Lightworks Video Editing ... Freeware?

ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovinPosts: 18,884Super Moderators moderator
edited May 27, 2012 in Video
This one caught me by surprise. Lightworks was created as a high-end video editing suite, priced way beyond anything I could afford. Through nearly 20 years of software changes it has competed against the very best video editing software out there, including the high-end Avid systems. It has been bought and sold several times, and finally wound up purchased by EditShare in Boston.

EditShare have released a re-coded public beta for Windows machines; open source and free!

So what's special about Lightworks?

For starters the pedigree. This software has won both Academy and Emmy awards. This software has cut movies like Pulp Fiction, The Departed, Centurion and Shutter Island. This software is used by industry notables like Thelma Schoonmaker and Martin Scorcese. This software supports resolutions to 2K (think RED) and has unlimited tracks and multicamera support and collaboration.

OK, so that's the good news. (Uh oh.) Now for the reality.

While this has roots in some really good stuff, this version is still in "public beta", meaning there will be issues. If you try this stuff you probably should not expect production quality or enough stability for paying projects. It also looks like (I just got the software and I'm exploring) to do the advanced stuff you need "extras", many of which will cost money. So don't think this ride will be without some bumps and some cost.

I do think that Mac and Linux versions are coming, and I do think that EditShare has the stuff to make this all come together.

Here is a teaser to the user interface:

<iframe width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/9gCDFfXUcGk?rel=0"; frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Get it here:

http://www.lightworksbeta.com/

Features (from the above site):

Editing

Resolution, format and codec independent timeline
Edit at 23.976, true 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, or 60 fps
Advanced Multicam editing with unlimited sources
Source/Record three-point editing
Insert and Overwrite editing
Replace, fit to fill, backfill
Drag-and-drop replace editing
Extend and Split edits
A/V Sync indicators on timeline
Single-click re-sync of whole timeline
Multi-colored markers for edits and clips
Matchframe for clips and subclips

Trimming

Ripple
Roll
Slip and Slide
Remove and Delete
Asymmetric, multitrack trimming
Dynamic trimming during playback
JKL trimming
Trim window
Timeline trimming
Keyboard and numeric moving and trimming
Close Gap

Effects

Third Party Plugin Support
Alpha Channel Matte Transitions
Global Transitions adds effects between In and Out points
Real-time effects in SD, HD and 2K
Speed Tool for varispeed changes
Keyframe graphs
Transitions, effects, and filters included
Unlimited effects user templates
Copy and paste effect attributes to multiple clips
Effects layers with node-based compositing tool
Bezier curves with movable motion paths
Numeric control and keyframe capabilities

Tools

Real-time, hardware accurate video vectorscopes and waveform monitors
Multitrack Audio Mixer with full bus routing and multiple mixes
Keyboard and user interface customization tool with templates for Avid and FCP keyboard mappings
On-screen console controls
Voice Over tool for adding narration directly to timeline
Multi-split screen Viewer for original shot comparison
Shot Sync - sync two sources for playback comparison
Customisable BITC timecode and film footage overlays in Viewer

Colour Correction

Real time Primary color correctors
Real time Secondary color correctors
Image control filters

Audio

Subframe audio keyframing
Real-time audio adjustments during playback
OMF audio export with pan and volume levels
Real-time, software-based audio normalization
Onscreen multitrack mixing console
External Mackie control surface support
Real time fader automation
Real-time audio filters and effects
Mixed bit-rates and samples on timeline
Audio level meters per track
Pan controls
Mute and solo controls
Pre and Post Audio waveform display with realtime update

Application

Full-screen, real-time SD, HD, and 2K preview on single or secondary display
Multiple timelines open simultaneously
Unlimited undo levels
Unlimited video and FX tracks
User preferences that can be moved from system to system
Customizable keyboard and user interface buttons
Customizable real-time effects settings
Customizable render settings
Customizable layouts
Customizable track layouts
Full Unicode support

Film

Import RED media and DPX image sequences directly
Include timecode and keycode in the same list
Support for 35mm 3-perf, 35mm 4-perf, and 16mm-20 and mixed film formats
View feet and frames in edit
View keycode and ink number overlays on video
24-fps EDL import and export
24-fps EDL conversion to and from 29.97 fps
Import ALE, FLX, and CSV files
Track key numbers, ink numbers, video and audio timecode
Output Cut list, Change list, Optical list, Pull list, Dupe list, Audio EDL

