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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Multifunctionality

Multifunctionality

A wide array of multimedia processing tools in one free video software suite.

High speed

High speed

Our programs use fast
and high-quality algorithms optimized for single and multi-core CPU’s.

Affordability

Affordability

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

How to Work with Video Subtitles in VSDC

Subtitles are an easy way to make your videos more accessible – especially if you’re publishing content for a wide audience on social media. VSDC Video Editor allows you to add subtitles to your footage for free, or even manually create them right in the program if you don’t have the transcript.

In the tutorial below, we’ll walk you through the process of adding subtitles to the video, explain how to use markers for synchronizing subtitles with narration, and show you how to adjust the look of the subtitles using a basic text formatting menu.

Feel free to watch the video tutorial first, and then jump to the text version.

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Step 1. Add or create subtitles

First things first, add your footage and subtitles to the scene. To add the footage, use the Import content button on the start screen. To add the subtitles, you can use two options, depending on whether you have a premade subtitle file or not.

If you have an .srt file with subtitles

Importing a transcript file to VSDC is the easiest way to create subtitles. However, for the program to recognize the file, it has to be in .srt format.

You can create .srt files using the Notepad text editor or dedicated freeware, such as Open Subtitle Editor or Jubler. If you’re downloading subtitles from YouTube, the text file will be already in the .srt format.

So, if you have the file ready, hit the CC button on the left-hand side and proceed to upload the subtitles.

Add subtitles from menu

In the pop-up Object position settings window, click OK and then select the place for the subtitles on the scene. Once you do that, the file will instantly appear on the timeline, and the subtitles will start displaying.

If you don’t have an .srt file with subtitles

If you don’t have the file ready, you can create subtitles right in the program. Just hit the CC button on the left, select Cancel when the program suggests uploading a file, and hit OK in the Object position settings window. Then manually select the place for subtitles on the scene and hit Edit subtitles.

From there, you’ll need to manually add subtitles, phrase by phrase, using the following format:

1
00:00:06,107 --> 00:00:08,534
Subtitle text
2
00:00:10,234 --> 00:00:18,530
Subtitle text

The first line indicates the subtitle order number. The second line contains the exact moments when the subtitle appears on the screen and disappears from it. The third line contains the actual text of the subtitle. Keep in mind that if you decide to prepare a transcript file in advance, you’ll have to follow the same format.

Step 2. Add subtitle markup and adjust it, if needed

To make working with subtitles easier, VSDC brings the subtitle markup feature. This feature adds markers to the subtitles file on the timeline to indicate the beginning of each subtitle. The markup comes in handy when you need to synchronize a video, sound, or effect with the narration.

To activate the markup feature, select the subtitles on the timeline and go to the Properties window on the right. Then hit Add markers. This is what the result will look like:

Add subtitles markers

Adjust markers’ position

If you’ve noticed that the subtitles in the video are displayed with the wrong timing, or the text is off, head over to the Edit subtitles menu on the right.

Create subtitles

To change the text, select the incorrect piece and start typing over. To change the timing, find the moments it should appear and disappear (use the top left corner of the timeline for that) and adjust the time stamps in the editor accordingly.

Make sure you always stick to the default timing format when adjusting the timestamps: XX:XX:XX,XXX → XX:XX:XX,XXX. Otherwise, the subtitles won’t be displayed.

Once finished, click OK and hit the Add markers button once again – to reflect the latest adjustments.

Set up the appearance of individual markers

In addition to changing the position of the markers on the timeline, you can also change their colors and add tooltips to selected markers. To get started, double-click on the layers with subtitles; then double-click the marker you’d like to work with to open its settings.

Change the color of the marker

Using the Marker settings window, you can do the following:

  • Name the marker
  • Add a comment to the marker
  • Change the color of the marker
  • Change the marker type
  • Change the marker visibility

The first three options allow you to make markers more informative. For example, the name of the marker and the comments will be visible if you hover over it on the timeline (to make the name visible at all times, check the box saying Show name in timeline). If you change the color of the marker, it will be visible on all timeline layers, at all times.

Name of the marker and the comments

The next option in the menu, called Marker type, allows you to use selected markers for splitting the video into parts. For instance, if you switch from Comment marker to Segmentation marker and proceed to export your video, you can select the “Split by markers” checkbox and the project will be saved into multiple videos, based on the number of segmentation markers you’ve created.

