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Top 5 Movie Making Software Apps

We talk a lot about movies here, and a few budding film makers (or youtubers) are making their own movies. So let's get some tips on editing those videos.

Nowadays everyone is making movies for youtube or their own website, and there are plenty of good programs to help you along. Of course, Windows Movie Maker is the program most new movie makers use. It has all the basics, but it won't do everything you need. If you're ready to stretch out and expand your movie making experience, here are some programs that you might want to try. These are the top 5 programs to make movies.

1 Sony Vegas Pro (or Platinum)
Sony Vegas is the most complete package, balanced with ease of use and a quick learning curve. You can edit with 100s of translations and effects, and use chroma key (blue screen / green screen) for Hollywood style effects. You can have multiple audio and video tracks, and you can make your own DVD's to display your work, after your movie is created (even includes Blu-Ray authoring and HD). Create 5.1 sound mixing, and you can export to Sony PSP, DVD or any media format for the net. This is the program I use most often.
If the $450 Pro version is beyond your budget, get the $95 Movie Studio Platinum. MSP has most of features of Pro, except fewer sound effects, 3D effects, and lighting effects.

2 Adobe Premier
Considered to be the standard of the movie editing industry, Abobe Premier can do everything Sony Vegas can do. I put it 2nd, because it has a longer learning curve. Some of its interface components are not as easy to find or use, but it's still a great movie software program. If you want to work in movie editing, not just as a hobby, then this is most likely the program you'll need to learn.
Retail price for Adobe Premier Pro CS4: $599

3 Corel Video Studio Pro X3
Formerly Ulead, now owned by Corel, this is the best movie making package for the price. Coming in under $100, Corel VSP X3 can rock the house. Full HD capabilities, DVD authoring, loads of transitions and effects, and multiple audio tracks.
It also has nice Movie Templates, which make movie creation almost as easy as drag 'n drop. Pro X3 has many features which are easy, drag n' drop style.

4 Pinnacle Studio Ultimate
There's almost nothing Pinnacle can't do, almost. It can compete with Corel on most levels, and likely it can do about all you'll want to do in your movie making (unless you are filming a sequel to Avatar). It's interface is very simple, almost too simple, and you can start making movies within an hour of opening the program and watching some tutorials. They have good video tutorials and support, too. At $49 this is a good all-around movie editing package.

5 Particle Illusion
Particle Illusion by Wondertouch is a dazzling special effects suite. It's primarily meant for adding effects only, but you can import your movie, add the effects and then export into any format. It's incredibly easy to use, and the effects can be modified in suit your needs. There are 1000s of variables to tweak and make your explosions, stars, water, fireworks, etc. look just the way you need them, right in your movie. PI also supports alpha channels (transparency). $299 SRP.
For kids: Nickelodian has a 3D movie maker, and Simple 3D is an easy program. Most kids should be able to handle Windows Movie Maker, though.
(image will take you offsite to buy the Carrara or Blender deal, recommended packages)
Carrara, Blender and trueSpace are two user-friendly animation software programs that can create stunning 3D animations to add to your movies. Animation is not easy, with any program, so this is a real investment of time to learn, but it's an option worth considering. Animation is a whole separate art, too much to discuss in this article about movie making, but these 3 programs can get you started if you want to add animations to your movies.
I primarily use Sony Video, Particle Illusion and Carrara to make my short films. You can choose the software applications that suit you best. I hope the move-making guide above was helpful.

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