It has been a long known fact that there is a larger variety of software products for Windows and Macs compared to Linux. And even though Linux is continuously growing it is still hard to find some specific software. We know many of you like editing videos and that you often need to switch back to Windows in order to make some easy video editing tasks.
Whether you’re cutting a feature or just editing a short or two or even a youtube video, having an NLE that you don’t have to wonder about (whether it’s going to just slowly fall apart) is preferable. What is the basic stuff most people use? I’m a rather accomplished editor and I find that even for the simplest projects I tend to use advanced techniques. However, that doesn’t stop me hoping that someday someone is going to create an NLE for Linux (commercial or not) so that I can make the switch full time. Because I love the command line and I love the free part, and I like being part of the friendly community…the more time I can spend hacking wifi the better.
Introducing Lightworks, it’s a commercial video editing suite for Linux, Mac and Windows. It’s a non-linear tool with a completely different approach to editing video. Instead of a simple GTK or Qt window that is manipulated by the desktop environment (and themed by it too), the app offers up a full screen editing environment. Lightworks isn’t free. In fact, unlike the other apps on this list it actually requires a monthly subscription to use but it’s worth it if you want to edit and produce video on Linux.
Not knowing what you need it to do, it is hard to comment but it is very easy to use just for movies. You just open up the track you need and position it on the timeline thingy. You then put the next track on the next line. You can then add blends or whatever you want and you can edit each track right there in the viewer. When you are done just render it out. It is true that this bit of blender is just a small bit in a very big program but if you focus on just this little bit you can learn it in a few minutes.
The trade off is often money fortime, and the market reflects that. Tools aimed at “pros” tend to be expensive because they are based upon the money saved by their market. Few amatuers or casual users will fork out thousands of dollars for software in order to save a bit of time–even if it would be cost-effective for them, since many people never bother to do cost-benefit analysis.
Pitivi has been around for a few years too. This video editor for Linux is a GNOME application and is designed to fit into the GNOME desktop. (I assume it will work just fine in KDE or XFCE too.) Installing it requires the use of Flatpak, but they give rather easy-to-use instructions on the Pitivi website, and I had no problems at all. Drag-and-drop seems to be well supported, and it first transcodes videos before they can be used, which takes a few minutes or seconds, depending on the size of each. But it appears the videos can still be used during this process.
The only criticism I might have for Kdenlive is that it looks like an open source program. It isn’t the most user-friendly application to work with and appears to have been programmed by someone who knows what they are doing but expects you to also know what they are doing. It isn’t the most polished experience, and some things seem to be a bit obtuse to do.
The most promising or also often called best Linux free video editor of all, OpenShot has a long history of development and should be mature and stable. I downloaded the latest Openshot from its PPA since the one in the main Ubuntu repositories is, rather perplexingly, a very old and outdated version. Once OpenShot is opened, it appears very easy to use. The default layout is simple and intuitive, and there are even hints that pop up the first time you use it! I drag-and-dropped a few videos I had taken in preparation for this post, and boy, was I disappointed with this so-called best Linux video editing software.
Linux gets my pick as the best multi-media production platform because it is flexible, efficient, and secure. Your system resources are going to your work, rather than in supporting a bloaty operating system further bogged down by marginally-effective anti-malware software. In our previous installment we covered a range of excellent drawing and painting, photography, 3D rendering, and desktop publishing applications for Linux. And my favorite Linux distros for serious multi-media production.
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Cinelerra *had* the most promise and it’s probably good if you want to run a TV station. However, it’s not creative at all. Simple edits are easy. However, anything else can become a stunt. IMO, Kdenlive has seen the quickest growth. Lives is also doing well. In the next few years we may see those apps grow into the free alternative of Finalcut – but not Cinelerra. It does what it does, and there is no need to change.
Pierre, did you not see the mention of Blender??? It is GREAT for doing video. Yes, you do have to learn it but you want to do a good job right?? One thing to note. It is best in blender to turn the movie into a series of stills in the openEXR format. It is also important to go into settings and increase the buffer memory so that you get a much faster response as it loads much more movie at one time. Make sure to render the firm into its own director or you will have a LOT of picture files cluttering some other directory! Also more Ram mean better responsiveness and having a SSD drive is also a GREAT benefit. I would think this is true of any system.
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