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OpenShot – Open-Source Video Editor (openshot.org)
494 points by peter_d_sherman on April 23, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 88 comments

I installed if for my daughter so she could complete her high school film project only after paying for a copy of Sony Vegas (school recommendation) that failed repeatedly to import her clips (mp4). OpenShot imported her clips flawlessly. Editing was also similar enough that she was able to easily figure it out. Multi-line title slides were a bit of challenge for her but she eventually figured it out. She, also wished she could name her cut/clips on the timeline for easy reference but she couldn't find any obvious way to do that. Overall it was a pleasant experience for her.

Feedback is an important part of any successful product. For open source products it's even more challenging because of lack of funds and motivation. Hence I urge the community here to provide constructive criticism and feedback. Remember that the product is free and maintained by a a very small team who may not work on it full time.

I evaluated it for my needs about 6 months ago, but ended up not using it because it didn't address my biggest need: streamlined workflow. The workflow (at the time) was too much mouse oriented and didn't accommodate facilities for doing the same thing over and over again. For example, I often need to do the same video effect again and again and again with just small variations in parameters. OpenShot is just too slow for that. I ended up using Blender because while the UI is weird it is incredibly economical. I never sent this feedback into OpenShot, though, mainly because I figure I'm not their target audience. I figure they are looking to help people who are making relatively small numbers of changes to video and who require ease of discoverability over economical usage. I might be wrong.

What resources do you recommend to learn to use blender for video editing?

I used a Youtube tutorial. Unfortunately, I can't for the life of me remember which one it was. I think you can probably just watch a few and then start editing some video. What I found was that there were little, "Oh wow. That is so efficient" kind of moments and because the were surprising I found myself remembering them. By far the most difficult thing is configuring everything at the beginning, though. If you aren't familiar with Blender, it's just baffling. IIRC I ended up surfing a lot of different videos suggesting ways of setting things up and just tried all of them. This gave me some familiarity with how it all worked. I remember setting the video speed to 0.25 and paying attention intently to what they were doing :-). Usually I hate video for learning stuff, but for some reason with Blender it worked for me.

Blender isn’t at all an intuitive interface, but it’s sort of like Vim in that time spent learning it pays off exponentially.

But most people don’t want to invest that much time, so OpenShot is a good solution.

I used this video tutorial series:


I evaluated it against a few other free (beer/speech) ones recently. I've used OpenShot a bit in the past for very clunky short videos and found it decent enough for basic clip editing but I was looking at editing longer clips that would have lots of cuts (i.e. camera was just left recording and there were multiple "takes" in one very long clip).

I dont think OpenShot supported ripple-delete? At least I couldn't work out how to do it anyway. In my limited experience of video editing, ripple delete is up there as one of the core features I'd say (way ahead of any fancy transitions or effects).

I was not familiar with the term "ripple delete", so I looked it up. For anyone else wondering:

> Instead of cutting clips and audio before then moving them around manually while being careful to snap each sequence in the right place, the ripple delete tools will take care of most of the trouble for you.


Will do! Thanks for building ;)

This [1] blog post describes the state in which the different Libre video editors were in December 2018. It's a great blog to keep track of Libre creative tools out there.

Personally I have edited over 150 tutorials with Kdenlive. By setting many shortcuts the process became fast and intuitive. Except for some releases it worked well. It's great to hear that alternative editors are all improving :)

[1] http://libregraphicsworld.org/blog/entry/the-quest-for-susta...

I recently went through this, and tried both openshot and kdenlive and stuck with kdenlive. However, the Fedora packages were broken.

I highly recommend using the flatpaks if available. There's enough moving dependencies that it is complicated without the flatpak.