Split by markers

Finally, the marker editing menu allows you to set Visibility area. Visibility area defines the levels on the timeline where the marker (along with its name and comments) will be visible.

There are three visibility levels you can choose from:

  • Visible on all scopes – the marker will be visible on all timeline levels
  • Visible in self scope and child object – the marker will be visible on the current level and all levels below
  • Visible only in self scope – the marker will only be visible on the current level

For example, if you make the marker visible above the timeline on all scopes, you can go back to the main timeline tab and view it there.

Create markup will only be visible on the subtitle layer

Meanwhile, with the other two options, the markup will only be visible on the subtitle layer.

Step 3. Format the subtitles

Now that you know how to create subtitles for your videos and how to work with the markup, let’s see how you can adjust subtitle text formatting. For example, you can adapt the size of subtitles to the width of the video, change text color, font, alignment, and other parameters. You can also add a background to the text and select its color!

Feel free to play around to achieve the desired look of the subtitles.

It’s time to start adding subtitles to all your videos

We can’t stress this enough, but having good-quality subtitles is essential. Subtitles make your videos accessible to hearing-impaired viewers, help you deliver your message to those watching videos without sound, and overall show that you care about your audience. If you create content for social media or for a wide offline audience, subtitles should be an integral part of your videos. And the best part? With VSDC, you can add them to your videos for free.

Have any questions? Feel free to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or DM us on Facebook.

 


You can get more information about the program on Free Video Editor description page.

How to Add Matrix Falling Code Effect to Video

If you’re a fan of the Matrix trilogy, like us, you’ll be thrilled to hear that the falling code effect is now available in the premium version of VSDC Video Editor. Unlike ready-made overlays, the effect is easily customizable, so you can adjust the look to your needs. For example, you can switch from letters to runes, change the color of the code, the size and speed of falling symbols, and even the depth at which they’re falling.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to add the Matrix effect to your video within minutes — no need for video editing or coding experience. Feel free to check the video tutorial first and jump to the text version below for a more detailed settings description.

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Step 1. Import your footage to the scene

If you’re new to VSDC, the best way to import your footage to the scene is by using the Import content button on the start screen and following the pop-up helping prompts.

Import content

This way, the editor will create a project with the same size, aspect ratio, and fps rate as in your video. Once you import the file, the video will automatically appear on the timeline, so you can start editing right away.

Step 2. Add the falling code effect to your video

To add the Matrix effect to your video, go to the Template window and type “Matrix”. Although the effect comes with several presets, for the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll use the default configuration and show you how to switch between presets later.

Template window and type Matrix

Drag the Matrix effect to the scene and preview the result. This is the default version of the falling code effect, and if it works for you, feel free to leave it as-is and proceed to export. Note that you can apply the same effect to a video, an image, a shape, or a piece of text.

In the following sections, we’ll show you the falling code presets and customization options.

Step 3. Customize the effect

To open the effect settings menu, double-click the footage on the timeline; then select the layer with the effect (it’s called “Matrix”) and proceed to the Properties window on the right side.

Dropdown menu in the Properties window

If you can’t find the Properties window, make a right-mouse-click on the effect layer and select Properties from the context menu. From there, you’ll have plenty of tools to experiment with. Some of the parameters allow you to change the overall look of the effect; others allow you to customize the look of the symbols. We’ll start with the former group of settings.

Try different presets

Effect presets come in handy if you want to quickly try different styles. For example, you may want the falling code to be black-and-white or paint it rainbow colors. Presets are available under a dropdown menu in the Properties window. Feel free to just switch between them to see how they look.

Regardless of the preset you decide to go with, you’ll be able to customize the size of the symbols, their falling and changing speed, color and brightness. We’ll have a look at each parameter in a few moments.

Adjust effect opacity

Apart from the preset menu, Adjustment settings include an important parameter called Transparency. This parameter helps you change the visibility of the effect. By default, it is set to 100% which is the maximum visibility. When you decrease the value, the lines of falling code become less opaque – as simple as that.

