Video Production Software Review
What is Video Production Software?
Video production software is a professional non-linear video editing tool used to produce motion pictures, commercials, corporate communications, etc. These industry leading software packages usually require specially built computers and professionally trained editors to operate them effectively. We aren’t talking about your everyday do-it-yourself video editors here. Companies like Apple and Avid produce products that have been used to edit award-winning major motion pictures such as “Crazy Heart,” "Iron Man 2" and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
Video editing, or the “invisible art,” as many practitioners refer to it, has been an Oscar category since 1934. For those of you not keeping track, nearly two out of three films that win the Academy Award for Best Film Editing go on to win the Best Picture award as well. Video editing is a big deal and the best editors in the world use the products featured on this site. Also be sure to read our articles related to video production.
Post-production video editors produce mind blowing masterpieces. Video production software is the palette these artists use to put paint to canvas by combining video, sound, and effects all in one magical package. A professional video editor wants a tool that will allow seamless integration between the various phases of the post production process.
The difference between video editing software and video production software is integration. With video editing software you can edit video and maybe apply a few visual effects; with video production software you can edit video, create visual and sound effects, mix audio tracks, and combine these elements to produce a masterpiece of cinematic proportions.
What to Look for in Video Production Software
To keep up with the demand of post production you need a software package that can handle any situation. It needs to be able to manage imported media, work seamlessly with other applications in the suite, offer a high degree of customization, provide a simple and easy to navigate interface, and include a tool for authoring DVD and Blu-ray discs.
Video editing is the core of each of these products. Everything else is usually built to support this function. A good video editor is one that is easy to use, works well with associated applications, and offers a variety of options and effects.
As one of the final steps in the post production process, sound editing is commonly overlooked or under considered. Sound editing can be as basic as removing background noise or adding minor effects, or as complex as mixing 5.1 surround sound tracks. Luckily, each application featured on this site has an audio editor. Most integrate seamlessly with the video editors and include video/audio synchronization tools.
How nice is it to be able to drop media into the timeline and just start editing? Having to wait for transcoding and rewrapping is a waste of time and valuable resources. These video production software packages each offer native editing to an extent, although they all approach native editing differently. Take a look at our comparison matrix for a quick overview of which formats each developer claims to offer native support for.
Supported Operating Systems
Few video production software packages are available for both Mac and Windows. Whatever your preference, it is important to know what works with your system. For example, if you are only interested in video production software for your Windows PC, don’t plan on looking at Apple Final Cut Studio.
Help and Support
Video production software featured on this site tends to be complex. Even seasoned editors will run into something they don’t understand or need help with. For that reason, it is imperative that the software developer offer product support. Support can come in the form of telephone assistance, email, tutorials, online chat, or user moderated forums.
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