Editing software

Hello! I have been debating different editing softwares for myself. Any suggestions?


Hey @nikraz24! Are you talking about editing as in visual effects or editing together videos?

For visual effects I would recommend looking at After Effects, HitFilm, or Fusion if you are just getting started. Nuke is also a very powerful program (it’s the industry standard for visual effect) and they have a free education license!


If visual, I am with @zac . But if you want a video editing software, there are many to start with, I would recommend Premiere Pro or Hitfilm Pro. They are easy to understand, but both have professional capabilities for later work. Blender could be a choice if you want video editing and vfx together, it has crazy amount of tools.

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Hey Nikolai, thanks for commenting! I personally would recommend HitFilm Express as a good software to start with. It’s free and it can edit as well as do VFX work.


I guess im talking about both. I need something that i can add visual effects and editing videos together. Thank you for the suggestions!

Ok, thanks!

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My two cents, Hitfilm Express also. Tons of features, free, easy to learn with a bizillion tutorials on youtube and the blog here on AVFX. If you love it, keep it or >>> Hitfilm Pro. If you don’t, the concepts and many of the skills will transfer and you’ll better understand exactly what you want for your needs.

If you need some goodies to get you started, AVFX has some elements available for free on the site here. And for a limited time, they have teamed up with a company that sells bundles for charity. You can get an amazing amount of starter content and an intro subscription for as little as a $25 donation.

I can’t recommend it enough if you don’t already have it!

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For editing I switched from Final Cut to Resolve when I switched from Mac to PC (not a big fan of Premiere…).

For compositing I started with Nuke when I had access to a student license - after that it was just to expensive. So I switched to Fusion. Normally the standalone Fusion Studio, but the “built-in” version in Resolve Studio can be very handy too (for just the quick fix during editing). The pricing of BMD is very fair IMHO and you get both, Fusion Studio AND Resolve Studio, with one license. And the grading part in Resolve is miles past any other program anyway…

But for comping I now switched back to Nuke as the Indie license now is affordable and I (yet) don’t need to work beyond 4k - and am loving it!! It’s fairly technical but unrivaled for complex shots where you need precise control.

After Effects is great for comping simple/easy stuff. I often can do stuff much quicker in AE then in Nuke/Fusion (I only say “Turbulent Displace” :rofl:), but it has its limits if shots get complex. Then nodes are the way to go IMHO…


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If you’re looking for both, Zac has mentioned Fusion, which is a great compositing tool! For all of my video work, I use Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve, which has Fusion built-in! Resolve offers a very powerful free version, and a lifetime license of their Studio version (additional plugins and features such as noise reduction, GPU acceleration, and more!) for $295. Both include Fusion so it’s a great option. Let me know if you need any help getting started with it, if that’s the route you take and I’ll be more than happy to help you out with any questions you may have!

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Ok, thanks! I’m tried Da-Vinci and it was a little confusing, and with fusion I had no clue what to do. I’m probably going to try Hit film. If I try it I’ll be sure to reach out!


Ok! Thanks!

Tell us how HitFilm works out for you!

I have some VFX but am having a hard time using them. Also I have looked at Hit Film and want to try it.

Will do, thanks!

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Sounds good! HitFilm should definitely help you get to where you need to be! We’re always here if you need us for any additional questions! Good luck, and be sure to share the result with us through our Featured Artist submission form: ActionVFX Featured Artist Submission

We’d love to see what you create!


Hey, speaking of Hilfilm. They also make Hilfilm Express, with is free and is pretty good to try things with? It’s designed so that you can buy pieces as you need them. You’ll save a lot buying Hitfilm Pro over buying all the pieces, but if you only want a couple specific effects, or don’t have $349, it’s worth a look. They also sell upgrade bundle packs from time to time, I see this may still be going on? I bought one of these packs a couple years ago, a lot of cool stuff, for a low price. If price is something you’re concerned about?


Sam, welcome to the Forum! I’ve been looking to make the leap into Resolve/Fusion and I see that’s your tool of choice. Glad to have you here, I may end up with a question or two… :thinking:

Hey thanks lol. I’m definitely better at Resolve than I am Fusion. I’m still very layer-based by nature when it comes to compositing as a former photographer working in Photoshop and AE. I’ve dabbled a little bit inside of Fusion for simple compositing work but a lot of it still foreign. Hit me up with whatever Resolve questions you have!

I’ve been using video editors since Final Cut 7, then I switched to Premiere, then to FCPX, then back to Premiere, then back to FCPX, then to Resolve and I haven’t looked back for 3 years! You won’t regret the switch.

Thank you so much! I just can’t figure Resolve out :joy::joy::joy: it’s the green screen part that is giving me problems.

Ok, thanks! Im just getting to it, this week has been insanely busy.

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