The cool thing about VSDC is that you can set a constant Transparency value or make it gradually change over time by using the Initial value and Final value options. For example, if we set the Initial value at 0% and leave the Final value at 100%, the effect will gradually go from being completely transparent to visible:

Keep in mind that many other effect parameters in VSDC allow you to set the initial and final values. The way they work will be the same every time: the former defines the parameter value at the beginning of the effect, and the latter defines the parameter value at the end of the effect.

Switch between Mix modes

The last parameter that changes the overall look of the effect is called Mix mode, and it’s located directly in the Matrix effect group of settings. Mix modes define how the falling code will be blended with the video or image. For example, by default, the falling code effect works as an overlay. However, if you switch to Source in, the symbols will work as a mask shaping the original image as they fall.

To preview all modes, open the dropdown menu and select them one by one:

Now, before we start talking about ways to modify symbols directly, let’s talk about the way they are layered in this effect.

Understanding layers

You may not have noticed it yet, but some lines of code are falling in the foreground (layer 1), middle ground (layer 2), and background (layer 3) of the scene. You can dissect these layers and customize the falling symbols on the layer of your choice – or even remove them from any of the layers entirely.

For example, this is what the effect looks like if we gradually remove the falling code from the background and middle ground:

Layers can help you achieve depth – especially if you’re willing to go the extra mile and adjust symbols differently on each layer.

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll only be working with layer 1, but keep in mind that the parameters for all three layers are identical.

Cell height and width

When you expand the Use layer 1 menu, the first two parameters are called Cell width and Cell height. Essentially, the values of these parameters define the number of symbol cells placed horizontally (width) and vertically (height). The higher the value is, the more cells there will be – and the smaller the symbols will appear.

Here is an example of what the effect looks like when you increase or decrease cell width and height values.

The smallest value you can put for these parameters is 1; the biggest value is 1024.

Symbol type

The following parameter is called symbol type, and it allows you to switch between alphabet letters and runes. In the illustrations above, we’ve used both options, so you probably got the idea by now.

Delay the effect

This option is set to True by default, and that means that the falling code effect will start appearing gradually from the top – as in the original movie intro. If you switch this option to False, code lines will be visible right away.

Max. symbol highlighting

This parameter defines how many pieces of falling code are simultaneously highlighted. The minimum value here is 0, and the maximum value is 1024. Obviously, when you choose the value for this parameter, you should keep the number of symbols(defined by cell width and height), in mind.

Here is what the effect looks like if we gradually increase the number of highlighted symbols, starting from zero:

Notice that without highlighting (if you put 0 as the value), the symbols are invisible. You can also gradually increase or decrease highlighting over time by using the initial and final values.

Falling speed

If you want to slow down or speed up the lines of code, simply tweak this parameter, as it’s pretty self-explanatory. The default value here is 100%, but you can put any value from 10% to 10000%.

Symbol change rate

Symbol change rate defines how fast symbols change within a cell. This parameter defaults to 100%, and you can use the initial and final values to make the effect more dynamic.

Brightness

Use the Brightness parameter to make code symbols brighter or darker. Values for this parameter range from -1000 to 1000, and you can make them change dynamically during the playback.

Color and opacity

Finally, it’s possible to change the color of the falling code for the selected layer and adjust the opacity of symbols as well. Just choose the desired color from the palette or use the eyedropper tool to select a color from the video.

If you’re happy with the result, head over to the Export tab and proceed to Export project. From there, you can select the social media platform your video is intended for, and adjust the quality settings if needed.

Get creative with the Matrix effect in your videos

If you’re using VSDC version 7.1 or later, the Matrix effect is already available in your video effects menu. Go ahead and try it for yourself. Remember that you can apply the falling code to the entire scene or a separate object, such as an image, a title, or even a mask. Use it for creating unique cinemagraphs, spectacular transitions, and creative overlays.

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Have any questions? Feel free to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or DM us on Facebook.

 


You can get more information about the program on Free Video Editor description page.

How to Make Glitch Text Effect in a Video

If you go online, you’ll find plenty of sources featuring glitched text effect templates. However, since templates may not always look exactly the way you need, in this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create your own glitchy text for a video – using VSDC, a free video editor for Windows.

Even if you’re a complete newbie, worry not. It’s a quick and easy trick that requires zero video editing experience. Once you get the hang of the effect, you’ll be able to apply it to text titles, logos, and images in your video. Feel free to watch the tutorial first, and then jump to the text description below, as it contains an extended version with a couple of animation tricks.