Media Management

Media management tools for moving, copying, and consolidating media at edit or project level
Powerful search capabilities
Rename Clips to match media and vice versa
Maintain master clips across multiple projects
Clip colors in edit (match by source, reel or timecode)
Custom comment fields
Automatic reconnect to high-resolution media
EDL and AAF import and export for metadata exchange
Instant Save – no need to save project
Batch export

3rd Party Support

Inscriber Titlemotion
Boris
Combustion
After Effects
Premiere Plugins
Digital Fusion
Sapphire

I/O Support

MXF Op1a, MXF OpAtom, Quicktime and AVI
DV25, DVCPRO 25, DVCPRO 50, and DVCPRO HD
MPEG-2 I-Frame SD and HD
Uncompressed SD and HD at 8 bit and 10 bit
Avid DNxHD*
Apple ProRes*
AVC-Intra*
RED R3D*
DPX 10 bit* and 16 bit*
Sony IMX
Sony XDCAM HD*
Sony XDCAM EX*
Sony XDCAM HD422*
Panasonic P2
Image Import and Export as stills or sequences (DPX, BMP, TARGA, JPEG, GIF, PSD, TIFF, DPX, JPEG2000, PICT, QT Image, SGI, and PNG)
Export presets for Apple TV, iPhone, iPod
Broadcast Wave Format with drop and non-drop frame timecode options
Import and Export OMF I and OMF II
Import and Export AAF
MDA support for Edit While Capture with Geevs servers
Telecine 29.97i to 24p pulldown removal
30fps and 25fps import to 24fps project
Frame-accurate capture tool with support for batch, clip, and on-the-fly capturing
Frame-accurate insert and assemble edit-to-tape
Serial device control (RS-422, RS-232)
FireWire device control
* available separately at extra cost
ziggy53
Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums

Comments

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,884Super Moderators moderator
    edited September 1, 2011
    Current codec support:

    Import
    Quicktime DV / DVCAM
    Quicktime DVCPRO
    Quicktime DVCPRO 50
    Quicktime DVCPRO HD
    Quicktime H.264 (playback performance dependant on CPU – transcode recommended)
    Quicktime AVCHD (playback performance dependant on CPU – transcode recommended)
    Quicktime Photojpeg (playback performance dependant on CPU – transcode recommended)
    MXF OpAtom DVCPRO (P2)
    MXF OpAtom DVCPRO 50 (P2)
    MXF OpAtom DVCPRO HD (P2)
    MXF Op1a DV / DVCAM (XDCAM)
    MXF Op1a MPEG-2 SD I-Frame (10Mb/s – 50Mb/s)
    MXF Op1a MPEG-2 HD I-Frame (50Mb/s – 300Mb/s)
    AVI DV / DVCAM
    AVI DVCPRO
    AVI DVCPRO 50
    AVI DVCPRO HD
    AVI Uncompressed SD
    AVI Uncompressed HD
    AVI MPEG-2 SD I-Frame
    AVI MPEG-2 HD I-Frame
    AVI MJPEG
    Image Seqeuence (BMP, Targa, TIFF, JPEG, PNG – others still to be tested fully)

    Export
    Quicktime DV / DVCAM
    Quicktime DVCPRO
    Quicktime DVCPRO 50
    Quicktime DVCPRO HD
    MXF OpAtom DVCPRO (P2)
    MXF OpAtom DVCPRO 50 (P2)
    MXF OpAtom DVCPRO HD (P2)
    MXF Op1a MPEG-2 SD I-Frame (10Mb/s – 50Mb/s)
    MXF Op1a MPEG-2 HD I-Frame (50Mb/s – 300Mb/s)
    AVI DV / DVCAM
    AVI DVCPRO
    AVI DVCPRO 50
    AVI DVCPRO HD
    AVI Uncompressed SD
    AVI Uncompressed HD
    AVI MPEG-2 SD I-Frame
    AVI MPEG-2 HD I-Frame
    Image Sequence still to be fully tested

    Other codecs, such as Avid DNxHD, ProRes, AVC-Intra, RED and DPX will be available as options very shortly.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,884Super Moderators moderator
    edited September 1, 2011
    A Wiki site dedicated to tips and tricks relating to Lightworks Beta:

    http://lightworks.wikidot.com/start

    Good stuff in here about how to do titles (requires a free plugin) and video conversion/transcoding/re-wrapping that might be required to work in Lightworks productively.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • Dan7312Dan7312 Major grins Posts: 1,330Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 2, 2011
    The beta is free. Do you expect the final product to be free also?

