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Shotcut (on Linux at least) just doesn't work.

I've used pretty much all amateur video-making software for Windows and some for Mac, Screenflow, FinalCut Pro, etc.

The best by far is FinalCut Pro (Mac-only), because it automatically creates proxy files and allows you to edit everything in real time with no lag, even when adding complicated effects.

The situation on Linux is dismal. The only good one is https://kdenlive.org/. It's actually I'd say at par to FinalCut in terms of performance, although the UI could use some clean up. It's the one I use because the other ones would either keep crashing, or be impossibly slow.

Blender is the best free software video editor across GNU/Linux, Windows and Mac. I've used it to edit a feature length movie. It's not perfect at all, but doesn't crash and doesn't crap out when you give it a slightly unusual formatted file.

I third this. It's one of the best tools out there for video, and it's hidden in what most people refer to as a 3D content creation suite. I've used it professionally to good result.

Can confirm that blender is incredibly light on resources and in contrast to most NLEs doesn't seem to crash or get unexpectedly bogged down.

They don't even mention video editing though, only 3D.

I wonder why (really, have no idea)?

I edited lots of screencasts in Blender. Can confirm it's more than suitable and above basic. There is a complete series on Youtube on how to use Blender for video editing.

Looking at the documentation, I was under the impression that all it could do was basic cutting and simple things like cropping. Can it do simple effects, like video overlays?

Yea, there are lots of effects and tools hidden in there! I've been able to implement every effect I've ever needed without much effort. I actually have been using blender since I was a kid so I know my way around better than most. I'll edit this comment later with some quick tips or examples.

Sorry for the shortness of this, but I know everybody strapped for time and might find this handy.

Things Blender capable of for video:

* Advanced graphical node based compositing

* "Effects Strips": Essentially generates a strip in the sequence editor that you can layer above the target media strip. Like using a Photoshop layer for one specific effect.

* Decent audio mixing capabilities

* Fantastic motion tracking (advantage of being built into your creation suite)

Pro Tip: Make sure your output frame rate is the same as the videos you are going to import. Otherwise the audio gets out of sync.

There is a nice tutorial video series (31 videos so far!) here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjyuVPBuorqIhlqZtoIvn...

Blender is an amazing piece of software, although I've only used it for the 3D modeling and animation features. The flexibility of the UI is something I wish more software would adopt.

I share the same frustrations but I think honestly at this point Davinci Resolve 14 is the best video editor for Linux - nothing really competes. It is a bit of resource hog, but they have added a ton of capability in the last few years in regard to non-linear editing and I think if you seriously need to edit video on Linux that is where you should be looking. Also it's free. https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/

No h264 / h265 import on Linux though, which is a shame as that's pretty much what all consumer cameras produce.

I'm a marketing sucker, I'll admit it, and this looks amazing, and it's free.

Forget that. It's not working properly (read: at all) on Linux.

Could you elaborate slightly? I only got as far as discovering it doesn't import h264 files, I'm wondering what issues I'd have if I got beyond that.

I know on some (probably most) platforms you have to symlink some libs to make it run. Are you maybe just talking about that?

I've symlinked everything and I got it to start (at least the welcome dialog).

After that, it just crashes with an assertion. It seems that has to do with missing or wrong configs, but there's not much else to be found on google. My configs are present and look fine.

Also, only rpm based distributions are officially supported, but a lot of people hack around that to get it working on Ubuntu (like me).

Thanks! I also installed it on Ubuntu and got at least far enough to attempt to import footage so I guess I dodged whatever bullet you ran into. Doesn't sound encouraging, all the same.

I've used Resolve quite a bit and think outside of maybe blender it's the best free editor, plus it's not intimidating like blender can be.

I didn't realize there was a Linux version. I've been using this on Windows for years.

I recently used Lightworks on Linux. It worked fine. Quite a bit more powerful and hence complicated than the tools I used before.

It's proprietary and the free as in beer version is limited to 720p mp4 ("YouTube") export, which was sufficient for my use case.

DaVinci Resolve free edition also looks nice: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/

The tool started to work on color, but it looks like they've made a decent editor also.

