Free Software Links for VSG

This page has a link pointing to it from the last full stop on the Computer Freebies page

I have picked out a few interesting ones but here are the section links on the website:

Free Video Progs.

The old 'Windows Movie Maker' was discontinued by Microsoft, although it might still be possible to find it somewhere. It was very basic but it did the job. The first two below are 'Mickey Mouse' - type apps, with hardly any control over the finished product. Not for the serious players.

1. Built into Windows 10, since the 2017 'Creator's Edition'
It goes from the Photo album to create video from stills and video clips. It does not allow for much editing but the beginner might find a pleasing result.

Open Photos, create Album, choose video option, select stills and videos. Trim or adjust video clips (right-click options on thumbnail), choose theme, music, etc.
Export to 'best' file and you can choose a location.

2. Magix Fastcut - (
It uses a simple three-step method but with no real control, so it's a matter of 'like it or lump it.' You put in some music and it will fit the video to it. Fastcut will chop long video clips into segments of its choosing. The result is previewed then you choose a location to save it, to where it will now do the render. The original video clip sound is lost, you only hear the selected music, and the video has a load of flashy effects which are perhaps best suited to a music video or travelogue. Very limited what it can do but the gimmicky result is pleasing in its own way.

Open Fastcut. Create Movie (Start), Click some clips and a music file (nine supplied in the prog), Select video length from their icons, let it do its stuff.

Now some proper ones ...

3. Hitfilm Express - Windows
Not tried because you have to share a link on social media before downloading. It gets some reviews (see Softonic), such as 'It's a free piece of software that gives you everything you need to create killer video content and bring your game to the next level. It's a great tool for not only YouTubers but filmmakers as well.'

The following is from Tom's Hardware Guide
The Good:

The Bad:

4. Lightworks - Windows (32 or 64 bit), Mac or Linux.
A proper NLE which looks easy but is used by professionals. You need to Register with Lwks to get a password, which lasts seven days, then you have to re-enter it. The interface looks fairly straightforward, if minimal, but the free version can only export to either Youtube or Vimeo, as an uploadable file.

The full version was used in these films: The Wolf of Wall Street, LA Confidential, Pulp Fiction, Heat, Road to Perdition, Hugo, The King’s Speech and many more. Here's a direct link to Windows 64-bit Download (88MB dwn, about 320MB installed). See 'Getting Started' video on Youtube.

5. Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 16 - Mac, Linux and Windows 10
A high-level NLE, sound editor and a lot more. Steep learning curve and it needs a powerful PC, but the free version does a great deal more than most paid-for editors. It wipes the floor with Premiere! More details on the Video page.

Lots of Free Stuff

SFX Freebies
Most free sound effects websites require you to register before downloading, but Auntie is more helpful.

Premium Beat
A great creative website. Also bottomless pit of useful free sound and vision assets and advice. It is worth signing up to their newsletter.

Red Shark
This is good for the latest news and reviews of high-end film and video production gear. Also some affordable gear. Another good newsletter to subscribe to.

Some Other Stuff :

Free fonts
Font Squirrel, 1001 Free Fonts

If you have Libre Office installed, there is an 'Export as PDF' File Menu option. So you could import a Word document, for example, and make a PDF from it.

PDF Creator (32MB)
You might not need this one if you install Foxit Reader (next item). A bit sneaky to get going. Don't click 'Start Here' on the download page or you will install something else. The proper installer also installs 'PDF Architect', whether you want it or not, and suggests installing a security app. Why won't they leave us alone? Anyway, you use it as though it was a printer, so might print to PDF an interesting webpage, for example.

Foxit (pdf) Reader.
Not as bloated as an Acrobat Reader. Another prog that suggests you install other apps as you install this one. It's feature-laden but you might need to auto-hide the Menu in the settings, as it is a bit big. A new discovery: I found an option in the Explorer context menu - 'Convert to PDF in Foxit Reader', so this might be all you need.

Poster Artwork
Scribus (83MB)
Great for posters and not too difficult a learning curve. You define boxes for texts and graphics and arrange them in layers, which can overlap. There are right-click options for such as 'Scale picture to box,' etc. I used Scribus to create some A2 posters for the 2012 Queen's Jubilee events in the Market Barn. I had it running on both a Windows PC and a Linux PC, with the same graphics on each. It did round-trips either way without any fuss. The installer will grumble slightly if you do not have Ghostscript installed (25MB, to export Postscript files), so it is a good idea to download that first.

Screen Capture
OBS Studio (110 MB)
You can capture on-screen activity to video. Useful for 'How-to' demonstrations, as in my 'Sound on Film' presentation.

To Windows Clipboard
Use the Windows screen capture to grab what is displayed in the web browser.

This one has a long history going back to the XP days. Select the free version and decline any Pro version trial. Don't bother giving them an email address. Don't let it install Chrome or set the default browser. When installed, let it update its database and go for the full scan, which might take a while. Then click 'Continue' to remove any threats. It is bound to find a cookie or two that smell wrong (about 300 on mine).

Another malware application with a very long pedigree. It takes its time but is very thorough.

The free version can clean up after an infection but it won't prevent it. The current version starts as pro version trialware with full protection but reverts after 14 days to a limited free version which can disinfect your computer after an attack.

Malwarebytes Adwcleaner
(Win 7 to 10) This is free. It aggressively seeks out those extras which were installed without your knowledge or consent when you installed something else. Such things as unwanted toolbars and Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs).

Graphics Bits and On-Line Sources

Image/video Stitching:
Image Composite Editor (ICE)
One of my great favourites. It can even 'guess' what ought to be in the blank bits of a stitched photo, which works particularly well for bits of sky. It is very good at extracting panoramic views from any panned video. Grab it while you can, as it does not appear to be updated and might just disappear with no warning.

Various Map-Based Information:

Picture Websites:

Looking Up:

Looking Down:

Edit Play Media

Audacity - Win, Linux, Mac
We all know this old wave editor. The Exe installer is the best option for Windows as it includes the Help files. Also download the plug-in enablers, especially 'LAME' to export MP3s. VST Plug-ins for Audacity, as suggested in the program: KVR Audio, Hitsquad Plug-ins.

VLC Media Player (W,L,M)
Another long-time favourite but it has a very useful hidden talent - you can save a clip from what you are watching, even if the video was an incomplete download. In other words, if you can see it playing, you can save that bit. I hope to demonstrate this feature.

KVR Audio Audio Plug-ins (mixture)
A big list of free and paid-for plug-ins and associated audio apps. Try: Particle Collider Demo (from Eplex7), a VST Oscilloscope (from Socalabs).

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