I switched to OpenShot about 2 months ago after working exclusively in Premier Pro for 3 years. I made the change because the price I paid for Premier simply wasn't justified for my video needs. I had looked at many free editors in the past and never found one that could handle 1) variable framerate, and 2) .MOV with transparency. OpenShot does so with very little trouble. It took me a little while to adjust to the UI and shortcuts, but I'm doing daily videos with minimal editing, and my editing time is comparable to what I experienced with Premier Pro. The only thing I "miss" from Premier is the built-in audio de-noiser... but I was using it as a crutch for poorly captured in-camera auido and have since fixed my audio setup.

FFMPeg has a few denoise filters: afftdn, anlmdn.

Or you can use this one via lv2:



Awesome info. Thanks for the response!

It’s still nice to have a decent denoiser for those times when your audio doesn’t come out how you were expecting.

Everything can go right on a shoot and for whatever reason the audio comes out bad. It’s nice to have a backup option for when you really need it.

My backup option is splitting the audio and running it through Audacity. In fact, this option is better than what Premier Provides for sound control/filtering. The only reason I didn't do this instead of buying new audio gear is my upload schedule. Anything that gets in my way while editing is a step I can't afford to take.

By chance did you check out Avid's free version of media composer? I'm curious how that stacks up with the other free editors out there.

I did a few years back and it seemed fine for cutting clips together, but not doing much else like titles.

I used Openshot to edit an (originally) 2 hour-long video on my Linux machine [1]. It was not a very complicated edit, but included adding a logo throught the whole video, and trimming some parts of the video. I'm not a great video editor, but I think it could be better. The interface is quite intuitive, but there's a good deal of latency moving around in it, loading photos and other files. In general, it's not as snappy as I expected it to be. I must say though that it was the only reasonable open source editor that I could find, so, I guess that says a bit about the condition of FOSS video editors...

[1] https://youtu.be/mvIHoeZKn2U

First off, let me assure you that I have a lot of respect for the developers of free software projects like this one, and I hope that it continues to evolve in the future. Still, from a user's perspective, none of the existing open source NLEs have fulfilled my needs, even though my needs are not that exotic.

I'm running a tiny YouTube channel for a few years now and I'm regularly releasing videos on it. I need to edit and render projects in the order of 2 hours or more on a regular basis. This includes simple color grading, cutting, multiple layers of videos and audio, simple effects and transformations (and it must run on Linux).

I have basically tried them all: The MLT-based editors Shotcut, Kdenlive, OpenShot, Flowblade, as well as Blender and Cinelerra. I used Shotcut (which is made by the developer of the MLT framework) for a long time and also contributed at least a little bit, mostly with bug reports and hints where the problem may be in the code. I wanted to like Shotcut, but at the end of the day, all of the solutions were too slow, had too few possibilities to realize what I had in mind, or were too unstable.

After Shotcut even disabled the experimental and unstable feature of GPU-accelerated effects, which really helped to make it usable performance-wise, I finally gave up and tried one of the two commercial, cross-platform NLEs that I'm aware of (DaVinci Resolve). And even though - like I said - I wanted to like the open source alternatives, I have to admit that Resolve is on a whole different level regarding performance and possibilities. (Note that other editors like Kdenlive also support GPU acceleration, but at the end of the day this is a feature of the underlying MLT framework, and it showed that it was about as unstable in Kdenlive as in Shotcut.)

Maybe a NLE is just the kind of application that requires a big(ger) amount of dedicated (and possibly paid) work to really lift it to a level that actually makes it usable in the real world. Especially since the MLT framework is used by so many different editors, which appear to be developed independently, it would be worthwhile to join forces to develop one strong application and the framework itself.

P.S.: If you want to try the free version of Resolve, be aware that features like H.264 support and even audio output using non-Blackmagic-hardware is not available in the free version (not sure about the new beta of version 16), but they work beautifully in the paid version.

I used Shotcut to get me through my film certificate (video essay class, short film class, etc.) and it was difficult to work with. Random freezes and crashes left me very frustrated.

I switched to Flowblade [1] and it was so much better for my needs. I could do basic color correction without crashes and editing audio is much more powerful. All in all a better program (for my simple needs).

