Lightworks: (sort of) open-source NLE available now, first impressions

Lightworks is the grandfather of NLEs and went open-source, well at least sort of, a couple of days ago: it currently only works under Windows (so no use for me at this point) and you need to register. There is no source code available yet and Mac and Linux versions are said to be available later in 2011.

So this is basically like an Alpha/Beta test run for getting started with Lightworks if you don’t mind using Windows and know what you are doing.

Having seen Paul give a Lightworks demo at our last final BUG meeting I was still quite impressed. So assuming the source code will be released in 2011 and all remaining issues they might have will be solved I definitely can see the potential here:

* I believe after seeing that 30 min. or so demo I’d feel comfortable enough to start editing/working on a (short test) project without any further manual reading (assuming I’d have a stable version already installed). Lightworks is pretty easy and intuitive to use while also being different to others NLEs:

* Basically there is not much to see at first except for that left hand (floating) side bar with those icons. What you then do is choose the tools you need for the particular task you wish to perform. So at first it’s tabula rasa and not the usual timeline with the player/recorder (or whatever they might be called) windows on top. Experienced Blender (2.49b) users will be familiar with this kind of philosophy…

* It has advanced trimming features some of which not even Avid has. Again these tools are easy to use, also easier compared to what you need to do in Avid and certainly much easier and much more useful than what in comparison seem to be only half hearted trimming features in FCP.

* While the Blender VSE (see my Tutorials page for more) is a wonderful, minimal style NLE that already works on all major platforms and will most probably remain my tool of choice for my own (3D) shorts, Lightworks has the potential of becoming something like the LibreOffice (was OpenOffice) of the NLE world: it’s a specialised tool for (film) editing, it’s very powerful, quite elegant and has a well known track record in the industry.

From the Lightworks website:

Having cut hundreds of films such as Pulp Fiction, The Departed, Centurion and Shutter Island, it includes a full feature set of editorial tools, from advanced trimming and media management, through to stereoscopic support and realtime effects including multiple secondary colour correctors.”

In any case: competition is always good for the users. :-)

There will be another Lightworks session at the next final BUG meeting, so drop by if you are in Berlin and want to check out what may well turn out to be the (open-source) film and video editing solution in the not so distant future.

So Avid, FCP and all others beware of that shark…!

Und der Haifisch, der hat Zähne

Und die trägt er im Gesicht

Und Macheath, der hat ein Messer

Doch das Messer sieht man nicht

(Source)

Oh the shark has pretty teeth dear,

And he shows them pearly white

Just a jack-knife has Macheath dear

And he keeps it out of sight

(Source)

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