Last week we brought you 588 Free Film Contracts and Forms. In a effort to continue our “indie stimulus plan,” this week we’ve gathered together 111 free filmmaking software programs.

Keep an eye out of upcoming features highlighting even more free stuff. And yes, we promise to never raise you taxes.

Also check out these great feature articles:

Pre-production Software

Pretty much everything you need for preproduction, Celtx is the world’s first all-in-one media pre-production software. It has everything you need to take your story from concept to production. Celtx replaces ‘paper, pen & binder’ pre-production with a digital approach that’s more complete, simpler to work with, and easier to share.

Directors Boards Free 2.0a
Based on the popular professional director’s tool Directors NoteBook. Directors Boards Free by Directors NoteBook Software is a very simple application for creating AV format storyboards from existing digital scans, illustrations and photos. The software prints the boards, presents them as a digital slide show, and exports them to tab delimited text.

Web-based screenwriting Software

StoryBoard Pro
Atomic Learning’s FREE Video StoryBoard Pro is designed to give teachers, students, and home movie makers a tool to plan ahead when creating video projects.
Software Plug-ins

Audio Editors

Ardour is a hard disk recorder and digital audio workstation application. It runs on Linux and Mac OS X.

Audacity Audacity
A digital audio editor and recording application. Audacity is cross-platform and is available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and BSD.

CDex is a CD ripper for Microsoft Windows.

Grip audio ripper
Grip is a free Compact Disc player and CD ripper within the GNOME project.

JACK Audio Connection Kit
The JACK Audio Connection Kit or JACK is a sound server daemon that provides low latency connections between so-called jackified applications, for both audio and MIDI data.

Jokosher Jokosher
A free, non-linear multi-track audio editor.

Linux MultiMedia Studio
Linux MultiMedia Studio or LMMS, is a free software digital audio workstation. It is available for the Linux, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems. Music can be produced by synthesizing sounds, arranging samples, and playing on a MIDI keyboard.

MusE MusE
A MIDI/Audio sequencer with recording and editing capabilities.

Pure Data Pure Data (or Pd)
A graphical programming language developed by Miller Puckette in the 1990s for the creation of interactive computer music and multimedia works.

Rosegarden Rosegarden
A free software digital audio workstation program developed for Linux with ALSA and KDE. It acts as an audio and MIDI sequencer, scorewriter and musical composition and editing tool. It is intended to be a free replacement for such applications as Cubase.

Streamripper Streamripper
A stand-alone client or Winamp plugin that records Internet radio streams in the MP3 or Vorbis formats.

SoX Sound eXchange
Abbreviated SoX, is a free cross-platform digital audio editor.

Video Editing

A free open-source program designed for multi-purpose video editing and processing.

AVIedit allows you to join and split avi files, extract frames and perform video warping, color restore, noise reduction and so on.

Acts as a non-linear video editor (without a GUI) controlled entirely by scripting.

AVITricks Video Editor
AviTricks is a non-linear, non-destructive AVI video editor with real-time preview. It makes cutting and joining footage easy and includes a wide range of built-in adjustable effects that can be used separately or in combination.

A professional non-linear video editing system. It is designed for the GNU/Linux operating system.

An open-source video deinterlacer and scaling program for Microsoft Windows.

DVD Knife
DVD Knife is a simple tool for extracting DVD clips from your DVD’s. This is the simplest and fastest tool in its category which has ability to extract long VOB clips in few seconds.

DVDx is a free video encoding application that allows the user to convert a DVD-Video to VCD 2.0 or SVCD 1.0 or AVI or Windows Media (WMV) in one step (including multiplexing, splitting).

GNU VCDImager is a suite of command line programs and tools designed for authoring and creating VCDs (video-CD) and SVCDs (super video-CDs).

It aims to become a cross-platform, open source, free, video editing, effects, and compositing suite.

It’s technology allows users to interact and collaborate in rich-media, for example, their video platform supports group-video making and peer production of rich-media.

