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, Microsoft Zune or Archos. 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.

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Stop Motion Video on Computer

Stop motion animation is currently gaining a new wave of popularity. It’s unbelievable how the technique that used to dominate the storytelling genre for kids is now used for all types of videos! It serves perfectly to illustrate tutorials, promote products, show work in progress, or just impress and entertain your audience.

How to create a stop motion video from scratch - step-by-step tutorial

And if you’re a parent of school-age children, you might already know that making stop motion videos can be a perfect DIY project to keep kids busy at home!

The best part about it? Stop motion is super easy to shoot even if you have absolutely zero experience, zero professional equipment, and zero budget. All is required is a bit of creativity and patience.

From this article, you’ll learn how to create stop motion videos. We’ll walk you through the setup process, the shooting, and editing. This is a no-budget tutorial, which means you probably already have all the things you’ll need:

  • Any camera. Smartphone, GoPro, DSLR – it doesn’t matter
  • Laptop (we’ll be using a Windows PC)
  • VSDC Free Video Editor (if you’re on Mac, use iMovie)

Need ideas, too? At the end of the article, we’ll share 7 easy ideas for stop motion animation that you can borrow for your project.

Before we get to practice though, let’s make sure we have the theory sorted out.

Still confused about what stop motion is?

If you know nothing about stop motion, at first, it looks like magic. Just think about it. Objects – dolls, Lego parts, food, or pieces of paper – move around and change their shapes! All without human presence.

Stop motion video example with paper - origami

In reality, a stop motion video is just a bunch of photos of an object taken between the moments when you manually change its position or shape.

Here is what the process looks like: you place an object, take a photo, make a teeny-tiny change, take another photo, make another change, take another photo, and so on. When you stitch all the photos together and play their sequence at high speed, it looks as if the object is moving independently.

The smaller the changes are, and the more frames you take, the more realistic your stop motion animation will look. We’ll talk about all these details in a couple of paragraphs.

How to make a stop motion video step by step

Now that you have an idea of how stop motion animation works, let’s see exactly how you can bring your ideas to life.

Step one: create a storyboard

If you’re making your first stop motion video, it’s always a good idea to have a plan. And if you get your plan sketched – that’s even better. Storyboards will help you with that.

A storyboard is a visual breakdown of your stop motion animation – either by frames or by groups of frames. This is what your storyboard may look like:

How to create a storyboard for a stop motion video

Source: Storyboard

Depending on your project, you will need to take from dozens to hundreds of photos. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming. Having a storyboard will help you ensure everything is going according to the scenario and you’ve shot all the frames you need.

You can create your own storyboard from scratch or find templates on Pinterest. Feel free to pick one and print it out for your convenience. Some creators prefer writing a bullet list of frames instead of sketching them. And if you decide to go that route – it’s up to you.

Step two: set up your camera

While the objects in your stop motion video will be moving, your camera shouldn’t. It is crucial for the frame to stay steady.

Sure, you will be able to fix minor frame shifts with the help of video editing software. However, to avoid that extra work, we strongly recommend using some sort of stabilization for the camera. You want to place it in one spot and leave it there until the end of shooting. Ideally, you shouldn’t even touch the shutter button.

What can you use? Depending on your camera, the ideal solutions would be a tripod, a gimbal, a selfie stick, a mount, or a car holder. If you have none of these, shooting will be less convenient, but still possible. Just keep in mind that once you find the position for the camera, you cannot move it even one bit.

Want to go the extra mile? Search for DIY ideas for an overhead camera rig or a smartphone stabilizer and use them to be on the safe side.

DIY idea for stabilizing camera before starting to shoot a stop-motion video

Source: Nofilmschool

Step three: start making pictures

You have the scenario, the props, and the camera waiting. Time to start the photoshoot.

Now, you might be wondering how many frames you need to take. To answer this question, we’ll need to do some math.

Regular non-animated videos typically contain anywhere from 30 to 120 frames per second. When you’re making a stop motion video, you want to have at least 10 frames per second for a decent looking animation.

