Robust, powerful, and completely free- Hitfilm Express performs the role of both editor and compositor, within a single program. Plus, as long as your computer can handle it, you can stack an infinite number of audio and video tracks on top of each other. The VFX abilities of this program are really good when compared to its competitors. Most video editors lock their good stuff behind a paywall, but Hitfilm Express gives you access to some really neat special effects for free. Hitfilm Express also supports advanced keyframing and animation, something that’s usually absent from other free video editing software. You can create keyframes, adjust special and temporal interpolation, and there’s a value graph.
Pretty amazing so far, right? But it keeps getting better, Hitfilm Express even supports motion tracking. There is both single and double point tracking with a high degree of accuracy. It can be used to attach objects or stabilize your video. For gamers, this software packs over 500 special effects that you can use to spice up your gaming videos. There are 3D effects like fire and explosion, color grading tools (levels histogram and curves), shake effects, light flares, color grade presets, etc. You can insert lightning, edgy memes, 3D text, and you can even create lightsabers. Hitfilm Express also allows you to work with 4k video, and you can export in a multitude of video formats. The interface is relatively easy to learn, it barely takes a couple of days to get up to speed on the basics of this software. And it performs way better than something like Sony Vegas on a low-end PC.
Hitfilm Express is also highly customizable. You can switch and swap UI elements, add or remove stuff based on your preferences, and edit the keyboard shortcuts. And then, there’s the RAM preview mode which lets you view certain parts of your composites in full detail without waiting for the video to export. Hitfilm also has an export queue which allows you to export multiple video projects in a sequence, without having to restart the queue every time you close and reopen the application. If you want to learn Hitfilm, their website has a bunch of free tutorials that cover all the basics and tell you how to use the most popular special effects. Now, this software does have its downsides. For instance, you need a relatively powerful system to use more advanced effects without slowing down. And, it does crash occasionally (that’s something Premiere Pro also loves to do these days). But your project will be auto-recovered if you forgot to save it.