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Wax: Digital Video Editing Software Worth Knowing
Video editing can be used for a variety of different projects. Obviously television shows, commercials, and films of all kinds have a very strong need for the best software and editors money can buy, but what about the millions of people who just want to make small video projects for friends, family, or personal projects? For that slice of the pie chart populous there are tons of great cheap products, but Wax is better: it’s free!
While it may not be as polished as Apple’s iMovie or Windows Live Movie Maker, any free video editing program is worth considering. Besides being freeware, its other big perk is that it can also be used as a plugin for Pure Motion EditStudio, Adobe Premiere, and Sony Vegas. Its main appeal though is that Wax is as powerful as it is flexible, with a standalone application mode for home users or beginners, and the plugin mode for other video editor NLEs (non-linear editing system) which is great for professional editors and compositors.
The Wax Plugin Dev Kit is available for developers who are interested in writing plugins and transitions for Wax (requires programming knowledge in C/C++). If you are interested then send an email to the DebugMode webmaster requesting the devkit. For other tech savvy users, Wax also has DebugMode FrameServer, which is an open source plugin that allows NLEs to do FrameServing, Image Sequence exporting, and even AudioServing. This lets users transfer audio and video data from one application to another without dealing with tedious render times and excessive amounts of temporary files. It’s also a great tool for dealing with file types that may be unsupported in some software, as well as exporting video as a series of BMP, TIFF, PNG, or JPEG images. You should definitely read all of the helpful FrameServer features. For morphing and warping software, you should instead take a look at DebugMode WinMorph.
As for the Wax 2.0e features, let’s take a look at the main ones:
- Distributed as freeware for business or personal use. However if you want to redistribute Wax, you need to get permission from the author.
- Use graphics acceleration available with your video card for creating mind-boggling effects in real time or near real time.
- Unlimited video and audio tracks with top-down compositing and many compositing modes (audio features are limited at this time).
- 2D and 3D Plugins and transitions for creating effects. Full featured 3D compositing with 3d objects, lighting, shadows, texture generators, etc. Plugins include the following: RotoMate - rotoscope/paint over video with fully keyframeable shapes and masks. Shatter - create explosive effects. ModelLoader - load 3d models from .3DS, .MD2 and .MS3d files. Particle Generator - generate various natural particle effects like fire, smoke, rain etc. Text 3D - create extruded/beveled 3D text, and much more...
- Plugin Adapter technology that can load and use VirtualDub filters, DirectX plugins, Freeframe plugins and Windows Movie Maker presets inside Wax or your NLE when using Wax as a plugin.
- Full featured project management with media bins/folders, element properties and comments for ease of use.
- Transition and Plugin SDK available for developers to extend functionality by adding external plugins. WinMorph uses this Plugin SDK to extend Wax's functionality for warping and morphing.
- File input/output through filters, Filter SDK available upon request for developers to extend file format support.
- Input formats : AVI, WAV, all popular image formats. Output formats : AVI, MPEG, WAV, Flash, all popular image formats.(AVI and WAV formats support compressed audio too, using Audio Codecs installed in your PC).
If you’re one of the people who are just concerned with splicing video clips together with fun transition effects, then you can rest easy knowing Wax has dozens of effects presets, and some visual effects have dozens of subcategories of their own, putting the grand total at over 500 different presets to choose from. To get a feel for the bare basics interface you should try the first tutorial and then download Wax 2.0e to try it for yourself!
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