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

I also really wanted to use a open source editor, but ended up in Resolve. In Windows even, which has shocked my friends. I spent probably around 4 hours trying to get Resolve working on Linux, several times, and just wanted to edit goddam videos.

Davinci Resolve is some next level stuff. Yes, I can do editing in some of the others (tried shotcut and kdenlive to edit a full video with). Resolve is just so much more advanced and capable, while also being easy to use for simple cases.

I tried Lightworks first, but really didn't like the "rent" model at $25/mo. Resolve free level has worked fine so far, and their paid version is quite reasonable at $300. Lightworks was good, but Resolve is great.

I've used Shotcut for a 5-min film montage, about 10 h of work (with a part in learning to use the tool and some in cleaning/hiding noise I've made while filming (don't drink and film!)). During that time I've had a handful of crashes, which were horribly annoying as they were totally random and without any kind of recovery possibilities. For the rest it worked great and I didn't had any difficulty, except for choosing the rendering options: there are too many of them and I'm not a video specialist, here a handful of default (native, web, mobile…) would have been good, like other video editor have (I think Windows Movie Maker has them, for example).

Same here. Tried all the free stuff and struggled along for years. Then bought Lightworks and it's like night and day how much more effectively I can edit videos.

Does anyone know what the status is of VideoLan Movie Creator? [1]

I remember downloading it 9 years ago, but the project seems dead. [2]

Being based on the massively popular VLC Media Player, it seemed like a really promising open source video editor.

[1] https://www.videolan.org/vlmc/

[2] https://code.videolan.org/videolan/vlmc

Seems like last commit was one year ago: https://code.videolan.org/videolan/vlmc/tree/master/src

Last time Kempf made a AMA, he said that the project is still ongoing : https://www.reddit.com/r/france/comments/736ghk/ama_je_suis_...

I'm an ardent Linux user, and I like openshot, but I struggle to love it.

The basic problem is stability and certain aspects of the UI. You can just about do everything you need to, but if they make it a bit more user friendly, they'd win over many more users.

I switched to Kdenlive after going through a similar experience. I find it a bit more featureful and quite a bit more stable.

They also offer a AWS marketplace AMI with a REST api, so you can do video editing server-side. https://www.openshot.org/cloud-api/

I have not seen any other product offering such an easy solution for serverside video editing.

What is the usecase for server-side video editing?

Speed. Your laptop simply is the "thin client" then, which can dramatically reduce your render time.

We're building a product that provides a web interface for creating videos that users can share as stories on social platforms. This includes applying transitions and effects to input images/videos, and generating a resulting video.

Maybe we could be using ffmpeg for this. We never really explored that in depth since OpenShot seemed like an obvious solution :P

I use it, but it's just OK. The UI is a bit sluggish and the timeline is hard to navigate.

As with most open source programs, the artistic components, such as the default title templates, are terrible.

Having never heard of OpenShot before, I needed a video video editor, saw OpenShot and downloaded it, managed to cut a short clip, add extra music track, do other small adjustments and export it suitable format rather quickly. Very nice!

Most problems were related to (accidentally) clicking something and not knowing what it does, trying to revert the changes but messing up things even more instead. Once I figured out what to do and what _not_ to do, the process felt very polished and easy.

I think the problem is the same as with other software that are still being developed: you google the program name, download latest version and there are new features that haven't been added to documentation and tutorials yet. So you have bunch of settings and buttons that do something but to find out what they are and how they work, googling gets you to development mailing lists and where you get lost very quickly without answers.

Will definitely keep this installed and follow the development.

I've used the cheap AVS video editor which works really well for the price. I tried OpenShot for a small clip and had the same feelings bumbling around at first.

The UI did feel a bit slow at times, and I had other specific complaints that I don't recall now but I was happy to have an open-source video editor.