The number of frames has a direct impact on the resulting animation. The more frames per second a video has, the smoother the motion looks.

Based on the number of frames, you can estimate how long your stop motion video will be. For example, if you’ve shot 100 photos and you stick to the 10 frames per second rate, the duration of your video will be 10 seconds. If you, however, decide to make a smoother 25 fps animation, the same 100 photos will result in a 4-second video.

The other way to think about it is the duration of each frame. If you want to create a 10 fps stop motion video, there should be 10 frames within one second. That means each frame’s duration will be 1/10 of a second or 0.1 sec. If you set the duration at 0.04 sec for each frame, you’ll get a 25 fps stop motion animation, and so on.

This brings us to a popular question:

How many frames are in 30 seconds of animation?

The answer is: it depends on the frame rate you select. If you choose 10 fps, there will be 300 frames in 30 seconds of animation. If you set a 20 frames per second rate, the animation will look much smoother, but it will require 600 frames. Easy!

Step four: merge photos in VSDC

VSDC Free Video Editor provides a convenient way to create stop motion animation. Once you’ve taken all the photos and uploaded them to your computer, here is what you need to do:

  1. Launch VSDC on your computer and start a blank project
  2. Go to the left-hand side menu and select Animation
  3. In the Pop-up object’s settings window, hit OK
  4. Go to the Properties window and click Edit animation object
  5. Set the width and the height based on the resolution of your photos
  6. Set the desired frame rate
  7. Select and delete the embedded .PNG file
  8. Hit Add images
  9. Select the photos from your computer and hit OK

How to create a stop-motion animation for free in VSDC

And this is it! Use the preview feature to make sure your stop motion video looks the way you expected.

Note, that you’ll be able to change the frame rate at any point. Just select the animation layer on the timeline and go to the Properties window. Then hit the Edit animation object button and adjust the frame rate. Each time the frame rate changes, the duration of the video will be changing accordingly.

Step five: add titles

You might want to add titles or captions that will appear at the selected moment and provide context for your story. You can easily add various text objects to a video in VSDC.

Use the left-hand side toolbar to create a text object and adjust its appearance: size, font, color, style, and other parameters. Next, drag the text to the designated area in the scene and set the moment when it should appear. To do that, you can just manually drag the text layer on the timeline or find the Object creation time parameter in the Properties window and set the exact frame (or second) when the text should appear. In the same window, specify how long the text should stay in the scene.

Step six: add audio

No matter what your story is about, you probably don’t want to end up with a silent movie.

To add music, use the Shift + A shortcut and import an audio file from your computer. Then cut it if needed, change the volume, apply the fade-in effect – in other words, tailor the audio to your needs.

One of the go-to places with a large collection of royalty-free music and sound effects on the Internet is the YouTube audio library, but feel free to check out other marketplaces offering similar collections.

Step seven: export your stop motion video

When you’re done editing the video, go to the Export project tab and select the desired format. The best options would be the “Web –> for YouTube” profile or “Web -> GIF”.

How to save a stop-motion video to the computer in the correct format

Note that you’ll be able to adjust the quality, the resolution, and the framerate using the Edit profile button located under the preview window.

How to make a stop motion video: tips for beginners

Before you dive right into the shooting process, check out these quick tips to avoid common beginner’s mistakes.

Tip 1. Keep it steady

We can’t stress it enough: the area where you’re shooting, the camera, the camera settings, and the light must be steady while you’re taking pictures. If you’re shooting on an iPhone or a tablet, Rob from the Science Filmmaking Tips channel recommends downloading an app to control the shutter button remotely, so you don’t have to touch the device every time to take a shot. Another option is using time-lapse apps that will help you take pictures automatically with time intervals. They are called intervalometers, and they minimize manipulations with the camera during the photoshoot.

Tip 2. Watch the shadows

… and don’t rely on the sunlight. That’s a small addition to the previous tip about keeping the light steady. If you’re shooting near the window or outdoors, the light in your photos will vary from picture to picture. And unless having a changing light is a part of your story plot, it may mess up the result.

