I'm aware of Adobe After Effects and how good/expensive it is. My requirements for a good open-source tools are:

  • Easy to use (I want a friend of mine, who's 11 be able to use it, if possible)
  • Open-Source
  • Can convert into the most common formats (.mpg, .avi, .mkv, .mp4 etc.)
  • Available for both MacOS/Windows
  • Some nice features for cool effects would be nice (optional)
  • Some good tutorials on how-to (optional)

Since I'm no expert here, I'm only guessing when I look at tools. Therefore can you recommend a good software?

2 Answers 2


Open source option I know are Natron and Shotcut

Both run on Windows Mac and Linux, and seem relatively easy to learn, or at least standard enough in terms of UI though from those I only ever used Shotcut once for a short while.

There is also Blender that while not a dedicated video editing application it does include a module for that functionality.

Now Blender is infamously difficult to learn and it's video editor is slow and dated, but I find my self returning to it despite its asinine workflow and poor performance, because it is far more capable and feature complete than the open source competition I have tried.

  • I tested Natron and Shotcut. Natron is really bad from the usability - at least for me. After 10 minutes (including looking in their documentation) I couldn't figure out how to open a video. Shotcut is way more inituitive and I think easy to use for the young friend of mine. I even cut a video and exported it. I am aware of blender because it's used in the industry as well. I think that one is overkill for my simple use here :)
    – Dr4gon
    Jul 29, 2018 at 8:58

My 12 year old manages to do stuff to his drone videos using LightWorks. Pro grade but free, easy to do the basics of splicing and transitions, etc. Multi-channel non-linear editor though. Oh, and cross platform - my son prefers running it under Linux (runs better on his hw than on the other side of his dual boot set up for Win10)

Edit - note that it is free but not Free. I prefer Free for system and core stuff, but I'm not a stallmanite. So free works just so I don't have to worry about licensing issues for end applications...

  • I'm quite happy with Shotcut atm. I'll keep your recommendation in mind though :) Btw. I'm impressed that your son is running linux on his machine at this age.
    – Dr4gon
    Jul 29, 2018 at 8:59
  • @Dr4gon - start 'em young and they just don't know better. I teach Linux stuff, it is all I use for a desktop. Even got my mom switched over a few years ago after she got one of those hard drive encrypting nasties
    – ivanivan
    Jul 29, 2018 at 11:47

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