I was a paying Pro customer for Lightworks but when I had a very important and conceptually simple project come up - conversion of a large archive of globally unique, 8mm film reels that had been pre-digitized in to cut and labelled portions - the software couldn't cut the mustard and they literally came back to me with a reply like "that is not our use case".

The content was super important stuff - early footage of many areas of the world not otherwise filmed - and was destined for Wikimedia Commons.

It was the worst experience I've ever had with commercial software since Windows 'corrected' an NTFS volume in ~2005 and nixxed the lot. From memory it was something to do with the input codec (beyond my control as lossless was a requirement), the output codec, and the aspect ratio. The software just couldn't cut the stuff. I was left to go back to ffmpeg and VLC. I will never again waste time learning a commercial UI.

Lightworks is a good editor but I found its performance on my desktop on 1080p footage could sometimes be worse than editing 4k footage with Final Cut Pro on my macbook (that could be because FCPX generates proxies but I'm not certain about that as it seems very fast scrubbing through footage even when its still on my SD card. FCPX is also amazing at accepting most video formats and dimensions. Good luck getting Lightworks to do something unusual like export at a 1:1 aspect ratio for instagram.

Have you tried Flowblade[1]? It is a Linux only video editor that is frequently missed or forgotten. They had some great releases last year that greatly improved the editor. They also keep running plans for future releases in their release notes.

[1] https://jliljebl.github.io/flowblade/

Did you try Lightworks[0]? No affiliation with the company, i'm just curious how it compares with the others.

[0] https://www.lwks.com/

Lightworks has a very narrow use case, heavily focused on cutting feature films and longform video with a very different workflow than most non-Avid NLEs.

It shines with large video asset databases, and once you get a few weeks of muscle memory behind it (or a few months if you're coming from FCP or FCPX), it's a fast tool when making lots of simple cuts. It has a well-earned reputation for cutting stuff like drama and comedy, where effects and pre-rendered sequences take a back seat to well-timed cuts between takes and fast iterative editing feedback. The node-based compositor is... unique, but I'm not sure I'm qualified to say it's an objectively easier or better workflow than AE — YMMV.

It's also capable of doing other things like handling basic A/V effects and compositing, but not as well as other NLEs or compositors. Its best output formats are behind a licensing wall, though they're still far cheaper than Adobe, Apple, or Avid, and you can do almost all your actual cutting with the free version. While it's more stable than some FOSS NLEs, it's still shakier than Avid or Premiere on well-supported hardware, with the distinct advantage that it's got native Linux support.

The weirdest part, though, was that it was supposed to have been open-sourced after EditShare acquired it, then they didn't, and they've been saying "it'll be open sourced when it's ready" for almost 4 years now.[1]

[1] https://www.lwks.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&func=view&c...

The few times I had to edit video with Kdenlive, it was very prone to crashing. That was about a year ago, so it might have changed.

Kdenlive crashes _a lot_. But recently I discovered that it crashes much less if GPU effects are disabled and the binaries from their webpage (not from Debian, etc.) are used. Still it can be frustrating to use just because of the crashing, otherwise a quite nice program...

Ever tried blender? Yes, it has an (Standalone) video editor build in. https://www.blender.org/features/video-editing/

It does crash, but it's sane. I have rarely lost work because of it.

I think Linux varies a lot according to distro and packages/libs installed, it might be that, too.

Shotcut wouldn't keep working with XFCE4 Xubuntu 16.04 for me. If I applied any heavier effect it would freeze, then crash.

OpenShot is far less crashy in recent years than it used to be.

> because it automatically creates proxy files and allows you to edit everything in real time with no lag

With even cell phones shooting 4k I would think this would be a standard feature. It's not super complex.

Kdenlive is what makes the situation on linux not dismal at all in my opinion. It's bad that it's the only good option, but it is so good that I use it weekly at work now.

Yes, sorry--I meant that it's dismal because there's only 1 that actually works! :-)

The lack of a decent video editor was one of the 2 main reasons that I've come back to Windows after 20 years using Linux as my main machine.

And what's the best for Windows, without getting too spendy?

kdenlive is unfortunately also using the MLT Framework, which is terrible (does basic things like scaling horribly).

What about OpenShot?

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