Tip 3. If you can’t find the desired sound effect, record it

Sometimes, the free sound effects available in online libraries are not what you are looking for. Other times, you just don’t know how to describe the sound you need, and therefore it’s hard to search for.

If that happens to you, consider recording your own sounds or voice commentaries.

7 Stop motion video ideas for beginners

For this chapter, we’ve compiled a list of popular stop motion video ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Most of these videos are created with a 30 frames per second rate.

Toys come alive

You’ve probably seen Lego stop motion videos hundreds of times, so how about we skip this idea and go straight to animating one of your favorite toys? This adorable stormtrooper walk is created by Snooperking for the Videvo marketplace and it looks way too real!

Toys coming alive is a popular stop-motion animation scenario

Work or growth in progress

Okay, we know this is not exactly the same pepper, but you can borrow this idea and apply it to lots of scenarios showing a dynamic over time. On the Internet, you’ll find stop motion videos of plants, flowers, pets, bellies, and babies growing. Some of those took months to shoot, but the result is surely worth it.

You can easily show work in progress using stop-motion videos

Drawing and painting

Want to take the artist out of the picture? Then create an illusion of a drawing that appears on a piece of paper by itself.

A drawing that doesn’t include the artist - stop-motion video idea

Wrinkled paper

Paper is often used for stop motion animation, both as a stage prop and a background. The video below is courtesy of Videezy, and if you have a channel on YouTube, you can use this idea for a video intro or an outro.

Wrinkled paper is an excellent prop for a stop-motion video

Visual tutorials

Stop motion is a perfect technique to illustrate and explain almost everything, including science and technology, even if you know nothing about filmmaking! Check out this short animation illustrating file downloading from the global network to a local folder.

Cooking videos

What can be more satisfying than cooking videos? Perhaps, cooking videos with no people in them. Just look at this pasta marching to the saucepan! Feeling hungry yet?

Food stop-motion video ideas

Marketing videos

If you are a business owner, you know that video marketing is at its peak right now. You also know that video production can be pricey. Unless you know how to make stop motion videos! Shoot your product in action, create an explainer video or a fun teaser for social media. The opportunities are endless.

Marketing videos shot with the stop-motion technique

How long does it take to make a stop motion video? (it’s probably faster than you thought)

We hope you have a clear idea of how to make a stop motion video and now are off to a great start!

But here comes another popular question: how long will it take you to shoot your first animation? Well, that entirely depends on your approach and the storyline.

Let’s try to do basic calculations for a simple project. Say, you want to create a 30-second stop motion animation and you have everything ready for the shoot. If you use an intervalometer app, and it’s set to take pictures every 10 seconds, it will take you about an hour to shoot enough frames for a 10 fps video (given that you’ll be able to move fast and change the object’s position within those 10-second intervals). Double that if you want to go for 20 frames per second. Add another hour (give or take) for the setup, image uploading, and merging – and voila! You have a 3-4 hour project for a rainy day.

Sounds like fun? Then happy editing and good luck.

How to Create Video or GIF with Transparent Background in VSDC

Videos and GIFs with transparent background are very handy for applying special effects, creating custom transitions or animated title templates.

If you have just a little bit of imagination and you know how the idea of transparent backgrounds work, you’ll be able to perform real magic tricks.

What does a video with transparent background look like?

In the tutorial below, we’ll show you how to make a video background transparent and how to remove background from a GIF using a free video editor for Windows called VSDC. You can download VSDC here.

But before we start, let’s get a couple of frequently asked questions out of the way.

How can a video have a transparent background?

Some people think they can take any video and just remove its background leaving the selected parts or object only. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work that way.

The only way to create a video with a transparent background is to have it initially shot in front of a green screen. Once you upload a green screen video to VSDC (or any other video editor that has the Chroma Key tool), you can remove the green color from it, thus leaving the background transparent.


How to make a video background transparent using VSDC Free Video Editor

Basically, the same rule applies to GIFs with transparent background – especially given that most GIFs are just converted videos.