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Step 1. Add a piece of text to the scene

Launch VSDC on your computer and create a blank project. Then use Shift +T to add a piece of text to the scene, and design it to your taste using the editor at the top. Note that you can modify any aspect of the text including the font, size, thickness, color, alignment, and everything in between.

How to add a text to the scene in VSDC Video Editor

The duration of the text in the video is indicated on the timeline; you can stretch or shorten it manually using the handlers.

Before adding the text to the scene, you can import a background video or image using the Add object menu at the top. However, for the sake of this tutorial, we won’t do that. Once we’re done with the effect, we’ll export it as a text animation with transparent background, so that later we can use it as an overlay for any other project.

Step 2. Apply the glitch effect to the text

Once you’re done stylizing your text, double-click it on the timeline and open the Video effects menu. Proceed to Special FX ➝ Glitch. The pop-up window indicates that the effect will be applied from the playhead position on the timeline. This means you can make text glitchy from the moment it appears in the scene or from a certain moment later - based on where the playhead is.

The pop-up window indicating the effect’s location on the timeline

When you hit OK, the Glitch effect layer will be added to the timeline. Go to the Properties window on the right to preview different effect presets and select the one you like the most. (If you can’t find the Properties window, make a right-mouse-button click on the effect layer, and select Properties from the menu).

Glitched text effect in VSDC

Each preset brings a different type of distortion. Feel free to try them all before making the decision, and keep in mind that you can apply several presets to the same piece of text as well. To do that, simply duplicate the effect layer on the timeline using the Ctrl+C; Ctrl+V hotkeys, place the duplicate under the original, and select a different preset for it.

You can also place multiple glitch presets on the same track so that one distortion type turns into another.

Adjust the glitch effect intensity

Presets are the quickest way to customize the Glitch effect in VSDC. However, you can perform much deeper customization and precisely achieve the look you want. For example, you can make the distortion gradually intensify as the video goes on. Just expand the Glitch effect power parameter in the Properties window and type 0% for the Initial value (leave 100% for the Final value).

As a result, glitching will be light at the beginning and come to its full power by the end of the effect’s duration.

Similarly, you can use the Transparency parameter to make the distortion effect gradually appear in the scene, while keeping it at full intensity. To learn more about other parameters, read a detailed guide to working with the Glitch effect in VSDC.

Step 3. Animate glitched text in your video

Most creators use glitched text for title intros or captions. Whatever the case is, it’s typically a brief appearance of the text in the scene. This means that apart from the glitch effect, you may want to apply some animation too. Let’s talk about the easiest options that can help you create a simple, yet full-fledged intro.

Add text movement

The free version of VSDC allows you to add a single-vector movement path which makes an object (a piece of text in this case) move from point A to point B. For example, suppose you want the text to slide in from the side of the scene like this:

To do that, place the text outside the scene, double-click on it, and hit Shift + M to apply the Movement tool. Next, using a mouse click, indicate where in the scene the text should stop moving.

How animate glitched text in VSDC

Keep in mind that the duration of the movement is indicated by the yellow marker on the timeline. The closer the marker is to the beginning of the timeline, the faster the movement will be. In our example, the movement duration is 2 seconds, and the glitch effect kicks in after the movement stops. Remember that you can manually change the duration of the effect on the timeline, as well as the moment when it appears.

Use text animation effects

In addition to movement, you may want to consider other animation effects designed specifically for text.

Under the Text effects menu at the top, you’ll find the following options:

  • Recoloring – text color and opacity animation
  • Shift position – symbols slide into the placeholder from a pre-selected area
  • Glyph FX – symbols rotate or get zoomed in

Each effect is customizable, and if you’d like to learn how to use them, give a read to this guide.

Apply fade-in or fade-out transitions

Finally, to smoothen the appearance or disappearance of the text in the video, consider using transitions. There are plenty of them in the Video effects menu, however, for the sake of this tutorial, we’ll use the simple Fade out transition.

To apply the transition, go back to the main timeline tab and proceed to Video effects ➝ Transparency ➝ Fade Out.

By default, the Fade Out transition will be applied to the end of the text layer, but again, you can manually shift it on the timeline.

