April 16, 2011

Lightworks editor goes open source

You will soon be able to get one of the world's leading non-linear editing systems free and use it to build your own editing applications. EditShare is going to release an open source version of Lightworks, an editor with a long and distinguished history.

It has been around for some 22 years and was recently used to edit the multi-Oscar winning movie, The King's Speech. It has also been used on Pulp Fiction, The Departed, Centurion, Shutter Island, and is being used on Martin Scorsese's upcoming 3D movie, Hugo Cabret.

Lightworks has already been available free, as a beta version, since late last year, and already more than 100,000 people have downloaded it. By making it open source, any developer will be able to build on it and include it in other products.

It includes a full set of editorial tools, from advanced trimming and media management, to stereoscopic support and real-time effects, including multiple secondary colour correctors. It has an advanced effects pipeline, making use of the power of your graphics card, and support for up to 2K workflows with real-time effects.

Users reckon it is fast and intuitive. It can support all the major formats, including Red, DPX, ProRes, Avid DNxHD, MXF, and more (although some of them are an extra-cost option). It has: Multicam editing with unlimited sources; Single-click re-sync of whole timeline; Dynamic trimming during playback; Real-time, hardware accurate video vectorscopes and waveform monitors; Multitrack Audio Mixer with full bus routing and multiple mixes; and there is third-party support from the likes of Boris, Combustion, After Effects and Premiere plug ins.

It currently runs on Windows XP SP2 (32 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit) and Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit), but promises support for Linux and OSX by late 2011, when it should also gain full 64-bit support.

EditShare bought Lightworks in 2009, and wants there to be lots of people who can edit using the software, which will help retrieve market share (in the early days Lightworks was very widely used, especially for film productions) and sell its commercial versions (capable of handling higher-end codecs, etc).

The company has other hardware and software products, and showed several introductions at NAB, including a new tapeless workflow for multi-cam TV productions. It also has shared production storage, asset management and archiving systems.

By David Fox

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