The wait is over! One of the big features I have been secretly working on over the past few months is a new feature which I'm calling the "Animated Title Editor". Using Blender 2.5+ behind the scenes, OpenShot can now easily generate animated 3D title sequences.

This feature has been in my dreams since I started working on OpenShot. I have always enjoyed working with Blender to create animations, but I also realized that most users will never have the time to learn a professional 3D animation package. Blender is simply too complicated for most users, which is why you don't see more 3D titles on videos created with Linux.

My goal is to bring the power of Blender, the creativity of the Blender community (in the form of templates) to OpenShot in the most intuitive interface possible. I really feel like I've accomplished that, which is why I'm so excited about this feature. =)

Here are some pictures to explain how it works:

Step 1: Choose a template.

Step 2: Change some settings, such as the text, color, size, and font. Preview any frame in the animation by moving the slider.
Step 3: Click the 'Render' button (and wait for a few minutes while your title is being generated). A preview of each rendered frame is shown, so you can watch the animation as it's created.

Step 4: The new animation is then added to your OpenShot project as a clip. It will have the same height, width, and fps (frames per second) as your OpenShot project. Drag your new clip onto the timeline and enjoy!

This new animated title sequence is created as a RGBA image sequence. That means that each frame has full alpha (i.e. transparency), and can be composited on top of any other video, such as the screenshot above of the chimpanzee.

As far as I know, OpenShot is the first FOSS video editor to incorporate 3D title animations (not including Blender of course). Hopefully this feature (along with a few more we are working on) will start to differentiate OpenShot from the pack of FOSS video editors.

This feature will not be available until our next version is released, which we are all working on, so please be patient. Soon enough everyone can test it out. But please don't mess up your current install of OpenShot trying to install this "alpha" feature. =)

More news soon, so stay tuned.


Academy® and Emmy® award winning video editor Lightworks has recently announced an open-source version. Lightworks is rumored to be available on all platforms, including Linux (although I have yet to see an official statement from EditShare on which platforms will be supported). Many people have contacted me for my reaction, so here I go. By the way, I am making the assumption that Lightworks will be released on Linux for the sake of this article.

The first point I would like to address is the future relevance of Linux open-source video editors, including OpenShot, Kdenlive, PiTiVi, and similar projects. Why would someone choose OpenShot (or insert your favorite video editor) over an Academy® and Emmy® award winning application?

Well, let me first remind everyone that Blender is also a great video editor. Blender can do just about anything with video (even rivaling Hollywood quality effects). So, why doesn't everyone use Blender to edit their videos? I think the answer will be the same for Lightworks. These applications are designed for professionals, not average consumers. (Note: I am not comparing Blender to Lightworks... just the fact that applications that are targeted at professionals are inherently more complicated).

Just to be clear, I think some Linux users will absolutely love Lightworks; those users who are interested in professional video editing. But what about the average users who want to arrange some home videos? What about someone with no aspiration to learn a complex application, who just wants to trim a video before uploading it to YouTube?

As far as OpenShot is concerned, we are trying to become the easiest to use video editor on Linux. We are not trying to become the next Lightworks. So, to directly answer a few emails I've received, "No, OpenShot will not die after Lightworks is released". I think the world needs an easy to use video editor. So, that will continue to be my goal. =)

It just makes me smile when I read articles about how Linux video editing is now "saved", because of Lightworks. I wonder if these writers would change their tune after trying to use Lightworks to edit a quick video without any training.

Lightworks is trying to distribute their core product as open-source, and hopefully grow a marketplace of plug-ins and 3rd party extensions. However, it's yet to be seen if these plug-ins will also be multi-platform.

I am also curious which formats and codecs the open-source version will support. And will the Linux version support the same codecs as the Mac and Windows version? Will they use FFmpeg, Gstreamer, or their own code? Will lightworks regret the move to open-source? Will other projects cannibalize their code and make their libraries available to everyone, including OpenShot? Lot's of interesting questions indeed. =)

Let's turn our attention to Windows for a second. Will the average user stop using Windows Movie Maker and instead start using Lightworks? I'm guessing they will continue to use Movie Maker. Of course, if a user was about to purchase Avid or Adobe Premiere, they will likely be very interested Lightworks.

In summary, I wish the best to EditShare and Lightworks Open Source. If they are successful, maybe we will all be using Lightworks some day. But, in my personal opinion, I think this announcement is mostly irrelevant for the average Windows, Mac, and Linux user.

What do you think about the Lightworks announcement? Will it change the face of Linux video editing? Will average users embrace it? I would love to hear some good analysis on this.


Greetings everyone! It has been more than a month since my last post, so I thought an update was due. Lots of activity is happening on OpenShot, even though my blog has been relatively quiet.

There are 2 really big features I am working on right now. I don't want to let the cat out of the bag yet, so I'll wait to announce them until a future date (soon... I promise).

But fear not, I will leave everyone with a hint: "no other FOSS video editor has this feature yet." This statement might be misleading, but hey, it's just a hint. =)

The community has been very active, and there have been many contributions and patches! I am still in the process of reviewing the patches, and merging them into the code.

We have recently moved our user interface to GtkBuilder (as opposed to Glade). Basically, Glade is no longer supported. The interface will still look the same (since it's still using GTK), but the XML files that help us create the interface are a bit different.

I have been working part-time on a new Django-based website for OpenShot. I figured Django would be a perfect fit for my Python skills. =) So far, so good. Expect to see the website sometime in the next month.

On a completely unrelated note, my mom has just gone through a serious neck surgery, and I have been spending much of my time with her over the past 2 weeks. I am happy to report she is recovering great.

Well, how is that for an update. Many unrelated snippets and stories. Hopefully I will have a few more updates over the coming weeks.

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