    Dan

    ziggy53 wrote: »
    A Wiki site dedicated to tips and tricks relating to Lightworks Beta:

    http://lightworks.wikidot.com/start

    Good stuff in here about how to do titles (requires a free plugin) and video conversion/transcoding/re-wrapping that might be required to work in Lightworks productively.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,884Super Moderators moderator
    edited September 2, 2011
    Dan7312 wrote: »
    The beta is free. Do you expect the final product to be free also?

    Dan

    From the first paragraph at their site (emphasis mine):

    "Back in April 2010, we announced our plans to take Lightworks open source. We always said the first step would be to make the application freely available so that a large community of users could start becoming familiar with it. We are very pleased to have reached this first milestone. Now you can freely download the most intuitive and advanced editor available. This is not a trial download. From here forward, you will always be able to download and use the latest version of Lightworks for free."


    I believe that they intend to release to "Open Source" after they finish the public beta process.

    In order to add onto the basic software, there will be "modules" for purchasing things like Apple ProRes support. There will also no doubt be controller/console hardware for sale as well as their own promotion of collaboration and networked video storage products. I think that they expect to make their money back on the optional purchased extras.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • Dan7312Dan7312 Major grins Posts: 1,330Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2011
    That's good.

    It looks like it has editing features Premiere does not... but I don't really understand all the features in Premiere so it's had for me to tell. My use of Permiere is pretty light weight compared to what a real video editor would do.

    One of the big featuress it seems to have is that multiple users at once can be working on a video project, event the same clip, over the network. Curious how the do that. My guess is each user has the raw video pushed out to them and just the metadata for the features is shared "realtime". Sort of like non-destructive editing is done in Photoshop and Premiere.

    Have you given it a test drive yet? I wonder how well it (free version) will support all the different video cards out there?
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    From the first paragraph at their site (emphasis mine):

    I believe that they intend to release to "Open Source" after they finish the public beta process.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,884Super Moderators moderator
    edited September 3, 2011
    Dan7312 wrote: »
    ... Have you given it a test drive yet? I wonder how well it (free version) will support all the different video cards out there?

    I have been "lightly" testing the past few days. The import feature is still sadly lacking and doesn't directly support my cameras, but that would not necessarily defeat the use in practice. (In an actual application I would "have" to transcode at least to 10 bit and probably use a MPEG-2 variant.) Again, my current applications don't require some the "niceties" of the Lightworks software. I am thinking ahead to how this would help in the future and what jobs I might bid on that I turn away now.

    The current software, called Lightworks public beta, is directly derived from the software component of the Lightworks suite, which was later bundled as a separately available software called "Softworks". Just a few years ago Softworks was selling for just under $10,000USD. Then you would add your own high-end computer and purchase a controller/console for another $3000-$4000, just for the console.

    The current Lightworks public beta seems to have most of the functionality of the prior systems and people are using a common gaming computer with a regular keyboard and maybe an additional multimedia console or puck, like a Contour Design Shuttle-Xpress for $40, and you can gain much of the productivity improvements of the original systems (which was too expensive for most to consider.)

    Besides collaboration there are also advanced syncing capabilities for multi-camera and multi-audio that most consumer systems currently lack. The possibility of machine control (tape deck and mixer automation) is just awesome.

    While the public beta supports 2K video, I suspect that 4K support is coming.

    This is not a software designed for typical consumer users, and I hope it's not compared to such software. There is no built-in titler, for instance, and the aforementioned import capabilities will turn a lot of people off as well.

