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How would you like to export your videos in the new WebM format designed for HTML5? What is WebM you ask? Well, according to the WebM project website, they define the format as...

"The WebM project is dedicated to developing a high-quality, open video format for the web that is freely available to everyone."
The WebM format is a combination of a new video codec sponsored by Google called "VP8" and the "Vorbis" audio codec. The container format ends with a ".webm" extension. Even though OpenShot does not have a "Simple" profile for WebM yet, you can still use it, if you know how.

To use WebM, you must have version 0.6+ of FFmpeg (which is included in Ubuntu 10.10). For older versions of Ubuntu you will not be able to use WebM, unless you upgrade FFmpeg, which is not an easy task. Switch to the "Advanced" tab on the export screen in OpenShot, and use the screenshot as a guide. I have highlighted the most important settings.

Video Format: webm
Video Codec: libvpx
Audio Codec: libvorbis

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Are you a Windows developer? More specifically, are you a C / C++ developer with a love for video editing?

We are issuing a challenge to find a willing developer to help make the MLT framework compile and work under Windows. If you accept this challenge, please contact me ASAP and join the OpenShot Developers LaunchPad team.

The reward for the brave developer that takes on this challenge will be the love and good will of all video editing fans on Windows. I'll even throw in an OpenShot T-Shirt. =) Also, there is a FAQ with some technical notes about Windows support, for those that are interested.

What does this mean for the Linux version of OpenShot? Absolutely nothing. Porting MLT to Windows does not mean that OpenShot will magically start working on Windows. There is still much work to do, but if we are ever going to support Windows, we need to take this first step.

So... let the challenge begin!

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Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) has approved our freeze exception request, and will be including OpenShot 1.2.2 (the newest release) when it launches on October 10, 2010.

If you have the beta of Maverick, you can find version 1.2.2 already in the Ubuntu Software Center!

Strangely, the software center has truncated one of our bullet points in the description (i.e. "Videand"). You can check it out on the screenshot here. I guess I'll file a bug about this one. =)

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I am proud to announce the immediate availability of OpenShot version 1.2.2! We have been hard at work on this version since April 2010. While a 5 month long release cycle was not really what I had planned on, I'm happy to see this version finally get released!

Round of Applause
Before I give you a run down of the new features, I want to take a moment to thank all the great and talented people who stay up late with me working on this project. Andy Finch has been helping me since the very first days of OpenShot, and without his help, OpenShot would probably not be here today. Olivier Girard is one of the biggest promoters of OpenShot, writing articles, assisting new users, and was the primary contributor to the awesome OpenShot help manual. Maƫl Lavault has been a huge help on LaunchPad, answering questions, submitting patches, and was a huge help on this latest version. To all the people who have helped me, THANK YOU SO MUCH for making OpenShot the great application it is today!

Getting Started
Now, let's talk a bit about version 1.2.2. Where did 1.2.0 & 1.2.1 go? Why did we skip straight to 1.2.2. Well my friends, that is an interesting story, but one for another day. Just know that 1.2.2 is the official release, and it's awesome! I might be a little biased, but seriously, this is a really great release.

Video Highlights
As is tradition, I have used OpenShot to create a short video showcasing some of the new features. I mixed in some great overly dramatic music, and a few screen-casts to create a true masterpiece. Okay, I admit, the video is not quite a masterpiece, but if I said that, nobody would watch it.

OpenShot 1.2 Highlights from Jonathan Thomas on Vimeo.

New Features:
  • Improved Stability
  • 3D Animated Titles (powered by Blender 2.5)
  • Custom Transitions
  • New Audio & Video Effects
  • Time-line Improvements / Animations
  • Improved Effects User Interface
  • Improved Theme Engine (New netbook friendly theme)
  • Razor Improvements (now supports snapping to play-head)
  • Improved Language Support (Rotate effect now works in all locales)
  • New DVD Export (Create compliant DVD images)
  • Improved Preferences Dialog
  • Improved Exporting of different frame-rates
  • Numerous Bug Fixes
Let me dive into more depth on a few of these new features, and provide some screen-shots for your viewing pleasure.

3D Animated Titles
We have taken the power of Blender, some really cool animated title templates, and mixed them together with the simple and user-friendly style of OpenShot to create a truly unique feature. Everyone can now enjoy creating their own animated title sequences! Of course, none of this would be possible without the great Blender open-source 3D animation package! Colin Levy, the director of Sintel, even contributed a slick title animation to OpenShot! Blender has so many good features, but most are difficult for the average user to tap into. I hope that we can expand this relationship even further in future releases.

[click for larger image]

New Audio & Video Effects
Many new effects have been added to this release. However, a few effects had to be removed, due to crashes and instability on some systems. We replaced the missing effects with even cooler ones, so no tears. My favorite new effect is called Chroma Hold. This effect turns your video into grayscale except for 1 color. I've seen this effect used on TV commercials many times, and now we can all use it!

