window will ask you to confirm the folder on your PC where the movement map will be saved. Just check the file name and hit “Save”.

Step 3. Now the Motion Tracker menu is activated, and you should see a red frame with a dot in the center of it. Grab it and place over the object you need to track. Resize the frame to make sure that the object is placed exactly in the center. Hit “Start analysis”.

Step 4. As the video progresses, you’ll see a green line being drawn – that’s the trajectory or the movement map. At the next step, you’ll apply it to another object. Once the map is finished, hit “Apply editing” if it looks good to you.

Object tracking path built by VSDC Motion Tracker

Step 5. Time to have some fun! Use the “Shift + I” hotkey combination to import the image you’re planning to assign the trajectory to. In our case, that is a .PNG image of an arrow. (To import the image, you can also use the round green “Add object” button at the top).

Step 6. Resize the image if needed and place it at its starting point. Then make a double-click on it.

Step 7. Use the “Shift + Alt +M” combination to apply the movement map you created a moment ago (alternatively, use the “Add object” --> “Movement” --> “Movement map” sequence). In the pop-up window, select the name of the map you are working with and click “Ok”.

How to assign a movement map to an image in VSDC Video Editor

At this point, you might want to use the Preview button to make sure everything looks the way you planned. If necessary, you can adjust the size and position of the image at any time.

This is it! Go ahead and export the video to your computer in the desired format.

8 Motion tracking ideas and examples for you to try

Now that you have the basic knowledge of how motion tracking works, let’s put it into practice. Motion tracking is widely used for both creative and informational purposes. And as you can see, the feature is incredibly versatile – you’re only limited by your imagination!

To ignite your creativity, we’ve compiled a list of examples of how motion tracking can be used in videos. Feel free to borrow any of the ideas for your project.

Example #1. Censor objects in a video with motion-tracked masks

Probably the most popular use case for motion tracking is caused by the need to add some sort of censorship to a video. For example, you may want to censor the face of a person appearing in a scene, hide car plates, street names, or brand logos.

Now, blurring a face in a video can be done quickly and easily with a free filter if that person is staying still in the video. If they are moving around, however, the only proper way to keep the face hidden is by using motion tracking software. The reason being you need to have that mask moving together with the person to maintain their face covered.

So, how would adding a censorship mask be different from adding an arrow icon or an image? Essentially, instead of importing ready-made clipart, you’ll need to actually create a blurred mask, place it over the face of a person, and assign the trajectory to it.

To help you figure this one out, here is a detailed video tutorial:

If you want to cover a person’s face with a smiley face, a Snapchat or an Instagram-style mask (because it’s so much more fun than pixels!), just look for the desired clipart in the .PNG format with transparent background.

Example #2. Level up your videos with motion-tracked text

Motion-tracked text looks very impressive. And there is a variety of text types you can work with: titles, captions, calls to action – practically anything. Below, you’ll find 6 ideas to use motion-tracked text in a video.

But how do you stick text to (or on) a moving object? Basically, you can do it using the same logic as with images and masks:

  1. Import the main video to VSDC and create a movement map by tracking the motions of the chosen object.
  2. Next, instead of importing clipart, simply add a piece of text to your video using the “Shift +T” hotkey combination (or the green round “Add object” button).
  3. Adjust the style and the size of the text and make a double-click on its layer on the timeline.
  4. Finally, use the “Shift + Alt + M” hotkey combination and assign the movement map to the text object.

Now, where can you use motion-tracked text in a video? Here are a few ideas.

1. Create an animated title for the intro

If you already have a logo or any other object appearing in your video intro, you can easily attach a piece of text to it. It can be a channel title, a website address, your motto, your username – you name it!

2. Make on-screen texting look more captivating

To replicate the effect of on-screen texting like the one used in the Sherlock TV show, all you need is to track the movement of a phone and assign the trajectory to the “text message”.

Naturally, you can use the same approach to visualize the character’s thoughts or… speech if that makes sense.