    This "is" an editing software designed specifically to work within an edit suite and it seems to do its job very well. I found out that both "Bruce Almighty" and "Evan Almighty" were cut with Lightworks systems, in addition to the Pulp Fiction, The Departed, Centurion and Shutter Island feature films I mentioned before.

    If you need the capabilities of the Lightworks software for a long-format, edit intensive, multi-camera video project, this might be a solution.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2011
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    If you need the capabilities of the Lightworks software for a long-format, edit intensive, multi-camera video project, this might be a solution.

    Yet they made this open source. Somehow I don't really get that part. I would think that folks that need this kind of software would not have the time or inclination to have "geeks" busy attempting to 'make' it better.

    I see I registered with them back in May...but darned if I know why.
    tom wise
  • Dan7312Dan7312 Major grins Posts: 1,330Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2011
    Thanks for the additional info. Like Tom, I too am trying to understand what Open Source means the context of an advanced product like thisheadscratch.gif

    The free part is attractive and if it could be config'd to be "dumbed" down to do some basic editing but have good performance and quality output that could be useful.

    No titlereek7.gif I use the titler in Premiere Pro, but I think for things it was never intended to be use for, like simple animations...


    ziggy53 wrote: »
    I have been "lightly" testing the past few days. The import feature is still sadly lacking and doesn't directly support my cameras, but that would not necessarily defeat the use in practice. (In an actual application I would "have" to transcode at least to 10 bit and probably use a MPEG-2 variant.) Again, my current applications don't require some the "niceties" of the Lightworks software. I am thinking ahead to how this would help in the future and what jobs I might bid on that I turn away now.
  • Dan7312Dan7312 Major grins Posts: 1,330Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 3, 2011
    I think the latest incantation of that jog shuttle is ShuttlePROV2 and it works nicely with Premiere Pro.
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    Contour Design Shuttle-Xpress for $40
  • TerenceKearns.comTerenceKearns.com Big grins Posts: 13Registered Users Big grins
    edited April 18, 2012
    Thanks for the post Ziggy,

    I just downloaded it and I'm checking it out. At first, it looks a bit clunky and I struggle to see how it can be fast and productive, but I suspect all that can happen once you spend some time with it and customise it. It doesn't seem to even support basic drag and drop of clip events on the timeline according to some introductory tutorials at http://www.lightworksbeta.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&func=view&catid=26&id=13921&Itemid=269

    I'll keep going with it though. At the moment, I use Sony Vegas which I am mostly happy with (apart from it crashing lots when editing titles). I'm open to new tools. I'm learning AfterEffects as well.
    I would think that folks that need this kind of software would not have the time or inclination to have "geeks" busy attempting to 'make' it better.

    Don't really understand that reasoning. We all use open source all the time, doesn't mean our time is wasted by "geeks". Most routers run Linux. Most websites run MySQL (which was/is commercial, but also open source). How does making something open source suddenly waste your time or make you less productive?
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 18, 2012


    Don't really understand that reasoning. We all use open source all the time, doesn't mean our time is wasted by "geeks". Most routers run Linux. Most websites run MySQL (which was/is commercial, but also open source). How does making something open source suddenly waste your time or make you less productive?

    You're taking my poor word choices out of context. Open source to me means, anyone can improve upon it. I have enough already to do without trying to learn programming. Hows that?
    tom wise
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,884Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 18, 2012
    I still haven't used Lightworks in anything serious. From my testing, it looks mostly appropriate for long format, multi-camera work.

    I did get a ShuttleXpress control puck and I use it for Jog/Shuttle and setting In/Out points, and I find it much more productive than the keyboard-mouse interface alone. I liked it enough to get one for my son-in-law, who is just getting started in video editing.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • Dan7312Dan7312 Major grins Posts: 1,330Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 18, 2012
    I find the jog/shuttle useful too and use the Contour V2 with Premiere. I know everthing it does I could do from the keyboard, but is just seems quicker than the keyboard when if comes to dialing in cuts.
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    I still haven't used Lightworks in anything serious. From my testing, it looks mostly appropriate for long format, multi-camera work.