[click for larger image]

Timeline Improvements & Animations
We have added lots of polish and some subtle animations to all clip and transition movement, which is easier for the eye to follow. For example, clips that are not placed in a valid spot, smoothly (but quickly) animate back to their correct location. Clips that are removed animate into a dot and disappear. Same for transitions.

[click for larger image]

Improved Theme Engine (Netbook friendly theme)
The code that draws the time-line and buttons (our theme engine) has been drastically improved. Now theme artists can not only change the images, but the height, width, offset, position, alpha, and color of items. In theory, almost any video editor interface can now be created... assuming some artists want to jump in and help out. Also, a new theme was designed for netbook screens, taking advantage of the new theme engine.

[click for larger image]

GTK 2.18 Required
Okay, so what does this mean? In Ubuntu terminology, you must have Ubuntu 9.10 or greater to run this version of OpenShot. The glade library (which we previously used to display our interface) has been depreciated, and so we moved onto just using the GTK library. Many of the GTK features we are now using only work on GTK 2.18+, so with the assumption that most users are on 9.10 of Ubuntu (or greater), we decided it was not worth the effort to back-port to previous version of Ubuntu. However, it is possible (in theory) to adapt OpenShot to Ubuntu 9.04, but that's about as far back as possible, without recompiling GTK... and who wants to do that. =)

Download Today
The OpenShot PPA is the easiest way to install (and stay updated). It works on Ubuntu 9.10 and greater. Just follow the easy instructions, and enjoy! However, if you would rather download the DEB installers, you can do that as well.

Fun Fact
Did you know that in Kerala, India, a high-school textbook is including a chapter on OpenShot to be taught at all the schools in their city? How cool is that!

Conclusion
Thanks again to all the blog readers, users, supporters, translators, programmers, artists, directors, packagers, donors, and of course to my wife, Cindy, who allows me the time to work on this project.

Download OpenShot today and create some amazing videos... just be sure to tag your videos on YouTube as "Created with OpenShot, Yo!". Okay, you can leave off that last part, and just include "Created with OpenShot".

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First of all, a big thanks to everyone who has helped translate the next version of OpenShot! We have completely translated 8 languages, and dozens of other languages are very close. To view the full list of languages, visit the LaunchPad Translations page.

We have updated the help manual for version 1.2.0 of OpenShot, and now we need some more translation help. We have updated the text, updated all images, and added some new sections. It is the easiest way to learn how to use OpenShot, and it is very important we translate the help manual into as many languages as possible.

So, once again I humbly ask for help from the OpenShot community. If you speak more than 1 language, please consider making your mark on our project, and helping us out.

(For instructions read the previous post)

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Here is a quick update for all the anxious OpenShot users out there. Version 1.2 is shaping up nicely, with a ton of fixes, enhancements, and new features. This new version is easier to use, more feature packed, faster, and more stable than ever before.

We have completed 42 tickets on LaunchPad so far, and many of those tickets were quite complex. There are only a few small details remaining, but mostly just testing, documentation, and translations.

Which brings me to... Translations! There are many new English words and phrases that have been added to OpenShot, and they need to be translated to your favorite language as soon as possible!

Translating OpenShot is one of the easiest ways to contribute. All you need is a web browser, a free LaunchPad account, and thats it! Still not sure how it works? Let me give you the step by step:

Step 1) Login to LaunchPad (or create an account)
Step 3) Click on your language, and begin translating one phrase at a time. Be sure to filter the list of phrases to only show "untranslated items".
Step 4) Enjoy the good feeling of helping an open-source project!

The faster these phrases are translated, the faster we can release version 1.2. So, please share the link with others and help us out!

Themes, Titles, and 3D Animations
Are translations not your thing? Only know a single language but still want to help out? Well, we are looking for new themes, SVG title templates, and of course Blender 3D animated title templates. If you have a possible contribution in these categories, please attach a compressed file with your work to the following LaunchPad ticket. Just imagine how cool you will be once we showcase and distribute your artwork around the world with OpenShot. Okay, so you wont be any cooler, but you will be appreciated by me!
  • Themes - OpenShot can be completely skinned and themed. To create a new theme, simply find the /openshot/themes/blue_glass/ folder on your computer (assuming you have OpenShot installed) and make a copy and start modifying it.
  • Titles - Title templates are just simple SVG images that can be created with Inkscape (or any other image application capable of saving in SVG format). If you can come up with original templates (very subjective I know), we will include them.
  • 3D Animations - If you are a talented Blender user, we are also looking for slick text / title animations. The .blend file (version 2.5 required) is all we need, and we'll even hook up the Python automation for you. All we need are some original and awesome Blender animations with text objects.
I am looking forward to see what you will come up with. Just remember to attach your work as a compressed file to the LaunchPad ticket mentioned above, and we will take a look. Thanks as usual for the support, and I'll post another update soon as this release comes to an end.

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