Creating a fantastic online course is more or less equivalent to creating one or more great videos for your students. Luckily, nowadays, video production is not just a privilege of the professionals.
Impressive techniques that are popular amongst experienced moviemakers have become available to beginners too. Affordable software and easy-to-use apps empower course makers and unleash their creativity resulting in impressive instructional videos. The plethora of available video editing software makes it hard to choose one.
We did the hard work and the testing and curated the best video editing software. So, let us guide you through the most popular and consumer-friendly video editing tools on the market.
Here are the top 34 tools we selected and tested for you. Let’s see what suits your needs:
Category #1: Interactive Training Video Software
The first online interactive videos provided editors with the advantage of presenting additional information beyond the original video content, like hypertexts. Today, interactive videos include a variety of features that can augment your video and provide a pluralistic learning environment.
How is that possible?
Interactivity in videos gives learners navigational opportunities, useful feedback in questions, it helps them emphasize the essential parts of an action and adjust the video to their learning needs.
These are the reasons why you should opt for creating an interactive video. Users love to interact with learning content. Why not let them interact with your video?
LearnWorlds is an all-in-one platform that allows you to create, promote, and sell your online courses, offering an advanced and easy-to-use editor that makes your videos interactive. With a variety of features available, you can augment your footage, and in a few clicks, you can arrange these features in the way and the exact moment you want them to appear.
With Learnworlds editor, you can add any element you want, like overlay images, logos, titles, pointers, quizzes, external links, openers, videos, labels, navigational buttons, and more. You can try LearnWorlds and start creating amazing interactive videos.
The end-products of this platform are called “smart videos” and are filled with advanced features. TouchCast offers a green screen that allows designers to separate objects from the natural scenery and place them in different backgrounds, also while they are recording the object.
Apart from these feature TouchCast also provides valuable analytics and comes with a variety of interactive elements that are called video apps (vApps): Image vApps, Video inside a video, PDF vApps, Dropbox vApps, Video vApps, Hotspot vApps, YouTube vApps, Photo and Map vApps, Google Drive vApps, etc. Vapps are prepared at the beginning of a project by the creators who are expected to record the video along with the interaction, so that it can be saved.
Wirewax provides a variety of interactive elements, including automated hotspots. People, objects, and products can be automatically identified with a hotspot, and the motion of the object can be tracked as it moves in the scene. Static hotspots allow designers to place simple buttons at any spot in a video, and viewers can interact with any item that is in it.
This provides the possibility to viewers to decide the path they want to take and swipe between scenes or videos and switch camera views. Wirewax is the first platform that launched the 360º interactive video.
HapYak is a cloud-based interactive video platform that allows you to layer interactivity onto your video. Interactive elements provided by HapYak are: Links, quizzes, Slides presentations, and more. The most impressive asset of HapYak is their analytics tool, with which you can track the metrics of your video. The platform uses an API to connect viewer clicks and behaviors with popular marketing and CRM tools.
Category #2: Screencast & Screen Capture Software
A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, usually containing audio narration. Sometimes you may need to show your learners specific steps of a procedure on a computer (e.g., how to use a specific software or simply recording the slides of a Powerpoint presentation). Screen-recording tools are very easy and often free to use. You can use:
Screencasts are ideal to create tutorial videos, guides and onboarding training for new users or employees.
Screencast-O-Matic is an online tool that provides fast and free screen-recording for stuff that doesn’t only reside in a browser window. Screencast-O-Matic provides the option for screencast recordings (screen recording), webcam recordings, or both, as well as the ability to use a microphone to record your voice.
The Pro Recorder provides exciting editing effects such as drawing on a screen, scripted recordings, zooming, creating captions, sharing tools, and many others.
Ezvid is a downloadable tool that captures any software that runs on your computer. Some of its interesting features are Voice recording, speed control, screen drawing, stamps, face-camera, and YouTube upload. Through a drawing palette, you can choose a brush or a stamp and draw directly on your screen.
Your video recording appears on a timeline after you have finished recording. Editing possibilities include duplication or splitting of your clips, speed control (up to 600%), and adding text to a video. This nice tool also includes a speech synthesizer!