Export the glitched text animation

Ready to save your project? Then head over to the Export project tab and select the desired settings. The most popular option is Web ➝ YouTube, however, feel free to select whatever works for your goals.

If you need to export this animation with a transparent background, select PC ➝ MOV and hit the Edit profile button under the preview window. Then make sure to select the PNG lossless codec.

How to export a glitched text animation with transparent background in VSDC

This way, you’ll be able to overlay your text animation using any video editing software supporting alpha channel, including VSDC itself.

And you’re done!

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You can get more information about the program on Free Video Editor description page.

How to Apply Instagram Size to Your Videos on PC

Even if you shoot your videos on a smartphone, sometimes you may need to edit them on your PC before publishing. That is especially relevant if you want to add advanced-level effects or use the same footage for different Instagram video types.

To help you out, we’ve created a guide to adapting any footage to a perfect Instagram video size using VSDC, free video editor for Windows PC. VSDC is great for minor video alterations as well as professional video production, color correction, and special FX – and most importantly, it leaves no watermark on your videos after export.

Recommended Instagram video size for feed posts

The editor provides convenient, pre-configured profiles for Instagram, so there’s no need to manually adjust the width and height of the video.

Let’s go ahead and see how to quickly resize a video for Instagram feed, Instagram stories, Reels, and IGTV.

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How to apply correct Instagram video size

The easiest way to resize video for Instagram on PC is by creating a blank project for Instagram. This way, your footage will automatically adjust to the Instagram aspect ratio requirements. Here is how it works.

Step 1. Create a blank project

Launch VSDC on your computer and hit Blank project to create a new, custom-sized project. In the pop-up settings window, select Instagram and open the Resolution menu to see your options.

Depending on the type of publication you’re creating, you should consider the following dimensions:

  • Video for Instagram feed – 4:5 or 1:1 (max. 1080x1080 or 1080x1350)
  • Video for Instagram stories, Reels, and IGTV – 9:16 (max. 1080x1920)

Notice that for all three resolutions – vertical, square, and landscape – different options are available. As a rule of thumb, you want to choose the highest quality to keep the best look of the video.

When you’re done, hit Finish.

Step 2. Import your video

Once you’ve opened the scene, import your video using the Add object menu or the toolset on the left-hand side. Notice that the video will be placed within the resolution you selected previously. This means that the gaps between the scene size and the video size will be filled with the background color.

By default, the background color is black, but you can change it in the pop-up settings window at the first step.

Step 3. Resize the video

At this point, you have two options. You can either export the video “as is" (with gaps) or resize it to fit the size of the scene. In the former case, proceed to the Export tab and save your movie. In the latter case, hit the Crop button and select Custom region.

In the pop-up cropping window, proceed to Set size in accordance with the scene’s aspect ratio ➝ Set the maximum size. Notice that the resizing frame is interactive, and you can shift it to make sure the framing is right.

Once you’re happy with framing, hit OK.

Step 4. Export your video

If you’re ready to export the video, go to the Export project tab and hit Export project to start conversion. Notice that your project parameters are already selected: it’s the profile configuration you’ve set at the beginning. However, you can still adjust the profile using the options in the dropdown menu.

And that’s it! This way, you’ll be able to quickly resize your video for Instagram feed, stories, IGTV, and Reels.

What are the recommended Instagram video settings?

The general requirements for all Instagram videos are:

  • MP4 format (also known as MPEG-4)
  • H.264 codec
  • 30 fps (frames per second)
  • 1080px maximum width

A lower 600px width resolution is acceptable, but of course, it would worsen the viewing experience for your audience. Remember that Instagram is the most visual social media platform, and striving for quality pays off, especially if you’re using it to promote your brand or blog.

For the best Instagram video dimensions and aspect ratio, you have a couple of options.

For a regular feed post, you can use any aspect ratio between 1.91:1 (Landscape mode) and 4:5 (Portrait mode) . Obviously, the latter is more efficient if you want to grab the attention of your followers because it takes more space on a smartphone screen. The best Instagram video dimensions here will be 1080 x 1350 and 864 x 1080 pixels. If you didn’t use the vertical mode to shoot the video though, it might be better to choose the good old square aspect ratio (1:1). In that case, the 1080 x 1080 is the way to go.