3. Use motion-tracked opening credits

Some movies use motion-tracked opening credits and that helps captivate the viewers’ attention from the get-go. Can you replicate that? Certainly. While you may not need 3d text for that (that’s what’s used in most cases), you can download one of the fancy fonts from the free font library to create eye-catching cinematic credits for your video. Then apply motion tracking and gradual disappearance to the text to make the whole part look professional.

4. Add motion-tracked captions

Motion-tracked captions look unobtrusive but stylish and informative. They can come in really handy for creating the context for the audience, especially when there is no narration. You’ve surely seen such captions in TV commercials helping to convey a story of the brand. They are especially popular among sports brands and wearables.

For instance, look at how Fitbit employs captions and callouts to highlight unique selling points of their product in the Super Bowl commercial.

5. Enhance real estate videos

If you’re shooting videos for business, there is plenty of room for motion tracking – regardless of your niche. Take real estate footage as an example. Instead of providing additional information, numbers, facts and stats in the form of headlines or subtitles, go ahead and try adding motion-tracked text to the frames you want to emphasize the most.

How to use motion tracking for real-estate videos

6. Upgrade your travel videos

Travel videos are usually great as they are, but they often contain so much information that it becomes hard to maintain an unprepared viewer’s attention. And even if you’ve created a voiceover for your footage, some details are better perceived visually. So why not make a clip easier (and more captivating) for your viewers to watch by adding geolocation tags, arrows, titles, or quick facts related to the exact places you’re showing in a video?

Motion tracking is a perfect technique for this purpose because it allows you to attach a piece of text or an icon precisely to the object you’re talking about in the video.

How to make travel videos more captivating with motion-tracked text

Quick tips before you get started with motion tracking in VSDC

If you have a clear idea of the end result, bringing it to reality won’t take much time or effort. If you’re a complete beginner and never used motion tracking before, here are a few tips for a smooth start:

  1. When you place the red tracking frame over the object you’re planning to track, make sure it’s inside the frame entirely. However, don’t make it sit “too tight”. The software will be able to detect the movement better if the frame contains bits of contrasting colors or shapes around the tracked object.
  2. If the movement trajectory goes in the wrong direction or if the software “loses” the tracked object out of sight, you can adjust the path manually. To learn how to do that, we recommend reading the motion tracking tutorial prepared for VSDC users.
  3. Remember that the object you place over your main video should be at the top layer on the timeline. You can move files to different layers manually using drag’n’drop.

Ready to give it a try?

Then download VSDC to your computer and start experimenting. Check our YouTube channel for more ideas and drop us a line on Facebook.

How to Create Drop Shadow Effect for Text and Objects in Video

As we continue our series of tutorials for those who want to master the art of post-production on a budget, it’s time to talk about the famous drop shadow effect.

The drop shadow effect allows you to create a natural-looking shadow for any object you add to the scene – including moving objects.

If you’re serious about video editing, you will want to have this effect in your arsenal. Just look at the difference a drop shadow makes to the moving text title! It practically creates a 3D effect without you having to deal with 3D.

From the tutorial below, you’ll learn how to add a perfect drop shadow to a text title using the free version of VSDC Video Editor for Windows. In the last part of the tutorial, we’ll quickly show you how to add a shadow to a moving object in a video using VSDC Pro.

You’ll find out how to achieve the result that will look as natural as possible by adjusting:

  • the size of the drop shadow,
  • its distance from the text,
  • the color and intensity,
  • and even the light angle.

Basically, we’ll show you how to create a shadow that makes a text object look like it belongs to the scene. Of course, you’ll be able to later apply this knowledge to add a drop shadow to any other clipart used in a video including images, icons, and graphic objects.

Sounds exciting? Then download VSDC Free Video Editor and let’s get started.

How to add drop shadow to text in a video

Once you launch VSDC and import your video, add a text object to the scene using the left-hand side menu or the “Add object” button at the top.