Which video formats support transparency?

The reason why many people fail to export videos with a transparent background is that most video formats and codecs don’t support transparency.

If you want to avoid the common export mistake, you should remember: transparency only works with the MOV (PNG lossless codec) and GIFs.

Now that we’ve sorted things out, let’s see how to create a video with a transparent background in VSDC. We’ll assume you already have a video with a green background. If not, you can practice on free stock footage from marketplaces like Videvo and Pexels.

How to create a video with transparent background in VSDC

Step 1. Launch VSDC and click the Import content button on the start screen. Then select the green screen video from your PC.

Step 2. In the Project’s settings window that pops up, find Opacity and set it at zero. Then click Finish.

Step 3. Open the Video effects menu, proceed to Transparency >> Background remover. In the pop-up window, click Ok.

Background remover feature in VSDC

Step 4. If there is a green light border remaining around the object, go to the Properties window and manually change the Brightness threshold and the Chromaticity threshold parameters until the green color disappears. For more detailed guidance, check out our tutorial on removing background from a video.

Step 5. Once ready, open the Export project tab. Among “Media devices” (top left corner), select PC. Among “Output video formats”, select MOV. Find the “Edit profile” button under the preview window and click on it to change the codec of the video. On the Video settings menu, select Video codec >> PNG lossless. Hit Apply profile and export the project.

And this is it! In just five easy steps, you’ve got a video with a transparent background. You can now place it over any other video or image and create mind-blowing effects:

Replace transparent background with any other video or image

Now, if you need to create a GIF with a transparent background, everything works exactly the same way. You can either export the video you were working on as a GIF instead of a MOV file by selecting Web >> GIF on the Export project tab, or you can import a GIF with a green background to VSDC and follow the background removal steps described above.

If you’re having a hard time removing green shades around the object, chances are that the lighting was uneven during the shoot. It’s also a common issue if a model in your video has loose hair: the space between hairs gets very stubborn when it comes to removing green background. The best solution in this case would be to switch to the HSL chromakey mode. HSL is only available in the premium version of VSDC (you can get it for $19,99 per year), but it’s the most effective solution if you’re struggling with green screen videos.

Before we wrap this up, here is one more trick you can do with transparent background videos.

How to create animated text with transparent background

So far, we’ve been talking about removing a background from the video. In this last part of the tutorial, we’ll talk about creating a quick transparent background intro.

Let’s suppose, you want to have an animated title on a transparent background, so you could use it multiple times without creating the entire intro from scratch. Or you might need to have a transparent background overlay with moving icons, shapes, or images.

Here is how to do it.

Step 1. Launch VSDC and hit the Blank project button. In the Project’s settings window, set the Opacity at 0% and click Finish.

Step 2. Add text using the T icon from the left-hand side menu. Add the placeholder to the scene, type the title, and adjust its style using the text editing menu. Similarly, if you need to add an icon or a PNG image, you should use the Shift + I hotkey combination to import the desired file from your PC.

Tip: it might be convenient to place a contrasting rectangle to the scene, one layer below the text layer on the timeline. This way, it will be easier to preview the effects applied to the text title. Once you’re done editing, just delete the rectangle and save the video with transparent background as originally planned.

Step 3. Make a double-click on the text and use the Movement button from the left-hand side menu. Then point the vector to the place in the scene where you want the text to move.

How to create an animated title on a transparent background

Note that the free version of VSDC only allows for creating one movement path that consists of 2 control points. If you need to create a trajectory with more than 2 points, you should consider VSDC Pro.

Step 4. You can apply any effects from the Video effects menu to the text title to make its appearance (and disappearance) more impressive. For instance, in the example above, we used a simple Diffuse transition. To quickly apply it, right-click on the text layer, select Video effects >> Transitions >> Diffuse.

Step 5. Once ready, go to the Export tab and save the video in the MOV format with PNG lossless codec selected.

As you can see, this is a very basic version of an animated title, but our goal was to show you the key principles. The ball is in your court now! Use your imagination, get inspired by other video tutorials, and combine the techniques you’ve learned. Just go ahead and experiment! You have all the tools for creating an awesome video.