For Stories and Reels, the ideal aspect ratio is 9:16 or 1080 x 1920 pixels. This is a vertical-only space and, ideally, you’ll need to shoot in a portrait mode to make the video look authentic.

Finally, for IGTV, you can either upload a vertical video with a 9:16 aspect ratio, or a horizontal video with an aspect ratio of 16:9. But keep in mind that when an IGTV video is watched in the feed, it’s loaded in a portrait mode, so vertical orientation wins again.

Bonus. How to quickly cut a video into parts for Instagram

If your video is longer than the allowed maximum, you can quickly split the video file into parts with the desired duration. This is especially relevant if you’re planning to publish a sequence of videos for Instagram Stories or a carousel.

The easiest way to split the file before export is by using markers. While in the Editor tab, place the playhead where you want to split the file and select the marker tool. In the pop-up window, switch to Segmentation marker and hit OK.

Following the same steps, create as many markers, as you need. Once ready, switch to the Export project tab and open Additional settings. Check the box “By markers" and uncheck the box “Join scenes to single".

Proceed to export the project. The video will be saved into multiple files based on the markers you’ve created. And since you can now upload videos to Instagram from a desktop, all you need to do is open your account in the browser and upload files.

Final tips on posting Instagram videos

Applying the right Instagram video size isn’t that tricky, as long as you understand the dimensions and framing. Here are the final recommendations before you jump to working with your content:

  • make sure your video is in MP4 format. If it’s in a different format, use a video converter.
  • keep in mind that Instagram may compress the quality of your video. To maintain the highest quality, pay attention to your camera settings and use lossless file transfer solutions.
  • use subtitles where applicable. Remember that most people scroll through the feed with sound off, so create text insertions if your message loses its clarity when muted.

Finally, consider using social media management software for scheduling Instagram publications. Not only does it save time, but it also allows you to conveniently post right from your desktop. If you’ve never heard of social media management tools, Buffer and Hootsuite are great tools to start.

Questions about adjusting video size? Let us know by sending a message via Facebook page or drop us a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


You can get more information about the program on Free Video Editor description page.

How to Make God Rays Effect in a Video – Step-by-Step Tutorial

God rays, also called 3D light rays, are a beautiful illusion you can see in nature when direct light pierces through gaps in the clouds or a surface that contains holes. Because of their volume and shape, these light rays resemble torches or columns coming straight from the sky – hence the name of the artistic effect.

If you want to add the God rays effect to your video, VSDC Pro can help you achieve that within minutes. You’ll be able to use the effect on added objects, such as titles, shapes, logos, and images with a transparent background, as well as on videos. But most importantly, you’ll be able to make the effect dynamic as if the light source is moving around the scene.

This is what it’s going to look like:

In the tutorial below, we’ll walk you through the effect setup and show you how to change the length, brightness, and color of the light rays. Plus, you’ll learn how to achieve a stunning look by gradually increasing or decreasing the intensity of the effect over time!

Before getting started, make sure to download the latest version of VSDC Video Editor.

Apply the God rays effect to the object

For this tutorial, we’re going to apply the effect to a piece of text – however, the principles of working with other image and video files are exactly the same.

For starters, import your media file to the editor or create a blank project and add an object to the scene. Click the object using the right mouse button and proceed to Video effects. Select Nature - God rays.

Once you make the selection, an Object position settings window will pop up indicating that the effect will be applied to the file starting from the cursor position. Later, you’ll be able to manually change the duration of the effect and shift its position on the timeline if you want to.

 

Access the Properties window

As soon as you apply the effect, you’ll be prompted to the second tab of the timeline where the “Godrays” layer is located. Click it with the right mouse button and select Properties. The Properties window housing the effect settings will slide in from the right side.

The Properties window contains three groups of settings:

  • Common settings
  • Adjustment settings
  • God rays effect settings

Each group allows you to fine-tune the effect on different levels. Let’s have a more in-depth look at what you can do at each level.

Common settings overview

The first group is called Common settings and it lets you do the following:

  • change the name of the layer on the timeline
  • set up the moment when the effect appears in the scene – by typing the exact second or frame
  • define how long the duration of the effect should be – by typing the exact number of seconds or frames

If you’re happy with the default settings of the effect, feel free to skip this group and move on to the next one.

Adjustment settings overview

The second group is called Adjustment settings. It allows you to change the level of effect transparency, extend the boundaries of the effect area, and select presets.