I used OpenShot once for a 5min clip and it was really easy. Now I need to do another project and I chose to use Blender. So far, so good :)

If you don't care about open-source Davinci resolve runs on Linux as well. There is also Lightworks

If you run CentOS (anyone, hello?!?!?) that is for Davinci Resolve[0]. If anyone has it working on Ubuntu 18.x or 19.x, let me know how because I’d like to use it.

[0] https://medium.com/@sethgoldin/running-davinci-resolve-on-li...

I couldn't figure out how to change the resolution of the output video. I'd have to try again to come up with a useful description of why I found it confusing but I do remember not being able to just enter a width height and frame rate. And if I remember correctly, changing the video size and or feamerste to one of the presents screwed up the position and timings of the clips and and animations I'd edited in the timeline.

Anyone with experience that can comment on this vs. kdenlive?

I recently edited a small project, a 15 second video with multiple video and audio tracks, some basic white balance and color correction, and minor animations, on OpenShot, ShotCut, and KdenLive, in order to figure out which one was more appropriate for me. I also watched some tutorial videos on each of the video editors. My conclusion was that OpenShot was too basic for even such a small project, KdenLive was usable but lacked some tools which made editing somewhat burdensome, and ShotCut was the winner with its toolset and UI, although it crashed the most out of the three.

However, even with such a simple project, none of the three FOSS tools were easy to use, and all were barriers to my efficiency and creativity. I then searched for commercial offerings, and am currently using Davinci Resolve, which is free for the basic version, but even the basic version is light years beyond the FOSS choices in terms of speed, ease of use, and features. As someone who uses FOSS tools (GIMP, Inkscape) for ideological reasons, I'm a bit disappointed by how large of a gap there is between FOSS and commercial video editors.

I know that Blender is often cited as an unlikely but very good FOSS video editor. Did you consider it also for your comparison?

When I was researching which FOSS video editors to try, I read a few reviews which talked about how Blender is less intuitive and more difficult to use than the other choices (OpenShot, Shotcut, KdenLive) so I did not try it. I did a quick search just now, and saw that Blender offers vectorscope and waveform functions, which when I started doing editing I did not know about, but now I find extremely helpful in getting white balance and color correction right. If I haven't already been spoiled by the speed and ease of use of Davinci Resolve, I think I would have tried Blender.

I also heard good things of Olive ( https://www.olivevideoeditor.org/ ).

I took a brief look at the development status of Olive but did not try to edit video with it. It looked to be at a stage that's earlier than even OpenShot, so I did not consider it as a viable choice. Please let me know if I am mistaken.

I did some small-time editing, I gave up on Openshot because of its stability and the lack of all the effects that Kdenlive provides over it. Mind that it was a good few years ago, so if openshot has massively improved since then it may not be applicable anymore.

There's also [this](https://github.com/jliljebl/flowblade), which I stumbled upon a while back but have yet to try it.

Kdenlive works. Openshot consistently produces shaky videos with video and audio out of sync.

I was just searching for this same thing. I found one person saying it was much easier to install OpenShot in Windows, and another 1y ago saying it was still struggling in some fundamental operations compared to Kdenlive. For my personal use on Xubuntu, I have only tried Kdenlive but it has been very easy and mostly reliable, with a crash every 4-5 times I use it. My edits are so simple that a crash isn't even frustrating, though.

I've tried both. I think for basic tasks the openshot ux is more refined and it's what I gravitate towards.

Kdenlive seemed a bit more powerful but it was harder for me to understand how to use it.

Unlike others I've never had any technical issues with openshot. I use the output preset profiles and it does great for me.

Disclaimer though, my need are very basic.

+ Much easier to use.

+ Lots of builtins. Not sure where to find kdenlive's builtins.

+ Saves projects as .mlt files which uses the mlt framework which I assume can be used with other editors?

Kdenlive also uses mlt, in the same way and is arguably easier to use in its newest 19.04 version. If by builtins you mean effects, kdenlive has so many of them I doubt that OpenShot has more.

