A Great Free Video Editor for Schools

A boy in bed, illuminated by the screen of a laptop. Text reads, Animotica: Free for schools

For the last couple of weeks I have been playing with a free video editor for Windows 10 called Animotica. It’s available from the Windows Store. As you might expect, the free version does come with an optional in-app purchase and that means if you want to take full advantage of all the available features, you need to upgrade to the Full Pro account. However, the Full Pro plan is just $16 for a lifetime license and there are no monthly subscription fees. Better still, schools can get a Full Pro license for free.

Features of Animotica

Animotica is an offline video editor, and that comes with some advantages. It means you don’t have to worry about uploading large video files to the cloud, or the extended rendering times you sometimes get from an online editor. Animotica doesn’t have the features to match professional software like Final Cut or Adobe Premiere, but it is way ahead of the free video editor that is built-in to Windows 10, and will likely serve at least 90% of your video editing needs at school.

All the basic tools are here. You can trim, split and rearrange clips in just a few quick clicks. There are a variety of video filters you can apply, and numerous text styles for adding titles to your projects. The overlay tool lets you layer videos on top of each other for a picture-in-picture effect, and the chroma key tool will let you work with green screen video too.

Screenshot from Animotica showing the trim tool

The built-in music library is a little limited, but there are still several options to choose from if you want to add an audio track to your video. If you can’t find something you like, a quick trip to the YouTube Audio Library will likely do the trick. Music tracks can be trimmed to fit your videos or faded in and out as required.

Speaking of audio, Animotica also lets you record a voiceover narration. This is a useful feature where you want to add more context to a video project or to give students the chance to tell their story in the style of a documentary. Voiceovers are quick and easy to do.

You can adjust the speed of video clips by making them four times slower or up to four times faster. You can rotate video, flip video, or manually zoom in on a part of the video that you want to emphasize. There are Ken Burns style motion effects, color adjustments, and the ability to capture a still frame from a video as an image. Animotica even allows you to create your project in a variety of aspect ratios to match popular social media formats like Instagram, YouTube or IGTV.

Screenshot from Animotica showing the text effects tool

Animotica for Schools

In order to take advantage of the free pro account for schools, your institution needs a Microsoft Store for Education account. That means you will need you’ll need an Azure Active Directory (AD) or Office 365 account for your organization. Animotica is a Windows Store app so the only way it can be distributed free to schools is to verify your status as an education institution through the Microsoft Education store.

There are no ads in this app. Everything is offline and that means that all student data is stored locally on the computer and not in the cloud. There are also no logins or passwords in order to use Animotica. All this makes it a compelling product for schools, so if you are eligible to take advantage of this free video editor, you can apply here to get your school verified.

Learn How to Use Animotica

One of the things I enjoyed most about using Animotica was how easy it was to learn. If you have used any kind of video editor before, you will immediately be at home with this app. The interface is familiar and the features you need are clearly labelled on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. To learn more on how to use Animotica, check out this tutorial, How to Use Animotica: A Free Video Editor for Windows 10.

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