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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How to Edit Your Gameplay. Step-by-Step Guide, Best Practices, and Free Game Video Editors Reviewed

YouTube is full of raw, unedited gameplays nobody wants to watch. And that’s a shame because with just a little bit of time and effort, many of them could be turned into engaging clips and attract lots of viewers. (If you didn’t want views, you wouldn’t be uploading your gameplay videos to YouTube in the first place, would you?)

The truth is, sometimes people don’t want to watch your entire gameplay. Their attention span is short, and they either need to solve a specific problem when they’re stuck in a game or they just want to get entertained by the most epic moments. And how do you deliver that? By editing your gameplay video and making it helpful and enjoyable.

How to edit gameplay videos - beginner’s guide

In this article, we’ll show you how to edit gaming videos for free. We’ll walk you through the preparation process step by step and show you how to perform basic gaming montage. Plus, we’ll give you a few tips for producing a better video. Finally, we’ll also review free game video editing software you can use for your project.

Which gaming video editor should you use?

Good news. There are a lot of decent free NLEs (non-linear video editors) out there that can become your game video editing software of choice.

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll be using VSDC Free Video Editor. It’s recommended by many gaming YouTubers because it’s free and lightweight (works even on low-spec PCs). Plus, it brings screen and webcam recorders on board which comes in handy if you want to record yourself while playing.

Note that VSDC works on Windows only. You can download it from the official website.

If you’re on Mac or Linux, we’ll provide you with alternative game video editing software in a few paragraphs. Stay tuned!

Before you get to edit your gameplay video: step-by-step preparation plan

If you want to create a Let’s Play or a walkthrough, there will be very little editing involved – mostly, cutting and merging. However, if you’re working on a guide or a supercut of the best moments in the game, you’ll need to go beyond basic editing.

The tips we’ve put together below should help you with any project, be it a walkthrough, a gameplay, a trailer, a gag with fun moments, or a Let’s Play.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Step 1. Plan your gameplay production ahead

We know, we know. You probably can’t wait to start playing. But hold your horses – having a plan is key.

You might not need a detailed scenario with a script for voice commentaries, but you should have a clear idea of what you’re producing. Start by answering these questions:

Which genre will your gaming video be?

Are you recording a walkthrough or an LP? A gag or a game review? Once you make that choice, stay focused. Imagine a YouTuber promising to show you how to do something in a game and taking way too long to get to the point wandering around and talking off-topic. That’s annoying. Don’t be that guy.

Gameplays published without editing can be really annoying

What’s your goal?

Are you doing it for fun or you want to maximize the number of views? The answer to this question will help you decide which game to choose and what exactly to show in the video.

If you couldn’t care less about the views and getting found on YouTube – go ahead and just do what you love. But if your goal is to grow the channel and attract viewers, you might want to do a quick research and find out what people are actually looking for. By producing a gaming video that meets viewers’ requests, you get higher chances to be indexed by the YouTube search engine and show up among the first results where all the eyeballs are.

Make quick keyword research before creating a gameplay

For keyword research, use free tools like Answer The Public (above), Online Keyword Tool, or just check related searches in Google. For example, you can type “name of your game of choice + walkthrough” and see what comes up at the bottom of the page.

What will you choose for a soundtrack?

This might sound like a simple question, but you should dedicate a couple of minutes to it before you start recording. For instance, if you’re planning to use voice comments, you should make sure your microphone works properly. And even if you’re planning to add background music, you might need the sounds of the game too. Forgetting to record the sound of the game is one of the most common rookie mistakes!

And that brings us to the next step: installing video capturing software and recording the game.

Step 2. Record the gameplay

Whether you’re using your gaming laptop, or you’re a lucky owner of the latest PlayStation, there are dedicated apps and devices to help you record gameplays.

Now, finding the right software for laptops is easy. OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is a free screen capture program you’ve probably already heard of. Plus, there are many other screen recording tools for both Windows and macOS computers (including VSDC Free Screen Recorder, Apowersoft, Screencast-O-Matic, and others).