7BlueBerry Flashback Express Recorder
This recorder enables you to capture your screen while at the same time recording yourself through a webcam. It provides a long list of features that allows you to edit your videos like a pro using a very user-friendly interface. The tool allows you to decide whether you want to record sound and web activity or not.
Another great thing about BlueBerry is that you can schedule recordings to avoid missing online events, such as webinars. Also, it includes a record player that works like a VCR and allows you to go over and review your recording frame-by-frame.
Camtasia’s screencasting tool offers a lot more flexibility in terms of creating long videos and adding overlays. It has a simple interface with powerful editing, interaction features, animated backgrounds, and special effects. Users can upload their videos straight to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and Screencast.9Loom
Loom allows you to record your camera and screen with audio. You can then download your video, embed it on your blog, or share it via a URL. Loom is very popular because of its ease of use and instant shareability. Loom also combines the expressiveness of video with the convenience of messaging.
By the way, here is a great article with advice on how to create a winning screencast including more screencasting tools.
Category #3: Animated Training Video Software
Creating animations has always been considered as a time-intensive activity that requires heavy software and technological expertise. However, over the past few years, the emergence of various online presentation and animation tools has simplified the process of creating animations. Animations are very powerful tools for elearning. They are engaging and can serve a variety of purposes. Animations can easily be changed, in contrast to traditional footage.
With Animaker you can just as easily create animations by choosing from a variety of characters available in the library, deciding a specific movement and facial expression for the character and changing it as many times you need. You can also use pop-up effects and add scene transitions.
Animaker offers the ability to create handcraft animations (a human hand holding the animation), whiteboard animations (an efficient and engaging way to merely explain an idea), or infographic videos. This tool now gives multi-camera possibilities to watch the characters one after the other.11Vyond
Vyond is an online platform that is made easy for anyone. With GoAnimate you can create high-quality animated videos, and the characters can be customized into hundreds of different shades of color. What is special about this tool is that it provides ready-to-use templates with specific characters, at different scenes, which you can choose to put on the editor. You can also change the characters of these scenes, specify their position, and direct their movements within the scene.
If you are looking for an easy way to create engaging presentations – that is not necessarily consisting of footage, then this is your tool. Moovly studio consists of: A library, which contains objects and clips to create your video content; a stage, which is the area where you visually compose your content; a timeline, where you can time and synchronize the appearance and animations of your objects; and a property area, where you can change the details about your objects. The objects in the library may be images, sounds, and even videos.
Wideo is an online video platform that allows users to create stunning presentations in a very simple way. The platform provides a variety of templates that you can use to create every kind of presentation you want (e-commerce, company guidelines, institutional explainers, etc.). The templates are arranged in ways that help you create animation-based stories. You can either download or share your videos.14Powtoon
Powtoon helps you create great presentations with the ease of making a PowerPoint presentation. Like Wideo, Powtoon is a template-based tool that helps you create software training demos, landing page videos, How To’s videos, tutorials, etc. It isn’t as simple to use; however, it provides a wider variety of templates in the same story.
Category #4: Video Editing Software
If you just want to edit videos in your computer, there are lightweight editors – either downloadable or online – that will help you get the job done in minutes, and export the video in a format suitable for uploading online or playing on any desktop or mobile device.
If your business relies on having top-notch video quality (and if you are in the online course business, this is definitely true), then having access to professional video editing software is an investment worth doing. Advanced editing software provides many special effects and helps you take your video creation from beginner to Pro Level. We tested some of the top video editing software, both plain and professional. Here some of the best options we tested:
15AVS Video Editor
AVS Video Editor is a downloadable video editor for Windows. It is easy to use, and it is rich in features as it can give your video a professional and high-quality touch while importing your clips, trimming them, adding several elements (like music, pictures, and text) and transitions between them. AVS also provides several video effects and offers the ability to share the end result through various social media platforms.
Filmora is a more advanced video editor that still manages to maintain an intuitive and straightforward approach to video production. With Filmora, you can achieve a professional result through a simple interface, where you can quickly add and edit video clips, music, text, and filters.
