First up, Why Filmora9?
Before I get into the entire WonderShare Filmora9 review the first thing that needs to be addressed is that in a world of video editing choices, why does Filmora9 have a place?
So here’s the deal.
Over the past few years the average consumer level video editor has become more and more feature rich which is a bit of a “good news – bad news” type of thing.
On the upside this kind of “feature arms race” has resulted in the main software companies improving their products at a furious pace to at least, “keep up with the Jones’” or at best to edge ahead of the pack.
The downside is that every time they add some new feature they also have to add access to that feature and 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.
Because of this I have noticed more and more people searching for something simpler and easier to use so here we are with Fimlora9.
What Does Wondershare Filmora9 Do?
The key to Wondershare Filmora9 is that it has quite successfully managed to strike a balance between maintaining simplicity whilst at the same time providing 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 Filmora9 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 you can take a look at the video below before you continue with the rest of this Wondershare Filmora9 review.
When you open the program each time you are first presented with the simple splash screen below.
This pretty much sets the tone for editing with Filmora with only the relevant information being needed to get going.
Choose the aspect ratio of the project you want to make based on the aspect ratio of the video you will be working with or the final output you are looking to create.
Most modern devices will be 16:9 but 1:1 for Instagram, 9:16 for portrait, 4:3 for standard definition and 21:9 for cinema widescreen are also covered.
Then you can either select to create a new project or open one you are already working on.
There is also a space to the right that shows some of your recent projects if you want to reopen one of them to continue working.
You are then taken into the full editing interface as shown below.
The User Interface
As you can see from the image below the Filmora interface is very simple with no hidden menus or endless menu trees of features.
The three sections of the interface as shown above are as follows all of which can be adjusted in size to suit the particular action you are engaging in at any time.
1. The library area where you can organize all of your video, audio and image assets as well as gain access to effects, filters and transitions.
Here you can also import media via the Instant Cutter which is a tool for loading footage and as it suggests whilst offering the ability to instantly isolate segments of that footage and render immediately to new files.
This is a very efficient way to pre-process your footage before it reaches the library and can save a bunch of time with footage you know needs to be trimmed or cut before you are going to use it.
2. The preview window where you can play back individual clips, a section of a project or a complete project prior to exporting.
3. The timeline where you can add, arrange and individually edit all your video clips, audio files and image files.
Editing is a simple drag and drop process to add things to the timeline with the timeline itself running on a “magnetic” system which causes assets to automatically stay together.
This is where you can add transitions, filters, special effects and engage in other editing actions and is really where you would be doing the bulk of your work.
There are 100 tracks available to be used for video, audio or images and it is here that you can access some of the more advanced tools on offer.
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 play head 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.
There are quite a few editing tools available in Filmora9 shown in the image below offering excellent control over the look of your final video.
As you can see there are seven types or styles of tools offered which have within them quite good levels of customization allowing you to fine tune your video and image assets.
The Transform tool allows control over rotation and sizing, Compositing lets you apply blend modes to overlays and transitions and the Stabilization module does exactly what it says on the box!
Lens Correction can be applied to a wide range of action Cams already built into the program as presets because the properties of those lenses are already known.
However you can bypass those presets and manually adjust to your own needs.
Drop Shadow adds a shadow to images or videos or can be used when creating titles to give a more professional look.
And finally there is the Auto Enhance that can be gradiently applied to any less than perfect footage. I have to add here that the Auto Enhance is a bit of a “hit or miss” option. Either it works OK or it doesn’t and that depends on just how bad the footage is that you put into it.
On top of all of that you also have a dedicated Color Correction module which allows you to both color correct your videos as well as color grade through the use of LUTs.
The Green Screen or Chroma Key module can not only handle straight green or blue screen applications but you can use it to key out any color you like to create effects.
It also offers a number of settings within the module to further adjust your green screen videos to get them just right.
Transitions and Effects
Hiding in the background until you need them are over 300 special effects, objects, overlays, sound effects, music tracks and transitions you can use.
The software comes with 51 audio samples comprising of 25 sound effects and 26 music tracks that you can use in your projects.
On top of that there are 137 adjustable Titles presets, 178 Transitions most of which can be customized, 158 filters, 87 Overlays and 191 mask elements
There 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.
It has motion elements so you can drag and drop moving graphics on to your video and a separate motion tracking module as well.
By hitting the Export Button a new module opens offering a vast array of formats in which you can export your project.
As you can see in the image above there are five basic choices to get you started towards exporting your final video into the most suitable format.
- Local for the creation of the most common video file formats.
- Device offering presets for the most common video viewing devices such as iPhone, iPad, Smart Phone etc.
- YouTube and Vimeo both of which are tailored to the latest best practices for uploading to those services.
- DVD for the creation of standard MPEG2 files for burning to DVD discs as well as the ability to burn the discs as well.
Each of the above are set at a default set of parameters and file types recognized as best for each but at any time you have full control over each one to adjust as you please.
Stuff Even I was Surprised to Find!
I have already mentioned that everything in Filmora9 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, Filmora9 actually has a screen recorder built into it!
You can launch it from inside the library module under the “Record” button where you can start recording whatever you are doing on your screen to make demonstration videos.
Motion Paths (Sort of!)
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.
Inside the Audio Adjustment module you can alter the pitch of a track, remove noise, do some basic balancing as well as add fade ins and fade outs.
However the real power tool in this grouping is the Graphic Equalizer which is very handy when you are trying to get all of your audio elements balanced correctly.
Filmora9 is a major upgrade and redesign of the earlier Filmora Video Editor and to be honest I was a little worried at first about how Filmora9 would shape up.
The beauty of Filmora was always that despite a good range of features they always remained focused on keeping the software simple in appearance and easy to learn and use.
Filmora9 in keeping with customer demands, has incorporated a lot of news features and of course had to add access to those features into to the user interface.
I was very happy to see that in doing so they have not compromised on their original philosophy of keeping the software interface clean and 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.