I want to preface this entire post by stating that I am a tight-wad, a cheapskate, an overly frugal individual. That being said, it makes sense that I love open-source or even free software. That is the foundation for why I started using Blender as a video editor. Learning it and perfecting certain parts, especially the Blender VSE, is what has kept me around. Let me tell you why.
What is Blender?
Blender is mostly recognized as an open-source 3D creation suite. According to Blender’s website “it supports the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation.”
These claims are not false in the slightest either. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the Blender art gallery.
Aside from the 3D editing environment and all of it’s components, you will notice that one of the features that are included in that list is video editing, which in Blender is called the Video Sequence Editor or VSE for short.
I will tell you right now that if you hop on just about any forum about video editing or VFX software or even open-source software for that matter, you will find countless threads telling you that the Blender VSE is worthless. I am hear to tell you that this is incorrect. Are you going to edit the next Hollywood blockbuster on it? Probably not. Can you churn out videos left and right for YouTube using the VSE? Most definitely.
What Can You Do With Blender VSE?
In short, you can do just about anything. I have been using Blender for about 3 years now and anything that I can’t tackle directly in the VSE, I can take care of in the compositing (or node) portion of the software. We’ll leave that for another time though, since this is about the VSE.
There are a few basic things that you need to be able to do in a video editing software. For example; cuts, crossfades, image overlay, text overlay, insertion of audio, etc. All of these and more are possible with the VSE in Blender.
Also, directly inside the VSE you can edit color, saturation, hues, curves and more. Not enough? If you need it, you can also transform your video footage and do everything from adjusting the speed of the video to resizing and flipping the video. Again, these are basic things that come with most video editors and they are all things that Blender’s VSE does very well.
How Can You Learn More?
There are a ton of resources at your disposal when it comes to learning Blender for the first time and beyond. There are YouTube videos, articles and of course, the Blender artists community. In fact, if you don’t mind my shameless self-promotion, I have a few articles and videos that I have started a tutorial series with that you can find here. There is also another resource I would like to point you toward that helped me a lot in the beginning and even some when I had forgotten where something was. Mikeycal Meyers is very good at explaining a lot of the VSE features and I highly recommend you check him out.
Jump Into Blender VSE
Now that you know a little more about what the Blender VSE has to offer, I hope you will check it out and give it a try. In my opinion it is worth the time to learn it. Once you get the basic video editing features down it won’t be long before you will be able to dive into the compositor and do just about anything that you could do in After Effects or similar software. If you want to try Blender, click here to download, then jump in headfirst. What do you have to lose? It’s free after all.