Has anyone here used Cinelerra recently? I tried to use it about 5-6 years ago and had a lot of problems trying to install it. But it did seem pretty good feature wise.

OpenShot uses ffmpeg, so I'm always concerned patents like h.264, h.265, etc. Open-source video editor is very very great, but software patents prevent that popularization. I know that end-user will unlikely asked responsibility, but editing video means you may be content distributor, not just a end-user...I have a little fear for that. And patent license cost is not cheap. Am I paranoiac?

Yeah, pretty much. I mean, it's not as if there's zero risk, but for all intents and purposes, if you are not selling your encoded content, there is zero risk.

The software patents have not prevented Handbrake or OBS from being popular. They won't prevent OpenShot from being popular either.

But, aside from all that: If you are really paranoid, then use AV1 and Opus. FFMpeg is just as capable of encoding to fully free formats. Or do your final encode using a licensed product (On Mac, Compressor is relatively inexpensive - $50), and use open source software for everything else.

Hm, you are right. I was paranoiac.

Then, I'll bet on AV1. Final encoder method also sounds good.

Thank you for your reply!

> OpenShot uses ffmpeg, so I'm always concerned patents like h.264, h.265

If these opensource projects were infringing on these codec patents, they would have been shutdown a long time ago ...

OpenShot might not be as polished as commercial tools with millions in budget, but its been quite easy and effective for some recent small editing work I've had to do, and I recommed it. It's quick and relatively simple, except for video encoding settings, but at least it does expose enough options there it should be possible to get the results you need.

I appreciate the developer's work.

O wow. This takes me back.

For about 10 years there's was a pretty similar / reliable SaaS offering - ShotRunner (1). Looks like it's now defunct.

Looking to try this out over the weekend!

1. https://web.archive.org/web/20111107015621/http://shotrunner...

Given the existence of free very feature rich alternatives, like DaVinci Resolve, why would someone spend so much time building this? Just to have an open source alternative? I don't really get who would want to use this, if there are free options that are light years ahead of something like this. Or did they start this just for fun to learn?

"Just to have an open source alternative?"

Seems to be a good enough reason for me. Open source isn't just about price. I don't know how I'd install Resolve, but for the minimal amount of digital video editing I did, installing OpenShot was a simple task.

As someone here pointed out,

> P.S.: If you want to try the free version of Resolve, be aware that features like H.264 support and even audio output using non-Blackmagic-hardware is not available in the free version (not sure about the new beta of version 16), but they work beautifully in the paid version.

Makes you think - What's the use of a crippleware, even if it is free?

Between the choice of being crippled in my ability to edit video in OpenShot/ShotCut/KendLive, and being crippled in the choice of output formats in Davinci Resolve, I think the output format is the lesser issue. I have outputted FHD video with audio with no problem with just the basic free version of Resolve, and if I have to transcode it, the work there is minimal compared with the effort I saved and the result I was able to achieve from using Resolve.

I had started using FOSS video editors due to ideological reasons (I use GIMP/Inkscape/Audacity regularly) and loathed to have my video edits be locked in a proprietary format, but at some point I had to admit that the end result means much more than the intermediate process, and switched to a commercial product.

Tried to use it, but even simple tasks were tricky to complete because of counter intuitive UX.

I tried it some months ago. It was rough around the edges: I tried to mount two videos together (a speaker on one side and a bunch of slides on the other). I found the interface unintuitive, and the speed was daunting.

I use openshot on windows and it works well. There are some minor issues in the UI, however oveall an awesome product! I tried several other oss video editing tools but can only recommend openshot!

One of the easier video editing programs that I've tried on linux. There are surprisingly quite a few video editing programs for linux, but for me it was easier to learn and use.

What's with the timing on this post? Seems like it's only being posted because KDENLive just dropped a huge new release yesterday.