The Transparency parameter defines the level of visibility of the effect. The higher the Transparency value is, the more visible the effect. You can set a constant Transparency value or make it change over time using the parameters called Initial value and Final value. To give you an idea of how it looks, below is a gradual Transparency increase from 0% to 100%

The next parameter in the group is called Extend boundaries, and it only makes sense to change it if you’re applying the God rays effect to an object smaller than the scene size – such as an icon, a piece of text, or an image.

By default, the length of the light rays is defined by the object’s borders. For example, if you’re applying it to a piece of text, we’re talking about the frame where the text is located. This way, if the Extend boundaries parameter is deactivated (set to False), the light rays will be cut by the frame. If the Extend boundaries parameter is activated (set to True), the light rays will extend to their natural length.

Finally, the third parameter in the group allows you to select one of the effect presets from the menu. To continue with the manual setup, leave the ‘Custom’ option selected.

God Rays effect settings overview

The last group of settings is designed to help you achieve a more precise, custom look of the effect. We’re going to show you what each parameter means, and how it changes the overall appearance of the rays.

Polar coordinates

The first parameter is called Polar coordinates, and it only makes sense to pay attention to it if you are creating a dynamic effect where the source of light will be moving around. If you keep the Polar coordinates mode activated (set to True), you’ll be able to make the light source move around the polar system of coordinates.

If you deactivate the mode (set it to False), you’ll be able to make the light source move around the XY system of coordinates.

In both cases, to imitate the light source movement, you’ll need to expand the parameters and type the Initial value and Final value for the coordinates. For example, if you’re using the Polar coordinate system, you can type the light source angle and distance from the object for the beginning of the effect and the end of it. When you do that, the light source will be moving from the initial point to the final point throughout the duration of the effect, as illustrated above.

Similarly, if you’re using the XY coordinate system, you’ll be able to set the XY coordinates for the beginning and the end of the effect.

Show/hide center

If you want to keep the effect’s position constant, ignore the previous parameter and click the Show/hide center button to make the center of the effect visible and manually place it in the scene.

Tip: if you are using the coordinates to create a dynamic effect, you can check its position at any given moment on the timeline by moving the playhead and using the Show/hide center button.

Light intensity and Brightness

Light intensity and Brightness directly affect the look of the light rays. As the names of these parameters suggest, the former defines how powerful the light source is, and the latter defines the brightness of the light.

By default, both parameters are set to 100%, and as you start decreasing this value, you’ll notice how the look of the effect gradually changes. See what going from 100% to 0% looks like for both parameters:

As you can see, for Light intensity, 0% means the full absence of the light rays; meanwhile, for Brightness, 0% means the full absence of light (and therefore, disappearance of the object).

Mode

Mode helps you smoothen the light rays and make them look more natural. To see the difference between the two modes, just switch from ‘Normal’ and ‘Smooth’ and look at how the rays change.

Keep in mind that the ‘Smooth’ mode requires a bit more PC resources, so it may work a little slower on your PC.

Ray length

This parameter is also self-explanatory. As you change its value, you also change the length of light rays.

Although this parameter directly affects the length of light rays, it’s important to note that other parameters, such as Brightness and Light intensity, may indirectly affect the length of light rays as well. For example, high brightness or a very powerful light source will visually extend rays.

Noise strength

The Noise strength parameter adds fractal noise to the effect and can also be set up dynamically – through the Initial and Final values.

Chromatic shift

The last parameter is designed to add a touch of color to the God rays effect. By default, it’s set at 0% which means the light rays are white. As you start increasing the Chromatic shift value, you’ll notice how light rays start taking color, based on the Channel order selected in the dropdown menu below.

The default channel order is RGB, which means the effect will contain Red, Green, and Blue – in that sequence precisely. The rest of the channels are abbreviated with the same logic: for instance, GBR means Green, Blue, Red; GB means Green and Blue; B means Blue. This way, you can apply a single color or multiple colors to the effect.

Time to practice

Now that you know how to work with the God rays effect in a video, it’s time to practice. Go ahead and try to use it in your next project. It’s easy to apply, and it works especially well for transitions, intros, and outros.

Got any questions about the effect? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Looking for inspiration for your next video? Check our YouTube channel.

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