To add a drop shadow to the text, take the following steps:

  1. Make a click on the text object on the timeline to select it.
  2. Open the Video Effects menu at the top, proceed to “Special FX” and select “Shadow”.
  3. In the «Object’s position settings» pop-up window, you can select the position of the shadow on the timeline. The default “From cursor position” option means that the shadow effect will appear from the moment currently defined by the cursor. If you aren’t planning to change that, just click “Ok”.

How to apply drop shadow effect to a title in a video

Useful tip. Note that the “Position locking to parent duration” section can help you automatically lock the effect to the beginning or the end of the text appearance in the scene.

How to set up the drop shadow effect in VSDC

Now that we have added the drop shadow to the text, let’s go over the settings to see how to make it look exactly the way you want.

To open the Shadow effect settings, make a double-click on the text layer on the timeline – then right-click on the Shadow effect layer and select “Properties” from the context menu.

The Properties window for the Shadow effect includes 3 sections:

  • Common settings.
  • Effect adjustment settings.
  • Shadow effect settings.

Drop shadow effect settings in VSDC

The Common settings section allows you to create a title for the shadow layer, set the moment when it should appear in the scene and its exact duration.

The Effect adjustment settings allow you to fine-tune the shadow transparency level. Moreover, by using the fields titled “initial value” and “final value”, you can set different levels of transparency for the beginning and the end of the effect. That means the drop shadow will gradually become more transparent or lose transparency during the playback – depending on the values you choose.

To see this in action, let’s set the following transparency parameters:

  • Initial value – 100%. That means the shadow will be absolutely non-transparent when it first appears in the scene.
  • Final value – 20%. At the end of the effect appearance in the scene, the level of transparency will only be 20%.

As a result, the drop shadow will be gradually fading out in a video:

Finally, the Shadow effect settings are the most exciting section because this is where you turn your shadow into perfection. You’ll be able to adjust the light angle, the distance between the object and the shadow, the intensity, the noise – and a gradual change of all these features over time. Below, we’ll have a closer look at each parameter and show you what you can achieve by changing them.

1. Light angle

The “Light angle” parameter allows you to change (you guessed it!) the light angle so that the drop shadow would look more natural in a video with a clear location of the source of light. If you need to set different light angles for the beginning and the end of the shadow appearance in the scene, the initial and the final values should be set up respectively.

In the example below, the shadow is gradually moving around the object from the initial angle (set at 45 degrees) to the final angle (set at 225 degrees).

2. Shadow distance

By changing the “Shadow distance” parameter, you can control the distance between the object and the shadow. Again, you can set it as a permanent value, or you can add a bit of dynamic to the effect by playing with the initial/final value parameters.

For example, if the source of light in your video is moving, the shadow distance is expected to be gradually changing too.

Useful tip. You can manually move the shadow around the scene by grabbing it in the center and dragging while holding the left mouse button pressed. If you can’t see the center of the shadow, use the “Show/hide center” button in the Properties window.

How to change the distance between an object in a video and its drop shadow

3. Shadow max size

If you’d like the shadow to appear blurrier, simply increase the “Shadow max size” parameter. The higher its value is, the bigger and less sharp the shadow becomes. Note that if the shadow max size value is equal to 0, the shadow is completely absent from the scene.

4. Intensity

This parameter helps you control the intensity of the shadow color. The higher the value is, the more visible the shadow appears. Under the Intensity menu section, you can also change the color of the shadow and add noise. The latter makes the shadow look grainy and textured.

If you want to add noise to the drop shadow, open the dropdown menu and make the switch: False >> True. Next, you’ll be able to set the noise level (strength) and select the dynamic noise type if you want the noise to be constantly changing during the playback.

How to add a drop shadow to a moving object in a video

Now that you know how to create a perfect drop shadow effect, let’s do a quick recap of our motion tracking tutorial and see how to make both the object and the shadow move along the desired motion path using VSDC Pro.

This is what the result might look like.

