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Lightworks Switches the Lights On

June 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Apparently I missed the announcement back in April this year that EditShare is to release an Open Source version of their award winning non-linear video editor, Lightworks. Let me say that again; a well known, if not quite industry leading, professional non-linear video editor, as used in a number of Hollywood studios, is to move to an open source distribution model.

Before going any further, there’s a couple of things to note here. The first thing is that Lightworks is a “professional” video editing solution, in the same way that Avid Nitris and Final Cut Pro are high-end professional video editing applications. This is not iMovie or Windows Movie Maker open sourcing their code base. As such, there’s probably not a lot of competition with other open source video editors, such as OneShot, PiTiVi and Kdenlive, that target the home user. Lightworks is likely to fall into the same category as Blender, Cinelerra and the yet to be released Lumiera, with high end appeal.
As I missed the previous announcement, I thought it would be a good idea to follow up and find out what’s actually available from EditShare as open source at this time. And the answer is, nothing. Although the initial announcement was made in April, there doesn’t yet appear to be any download available. An update from the developers in May, confirmed that their aim is to support Linux and OSx, as well as Windows. There’s an interest registration page available, where presumably those who have entered their details will be informed first of updates. The page counter tells us that a little over 12,000 people have done just this. Sadly, the Beta testing programme is now closed, which was limited to just 80 people (not really the open source community way!).
Overall, exciting news and as Q3 starts next week, which is when EditShare hope to release the first publicly available open source version of Lightworks, we can all hope that it won’t be too much longer before we can all play with it.
If you’re interested in seeing something that’s been edited using the current closed source version of Lightworks, try to find the movie Centurion.
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