If you’re using a console though, you should consider buying a gameplay capturing device. It will help you connect your TV to the computer and record everything happening on the screen – to later upload the footage to a game video editor quickly and easily. Keep in mind that the ideal device should allow you to record both – the game sound and live commentaries via a microphone or a headset.

And in case you were wondering – no, recording your TV screen with a camera is rarely a good idea. Don’t do that.

Step 3. Get yourself a soundtrack or record voice comments

You’ve made it this far – good job! Now, before you upload the footage to the game video editor of your choice, there is one tiny detail left. The audio.

If you were recording the game and making voice comments in real-time with your headset – skip this part. But if you need to create a voiceover, you’ll need to do it separately either before or after editing the gameplay video.

Background music is also a great idea, it helps make videos more engaging. You can’t add just any music to your gameplay though because of the music copyright law. The easiest option will be to find a nice tune in the YouTube music library. All tracks there are royalty-free and available at zero cost. Plus, there are sound effects there too!

Step 4. Download game video editing software

Now you have everything to start editing the gameplay. Time to choose your tool.

Depending on which OS you’re using, here are the free gaming video editors to consider:

VSDC – free gaming video editing software for Windows

VSDC is a lightweight, newbie-friendly video editor for gameplay footage. It works even on PCs with limited RAM, allows for importing and exporting any video format, and brings all the essential features you’d expect from a gameplay video editor.

VSDC is a free lightweight gameplay video editor

VSDC has a Pro version that boasts advanced tools like masking and motion tracking. However, chances are, the feature set of the free version will be sufficient for you at the beginning. In a couple of paragraphs, we’ll show you how to edit a gameplay video in VSDC.

iMovie – free gaming video editing software for macOS

iMovie is a great choice of a gaming video editor if you’re using Apple products. It’s available for free, and you can use it seamlessly across devices. That means you’ll be able to edit mobile gameplays right on your smartphone or tablet. Or you can start editing a video on your tablet and continue on your Mac (thank Apple for smooth synchronization!).

iMovie is a great gameplay video editor for macOS

Kdenlive – free gaming video editing software for Linux

Kdenlive is an open-source, cross-platform program that works on any OS, but it has gained its fame by being the most popular video editor for Linux. Kdenlive is a user-friendly program with a minimalistic interface, fast project rendering, and a set of convenient keyboard shortcuts. Like any open-source project, Kdenlive has a lot of community support, so if you get stuck, there are dedicated forums and YouTube tutorials created by more experienced users.

Kdenlive is a gameplay video editor for users on Linux



How to use VSDC, free game video editing software

Once you download VSDC Free Video Editor to your PC, launch it and use the Import content button to upload your gaming footage. When you use this option, the software automatically detects the settings of your video and adjusts the project settings accordingly.

1. Cut out the boring stuff

The first step is to get rid of all the unnecessary footage. If you’re aimed at creating a clip with the best (the funniest, the most epic) moments, make sure those are the only ones you leave. At times, you’ll be tempted to keep more footage than needed, but that’s exactly when your script comes in handy. Remember your initial idea and stick to the course.

To cut your gameplay video in VSDC, place the cursor where you want to make the cut and hit the razor icon at the top.

Cut the unwanted pieces of your gameplay using VSDC

The footage will split into two parts. Repeat the action as many times as needed to cut out the unwanted pieces. Then click anywhere on the scene to unselect the entire file.

Finally, select the pieces you want to remove and hit “Delete”.

2. Merge what’s left and add transitions (or don’t)

In VSDC, you can merge videos just by dragging them and docking together. The program also offers a few transitions, but the truth is, gaming videos don’t need fancy effects between scenes. There is a lot happening on the screen already!

That’s why the best option will be either to use no transitions at all or to apply minimalistic transitions like FadeFX. To apply FadeFX, place the cursor at the end of a scene (make sure that the piece of the video you want to apply the transition to is selected on the timeline). Open the Video Effects menu, proceed to Transitions, and select FadeFX.

