Descriptions and reviews of production software.

Video Software

Animation Software

Image Software

Audio Software

Video Software

Final Cut X

Apple’s new video editing software replaces the older Final Cut Studio and Express with a new iMovie-like interface. Available on the Mac App Store; education pricing is available for 20 units and above.


Part of the iLife creative software suite bundled with every Mac, this is a powerful and easy-to-use program which integrates very well with the iLife photo and music programs iPhoto and Garageband.

Adobe Premiere Elements

Good value, cut-down version of Adobe Premiere Pro. Manufacturer’s site

Corel VideoStudio Pro x 4

Popular PC editing program, good value. Manufacturer’s site

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe’s professional video editing program. Powerful, but requires a high-spec computer. Product site

Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum

Popular, powerful PC editing program.

Windows Moviemaker

Microsoft’s basic video editing software, free to Windows users. The most recent version – Windows Live Movie Maker – is less useful than the XP version. Download latest version

iLife 11

iLife includes the iMovie video editing application, Garageband for music-making, podcasting and scoring, iPhoto for handling digital photos, and iWeb for website design. Very well integrated, though the redesigned iMovie is very different from previous versions (and from any other editing software). It doesn’t have a traditional timeline – so you can’t edit to a soundtrack as you could in iMovie 06 – but it’s a phenomenally quick tool for doing straightforward continuity editing. Product Site

Animation Software

Adobe Flash

Adobe® Flash® is the industry standard authoring environment for creating rich, interactive content for digital, web, and mobile platforms.

Creates interactive websites, rich media advertisements, instructional media, engaging presentations, games, and more. Designers and developers working on both Macintosh and Windows® systems use Flash and the ubiquitous Adobe Flash Player software to ensure their content reaches the widest possible audience.

Available for Microsoft® Windows and as a universal-binary application for Mac.

Publisher website

Blender is an open source software package for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, and gaming.

Initially developed by Ton Roosendaal’s company NaN in the Netherlands, its popularity, and capabilites, have grown over the years. There is a large and active user base with ongoing development by dedicated hackers, making Blender a powerful and viable 3D software solution.

While not in its infancy, Blender is also not as fully-fleshed out as some other major software packages such as Lightwave, 3D-Studio Max, and XSI. Nevertheless, Blender is comparable in many arenas, and its unique user interface makes using it very efficient.

iStopMotion 2

Stop motion software for Mac OS X. Includes chromakey and time lapse features. Boinx

Stop Motion Pro: Action!

Stop frame animation software for PC. Features included chromakey, audio recording and onion skinning.


i Can Animate

Stop-motion animation software for Mac OS X.



Stop-motion animation software designed for use in schools. It allows children to capture images using a webcam or DV camera. Animations can be viewed as a work in progress rather than being completed first.
Zu3D provides a ‘movie maker’ style interface allowing for easy editing of animations.

Visit Zu3D website

Image Software


GIMP is free, open source software for image manipulation. It is available for Microsoft Windows and Mac OSX in addition to its native UNIX. Publisher website. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.

Audio Software

Adobe Audition

Multitrack audio editor from Adobe. Publisher website

Developed from CoolEdit pro, Audition is Adobe’s multitrack audio editor (they also publish a simpler editor called Soundbooth for multimedia developers).Comprable multitrack editors are available from Cakewalk (Microsoft Windows only) and Cubase (Mac and PC).


Inexpensive well featured audio editor for Windows PC.GoldWave is a reliable and complete audio editor. It includes all of the common audio editing commands and effects, plus powerful built-in tools such as a batch processor/converter, a file merger, a CD reader, and audio restoration filters. A demo version is available. Publisher website


Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems.

You can use Audacity to:

  • Record live audio.
  • Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
  • Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.
  • Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
  • Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
  • And more! See the complete list of features.