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Creating Video Projects

Shooting and editing video and borrowing cameras and other gear.


You have a variety of options for editing your video. If you already use a video editor, feel free to use that. If you would like to learn a new tool or haven't edited video before, the options below are some of the more highly recommended free options available.

This is not an exhaustive list and you are welcome to use any program that you prefer, but the following are all programs that are free for you to use for your next project. However, there are very few completely free options for video editors. Cal Poly Humboldt students, staff, and faculty also have access to some otherwise expensive options for free, which are also included in the list below. If you are looking to pay for software, we recommend that you try some of these free options first to see what you like and learn about the features you want in a paid program.

Off-campus Software Access

You can access most of the software available on campus computers from off-campus using the Virtual Lab (VLab). This includes MS Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, Camtasia, and many more programs that would otherwise be expensive to purchase. If you are having issues accessing these services, visit the ITS System Status page to make sure they are working properly.

VLab (all computers with internet access) allows you to login to a virtual desktop that includes software typically available in Cal Poly Humboldt computer labs (current list of VLab software). Does not require any connection software.


Camtasia is a fairly easy to learn yet powerful video editor that is available on Cal Poly Humboldt campus computers as well as off-campus by using Vlab. It is primarily used for creating screen captures (recording your computer screen) but is also great for editing film. 

Cal Poly Humboldt Faculty and Staff can download Camtasia to personal computers through the Cal Poly Humboldt Home/Personal Use Software page


OpenShot is a free and open source program that has many helpful features. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. This is the best open source video editor but be warned that it crashes more frequently than it should so please be sure to save your work often.

Cedar Wolf has a series of short video tutorials that walk you through using OpenShot (9 short videos, ~29 minutes total)

VideoProc Vlogger

VideoProc Vlogger is a completely free (proprietary) video editor that works with a variety of video formats and has several features for bringing your editing to the next level. If you're annoyed with the lack of features in OpenShot but don't want to take the deep dive in DaVinci Resolve, VideoProc Vlogger is probably what you're looking for.

Their guides offer extensive text and video descriptions on how to use the many features, including syncing to music, color correction, and reframing options for various social media aspect ratios.

The main downside to using VideoProc Vlogger is the lack of support for creating captions. For captioning, we recommend using YouTube, Canvas Studio, or Panopto (all free to Cal Poly Humboldt students, staff and faculty).


Clipchamp is an easy to use and fully featured video editor for Windows and is also available as a browser-based Chrome and Edge webapp. It allows you to create videos with all of the basic features you'd want. Including openly-licensed content like music, images, and even video clips that you can use in your project.

The browser-based version of Clipchamp is great on Chromebooks and has all the features you need for small projects but working on big projects with multiple files over a browser may cause playback lag and other unwanted issues. The browser-based version also has freemium content that you want to avoid so that you can use it for free. Premium content is marked with a diamond icon, so avoid that to keep your project free.


iMovie is available for free on Macs, iPads, and iPhones and has many built-in features like soundtracks and photo effects that make it easy to use.

Windows Video Editor

Included in the Windows Photos app, Video Editor allows you to create and edit videos (free on Windows computers and Surface tablets). It can be a little more tricky to find, so follow the instructions in the video below or visit the How to Geek How to Use Windows 10’s Hidden Video Editor tutorial to learn more.

Captions are auto-generated but quite accurate, aside from punctuation.

Adobe Premiere Rush

Rush (iOS and Android) is free on phones and fairly easy to use. If you don't mind using your phone for video editing, Rush is perhaps the best free tool available.

Adobe's Premiere Rush app guide and tutorials are fairly comprehensive and include videos and screenshots. You may also want to check out this video tutorial:

Adobe Spark & Express (iOS and Android)

Adobe Spark Video (iOS) and Express (web-based) are free to Cal Poly Humboldt students, staff, and faculty (user your Cal Poly Humboldt email and login and choose the "Log in with school account" option to setup your account). Express and Spark have interfaces that are very similar to slideshow presentation software, so they are pretty intuitive for people who haven't edited video before. Adobe Rush is more suited to people familiar with video editing.

Advanced Video Editing & Film Making

The programs above are great for most video projects but if you find yourself wanting to get into more advanced video editing and film making, the options below are all professional quality programs that you can access for free. These will take considerable time to learn and will be overkill for most class assignments. But if you are ready to immerse yourself in editing and want to get to the next level, these are great options.

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is free to Cal Poly Humboldt students, staff, and faculty and is an industry standard for film making. To access Premiere Pro off campus, take a look at Cal Poly Humboldt's remote access options. Premiere Pro is available on most campus Windows and Mac computers, including Library laptops.


Blender is a free and open source 3D creation program for modeling, animating and more. It can also be used for basic video editing, but requires some initial setup. Blender is free and open source and available on all operating systems.

DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve is a free professional level color correction and video editing suite. Like Premiere Pro and Blender, Resolve will take some time to learn but has all the features you'll need for creating your next film. Available on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Open Content


Online SkillShops

If you are looking for more in-depth tutorials on creating videos, we have some Online SkillShops that cover the complete process. You will also earn a badge for each SkillShop you complete!

Contact Us

Tell us your ideas! We'd love to learn how we can help you with your next project. If you have purchase suggestions, tutorial or workshop requests, need a space or want to meet up with others to share ideas: let us know!