A GTK+-based non-linear digital video editor. It distributed as free software. Its vision is: “Easy and reliable DV editing for the Linux desktop with export to many usable formats.” The program supports many basic video editing and assembling tasks.

A non-linear video editor based on the MLT framework that focuses on flexibility and ease of use.

LiVES (LiVES is a Video Editing System) is a free software video editing program and VJ tool, released under GNU General Public License.

Mewa Film
Mewa Film is an innovative editorial, effects and finishing video editing application.

SuperDVD Video Editor
SuperDVD Video Editor is a all-in-one solution for home video editing and authing.

VideoThang enables you to mix video clips with images and background music (.mp3), and save the result as MPEG file for sharing via email, web upload or file on your local drive.

VideoSpin is free video editing software that allows you to create your own movie clips in minutes using your own videos and pictures.

VirtualDub is a video capture and video processing utility for Microsoft Windows

VirtualDubMod is an open source video capture and linear processing tool for Microsoft Windows. It is based on Avery Lee’s VirtualDub.

Vivia is a video editing program for Linux and Windows that offers very user-friendly editing of DV video material.

The idea for Wax is to be very general purpose and flexible in video compositing and effects, so that you can compose your dream video sequence with ease everytime.

Windows Movie Maker
Windows Movie Maker is an equipment you need to make digital movies andget footage from your camera to your computer. You can create, edit and add special effects to your home movie and share them with friends and family.

ZS4 Video Editor
ZS4 Video Editor is video editing and composting software which provides media experts with a facility to combine a variety of media types (currently photos, videos and audio files) into one (or more) output file(s).

Zwei-Stein is a freeware non-linear, non-destructive video compositing and editing system which offers many advanced features.

Plugins Final Cut Plug-ins
Two Strip Technicolor
Three Strip Technicolor
Three Strip Extreme
Convolve Toy
Captain’s Blowout Fixer
Luma Toy

AfterEffects Flame
AeFlame is an Adobe After Effects plug in that allows you to create and animate cosmic recursive flame fractals.

Vinyl is an audio plugin for simulating lo-fi sources

CoreMelt Free Plugins
Image Flow: The trial version of ImageFlow Fx for After Effects includes three free plugins which do not have any expiry or watermark, Carousel, Continuous Random Pan and ImageFilmstrip (For AfterEffects, Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, and Motion)

VeeYou Free Plugins
A completely free pack of eight plugins to generate VU and EQ animations from the audio in your Final Cut Studio project. Choose from old school analog dials or modern slick LED Eqs. Instantly create graphic elements for music videos or promos that automatically sync to your audio. (For AfterEffects, Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, and Motion)

PolyChrome Free Plugins
CoreMelt PolyChrome Transition pack contains 5 plugins which are completely free. Blend Mode Dissolve, Curl Apart, Exposure Flash, Projector Malfunction, Random Crop (For Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, and Motion)

An After Effects Animation Preset for color grading.

New Blue Cartoonr
Simulates hand drawn cartoons.

2D Animation

KToon KToon
A 2D computer graphics animation toolkit

Synfig Synfig
A free and open source 2D vector graphics and timeline-based computer animation program.

Pencil Pencil
A 2D graphical animation software that runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Pencil uses a unique bitmap/vector drawing interface to produce simple 2D graphics as well as animation.

3D Graphics

3D Slicer (Slicer) is a free, open source software package for scientific visualization and image analysis.

Aqsis is a free rendering suite compliant with the RenderMan standard.

Art of Illusion
Art of Illusion is a software package used for 3D modeling, texturing, ray tracing, and otherwise rendering computer generated imagery stills or animations (movies).

AutoQ3D is an OpenGL based software used for 3D modeling.

Avimator is a basic BVH (Biovision Hierarchy) editor, originally written for use with Second Life, as a simple inexpensive alternative to commercial 3D rendering and animation software, such as Poser and Maya. It is open source software.

Axiom Engine
The Axiom 3D Engine is an open-source, cross-platform 3D graphics rendering engine for .NET and Mono.