Filmora also provides a wide range of video formats and can retrieve files from social media. Its latest features include speaker speed control (control the speed of narration), camera shake, and various blending modes (to combine videos).
This advanced and simultaneously easy to use downloadable software provides curve-based Key Frame animations, unlimited tracks and layers, and 3D animated titles and effects. It possesses an advanced timeline that enables users to drag and drop images and audio support into the editor.
Editing allows clip resizing, scaling, trimming, snapping, and rotation. OpenShot also provides frame accuracy (step through each frame of video), Time-mapping speed changes on clips (slow/fast, forward/backward), and digital video effects.
Hitfilm is downloadable software that is distinguished from others as it combines editing and special effects all in one (like 3D special effects). The basic editor is very impressive, with advanced cutting tools, a great set of audio and video filters, layers, masking, and compositing options. A fascinating feature is Chroma keying used for creating green screen effects. Additional tools are available for a fee, for a pack featuring color-correction, exposure adjustment, split-screen masking, and various creative filters.
19VSDC Video Editor
VSDC is a downloadable software, which provides a vast array of effects and filters. It offers both wizards and manual options, matching the needs of beginners and more advanced users alike.
You can choose amongst multiple scenes and transitions, add sprites, images, audio files, animations, and text to your videos. You can also layer these in various ways e.g., blending, overlaying, and masking, and each object can be edited, moved, and cut independently. Like Hitfilm, the editor also provides video effects (Instagram-style filters, special effects like fire, smoke, and water), all of which are fully customizable.
Category #5: YouTube Video Editing Software
20Windows Movie Maker-free
Windows Movie Maker provides a quick and simple way to edit videos for your YouTube channel for Windows 7 users. With this tool, you can add titles, trim or cut videos. Windows Movie Maker offers support for a lot of different video and audio file formats. However, the software doesn’t provide any filters or visual effects. But it is designed for quick edits that don’t require a lot of video editing skills.
21Pinnacle Studio 23
The Pinnacle Studio 23 offers more advanced video editing tools to inexperienced users and simplifies the video editing process. Among others, you will find the paint effects or 360-degree video editing support, the mosaic blur with a motion tracking feature to conceal private information in a video. If you choose to purchase Plus or the Ultimate Pinnacle Studio versions, you’ll be able to edit 3D and 4K videos.
Corel VideoStudio is an award-winning software. It features a multi-track video editing option, a lens correction tool, 3D video editing, split-screen feature, a stop motion feature, and many others. These features make Corel VideoStudio one of the best video editing software for YouTubers. Also, the software allows you to export your projects directly to YouTube, Flickr, or Vimeo, to save time.
23Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro is famous for its high-end video editing capabilities. Therefore, it is perfect for demanding projects. Once you get to know the software, you will see that there is actually nothing it can’t do. Final Cut Pro offers tools that make working with large amounts of video, audio, and image files easier. The recent versions of the software offer support for 4K, 5K videos, and 360-degree video. The only restriction is that it is only available for Mac.
Category #6: Video Converter Software
24Freemake Video Converter
Freemake also offers a free program, but adds a logo at the beginning and end of all videos. If you go to the Help tab and hit “Remove branding”, then you get the basic paid options. Once you’ve upgraded, you can convert videos with no ads on them. The app design is very intuitive. Freemake supports 17 video formats, including AVI, MP4, and MOV.
VideoProc is a top pick video converter for Windows. The trial version gives you all the features of the full software, including the video recording feature, but it limits the length of the videos you can convert to five minutes. The VideoProc interface is very easy to navigate. Editing options include flip, merge, fisheye correction, trim, split, deshake, denoise, and more.
Movavi comes with a clean, modern interface that’s simple to navigate. It offers fast conversions and high-quality output up to 4K in output resolution. It covers the most popular formats, such as AVI, MP4, MOV, and MPG. It offers a modern, and intuitive interface, lots of profile options, no intrusive ads or upsells
If you are looking for quality and speed, Wondershare UniConverter is one of the best video converters available. In its free version, Wondershare offers a free trial but with many limitations. Once you pay, you have unrestricted use of the software. This software can handle 35 video formats and 4K video conversions.