Use minimalistic FadeFX transitions when editing gameplay videos

3. Add audio to your gameplay footage

To add an audio file to the project, either hit the Shift+A combination or use the Add object button and choose Audio. Then select the desired file from your computer.

You’ll be able to edit your audio track to make sure it sounds the way you want. Cut out unwanted pieces, change the volume of the audio, or apply audio effects, such as Fade in or Fade out.

4. Add yourself to the video (picture-in-picture effect)

If you’re wondering how to make your gameplay video more engaging, consider bringing yourself to the picture (quite literally). With the picture-in-picture effect, you can place the footage of yourself playing or commenting over the gameplay video.

This is what it’s going to look like:

Picture-in-picture effect is the best way to add the player to the gameplay video

To recreate this, you can either record yourself while playing or capture yourself watching and commenting on the resulting gameplay video – similarly to how reaction videos are created.

Once you have the footage of yourself ready, import it to the project using the Shift + V hotkey combination or use the Add object menu and select Video. Make sure to place the footage of yourself above the gameplay video layer on the timeline, then resize it and drag it to the corner.

If you need more detailed guidance, check our picture-in-picture effect tutorial.

5. Add titles and captions

VSDC brings a full-featured text editor on board, so you can easily add a title, a tooltip, or captions. You can also make them appear at the right moment and stay in sight for as long as you need.

Add titles and captions to gameplay video using VSDC

To add text to a video, place the cursor at the moment on the timeline when you want the title to appear. Then open the Add object menu and select Text. An editing menu will open at the top – use it to adjust the style of the text to your liking. Next, stretch or cut the text layer on the timeline to change its duration in the scene.

To create a smooth appearance, make a right mouse click on the text layer, go to Video effects, select Transparency >> Fade In.

If you want the text to follow an object in a video, check out the motion tracking module available in VSDC Pro. Motion tracking is very helpful if you need to create captions for various objects in a video and make sure they stay attached even when the objects are moving.

Motion tracking applied in a gameplay video (VSDC Pro)

6. Highlight the best moments

Earlier we said that video effects are redundant when it comes to editing gameplay videos. However, they might look appropriate if you want to emphasize particular moments in the game or drive viewers’ attention to an object in the scene. This is clearly optional, but if you’re planning to turn gameplay montage into a hobby, you might eventually want to add a few cinematic effects here and there.

Here is what you can try:

  1. Create suspense with a freeze - frame effect. The freeze-frame effect involves taking snapshots of the selected frames and using them to “freeze” the video for a second for creating suspense or adding written comments. The effect is unbelievably easy to apply. Check this tutorial if you’d like to master it.
  2. Change colors to set the mood. A drastic change of colors – when the video becomes black-and-white, for instance – will help create a dramatic effect and make a visual emphasis on the scene.
  3. Focus on an object. If you want to create precise focus on an object in a video, you can apply the crop zoom approach or the blurred background approach – depending on what type of a gameplay video you’re working on.

Zoom feature used in a gameplay video

7. Create intro for your gameplay video

Before you upload your masterpiece to YouTube, we recommend going the extra mile and creating a short intro. Gaming intros don’t need to be fancy, but if you have one, it will help your video stand out. Plus, you can use it to add a call to action and encourage viewers to subscribe or follow you on social media.

You’ll only need to create an intro once. Then you’ll be able to save it as a template and use it whenever needed. There are many beginner-friendly intro tutorials available on the VSDC channel – make sure to check them out.

Wrapping up

By now, you should have an idea of how to edit gameplay videos.

Has at least one of these tips helped you with your goal of growing a gaming channel? If you’ve just answered yes – that’s epic.

Now, why stop there? Go ahead and spread the word about your launch, ask for feedback, and find fellow creative thinkers. If you aren’t a member of any community for gaming YouTubers yet, make sure to check out NewTubers, YouTube gaming, and Let’s Play subreddits. You’ll surely find a lot of support and inspiration there.

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.


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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