Before I get into the WonderShare Filmora review proper I think that the very first thing that needs to be addressed is why Filmora has a place in the world in the first place.
Over the past few years the main overall trend has been that the average consumer level video editor has become more and more feature rich.
In many ways that is a good thing because it causes the software companies through competition, to keep striving to improve their products.
The downside is that every time they add some new feature they also have to add access to the feature itself as well as providing access to the settings of that feature. (Not to mention I have to do a new review!)
This invariably leads to a complication of the user interface resulting in software that is more like the control console of a space shuttle!
Another downside and one that nobody really wants to discuss, is that in many cases the added new features are not necessarily things that everyone wants or needs.
So as result of this I have noticed more and more people are turning away from some of the big names in search of something simpler and easier to use.
Enter Wondershare Filmora
The key to Wondershare Filmora is that it has quite successfully managed to strike a balance between maintaining simplicity whilst at the same time providing ample tools and features that the average person would actually use.
They have kept the user interface clean, modern and uncluttered yet at the same time offering easy access to the features and functionality of the program.
Wondershare Filmora comes in versions for both Windows and Mac and is my top choice for an easy or simple video editing software.
To get an idea of how it looks and behaves take a look at the video below before you continue with the rest of this Wondershare Filmora review.
When you open the program each time you are first presented with the simple splash screen below.
Here you make a few quick choices as to what you want to do exactly and to set the program to suit your needs for that project.
1. Choose the aspect ratio of the project you want to make based on the aspect ratio of the video you will be working with.
Most modern devices will be 16:9.
2. Select Easy Mode or Full Feature Mode.
Easy mode launches the program into a semi-automatic mode which makes use of style templates that you add your video, images and audio to.
You then follow a step-by-step- process through to a final video.
Full Feature Mode launches into the full editing program.
3. Open Recent allows you to reload a project you have been working on to continue.
The User Interface
As you can see from the image below the interface is very simple with no hidden menus or endless menu trees of features.
Quite literally what you see on the screen is what you get.
Access to everything is represented by a simple icon that indicates what it is used for whether it be video, audio, effects transitions or whatever.
Just don’t be fooled by the simplicity of it.
Hiding behind there are over 300 special effects, objects, overlays, sound effects, music tracks and transitions you can use.
It is a simple drag and drop process to add things to the timeline and the timeline itself runs on a “magnetic system they have just introduced to make things even easier.
In reality what it does is causes all the assets on the timeline to automatically stay together if you happen to remove something or add something’
That way you are not endlessly repositioning clips and audio tracks and images every time you change something.
It has an advanced color tuning feature to allow great control over video and images that you want to give a certain “look” to or to correct video that is not quite right.
On top of that there are 45 color presets to further enhance your footage and the program even supports loading 3D LUTs (Lookup table files) for tuning color of videos and images.
The is a dedicated Pan and Zoom feature for adding and customizing animations for still images as well as being able to customize and animate text.
They recently added an entirely new system for adding transitions that do not change the duration of the two clips they are joining.
Sounds a bit “techy” but the result is that adding or removing transitions doesn’t throw your audio sync out or change the overall length of the project.
You really only have to look at the buttons to understand what it is for and that intuitive nature carries on throughout the entire program.
You can cut in the middle of a file by placing the playhead at that point and (obviously!) clicking the little scissors icon.
You can lengthen or shorten a file by placing your cursor at the end, clicking and dragging.
Click and drag items on to the timeline, select and hit delete to get rid of them.
If you are just a beginner or get stuck somewhere just hit the help button and another separate module will open up as below.
In this module you have access to 11 specific videos that will play inside the module explaining step-by-step how to learn and use the program.
If you are already up to speed with it but come across something you are not sure of you can just scroll through the video thumbnails, find the one you need and watch it.
All the videos are very well put together, easy to understand and very straightforward.
By hitting the Export Button a new module opens offering 12 different formats in which you can export your project.
It also offers 12 preset formats that are arranged by device so if you really have no idea what format you should be creating but you do know the device it will be played on, you are covered.
You can also automatically upload your final video to FaceBook, YouTube or Vimeo and all of these have presets to make sure your video gets online at the highest possible quality.
The same goes for DVD with a simple pre-set system for directly burning to DVD or to an image file and burned later.
Stuff Even I was Surprised to Find!
I have already mentioned that everything in Filmora is tucked neatly away so that the interface stays clean and uncomplicated however there are few little secrets tucked away as well and it wasn’t until I had been using it for a while that I found them!
A Screen Recorder!
Yes, just like most of the $130 to $400 video editing software programs, Filmora actually has a screen recorder built into it!
You can launch it from inside the program and start recording whatever you are doing on your screen to make demonstration videos.
Filmora also has the ability to handle green screen or chroma-key footage in your video projects.
It comes with face detection technology so you can automatically attach objects like speech bubbles to a face or to an object that is moving and have it follow along.
Probably the word that best describes Wondershare Filmora is intuitive.
It doesn’t really seem to matter what it is you want to do with the program, all you need do is look at the interface and pretty soon it seems obvious what it is.
The real problem in writing this review is trying to communicate the simplicity of the program without making it sound as though it is somehow crippled or lacking in features which is simply not true.
Filmora is ideal for the person who wants to quickly and easily edit their videos without all the bells and whistles they will probably never use.