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Open Source Media Software

Lightworks Video Editor To Go Open Source 205

Posted by timothy
from the retreat-to-the-beowulf-cluster-for-rendering dept.
Art3x writes "EditShare will release its video editor as open source this summer. Lightworks handles high-definition media, DPX, and RED, shares projects with Final Cut Pro and Avid, and was recently used by Academy-award-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker on Shutter Island. Introduced in 1989 and bought by EditShare last year, it 'has come from over one million hours of software development,' says EditShare's James Richings. But he says releasing the source will 'generate concepts and capabilities never seen before. I expect that the Lightworks Open Source initiative will transform not only the technology, but also the opinions on what a professional editing tool can achieve.'" From the press release's description, it sounds like the "open source" phase will follow a period of free-as-in-beer downloading.
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Lightworks Video Editor To Go Open Source

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  • by ooshna (1654125) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @06:26PM (#31850986)
    People can use instead of their stolen Adobe Premiere programs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rwv (1636355)

      I think you're joking, but the open source video editing tools that I've used have all had extremely clunky interfaces. I'm no pro, but I've edited a 90 minute amateur film, so if I can't figure out how to import and splice clips in less than 30 minutes of picking up a copy of your video editing software, I conclude that the software is no good. It's been about two years since I've seriously looked for something, but in 2008 the state-of-the-art for open source video editing wasn't in good shape.

      • Re:Great something (Score:5, Informative)

        by ZaphDingbat (451843) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @07:01PM (#31851346)

        I agree completely, which is why I'm actually in the middle of writing one for Linux (+ maybe other OS's). A lot of work.

        If anyone's interested, I'm working on a two-fold project: a video framework that works in 4:4:4 linear floating-point RGBA with OpenGL acceleration, and a video editor built on top of it, all scriptable via Python.

        The framework is coming along nicely. I've just begun on the editing interface. You can see recent (but not current) framework code at: http://www.fluggo.com/redmine/projects/show/fluggo-media

        I would be absolutely happy for someone to take the framework and build their own editor on top of it. I would love to provide support for that case. If anyone's interested, drop me a line at brian@fluggo.com.

        • Unfortunately it seems your page is behind some manner of login.

          Just wanted to say - awesome! Hopefully it'll be a solid foundation.. best would be see the various disparate video editing tools converge or at least play together more to make a competitive product/suite.

          I'm a big supporter of The GIMP myself - I have Photoshop on another machine and I continually feel like I'm playing with a piece of software that a photographer from the 30's designed.. even despite all the new nifty tools in CS5. E.g. pri

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by ZaphDingbat (451843)

            Ack!! No! I've disabled the sign-in barrier.

            I'm coming to this with a different perspective-- I'm actually an editor, too, and I want my editor to focus on, well, EDITING. We're getting all of these open source editors with bells and whistles, but they don't edit very well at all.

            With any luck, I'll be back here in a year promoting my way of doing it.

        • by yo_tuco (795102)

          The editor is part of the battle. The other is capturing the video off the cameras. When I select capture video in FCP, I get a list of choices a mile long.

      • Re:Great something (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cupantae (1304123) <.maroneill. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @07:42PM (#31851696)

        if I can't figure out how to import and splice clips in less than 30 minutes of picking up a copy of your video editing software, I conclude that the software is no good.

        I have the same attitude with all products: if I can't figure it out in 30 minutes, without consulting a manual (see below), I just give up.

        Incidentally, I can't read, write, swim, drive or ride a bicycle. I assume none of those things is any good.

        • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @07:55PM (#31851782)

          For an illiterate you made quite an insightful comment.

          • by sznupi (719324)

            He won't know you appreciate his comment anyway...

          • No, I think it just appears that way. He's really just mashing keys, and sadly, will most likely respond to your comment with something like sajubzdfjhnzdfv nhjfdv nhdfHB Nvrwegrewuitfrhvfd bjdfvjhb kh. Although it may appear like English when it actually shows up, it really has no more connection to actual language than that.

          • by cupantae (1304123) <.maroneill. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @08:12PM (#31851950)

            Thanks. Martha reads out stories and comments. Then I dictate replies of my own.

            [Please help me. He has me locked in his basement and the smell is horrific!
                  - Martha.]

        • Incidentally, I can't read, write, swim, drive or ride a bicycle. I assume none of those things is any good.

          Yes because simple splicing of video clips in the 21st Century requires just as much effort to learn as riding a bicycle, swimming, driving, writing, or walking.

          Gotta love how users get blamed for lame UI's.

          • by arose (644256)
            Because there clearly aren't any things that sit between "less then 30 minutes" and writing. Would you like some sauce with the huge middle you ate?
        • by dudpixel (1429789)

          you learnt english in 30 minutes? It takes most of us 1-2 years!

