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Resources for Video Creation

Introduction to basic video concepts and helpful resources available at the University of Michigan Library.


iMovie is a great Apple-only video application for beginners who are just getting their feet wet, but want to do some creative editing with their videos. It's available on Mac, iPad, and iPhone (only), and it comes with many built-in themes and effects that can be used to produce fun, high-quality videos and photo slideshows. 


Good for beginners. Lots of themes and templates. Many effects and transitions. Auto-saves. Available for Mac, iPad, and iPhone.


Not very good at stacking multiple clips. Auto-save feature makes saving/moving projects more tricky. Mac only.

Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro X Application IconFinal Cut Pro is a professional video editing application. It is ideal for professionals and those who feel limited by iMovie and want to step it up a level. Final Cut Pro contains many features including multi-cam, chroma keying, interactive timelines, and many built-in effects and transitions. It's a solid program that will have all the features you'll need!

Pros:  Thorough, professional video editing software with broad depth of features. 
Cons:  Steeper learning curve than iMovie. Auto-save feature makes saving/moving projects more tricky. Mac only.

Adobe Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro Application IconAdobe Prem
iere Pro is Adobe's version of a professional video editing application. Premiere is comparable to Final Cut Pro in features, but has a more classic video-editing interface. Like Final Cut, it is ideal for professional video projects and contains a ton of features.

Pros: Professional video editing application rich with features. Mac and PC compatible.
Cons: No auto-save feature. 


Camtasia Application IconCamtasia is an application that allows you to create video recordings known as screencasts. Screencasts are essentially live recordings of your computer screen. Camtasia allows you to record all actions on your computer screen and then edit, cut, and add effects, called "callouts", to your footage. Screencasts are great for video tutorials and for recording animated presentations such as Prezi or Powerpoint.


Pros:  Records computer screen. Good for beginners. Many video editing features and built-in callouts and effects. Can import images, video, and music to a project.
Cons:  Interfaces are different and projects are incompatible across platforms. Eg. Projects made in Camtasia Studio 8 (Windows version) cannot be opened in Camtsia 2 (Mac version).


Comparison table of video editing software
  Adobe Premiere Pro Adobe Premiere Rush iMovie Final Cut Pro Camtasia
Available on Mac yes yes yes yes yes
Available on Windows yes yes no no yes
Learning Curve high low low high medium
Max tracks unlimited 7 (4 video/title, 3 audio) 3 (1 title, 1 video, 1 audio) 99 500+
Titles yes yes yes yes yes
Create animation / keyframing yes no no yes yes
Screen recording no no no no yes