Many of us feel that the technology requirements for our real estate of internet marketing offices are overwhelming. We manage to master a new technology and watch as the next big thing arrives and nudges us back into the dust bin.
Now video presentations are more and more important to our sales presentations, property screen shows, capture pages or other client contact media. We have worked with Adobe Premiere Elements or Serif Movie Plus or other video editor at reasonable prices and capabilities with mixed results depending on our skill, available time and patience.
Well it turns out that there are some serious video editing products available to enhance our work at no cost (Free is my favorite four letter word). There is a learning curve. Complex software is not always totally intuitive. But these offerings are powerful and well worth considering – and the price is right.
vReveal is a powerful video enhancer. What does that mean – read on.
vReveal is a brilliant tool for improving your videos the way an image editor improves your MLS photos (in the real estate trade). Shaky video – vReveal can help (in real time if you have a fast video card). The gallery function will search your hard drive for video files and facilitate your review (is that why the name vReveal ?). Fix your lighting, white balance (color correction) and contrast on the fly. Use a panning video as a source for a panorama still image and add titles to your video. This is a lot of video enhancement capability available for download for free. <link> There is a pro version but the upgrade price is very reasonable. Check out their website for video examples. Not much complexity or learning curve here. The program performs some specific video enhancement tricks with single click commands – but it will improve your video presentation significantly. (Did I mention FREE)
Discussion of shaky video correction technology: (technology developed for military applications to enhance drone video footage…)
Lightworks for commercial grade video editing power.
Lightworks is a free video editor with more features than I have seen in other programs that I have used. This is not Windows Movie Maker – it is a serious commercial grade product used by television or movie studios. That means lots of power and complexity – so expect to take some time to learn even the basics of this program. This program may not be for everyone reading this post. But for those who accept the task, there is a good array of printed documentation provided and I have seen a collection of training videos on you-tube.com.
The program features a broad selection of formats (audio and video) supported in a powerful timeline based editor; powerful trim and autosync features; Multicam sync groups (syncing multiple camera shots of the same scene – wow !). Lightworks has been used to edit major Hollywood features (including “The King's Speech”). This is an open-source product with an active user's group that the programmers listen to. If you need the power – check this out. And again – it's free. Download at lwks.com. (be sure and download the documentation files) Versions available for Windows, Mac OSX and soon to be released Linux. 64 bit Windows version to be released July 2. Other authors have commented that Lightworks may not gain traction in the professional editor industry because it works differently from some of the other commercial products. But I haven't found any comments that say this is not a powerful, useful video editing product. I am just getting into this product and I expect to be spending some time in the 300+ page manual.
My expectation is that all of my readers that are working in video need to acquire vReveal. For those with serious editing needs and a limited budget, Lightworks is worth a close look. I point our that in the still photography world we see an open source product called GIMP which is a serious image editor that can challenge Photoshop for power – but does not gain the popularity of Photoshop despite the free pricetag. Like so many examples we have seen, sometimes something that is available for free is perceived as having no value. If you think free software isn't up to the job, you will overlook a number of products that offer real power and value. Take a close look at these before you decide.