In our most recent update of OpenShot (version 0.9.52), we have added a shiny new effect, Rotate! The Rotate effect can apply either a fixed rotation or an animated rotation to all 3 axes, X, Y, and Z. As always, effects can be mixed together to create all sorts of exciting combinations!

Rotating pictures or videos can be a super useful effect, especially when so many hand-held phones (and cameras) can capture video. I record videos all the time with my phone, which are recorded side-ways, since that's the way I hold my phone. So a quick "Fixed Rotation" of 90 degrees does the trick!

On some occasions, animating a rotating image, video, or title can be a really nice effect. I have put together a demo video which showcases both the fixed rotation and animated rotation. This video is quite pointless, but hopefully it succeeds in showing the rotation features. =)

We have also improved our simple export settings to include a new mode, called "All Formats". This mode lists each video format / codec and let's you choose the exact format you want. It also presets the audio codecs, and only shows compatible format / codec combinations.

Your project's video profile is automatically selected, to match your project's profile, but it will allow you to export to any of our profiles. Three quality settings are listed for each format.

[Here is the new "All Formats" mode in our export screen]

We are rapidly approaching our official release (version 1.0.0). Before we can reach this point, we need some more translation help. We have added many new strings and have a few new screens. So, please jump in and help us out with our translations. If you've never tried to help with translations before, don't worry. It's not difficult at all. We use a website which let's you translate one phrase at a time. No command line skills necessary. =)

We hope you enjoy these new features, and please share your feedback with us after you have tried them out. Enjoy!


OpenShot Video Editor was built with the idea that it's User Interface could be skinned or themed, but until now we've only had our default theme. That all changes today:

Today we are releasing our 2nd theme for OpenShot (version 0.9.52), in the spirit of the Tango-style. It was contributed by our friend, jEsuSdA 8)! Great job! The 3 screen-shots in this post were taken from jEsuSdA 8)'s website. I know there are some people who were not crazy about our default glassy blue interface, so I hope they enjoy this one.

I expect many more themes in the future, so this is just the beginning. If you are interested in contributing a theme, please locate the /openshot/themes/ folder, and take a look around. It should be fairly straight-forward how things work. =)

So, I know what you are thinking. "Great... a new theme. But how do I switch my theme to this new one. Since it's Linux-based, I bet I have to type some commands in the terminal, right?" Not at all.

Step 1) Get the newest version of OpenShot (version 0.9.52)
Step 2) Click Edit / Preferences

Step 3) Choose a Theme
Step 4) Click Apply

Oh yeah, did I mention we now have a preferences window? Well, thanks to Andy we now have a very functional preferences screen. Take a look at the first few options we added. They are all highly requested features, so we hope everyone enjoys them!

One final note to everyone. We've updated the 7 most downloaded language packs, and now they are included in our default DEB installer. In no particular order, they are Spanish, Dutch, French, German, Portuguese, Swedish, and Italian. However, if you want to add your own language, just download the .MO file for your language from LaunchPad, and put it in the /openshot/locale/ folder.

UPDATE: To get version 0.9.52 of OpenShot, you must use the .DEB installers or the Build Wizard. Our PPA is being fixed at the moment, and is not being updated until we can resolve some of the dependency conflicts with VLC.


OpenShot Video Editor now has a fan page on Facebook. I've added a fan box on the right-hand side of this website. As you can see, there is only 1 fan at this time... me.

So, show your support for OpenShot by becoming a fan on Facebook! It's a great place to meet other OpenShot users, share ideas, and follow our project. Hopefully I won't be the only fan for long. =)

UPDATE: I'm not the only fan anymore!


We all have a favorite open-source application. Maybe it's Firefox, OpenOffice.org, Eclipse, PiTiVi, Gimp, Kdenlive, or any one of the tens of thousands of other open-source apps. After running my own open-source project for the past year, I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject. That is... what are 5 ways to help improve your favorite open-source application.

HINT: None of these involve programming.

1. Contribute Ideas
Everyone has an opinion. Why not share it with the project. I see so many ideas, suggestions, and complaints posted on forums. These ideas never make it to the project team, and thus never improve the project. Most projects have some preferred method of sharing feedback. Whether it's IRC, mailing list, or a bug tracking system, communicate your ideas back to the project.

