updated 07:30 pm EDT, Wed April 18, 2012
Features new engine, OS X version coming
Lightworks, a non-linear video editor (NLE) with a long history that was announced as going open-source and multi-platform two years ago, is preparing for a release on Monday, May 28th after several delays. While the debut will be Windows-only, developers EditShare plan on making OS X and Linux versions available shortly afterwards. The program will be unique in being the only open-source, multi-platform NLE video app. A pro version will also be made available.
The program has been through an 18-month beta-testing cycle, having been pushed back from its original November 2011 release, mainly because of feedback that the Mac and Linux versions will need to be "up to speed" with the Windows version when they are released as well as for stability issues and code-checking. The company plans to make a basic version of Lightworks free of charge, with Pro option available for a yearly cost of $60.
The revised program, which has been in development since 1989 and has been used on many high-profile movies such as The King's Speech and Pulp Fiction, will sport a new multi-core media engine with support for Long-GOP editing. The improvement will bring real-time performance for formats such as H.264 and MPEG-2 as well as XDCAM EX, XDCAM HD, AVCHD and HDV. The program will also support Apple's ProRes, Red's R3D, DVD, Blu-Ray, DVD and 4K. DNxHD support is also available but involves a one-time additional licensing payment.
The new Lightworks will also sport a native, real-time title generator; much improved drag-and-drop functionality in the timeline; automatic edit backups; better import and export dialogs, and better interoperability -- including AAF with Avid and EditShare's own Flow asset management system. A stereoscopic workflow is also included for 3D work, and the ability to share projects has been added.
The public beta released last year has already garnered over 250,000 registered users, even before the program expands beyond Windows. EditShare is also expected to debut an all-new website for the program as well as a rebuilt Lightworks Community section. Pro users can join the Lightworks Community for free.
The most current Public Beta (v10.0.4.2) is still available for testing on Windows XP, Vista or 7 (32- or 64-bit), and requires both QuickTime and Matrox VFW codecs.