FREE VIDEO TOOLS

Windows Live Movie Maker

We’re constantly being pitched to write about upgraded video editing programs, like Nero, version 11, but frankly, we find the free ones easier and just about as good.

Joy recently made a video using the free “Live Movie Maker,” which comes onboard with Windows 7. If you use an earlier Windows system, you can also get it from Explore.Live.com; click on “essentials” to find it. It’s so easy to use, an eight year-old could probably make a movie with assorted video clips and pictures. We dug a bit further and found a raft of other free creation tools at YouTube.com/create.

The latest one, WeVideo, lets you add special effects, titles and animations to any series of video clips and still pictures. It just arrived this week. In coming months, they’re going to offer a paid version that lets you buy music for your videos and collaborate with others. The music will probably cost $10 a song, which sounds high but it’s cheaper than copyright-infringement suits.

There are currently seven other free video editors at YouTube.com/create, including “Go Animate,” which lets you make a cartoon without any drawing skills. Choose a scenario like the 2012 election or “Office Gossipers” and off you go, selecting actions from menus and typing in comments for your characters.

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