2. Help with Bug Reports
Your favorite project probably gets many bug reports each day. These bug reports slow down the developers, and in many cases they do not result in a bug... but rather a confused user or a common issue that has a documented work-around. Most bug systems let anyone jump in and help out. Answering a bunch of bugs will definitely make the developers of your project happy (assuming you are helpful to people), and give them more time to focus on programming.

3. Donate Money or Equipment
Running an open-source project can be an expensive endeavor. Hosting fees and legal fees alone can kill a project. Most projects accept donations, and are very grateful... even if they don't "thank" you. But trust me, donations can really be helpful for a project, and in some cases fund airfare and hotel fees for events that bring developers together.

4. Spread the Word
It's exciting to see a project grow and expand. Every project has to compete in a really noisy environment, and try to gain the attention of prospective users. Post links, blogs, videos, and articles about your favorite projects. Drive as many users to the project's website as possible. This has many positive side effects. Some of the people you direct to the project, might one day turn into contributors, bug trackers, testers, packagers, documentors, etc... The larger the user-base, the more ideas and contributors will come to the project. And that is really important to the life of all open-source projects.

5. Send a Nice Email
It sounds so simple. We (open-source developers) are regular people, just like you. We enjoy getting a nice email as much as the next person. I can not tell you how many times a nice email has motivated me to work extra late... fix an extra bug, post a new article, and generally makes me want to do better. So, don't be afraid to send a nice email to your favorite project, and say "Great job people... keep up the good work!".

One of the most surprising things I've encountered while running an open-source project is the ridiculously rude comments and emails I have received. Here are a few quotes I've saved up for your reading pleasure: "How dare you make a project that crashes my computer...", "why don't you go learn Python before talking to me...", "I hate this program...", "We don't need another video editor... go away...". Imagine sitting at your computer, knee deep in programming a bug fix for a volunteer project, and getting an email like this. Kind of kills the motivation, if you know what I mean.

Hopefully this post will motivate a few of you to jump in and help out with your favorite projects. Sometimes the smallest contributions can make the biggest difference.

[image credit: http://www.opensource.org]


In the following screencast I demonstrate how to use the chroma-key effect in OpenShot Video Editor. Watch me create the newest demo video (also shown below).

In this video, you will also see our 2 new features, our static timeline and simple export options. I created this screencast with version 0.9.43 of OpenShot, and used gtk-recordMyDesktop.

Here is the demo video I created in the above screencast. I used the simple export setting "Vimeo-HD" to create this video.

If you get the itch to create your own screencast of OpenShot, please let me know so I can link to it from this website. =)

I need to stop blogging now and get back to my email. It's overflowing at the moment. If you are waiting on me to respond to one of your emails, please be patient. Thanks!


I have two more features to announce today. Some of you might have already noticed these (maybe even used them), but here is the official announcement.

Static Timeline
You asked for it, and here it is. The timeline ruler no longer scrolls with the timeline. It is now static, and is always in view, no matter where you scroll the timeline. A few other fixes to scrolling are included in this feature, and it just feels much more natural now.

[Example of the static timeline, halfway scrolled down]

Simple Export Options
Thanks to the help of lots of readers / contributors, a lot of work from Helen and Andy, we now have a "simple" way to choose export options. Before, you had to know all the specifics of a format, codec, supported bit rate, etc... Now you just have to click a few drop-downs and boom... you have a video! =)

[This screen shows the new simple export options]

DEB and PPA Improvements
We have fixed a bug where the DEB installers were not removing all of their files during an uninstall (specifically the Python bindings for MLT), and the PPA was unaware of these remaining rogue files. This has been addressed in two places. I have updated all 6 of our MLT dependency DEB files to include a new post-remove script. And the PPA now has a pre-install script that checks for these files and removes them. So, if you installed OpenShot as both a DEB and a PPA, and OpenShot will not start, please try and use the PPA again. It should work now.

Source Code Tarball
Our download page now has a new option, source code tarball. It contains an exact copy of our bzr branch. I will update this tarball periodically, just like the .DEB installers. This is really only intended for people packaging OpenShot, and not for the average user. Also, this tarball doesn't contain the dependencies, so OpenShot will only work if it has all it's dependencies installed (especially the MLT Python bindings).

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