I used openshot for severals weeks, but it was just buggy and crashed a lot of times. so I switched to lightworks.

ubuntu 18.04 here.

The ease of use coupled with free distribution makes this one of the best video editor softwares out there

Awesome. Can't wait to try this out. Been looking to escape the clutches of Adobe

Take a look at Davinci Resolve. Free as in beer.

I wanted to try the free version, but is there any way to download it without giving them my telephone number? I don't have a way of generating a throw-away one.

Just fill in anything. The form just gives you download button after submitting, without even verifying e-mail…

Am I missing something??? I don't see a link to the repo anywhere.

Openshot is the best free editor. Keep up the good work!

How does it compare to Kdenlive?

I tried pretty much every video editor on Linux.

If you're editing screencast style videos (ie. not live video) kdenlive is pretty much as good as it gets on Linux but it's still waaaaaaaaay behind video editors available on Windows and Mac such as Camtasia. So much in fact that if video editing is an important aspect of what you do, it might not be worth switching to Linux over this alone.

This was the main reason I left Linux. It had everything I needed, Blender for 3D, GIMP for photo editing, Krita for painting and Gravit Designer for Vector illustrations (not open source). But I just could not use OpenShot, KDENlive and others. The UX killed my time. I had to look up documentation to do some very basic tasks (smooth cross fade, Pan and Zoom etc). I think there's great potential in a "Windows Movie Maker" type video editor and OpenShot could come close with some UI tweaks.

There haven't been a lot of things that I miss after moving from OSX to Windows, but one of the things I do miss is iMovie.

Windows Movie Maker was an OK substitute, but it's basically no longer available.

There definitely is a market for an inexpensive quick and dirty editor. I purchased Cyberlink and Corel video editing software, but because they're more "powerful" than I need, I feel as though I need to jump through UI hoops to do simple quick cuts, which is most of the video work I do.

If you have Blender in muscle memory, is using it as a video editor an option for you? Supposedly it's pretty good once you get over the learning curve, does knowing Blender for 3D help with that?

I tried Blender for many hours. It's not even in the same galaxy as a dedicated screencast editing tool like Camtasia.

Even adding something as simple as a good looking text overlay in Blender was a massive undertaking and it didn't look anywhere near as nice as Camtasia out of the box.

It was also extremely slow when editing videos. Like the timeline and preview were super laggy on a basic 1080p recording of my desktop.

Am really curious about this, could you mention the important features that would keep you from switching over?

Camtasia is just really polished and optimized for screencast videos.

There's so many little UI enhancements to make the process of editing video feel really good and not buggy.

It's also extremely easy to make complex animations by just clicking 1 or 2 buttons and dragging a couple sliders[0], along with it being very easy to add great looking text overlays, tooltips, zoom / pans, transitions, blurs / highlights, etc..

Most of these things aren't possible to do in kdenlive or any other editor on Linux and it's not just a matter of "get used to the UI of the new app man!". I tried for hours. I actually spent full days (actual days) playing with a bunch of them. None of them are even comparable. Things are either really hard to do (ie. they take 5 minutes to do instead of 5 seconds) and there's so many UI bugs. It's just not an enjoyable or productive environment.

I would go as far as saying having a non-optimal video editor is even worse than having a non-optimal code editor. For the record I've recorded hundreds of screencasts and put in 100+ hours of editing video.

[0]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeSD17YRijk , This video was made entirely in Camtasia but the first 10 seconds of that video was also done in Camtasia too. I'm hardly an animation expert but that took seriously only minutes to implement by dragging a couple of sliders around without really knowing what anything did. I tried to replicate it in kdenlive for an entire day and didn't even come close to being able to do that.

The website says "free forever".

This reminds me of other software package that was "free forever" but then became popular and lost its "free forever" title. (I forget the name)

How will this not happen here?

I'm just sceptical of wild claims like these. Surely if this software grew legs the devs would have to charge?


> When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for them if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs, and that you know you can do these things.

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