Video Filters & Effects: Top Software, Apps & Tips

Video Effects 15/03/2019 4 min read

The way a piece of footage is shot is very much in the hands of the Camera Operator or the Director of Photography. The use of light, lenses, and camera filters — is very much a production decision. But even when something has been shot in a certain way, there are still plenty of tools available for the editor to manipulate the footage to achieve a specific tone or style. These can be used to enhance footage or fix mistakes that happened in production. Read on to find out more about the top filters and effects you can apply to improve your films!

We’ve listed some of our favorite filters below, and the names may change from software to software, but for the most part, they’re pretty standard. At the end of the list, we’ll go into some more detail about the kinds of editing programs you can use to create filters and effects.

Part 1: Video Filters & Effects You Should Try

1. Anti-Shake Filter

If you aren’t shooting with a gimbal or Steadicam to smooth out your shots, handheld footage might be a little shaky than what you were going for. Although handheld is definitely a valid style of filmmaking, you don’t want it to be too distracting. If you find yourself working with footage that shakes about too much, try applying an anti-shake filter to stabilize it in post-production.

2. Auto Exposure Filter

Sometimes on set you might run into issues that you only notice when you get into the edit. Exposure is one of them, especially if you are shooting quickly. If you find your footage a little too dark or too bright, try applying an auto exposure filter to level out the brightness. It won’t make it perfect, but it will certainly help, and you can refine it from there.

3. Color Grading Filters

Color grading is an important part of the editing process, especially when the video has been shot raw. It lets you bring out the colors you want and really refine the picture. Color grading filters, like the Lumetri Color Panel in Premiere Pro, generally let you manipulate the individual hues such as highlights, mid-tones, and shadows. And you can explore some more cool color effects in this post, too.

4. RGB Curves

Stepping up to more advanced color correction, RGB Curves provide you with color graphs that you can use to fine-tune specific colors within an image. You can apply this filter to every clip in your film and refine them separately.

5. Tint

If you’re not looking to go into such detail in every single clip, try applying a tint filter to tip the balance one way or the other. The color of your tint will depend on the results you’re trying to achieve and the tone you want to convey in your film.

6. Auto Levels

If you’re in a hurry or just aren’t fussed about going into detailed color correction, an Auto Levels filter will adjust a range of settings for you based on what the software thinks is not quite right about the image.

7. Chroma Key

Applying green screen effects in your videos is easier than ever thanks to chroma key filters that let editors quickly key out colors in a shot and composite other images over the top.

8. Audio Filters

Filters and effects are not just limited to video footage, either. Apply them to audio files to enhance, repair or create a different style entirely. Effects and filters like EQ and reverb can really bring a film to life.

Part 2: The Best Tools & Apps to Create Video Filters & Effects

So, you’ve got to grips with the kinds of things available to you in the edit suite. How do you apply them? For Windows and Mac, there are a few big hitters in the post-production world.

1. Adobe Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro is one of the leading post-production programs on the market today, readily used by hobbyists and professional filmmakers alike. There is a huge range of filters and effects already built into the software, and applying them is as easy as clicking and dragging a mouse. The in-built color correction tools are powerful as well, so there is plenty you can do from just one program.

2. Adobe After Effects

After Effects is a powerful piece of software that can be used to create motion graphics. You can also enhance video footage through filters, effects, and advanced color grading techniques. Not for the faint-hearted, but once you know your way around you will open up a world of opportunities.

3. DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve is a post-production platform that combines color grading with visual effects, renders, and compositing. Use it in conjunction with or instead of Adobe Creative Suite, and enhance your films with a wide range of useful filters and effects.

4. Corel VideoStudio Pro

VideoStudio Pro is an all-in-one non-linear editing platform embraced by both hobbyists and small businesses. Much like Premiere Pro, it combines all of the filters and effects into one system under an easy drag and drop function.

Part 3: Edit Your Videos With These Apps

If working on in-depth post-production software on a desktop computer is a bit daunting, try stripping things back and editing your mobile videos from an app. Here are some of our favorites!

1. iMovie

The backbone of video editing for beginners from Apple. This simple, but effective post-production platform is the perfect place to get to grips with learning video editing and applying video effects and cool filters.

2. Magisto

Magisto takes all of the hard work out of video editing. Edit your mobile videos from the palm of your hand thanks to a powerful smartphone app, apply effects from a range of options and share it directly to your social channels. Easy peesy.

3. Camera Plus Pro

Camera Plus Pro packages up all the basics of video editing and strips it down for your mobile device. Quickly apply the pre-built video filters to the footage and enhance your mobile videos.

4. ReelDirector

ReelDirector II is an all-in-one video editing app that lets you do pretty much everything from editing shots together to adding text, graphics, logos, and color filters to customize your work.

The next time you are working with video, don’t feel limited by the footage that has come directly out of the camera. This is just the beginning of the journey. By applying filters and effects, you can transform your video content into anything you can imagine, either from your own computer or from a mobile app. The choice is yours.

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