Free video editing software often comes with legal and technical limitations, however. Some widely used codecs require licensing fees on the part of the software maker, meaning they can't offer free software that can handle these standard file formats. That said, the impressive open-source Shotcut does a lot of the same things that the paid applications in this roundup do, including things like chroma-keying and picture-in-picture. Shotcut is completely open-source and free, while another free option, Lightworks has paid options that remove a 720p output resolution limit. Note also that both Shotcut and Lightworks run on Linux as well as Windows and Mac.
One of the capabilities that has been making its way into consumer-level video editing software is more-detailed color grading. Color wheels, curves, and histograms give editors control over the intensity of every shade. Related to this is support for LUTs (lookup tables), also known as CLUTs (color lookup tables). This staple of pro-level software lets you quickly change the look of a video to give it a specific mood. For example, think of the dark blue look of thriller movies like The Revenant. You can download LUTs for free from several sites or use those included with some video software to give your video a specific look. One well-known LUT type is the kind that can make a daytime scene look like it was shot at night.

World-Class Video Apps


Signal Private Messenger is one of the most popular privacy chat apps. It features end-to-end encryption for all messages, voice calls, and video chats between two Signal users. It focuses a lot on individual chats. There are group chat features, but it's mostly for personal use. This is one of the biggest differences between it and rival privacy chat app Telegram. Video calls worked fine in our testing so we have no trouble recommending them. It's a neat way to get some encrypted chats as well. The app is also completely free and open source. You can't really go wrong with it, but there are better video chat apps if you need group video chats.

paul ponna

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