        • Re:Great something (Score:4, Insightful)

          by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @01:08AM (#31854092) Journal

          I have the same attitude with all products: if I can't figure it out in 30 minutes, without consulting a manual (see below), I just give up.

          Incidentally, I can't read, write, swim, drive or ride a bicycle. I assume none of those things is any good.

          That's not really a fair analogy. It's probably more like, "I've been driving a car for twenty years. If I get into your car and can't figure out how to turn it on, pull out of the parking place and drive somewhere within thirty minutes, I conclude that the car is no good."

          Basic cut-and-splice video editing is a very simple process. In a good user interface, the actions a user must take to perform any simple and common task should be both discoverable and simple. Any software in which such functionality is difficult or undiscoverable is badly written software, period. You really should not need to read a manual for such basic usage unless the UI is unintuitive, which makes it, by definition, bad software. That's not saying that you should be able to be a power user in thirty minutes. You might not figure out every esoteric feature in thirty minutes, but you should be able to at least get most of the basics.

          To go back to your bicycle example, this is like not being able to figure out how to raise the kickstand in the first thirty minutes. If you find that this is the case, something is massively wrong, and unless the user is a complete and total idiot, it's probably the UI.

    • by causality (777677)

      People can use instead of their stolen Adobe Premiere programs.

      Especially now that a free alternative is available, there will be no excuse for pirating commercial software. I for one would rather not add legitimacy to the copyright interests' constant claims that piracy is the cause of all of their problems. Every time someone advocates or excuses piracy, they feel vindicated and they don't deserve that. For that reason, I have not and will not pirate Adobe Premiere or any similar commercial software and strongly recommend that no one else does this either.

      I rea

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by copponex (13876)

      Psshh. Have you ever tried to edit AVCHD in Premiere? It's like dragging an anvil through frozen molasses.

      We're all pirating Final Cut on our Hackintoshes. Duhhhhh...

    • Avid had a free version of its software that I found usable for my juvenile purposes. But it looks like they've ended that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avid_Free_DV [wikipedia.org]
  • Be warned (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @06:33PM (#31851040)

    You can edit RED with the open source version, but you have to pay if you want to edit blue or green.

  • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @06:33PM (#31851044) Journal

    Are they going to continue to provide developers and push some form of direction?

    From what I've seen the only successful OS projects are grown from scratch or 50%+ maintained by a single company.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yay! Yet another open source project that will likely stagnate at best, or (more likely) will end up with a million different forks due to all of the inevitable bickering about which direction development should go. The only way to prevent this would be some kind of centralized development effort, and I'm not holding my breath. Besides, if they've decided to go the open source route, EditShare has effectively acknowledged that the tool provides them little commercial value, and that in turn implies that
    • by I'm not really here (1304615) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @07:03PM (#31851366)

      the company more or less considers the tool to be dead.

      OR... the company realizes that the benefits of crowd sourcing the application far outweigh the potential monetary gains of keeping it closed source. If the company releases it via BSD license and then develops and sells closed source plugins for the architecture, the massive adoption of the core software will springboard their new plugin products. As the developers of the software, they are best positioned to be the leader in plugin development for this project.

      So, the cynical view that the application is dead completely ignores the possibility that it may simply be more profitable for them to open source it.

    • by Colin Smith (2679)

      ditShare has effectively acknowledged that the tool provides them little commercial value, and that in turn implies that the company more or less considers the tool to be dead.

      or most of their money comes from services rather than licenses.

       

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sznupi (719324)

      Besides, if they've decided to go the open source route, EditShare has effectively acknowledged that the tool provides them little commercial value, and that in turn implies that the company more or less considers the tool to be dead.

      I'm sure people on Slashdot can remember many technologies, operating systems or applications which, while great, didn't really have the chance to take off; or died untimely death due to factors external from the product itself.

      Even if this tool can be considered "dead" commercially (as far as selling it goes), it can still have bright times ahead once freed.

  • by ev1lcanuck (718766) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @06:48PM (#31851180)
    I'm really excited about this move. The first editing system I ever experienced when I was young was a Lightworks/Heavyworks system. My dad (a film editor, now director) loves the Lightworks systems due to their natural and intuitive control systems. I still have an old Lightwave controller sitting around that I've thought about hacking to work with the Avid.

    Currently we work on Avid Media Composer, since it remains the only true pro-level editing software. Final Cut has it's pros but, at least to me, it's more for video editing (by which I mean not sourcing or finishing to film) and smaller projects (promos, commercials, shorts). If you want to cut a feature film - you use Avid. I have arguments with co-workers about FCP versus Avid but we usually arrive at the agreement that Avid is simply the standard to which all other systems are currently judged.

    With the open sourcing of Lightworks I can only hope that the best of modern systems like Avid and FCP can be integrated with the very intuitive Lightworks way of working. At the very least, I hope it scares Avid and Apple at least enough to make them fix some of the problems that currently exist with their systems. More competition is always better for the end user.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sznupi (719324)

      List of features [editshare.com] certainly looks nice (it would be even better to see some presentation; I haven't found much, too niche it seems...plus now search results are swamped with this news). For somebody who is generally fine with Sony Vegas + some nice color grading plugin, this almost looks too good to be true...