Category #7: Video Compression Software
Handbrake is a free downloadable video compression tool that helps you compress videos without losing quality. HandBrake works with most common video files and formats, including ones created by consumer and professional video cameras and mobile devices. HandBrake also does not defeat or circumvent copy protection of any kind. It does not work with video files employing Digital Rights Management (DRM).
29Any Video Converter
Any Video Converter (AVC) is free and well-equipped to handle most basic video conversion tasks. It supports almost any video file and retains high video quality. Compressed files can be easily edited. Another thing to note is that when installing the free version, you may be asked to allow additional software to be installed.
MPEG Streamclip is a high-quality free video tool that allows you to compress most movie formats. The program also allows you to edit videos, cut, copy, paste, trim them, and convert them into mixed or demuxed files without losing the quality of the video. Play them at full- screen;
Category #8: Video Editing Software for SmartPhones
Apps to create and edit videos on your phone
Today’s smartphones are super powerful. Most of them can run software that only a few short years back could be found only on expensive, professional desktops and workstations. Editing videos on our own mobile phone can produce amazing results for your instructional videos, especially in cases when someone wants nice results in a short amount of time.
After shooting a video with your smartphone, you may need to edit it for better quality and give it more awesomeness. In this category, we introduce four tools you can use to edit videos shot with your Android phone. Why not give them a try? Here are our suggestions.
This app (also available for your PC) makes it easy to transform photos and videos into edited movies. The procedure is simple: You can capture video from within the app or upload videos, select an editing style, a soundtrack, and give it a title. The app automatically adds filters and special effects to your video. Recently, Magisto released Magisto Shot, which turns photos and text into a micro-movie.
iMovie app is a super user-friendly Video Editor as it offers a simple process of creating videos. At first, you select the video format – either a movie or Hollywood style trailer, and then you select a theme for transitions, titles, and chapters. After that, you add your photos, videos (you can capture video from within the app), and audio files (insert or record a voiceover). iMovie automatically adds movement to your images but you can also manually adjust the flow of your photos. When you are done, you can simply save or share the footage.
Videoshop is an excellent and very affordable video editing app that lets you create movies without restricting you to a specific format template. Videoshop offers slow motion, time-lapse, and stop-motion options when capturing video from within the app. All you need to do is add photos and videos, add audio tracks, filters, and titles, sound effects, and organize your clips (you can also trim them). Videoshop also provides video editing options. For example, you can adjust how each clip flows into the next clip. Finally, you can save your video to your device or share it on social media.
Animoto is an automatic video editing app that is very straightforward to use. Unlike the previous apps, you cannot capture pictures or videos from within the app. What you can do though, is select an editing style, then add filters to your video by choosing a style theme from the list of provided options. Select a preferred soundtrack and add your captions and titles on photos and video clips. Inserting title screens with custom messages throughout your video and sharing your footage via social media is possible. Additional features provide HD videos, longer videos, video downloads, cloud storage, more photos, and videos to upload.
Category #9: eLearning Video Software
Each of the tools described above brings in their own benefits. But if you want to create video from scratch, to create eLearning courses, one of the robust video editing tools, might be helpful:
Maybe you need a complete eLearning authoring tool that combines video editing along with other tools (quizzes, gamification, etc.)
Further things to read:
Further reading you might find interesting:
Looking for Training Video Software?
So, there you have them! 34 special tools for instructional designers that will help you create instructional videos, video tutorials or record your online courses quickly and easily, without the need for previous experience. Don’t worry if you are not familiar with video creation yet. Start by producing simple footage on your phone. Always keep in mind that learners prefer to learn through video rather than through text.
If you already are a seasoned video creator and are looking for new ways then consider creating an animation video, or a 360-degree video and experiment with making it interactive. Of course, if you can afford it, producing professional videos that use special effects is always a choice.
Anthea is a Course designer and Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team. She holds years of experience in instructional design and teaching. With a Master of Education (M.Ed.) focused in Modern Teaching Methods & ICT (Information & Communications Technology), she supplements her knowledge with practical experience in E-Learning and Educational Technology.