This week since work has been a bit slow, I’ve been working on learning to use Lightworks. Though a new version has released, I thought I would give it a chance to see how it differs from Movie Maker.
At first I found the interface to be simple. However going from MM to Lightworks, I realized I might have to pick up the user manual and read through a few things before I start editing. The terminology is different and the techniques were a bit hard to pick up at first. There was hardly any simple drag and drop method. I use to splice clips, not I have to focus on moving a pointer on a timeline then marking two points to be added to a storyboard. This was the first thing I learned from the program.
Next I had to learn about the intricate bits of Lightworks since I noticed there was a large blank space at the end of the video. Apparently I can add blank spaces wherever I choose however the program will start with about 20 minutes of blank and would slowly empty out as you fill it.
Lastly saving is now exporting the storyboard, this is where the features drop off immensely. As a basic free user, I have access to one option; YouTube (as of 12.6, they have Vimeo as a second available option). Unlike Window’s video editor, I have no control of the sound and video quality. I’m stuck one setting and a few smaller settings to change resolution to a maximum of 720p. As my first video saved, I looked through these export settings and found a lot of these locked out settings to add a variety of formats available only to paying users. As a person who just needs YouTube, I didn’t mind having the one setting. However in the sub sections, even the resolution is capped out to 720p even though the settings include resolutions beyond.
Curious, I began to experiment with using both in conjunction and found my old settings in Movie Maker is more space friendly than Lightworks. The quality is about the same but I could drop a 1 GB file down to about 700 MB.
The upper hand I can see from using Lightworks at the moment is I can simultaneously export multiple videos as well as have more precise editing of all my videos. Though I hardly have space for files on my hard drive, the software does seem to catalogue and save each file it encounters so I can easily switch between raw files of my gameplay.
As well as helping me edit videos, it does also include some effects I can use. Most are much like MM but I have more control to each effect. Example is having effects on top of videos, transitions and wipes. Most I doubt I will use regularly. While I wait for my batch of edits to finish, there is no harm in experimenting.