  • I read the press release and even visited the website. I can't find ANYTHING that reveals the system requirements for this software. Is it a Mac application? Windows? Linux? If it won't run on my OS of choice, why should I care about it?

    This appears to be an application that was never available in retail channels in the first place and has no market share or brand equity.

  • geek-bait? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    From the press release's description, it sounds like the "open source" phase will follow a period of free-as-in-beer downloading.

    Translation:
    It sounds like the "open source" hype, in combination with a free-as-in-beer download, will win massive marketshare, followed by the release of a "premium" version to capitalize on that.

    Note that this works whether it's released as (netscape-style) open-source, or whether that promise fades away -- as long as everybody got their free copy, and knows that open-source is

  • by bomanbot (980297) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @06:56PM (#31851276)
    Maybe thats just me, but does anyone see any system requirements on anywhere? I read the press release, looked all over the company website and still could not find anything even remotely looking like system requirements anywhere.

    I would guess that there is a Windows version and since it seems to integrate with Final Cut Pro, a Mac version seems likely as well, but there is no way to be sure and strangely, I could not find anything.

    Also, it seems that Lightworks was only recently (August 2009) acquired by EditShare. Making it OpenSource now could mean that EditShare maybe was not able or willing to continue developing, selling and supporting the program and now tries to salvage something by open-sourcing it, hoping the community will pick up the slack.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by euxneks (516538)

      Also, it seems that Lightworks was only recently (August 2009) acquired by EditShare. Making it OpenSource now could mean that EditShare maybe was not able or willing to continue developing, selling and supporting the program and now tries to salvage something by open-sourcing it, hoping the community will pick up the slack.

      That's not necessarily a bad thing though, look at blender :) That's taken off like fireweed!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's high-end video editing software. The system requirements are always 'more'. If you have to ask whether your computer can run it the answer is no. Considering that the summery talks about HD and Red video I wouldn't consider anything less than quad core with 4Gb RAM. If you are serious you would be looking more like 16Gb RAM, two or three 23"+ widescreens and a couple Tb of RAID drives for storage.

      If any of this is surprising then you are not working at the level where software like this is necessary.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        If any of that is surprising then you aren't even CONSUMING this sort of material.

        Nevermind creating it.

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        I dunno - there is a real niche for some half-decent FOSS video editing software that works on lower-end hardware. I know a high-schooler who wants to get into video editing but he has a very old PC. It runs ancient versions of Pinnacle moderately well, but anything new just won't work. The problem is that the old software lacks a lot of features - and I'm talking about stuff like better support for DVDs, and codecs - nothing that should require more CPU/RAM.

        He just got a camera that records to mpeg-2 an

  • I only found a press release written in marketingdroidese claiming a lot of things, mostly vapid. However I found no publicly available source code. Nor even what the released source code will actually be, since the press release is so vacuous you cannot understand which parts of the application will be open source, or if it is the whole application. Nor even in which license the source code is supposed to be released in.
    • by ianare (1132971)

      They're keeping what they reveal now to be as vague as possible so they will be able to change it later on.

      Right now, they just want to judge how much of a reaction they get from this. The game they're playing is that the community will give them more than their competition can take, in terms of marketshare (expect a 'premium' or 'professional' version) and in software advances contributed.

      So if a lot of developers sign up, I would expect they'll be more permissive in their licensing. If not many are intere

  • Looks like you'll have to register to get more info :

    http://www.editshare.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=208 [editshare.com]

  • A departure from standard 3rd-party developer programs that limit access, the Lightworks Open Source platform offers an unprecedented gateway into the NLE’s core engine, enabling a wide-range of creative developers to implement forward-thinking features and workflows.
    *
    *
    *
    ...Lightworks Open Source offers a highly collaborative development environment based on powerful and feature-rich underlying technology,

    It's entirely clear from the press release that they have no intention whatsoever of op

  • I'd like to take the opportunity to plug video editing with AviSynth [avisynth.org]. No, there's no GUI and it only runs on Windows. But, if you want to take the power of scripting and programming to the world of video editing, this tool is for you.

    There was at one time a project to make a version that ran cross-platform, but it ran out of steam.
    • by comm2k (961394)
      Using AviSynth for 'editing' is very very suboptimal. I love AviSynth for what it does (create wonderful stuff from crappy clips / clean up and other processing). However it is completely ill-suited as a 'editor'. Especially since everything (I know there was a plugin/fork to get directstreamcopy but it is not standard functionality) is recompressed. Lets compare that to something simple like VirtualDub. Load DV AVI clip, select in/out, select DirectStreamCopy for audio and video and save the clip. No quali

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