Once you’ve added the shadow to your text, go back to the main scene on the timeline and follow these steps:

  1. Make a left mouse click on the video layer and select “Create movement map”.
  2. Next, place the tracking frame over the object you want to track in the video.
  3. Create the movement map and save it on your PC as suggested by the program.
  4. Make a double-click on the text layer on the timeline to open it.
  5. You’ll notice that the Shadow effect is already applied to the text. All we need to do now is to apply motion.
  6. Use the “Add object” button located at the top. Proceed to Movement >> Movement map.
  7. Select the map you’ve just created and preview the result.

Adding a drop shadow effect to a moving object is barely any different from using this effect on a still object. As you can see, both effects are applied in the same tab on the timeline where you can manually adjust their starting points or duration if needed.

Ready to take your videos to professional level?

Now that you’ve learned another mind-blowing post-production trick, go ahead and try it for yourself! Make sure to check our roundup of motion tracking ideas and download the latest version of VSDC from the official website.

Whether you’ll be using the free or the Pro version - you get plenty of tools to visualize your ideas.

Beginner’s guide to using motion tracking in VSDC

In February 2020 the VSDC team announced the release of motion tracking – a long-awaited tool that allows you to register object’s movements in a video and assign the same trajectory to other elements: texts, images, or filters. A common example that probably comes to mind is a pixelated censorship mask placed over a moving object – but motion tracking possibilities go way beyond that. For instance, you can make a text title move along with the object it belongs to. Or you can create an image that will be following an assigned object in a video.

To help you get the hand of motion tracking in VSDC faster, we’ve prepared a detailed tutorial. You’ll learn how the tool works, what a movement map is, how to create a trajectory and assign it to an object. We’ll also explain what to do if a tracked object changes its size or shape and gets “lost” by the tracking software.

Before getting started, we highly recommend downloading the latest version of VSDC.

1. How to activate Motion tracking in VSDC

Motion tracking is a paid feature available as a part of VSDC Pro edition. So, if you already have the VSDC Pro license, just download the latest version of the editor, and you’ll be able to access Motion tracking among the built-in tools.

Another option is available for those who want to use motion tracking without upgrading to VSDC Pro. To do that, you’ll need to download the Motion tracking plugin from the official website and install it on your PC. The plugin is paid, and it allows you for activating the Motion tracking tool right in the free version of VSDC Video Editor.

2. Getting started with motion tracking in VSDC: how to create a movement map

To get started, launch the program and import a video file with a moving object. Next, you’ll need to create a map based on the trajectory of this object’s movement. It’s called a movement map.

Here is how you do it:

  1. Make a click on the video using the right mouse button.
  2. From the context menu, select “Create movement map”.
  3. Now, select (or confirm) the folder on your PC to store the map. Hit “Save”. Adjustable frame to define the area where the tracked object is located in VSDC
  4. In the preview window, you’ll see a frame defining the tracked object. Resize and move it to ensure that the tracked object fits the frame and takes most of its space.
  5. Use the “Start analysis” button in the Motion tracker menu at the top to launch the tracking process.

  6. As the playback progresses, the movement map will be gradually appearing in the preview window, drawn in green. At the end of the video, check the trajectory and if it’s accurate, click the «Apply editing» button. This way, the movement map will be saved to your PC and VSDC will automatically switch to the regular video editing mode.

3. How to assign a movement map to another object

Once the movement map is ready, you can assign it to any object: an image, an icon, a title, or a mask. As an example, we’ll show you how to create a piece of text that will follow an object in a video.

Here is how to get started:

  1. First, use the left-hand side menu to add a text object to the scene.
  2. Make a double-click on the text layer.
  3. Open the “Add object” menu at the top and select “Movement” -> “Movement map”.
  4. In the Object’s position settings window, select the movement map you previously saved on your PC and hit OK.
  5. Notice that the settings window also allows you to change the starting point for the map. This means you can start applying the trajectory to the object from the beginning of the scene, from the cursor position, or manually.

