Free video editing software can be a mixed bag. Tools are often insanely simplistic. Others see more advanced — read: useful — features locked behind subscription packages.
ACDSee’s Luxea Video Editor capitalizes on that trend. This fully equipped free video editing software (opens in new tab) for Windows is packed with professional tools available to both free users and paid subscribers.
ACDSee Luxea Video Editor: Pricing
- Free, with optional subscription or lifetime license
Luxea is a free downloadable video editor – no watermark, no locked features, you don’t even need to sign up until it’s time to export your footage. The catch, however, is that your exported videos include a branded intro and outro.
To remove this, you can choose to purchase an annual subscription ($29.99 / £26.99) or a lifetime license ($79.99 / £69.99).
Like Adobe’s Creative cloud (opens in new tab) All apps subscription, ACDSee also offers a home subscription ($89 / £77.99 per year), with the software bundled with photo editors (opens in new tab) for Windows and Mac, 100 GB cloud storage and a video converter (opens in new tab).
ACDSee Luxea Video Editor: Interface & Experience
- Easy to use, easy to navigate
A traditional interface greets you when you launch Luxea. A timeline at the bottom of the screen, with the viewer above it. On the left you will find a selection of tools. Everything is at your fingertips, making navigation a breeze – even if you’ve never used a video editor before.
Using Luxea is just as easy. Trimming clips is a case of dragging each end of a clip into position. Most other tasks are completed by dragging and dropping the selected tool onto the timeline (or onto clips you’ve placed on the timeline). At this point, colored pockets mark where tools can be placed, for added convenience. More in-depth actions can be performed through the context menu.
Overall, our tests revealed an editing program that is more advanced than canva video (opens in new tab) or Adobe Express Video Editor (opens in new tab); less complex than a Hollywood standard like Adobe Premiere Pro (opens in new tab) or DaVinci Resolve (opens in new tab).
- Interface & experience: 4/5
ACDSee Luxea Video Editor: Edit
- Classic editing, just done
When it comes to editing, Luxea is not reinventing the wheel. If you’re broadly familiar with the editing process, you’ve come to the right place. And if you’re new to the art, it’s relatively easy to get started.
All the basic edits are there and correct, on top of the timeline – and we were pleased to find that the video editor offers extended keyboard shortcuts for a more efficient workflow.
Once you’ve imported your media, drag it to the timeline. Everything clicks into place, as it should. However, we ran into a small bug bear in the setup phase. We haven’t found a way to access directly from our . to import cloud storage (opens in new tab); you need your storage app mapped to your desktop.
Once opened in the viewer, you have the option to resize and reorient the media. Handy if you want a picture-in-picture mode, or want to draw attention to other parts of the screen. And as easy as resizing an image in any one drawing software (opens in new tab).
Right-clicking clips gives you a handful of options, such as separating audio tracks from the video tracks or removing sound completely.
But for more control over your output, open the Properties panel. Here you can change the blending mode (if you are familiar with Adobe Photoshop (opens in new tab)you’ll be right at home here), rotate clips, adjust opacity, or any of the so-called behaviors associated with the clips.
It may not be advanced enough for professional power users, but Luxea includes most of the tools most editors usually need.
ACDSee Luxea Video Editor: Tools & VFX
- Complete toolkit for prosumers
The toolkit, located to the left of the screen, is – at first glance – deceptively small. But click on each and you’ll find related tools for adding text, narration, and filters to your footage. Refinement effects take place in the Properties panel.
You are also offered an element of control over sound. Luxea is not full audio editor (opens in new tab)but after adding a track to the timeline, right click to adjust clip speed and add audio points for adjusting volume during specific parts of your video.
But these are just for the course editing tools. While they are handled excellently in Luxea, in most cases they are a given.
And here Luxea presents a few tasty extras.
For starters, ACDSee offers content packs. These are free downloadable libraries from stock photos (opens in new tab) and royalty free sound effects (opens in new tab)themed events and topics such as ‘wedding’, ‘holiday’ and ‘business’.
Then there is the ever-present free screen recorder (opens in new tab), which is also downloaded to the desktop as a standalone app. In the top left corner of Luxea is the Record button. Clicking this opens a smart dialog to select which part of the screen you want to capture.
Luxea also includes a handful VFX software (opens in new tab) tools – including green screen. Under Advanced Effects you will find Chroma Key, Color LUTs, Clip Speed, Color Pass, Replace Color.
Once added to your clip, they can also be adjusted from the Properties panel. For example, if you’re replacing one color with another, you’re free to select the target and replacement color from a simple drop-down menu, or by using the color picker to get the exact match from your footage.
It’s another example of ACDSee taking on a relatively high-level task and making it ridiculously easy. It may not be After Effects (opens in new tab)-level special effects, but it’s a welcome extra in a free video editor.
But while Luxea is one of the best alternatives to Adobe Premiere Pro (opens in new tab) it doesn’t offer the powerful, granular control of Adobe’s video editing program.
In that respect it is more on par with Premiere Elements (opens in new tab): a video editor for consumers, prosumers. and small businesses looking to add some serious professional shine to their content. It’s also gotten some extra love lately by adding extra color LUTs, subtitles, and more.
ACDSee Luxea Video Editor: Export
- Produce for social, specific devices
To turn your edit into a full video, click Produce & Share – an easy-to-use twist on the usual Export call-to-action. This is where you actually need to sign up for a free ACDSee account or upgrade to a subscription. And we really liked that until now we didn’t have to hand over any personal information (or payment cards).
Luxea exports files as MP4, Mov, M4V, WebM, GIF and MP3. Not a huge list, but you do have the option to adjust the resolution and framerate of the video.
To speed up the process, there are preset export options: Normal, Better and Best.
If you are creating content to be viewed on a specific device, you can select the pre-made template from the list of devices. You are also free to create your own templates for next time. Finally, you can share your work directly on YouTube and Vimeo.
When it comes to production, the free video editing software isn’t super fast, but even when we tried to shoot a short video on a mid-spec laptop, the machine didn’t push to its limits.
ACDSee Luxea Video Editor: Scorecard
|Prices||Free with subscription and lifetime license available||4|
|Interface & experience||Easy to use, easy to navigate||4|
|To process||Traditional non-linear editing software||4|
|Tools & VFX||Includes most tools most editors need, limited VFX||4|
|Export||Easy to produce for specific devices or share on YouTube||4|