    I did get a ShuttleXpress control puck and I use it for Jog/Shuttle and setting In/Out points, and I find it much more productive than the keyboard-mouse interface alone. I liked it enough to get one for my son-in-law, who is just getting started in video editing.
  • perronefordperroneford Major grins Posts: 550Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 18, 2012
    I tried this amidst all the hoopla when they first announced it. It was the biggest piece of junk I could imagine. I wrote it off after giving it a shot for 2 weeks. They were getting lambasted on forums far and wide, and their own forum read like a giant bug report.

    There are $100 programs that do the job this does, and do it better, and with real support. It's a shame too because it really could have been something. I was hoping to not have to buy another Avid suite. Boy was that misguided.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,884Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 25, 2012
    At the 2012 NAB, EditShare announced that Lightworks final will be rolled out the 28th of May, 2012 as freeware. There will also be a Lightworks Pro available for $60USD/year. (Educational institutions may receive Lightworks Pro for $30/year). The initial release is Windows only, with Mac and Linux to follow at a future date.

    Both versions will be available at:

    www.lwks.com

    The full announcement is at:

    http://www.lightworksbeta.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=122&Itemid=263
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • BigDaveBigDave Beginner grinner Posts: 2Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited April 25, 2012
    I tried this amidst all the hoopla when they first announced it. It was the biggest piece of junk I could imagine. I wrote it off after giving it a shot for 2 weeks. They were getting lambasted on forums far and wide, and their own forum read like a giant bug report.

    There are $100 programs that do the job this does, and do it better, and with real support. It's a shame too because it really could have been something. I was hoping to not have to buy another Avid suite. Boy was that misguided.

    I'm sorry but you're wide of the mark with this.

    1) Over 250,000 people have downloaded this. Have you checked the forum lately? Most people love it.
    2) I'm not aware of any $100 program that has created Oscar winning feature films. The versions that will be released on 28th May 2012 are IDENTICAL to the software used to create The King's Speech and Hugo (in 3D - with a stereoscopic timeline).

    This has been in development for 20 years and will soon be the most up to date editing software on the planet with a 64 bit multicore architecture and an advanced media engine that can work with almost every existing format - including 4K.

    BTW
    their own forum read like a giant bug report.
    This was the start of the BETA program. It was a bug report. But apart from initial misunderstandings about codec support in the beta version - it was remarkably stable.


    Disclosure - I work for Editshare/Lightworks.

    This is me talking about the latest developments at NAB a few days ago.

    If anyone has any questions, let me know.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,884Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 25, 2012
    BigDave wrote: »
    ... If anyone has any questions, let me know.

    Thanks, Dave, for the additional information and thanks too for the link to the NAB interview. The video answered my question about the difference between Lightworks and Lightworks Pro, namely that the additional codecs are included in the Pro version.

    I presume that means both import/ingest and export codecs will be included in the Pro version?
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • BigDaveBigDave Beginner grinner Posts: 2Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited April 26, 2012
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    Thanks, Dave, for the additional information and thanks too for the link to the NAB interview. The video answered my question about the difference between Lightworks and Lightworks Pro, namely that the additional codecs are included in the Pro version.

    I presume that means both import/ingest and export codecs will be included in the Pro version?

    No problem

    Most of the codecs will be both encode/decode. The exceptions (and this is just provisional at the moment) are that we don't ENCODE to ProRes, or to 10-bit DNxHD - but we do encode to 8-Bit DNxHD. The licensing available from the manufacturers of these codecs is pretty restrictive and we've gone for the best all-round deal. You can encode and decode with XDCAM EX, HD, HD 4:2:2, IMX. We also encode (and decode) to AVC Intra, Blue Ray, HDV and AVCHD. The DNxHD requires a small separate payment but is for a lifetime. The Lightworks Pro upgrade fee of $60/€50/$40 covers the other codecs and is payable annually.

    These codecs (and others such as RED, etc) cover the vast majority of camcorders and DSLRs in use today.

    BTW - you get other features with the Pro version: A real-time, native titling tool, network project sharing, and lifetime membership of the Lightworks Pro Community.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,884Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 27, 2012
    Just a reminder that tomorrow, May 28th, Memorial Day in the US, Lightworks goes live with the full Windows release of Lightworks.

    www.lwks.com

    The primary beta program is done (for Windows anyway) and both the freeware version and the paid "Lightworks Pro" version should be available.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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