4. What is a tracking loss region

Sometimes the software may “lose” the tracked object in the process. It typically happens if the object gets overlapped by the surroundings and stops being visible in the scene. Other scenarios include the object changing its size, color, shape, or appearance completely (a person turns into a car just like in Transformers, for instance).

As a result, you get a so-called “tracking loss region” – the gap between the moment when the program “loses” the object and registers it again.

In such cases, Motion tracker builds an approximate trajectory that the object is expected to take while moving through the tracking loss region. You can always manually adjust this trajectory by adding keyframes to the required areas.

Here is how it’s done:

  1. On the timeline, place the cursor at the moment when the program loses the object. Adjust and relocate the tracking frame according to the new object’s position.
  2. Now, click the “Continue analysis” button to launch tracking from that moment.
  3. If the object gets “lost” more than once during the playback, repeat these steps for each time.

What to do when a tracked object disappears from sight - tracking loss area in VSDC

If you need to select a piece of the trajectory on the movement map to delete it, you can do that manually, too. Place keyframes at the beginning and at the end of the piece you want to cut out, then select it and hit “Delete”.

Please note that sometimes tracking loss regions appear earlier than the object really disappears from sight. In this case, you might need to expand the tracking loss region to adjust it with more precision.

Follow these steps to modify the tracking loss region:

  1. First, place additional keyframes to specify the tracking loss region on the timeline.
  2. Make a double-click on the resulting piece of the map.
  3. Use the icon named “Invalidate area” to define the piece as a region where the object’s movement was tracked incorrectly.
  4. Finally, make manual adjustments using keyframes.

Once the map looks as expected, hit the “Apply editing” button to save it and switch VSDC to the video editing mode.

To quickly switch between keyframes in the Motion Tracker mode, use the “right” and “left” arrow keys on your keyboard.

5. Movement map settings: overview

Once you’ve assigned the movement map to an object, you can go ahead and fine-tune the available settings for higher movement precision. To access the settings, make a double-click on the object – this will open a new tab with a layer called “Movement map”. All the adjustments to the Movement map can be done in the Properties window on the right-hand side. If you can’t find the Properties window, click on the layer with the right mouse button and select “Properties” from the menu.

Movement map settings window in VSDC

Below, we’ll explain what each Properties window parameter means:

Coordinates (X/Y) – initial coordinates of the object in the preview window.

Object creation time (ms/frame) – the moment you want to assign the movement map to the added object.

Object duration time (ms/frame) – this parameter defines for how long you want to apply the movement map to that object. Just like the previous parameter, this one can be defined either by milliseconds or by frames.

The Movement map setup menu includes the following parameters:

  • Movement map – the map used in the project.
  • Mapped video – the video used for drawing the movement map. If you specify the video file here, its parameters and the parameters of the map will be automatically adjusted to each other. If you leave this field blank, the movement map will not adjust to the parameters of the video.
  • Lost process – the object’s movement mode in the tracking loss area. Using this parameter, you can decide how the object should be moving while in the tracking loss area. There are three options to choose from:
    1. Approximate trajectory – the object remains visible while the program draws its estimated movement trajectory.
    2. Hide object – when the object reaches the tracking loss area, it disappears.
    3. Do not process map – the object moves according to the trajectory you’ve drawn. To draw the missing piece of trajectory, you’ll need to use the “Movement” tool.

Please note that if you don’t draw the trajectory for the tracking loss area, the object will be moving according to the «Approximate trajectory».

Although it may seem complicated, the Motion tracking tool in VSDC is actually quite easy to use and requires zero special knowledge or experience. As long as you follow the instructions and use the preview window, you’ll be able to achieve the desired result.


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Reviewed by

"VSDC Free Video Editor is a surprisingly powerful, if unconventional video editor"

- PC Advisor

"This video editor gives you tons of control and editing power"

- CNet

"The editor handles many common formats and boasts a good deal of capabilities when it comes time to alter lighting, splice video, and apply filters and transitions in post production"

- Digital Trends