Ayam is a free 3D modelling environment for the RenderMan interface.

Blender is a 3D graphics application released as free software under the GNU General Public License. It can be used for modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging, water simulations, skinning, animating, rendering, particle and other simulations, non-linear editing, compositing, and creating interactive 3D applications.

Freestyle is a free, open source renderer for non-photorealistic line drawing from 3D scenes.

GLC Player
GLC_Player is an Open Source software used to view 3d models.

Geist3D is a free software program for real time modelling and rendering three-dimensional graphics and animations.

Gnuplot is a command-line program that can generate two- and three-dimensional plots of functions and data.

GtkRadiant is a level design program developed by id Software and Loki Software. It is used to create maps for a number of computer games. It is maintained by id Software together with a number of volunteers.

Irrlicht Engine
Irrlicht is an open source 3D engine written in C++. It is cross-platform, officially running on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Windows CE and due to its open nature ports to other systems including the Xbox, PlayStation Portable, SymbianOS and iPhone are available.

JMonkey Engine
JMonkey Engine (jME) is a Java scenegraph API. Its primary focus is high-performance 3D gaming. jME itself is written entirely in Java and uses an abstraction layer for communicating natively with the platform’s hardware.

JrMan renderer is an open source version of the Reyes rendering algorithm used by Pixar’s PhotoRealistic RenderMan, implemented in Java by Gerardo Horvilleur, Jorge Vargas, Elmer Garduno and Alessandro Falappa.

K-3D is an free open source 3D modeling and animation software. It features a plugin-oriented procedural engine for all of its content. K-3D supports polygonal modeling, and includes basic tools for NURBS, patches, curves and animation.

LuxRender is an open source software rendering system for physically correct image synthesis.

MakeHuman is a software application that generates 3D humanoids; similar to Poser or DAZ Studio.

MeshLab, is a free 3D mesh processing software program; MeshLab, started in late 2005, is an open-source general-purpose system aimed to help the processing of the typical not-so-small unstructured 3D models that arise in the pipeline of processing of the data coming from 3D scanning.

OGRE (Object-Oriented Graphics Rendering Engine) is a scene-oriented, flexible 3D rendering engine (as opposed to a game engine) written in C++ designed to make it easier and intuitive for developers to produce applications utilising hardware-accelerated 3D graphics.

OpenFX is an Open-Source, free modeling and animation studio, distributed under the GNU General Public License.

Picogen is a rendering system for the creation and rendering of artificial terrain, based on ray tracing. It is free software.

Pixie is a free, photorealistic raytracing renderer for generating photorealistic images.

Python-Ogre is a Python Language binding for the OGRE 3D engine, providing the functionality and performance of OGRE (written in C++) with the accessibility and ease of use of Python.

Quake Army Knife
QuArK (aka Quake Army Knife), is a free and open source program for developing 3D assets for a large variety of video games[2], mostly first-person shooters using engines similar to or based on the Quake engine by id Software.

An open source, interactive, molecular visualization system. QuteMol utilizes the current capabilities of modern GPUs through OpenGL shaders to offer an array of innovative visual effects. QuteMol visualization techniques are aimed at improving clarity and an easier understanding of the 3D shape and structure of large molecules or complex proteins.

Seamless3d is open source 3D modeling software free and available for all under the MIT license.
The models for the virtual reality world, Techuelife Island were created using Seamless3d technology.

Soya3D is a high-level Python module for creating 3D computer and video games.

Sunflow is an open source global illumination rendering system written in Java.

TopMod is a free software, open source, portable, cross-platform 3D topological mesh modeling system that allows users to create high genus 2-manifold meshes.

Ultimate 3D
Ultimate 3D, also referred to as U3D, is a free 3D engine designed for use with Game Maker.

The Visualization Toolkit (VTK) is an open source graphics toolkit. It is a platform independent graphics engine with parallel rendering support.

The WilmaScope 3D graph visualisation system is a Java 3D application that creates real-time 3D animations of dynamic graph (network) structures.

