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The lack of a dedicated Storyboard View puts an extra demand on the clarity and functionality of the Timeline, and while the functions are both innovative and relatively easy to get a grip on, the lack of thumbnails can make it difficult to keep an overview of the edit.
It would also be nice to see more trimming functionality attached to the right / center mouse button or additional functions like in ShotCut, where you simply create a transition by dragging one clip over another.
When you trim, you should notice that you get a tiny extra mouse pointer indicating ex. if you’re replacing or inserting. Lightworks is mostly using custom mouse pointers and personally I would have preferred that the indicator simply replaced the normal mouse pointer. The extra indicator below the pointer is just a tad too tiny.
But if you’re up for it, you can design your own cursors. You’ll find the cursor-png files in the Lightworks/icons folder.
Like most video editors, Lightworks is clearly geared towards editing the picture-side of videos, so the ability to edit audio is rather basic. You can use 2 effects:
- An equalizer with 8 filter types that can be adjusted using frequency, Q-factor and gain plus 12 presets for the EQ and
- A crossfade to use in transitions.
Other than that you have an Audio Mixer and you can move audio and adjust the dB via the Timeline. Trimming the audio on the Timeline is straight forward, but neither the equalizer nor the Audio Mixer are particularly user friendly.
I would love to see an external edit implemented. If you could copy / paste the audio from a video clip to and from Reaper or Audacity, the process of making an attractive sound score would be so much easier.
Lightworks is a fast, free, stable and powerful video editor. It comes with a steep leaning curve, and as such, it’s neither suited for the newbie nor the fainthearted. It’s a tool for the pros and the enthusiasts and even so, you’ll be well served to watch the many excellent video tutorials before entering the Lightworks universe.
As of right now, Lightworks is free but not yet open source. The fact that Lightworks, more than 4 years after the first public release still hasn’t published the source code is beginning to raise an eyebrow or two. It’s been prudent to carry the program this far before releasing the code, but with viable releases for Windows, Linux and Mac, it’s getting high time to honor the initial aspiration of making Lightworks open source. Moreover, with the many issues Lightworks still has to address, I’m sure that there are many talented programmers around the world that would like to pitch in – so long as they know that it’s open source.
Lightworks is the first of its kind, but other promising editors are moving along rapidly like the Shotcut and the ivsEdits Le; but Lightworks is nonetheless an amazing program. It’s a program to watch and enjoy - just like the movies themselves. Personally, I’m especially impressed with the rendering speed and with how easy it is to trim via the Timeline.
EditShare now requires that you re-activate Lightworks once every week - it used to be once a month. To me, this looks like a deal breaker, and if this policy isn’t changed, I think many users will consider parting ways with this otherwise promising program. It’s a bit strange that the closer we get to open source, the closer we get to the time for releasing the reins, the tighter EditShare’s grip seems to get.
If you’re working on a project at a place with no internet connection, if your connection is down or if the connecting Editshare servers are out of commission, well then you’re out of luck if you cross the re-activations timeline. You’ll abruptly, with no warning, be cut out from your project until the program is re-activated.
To that end, I think EditShare ought to take note of the way a program like Avast! Anti-virus has arranged its re-activation: A free, renewable, one-year license with fair warning period.
If EditShare needs a more frequent count of active users, it could be done more unobtrusively ex. by providing updates for templates /presets through an online add-on dialogue box. That way EditShare could even create a system for ratings, trends, downloads for plug-ins / add-ons - like Brackets have done with their Extension Manager - As they write: That’s like getting presents all year long!
To be improved …