Free Software For Digital Filmmakers

Free Software For Digital Filmmakers

Free Software For Digital Filmmakers

Here’s a short list of freely available video and film production applications that serve as very effective substitutes for commercial packages costing hundreds or thousands of dollars. They range from screenwriting and pre-production to visual effects compositing to nitty-gritty video processing. And while they may not be as pretty or user friendly as the big names, but they get.

HDV

Split the easiest, least resource-intensive way to capture video from an HDV camera. A completely stable solution that equals or bests even the built-in capture utilities in commercial NLE packages. It includes a reliable “scene detection” fuction so that your video captures as separate clips, not just as one long file.

AVISynth

essentially a programming language for video processing. Which might seem scary, and the learning curve is steep. But it provides an astonishing amount of control over how your video is handled, ensuring optimal video quality. It can be used to do just about anything, from merging video and audio to pulldown removal. And it functions as a frameserver, which means that there’s no need for intermediate files–your source file is processed on the fly and fed to the application of your choice as if it were already saved with the changes in place.

VirtualDubMod.

The Swiss army knife of video processing tools. It will batch process any pile of avi files in any way you wish–frame rate changes, color depth changes, resizing, deinterlacing, field swapping, sharpening, blurring, codec conversions, and on and on. And if you have really specialized needs, there’s a whole host of plugins available with remarkable capabilities that rival or exceed commercial packages. The DeShaker plugin, for example, is easily one of the best and most feature-packed image stabilization solutions out there, all the more remarkable because it is free.

Voodoo Tracker

another, definitely freeware, 3D camera tracker. If Icarus fails, Voodoo might just do the job. And unlike Icarus, it appears to be still in active development.

Blender

A remarkably capable 3D modeling and animation package that competes well with high-end expensive packages like Maya and 3D Studio Max. Use it to build digital sets, creatures, spaceships, whatever. Steep learning curve, even for experienced 3D artists, but it produces entirely professional results (Free 3d model).


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