Wings 3D
Wings 3D is a free and open source polygon mesh subdivision modeler inspired by Nendo and Mirai from Izware, all using the winged edge data structure.

YafaRay (originally YafRay, Yet Another Free Raytracer) is a free, open source ray tracing program that uses an XML scene description language. It has been integrated into the 3D modelling software Blender, and so can now be used to render scenes made within it directly, without the need for an exporter.

ZModeler (or Zanoza Modeler) is a 3D modeling application developed by Oleg Melashenko. It is aimed at modelers who model for computer games such as 18 Wheels of Steel, Need for Speed, Midtown Madness or similar video games.

Photo Editing

CombineZM (CZM) is an open source image processing software package for creating extended depth of field images. It runs on Windows XP and 2000.

Dcraw is an open source computer program which is able to read numerous raw image formats, typically produced by high-end digital cameras.

DigiKam is an image organizer and editor for the KDE desktop environment. It supports all major image formats, and can organize collections of photographs in directory-based albums, or dynamic albums by date, timeline, or by tags.

F-Spot is an image organizer, designed to provide personal photo management for the GNOME desktop.

GIMP is a free software, raster graphics editor used to process digital photographs and other graphics.

GQview is a free software image viewer

GThumb is an open-source image viewer and organizer for the GNOME desktop environment.

Gallery Project
The Gallery Project is an open source project enabling management and publication of digital photographs and other media through a PHP-enabled web server.

It provides a graphical user interface (GUI) that allows the user to import photos, and possibly other material such as video, from digital cameras.

Hugin is a cross-platform open source panorama photo stitching program Stitching is accomplished by using several overlapping photos taken from the same location, and using control points to align and transform the photos so that they can be blended together to form a larger image.

Interactive Digital Photomontage
It creates family portraits, creates clean plates, extends the depth-of-field, removes wires, stitches panoramas, relights objects and makes your face look like Frankenstein’s Monster (after the operation).

Created in 2002 by Marc Lentz, this software is cross-platform (Linux and Microsoft Windows) and allows the user – through a user-friendly interface – to associate keywords to pictures (IPTC tags) and perform extensive searches on these keywords.

KPhotoAlbum is an image viewer and organizer for Unix-like systems. The core philosophy behind its creation was that it should be easy for users to annotate images and videos taken with a digital camera.

Lphoto is an open source image editor for Linux.

Piwigo is a web standards compliant photo-gallery licensed under the GPL. It is written in PHP and utilizes a MySQL database.

Rawstudio is a stand-alone application, using the GTK+ UI toolkit, to read and manipulate images in RAW image formats from digital cameras.

ResourceSpace is an open source Digital Asset Management system. Users can create custom ‘collections’ which include resources and saved searches, which can be shared with other users.

UFRawraw image formats
Unidentified Flying Raw is an application which can read and manipulate photographs in as created by many digital cameras.

Zenphoto is an online photo gallery application designed to be “a simpler web photo album.” It includes dynamic image processing, folder-based albums, editable titles and descriptions powered by AJAX, comments, themes, online uploads, and simple image management.


Open Office
Open source alternative to Microsoft Office.

Neo Office
Open Office for Mac OS X.

Open source web site editor.

A handy PDF tool.

You Talkin' to Me?

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Guillaume Fradin

I’d like to suggest my own app to this list. It allows to save photos and videos from anywhere, and to organise them easily. It is great for research when you just want to gather different media in the same place. It is equally useful when you need to share those, either privately with your teams or publicly with your audience.

You can also read more about why I created it.

Tomer Feiner

Some links here no longer work (such as those to other similar articles at the top), and plenty of programs mentioned here have been superceded by newer, better ones. If you make an updated version of this it could be really nice IMO.


Great list. I would check out StudioBinder:

It handles personalized call sheets, contact management, and file storage for your production.


For free stock footage you can try our site – hope this helps!

Javier Gonzalez

try to make great movie posters online

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