Now that I have successfully rolled out the OpenShot build wizard, I am returning my focus to OpenShot and the task at hand. In my latest check-in I have added the following features:

  • Frame Stepping - The LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys now step frame by frame in either direction. This works really well, and feels really natural.
  • Keyboard Mappings - I have added keyboard mappings for the following keys: J = Seek backwards, K = Play / Pause, L = Seek forwards, UP arrow = Previous marker, DOWN arrow = Next marker.
  • Improved Seeking - I have modified the seeking to follow this pattern: 1X, 2X, 4X, 8X, 16X, and so on.
I've also made some big changes to the video controls and the MLT XML generation. OpenShot is now aware when the timeline has been changed in any way (i.e. new clip, trimming, removing a track, moving a clip, etc...) and only generates new MLT XML when necessary. Also, all of the video controls and the play-head check to see whether the timeline has been modified, and updates the XML if needed. The end result is a preview that is always in sync with the timeline.

Lastly, I've fixed some multi-threading bugs where the video thread was preventing OpenShot from saving a project file. As of right now, I'm not aware of any outstanding bugs.

Next up: Transitions & Key Frame Animation!

Stay Tuned...


Ok, it's not magic, but it's really cool. I have just released version 1.0 of the OpenShot Build Wizard on LaunchPad. It is a python script which downloads, builds, and installs all of the dependencies that OpenShot Video Editor requires. Download the Build Wizard Here!

However, I should warn everyone, I have only tested it with the following OSes: Ubuntu 8.04, Ubuntu 8.10, and Ubutu 9.04 (both 32 and 64 bit CPUs).

credit: http://www.graphics.com/modules.php?name=Sections&op=viewarticle&artid=648

Although this makes it much easier to install OpenShot, this is not a general release of OpenShot. This is a primarily a tool to allow interested developers an easy way to jump in, evaluate the project, and hopefully join our team!

If you follow the instructions in the README, and OpenShot still doesn't work, please file a bug on LaunchPad.


Today marks an important day in the life of OpenShot Video Editor... the day we became a serious video editor. I'm talking about frame by frame animation, composited on top of multiple layers of video and audio! You can now "easily" edit every single pixel of your video (if you so desire). As you can tell, I'm very excited about this feature.

To start with, we have 2 new menu options: Import Image Sequence and Convert to Image Sequence. Choose any video clip in your project, right click on the clip and select "Convert to Image Sequence", and it will create a folder with every single frame of that video clip (i.e. frame_0001.png, frame_0002.png, etc...).

Once you have an Image Sequence in your project, you can move it around as if it was a regular video clip, trim it, arrange it, and preview it. But most importantly, it maintains the alpha channel of the PNG images, so any transparency shows through to the next track (i.e. next layer of video). Here is an example, showing a sequence of transparent PNG images on top another video clip. The background video clip shows through the transparent areas of the image sequence.

Here is a close-up of the composited image sequence and video clip. Notice how smoothly they are composited... no jaggies anywhere.

You can use your favorite photo editing program (in my case, Gimp with the optional Gimp Animation Package - GAP installed) to edit each frame of your video clip. GAP allows you to quickly save your changes and move to the next or previous image in the sequence. It even allows you to key frame and apply settings across many images at once.

In summary, these new features allow you to quickly convert video clips into images, enabling you to modify the images, and easily arrange them on your timeline with all your regular video and audio clips.

Once you combine OpenShot with other leading packages, such as Blender, Gimp, and Inkscape, this is becoming a great platform for video editing, compositing, and special effects.


I have finally finished the video controls (i.e. skip to beginning, previous marker, rewind, play / pause, fast-forward, next marker, and skip to end). I created a new set of icons, and integrated them into the MLT framework. I also hooked up the play-head, so it actually seeks the video as the user drags it back and forth. It's starting to feel like a real video editor!

Also, I added the ability to add markers to the timeline, which let's the user mark points of interest in their video project. Using the new video controls, the user can quickly jump between each marker (represented by the glassy purple lines).

(Screenshot of new video controls)

The user interface was also updated quite a bit, and some of the toolbars have been more tightly integrated into the UI... and integrated better with the surrounding UI elements. Also, the video controls are now centered under the video player... and stay centered as you resize the window.

(Screenshot of the entire window)

As usual, we are making lots of progress, but still have lots of work remaining. Please help us out by mentioning our project on your blogs, forums, websites, and any other public outlet you have access to. Thanks!


May 1st marked the one year anniversary on my decision to create a non-linear video editor for Linux. I thought it might be fun to reflect on how far the project has come. It seems like just yesterday I began this crazy adventure, and now it's already been a year. Wow.

Here are a few fun facts:

  • This is my 50th blog post on www.OpenShotVideo.com!
  • We just made our 65th commit to the source code!
  • We have 2,292 lines of Python
  • We have 2,310 lines of XML
  • We have 1,450 comment lines (38.7% comment ratio. If you ignore the XML, our comment ratio is above 60%!)
As you can see, we have made lots of progress over the past year. Since switching to the MLT framework, we have really kicked it up a notch, and have made more progress than ever before.

And, to continue the trend of progress, here are some screenshots of two new features, the mute button and the visibility button. As you can see, both the track and the clip now have 2 icons (i.e. clickable image buttons). If you click on the mute button, it will not play the audio, and if you click on the visibility button, it will not play the video (but the audio will still play). If you click both buttons, then nothing will play for the clip (which begs the question, why did you put the clip there?).
Close up of new buttons:

Screenshot of the entire window:


During the past week, we have made many improvements, bug fixes, and added a number of new features. Here is a quick rundown of the more notable changes:

New Zoom Bar:
We have added zoom in and zoom out buttons to the zoom bar to make it quicker to zoom in and out. However, if you want to zoom all the way out or in, you can still just grab the slider.

New Project Type Properties:
When you choose the project type, we now display a table that has more details, such as height, width, frames per second, etc... Take a look!

New Clip Options:
We have added 2 new clip menu options (when you right click on a clip).

1) Slice and Shuffle - This option slices the clip into many small clips, and then shuffles them in-place.

2) Slice and Cut - This option also slices the clip into many small clips, except this time it cuts (i.e. removes) every other clip, and leaves them in sequence. It creates sort of a stutter effect.

Slice and Shuffle:
Here is the result of slicing and shuffling the above clip. Notice how it replaced the original clip with many small clips. And of course, they are no longer in sequence... they are in a random order.

Performance Improvements & Bug Fixes:
We have solved a huge performance issue with our multi-threaded architecture, and the CPU no longer goes crazy after you "preview" your project a few times. Also, our memory foot-print is much better, and everything seems real stable now. Also, we have fixed some major bugs with our XML generation (needed for the MLT framework, which is our video processing back-end). Lastly, we have improved our razor tool, so it is no longer buggy.


Like many open-source projects, we get a lot of traffic and interest from a few open-source network websites, such as Freshmeat, ohloh, and SourceForge.

If you want to help support our project (or any open-source project for that matter), please drop by and vote, rate, rank, and/or add comments for OpenShot to the following websites. The higher our scores / ratings, the more interest we will gain.

Remember, in the open-source world:
Interest = Life

On FreshMeat, we only have a score of 2, which isn't very good. Please click on this image to jump to FreshMeat and vote for OpenShot:

On ohloh, we only have 1 rating. To rate OpenShot on ohloh, please click on this image to jump to ohloh and rate us (or review us).

Thanks for your support, and hopefully this will help raise the visibility of OpenShot, and generate more interest around the project. If we get enough interest, we will surely attract some good contributions, and thus... have a better product!

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