Here is a great original video created with OpenShot 1.4, which shows the progression of an artist, layer by layer, creating a beautiful scene of a girl holding a puppet. The artist used Krita 2.4, an open-source digital painting application, and used OpenShot to animate the progression.

Girl with Puppet:

Ramón Miranda is a talented artist, with many of his creations featured on DeviantArt. Check out the final image of "Girl with Puppet" on DeviantArt.

If you have a video or artist you would like to me to feature on this website, please let me know.


The next version of Ubuntu (11.10 - Oneiric Ocelot) has approved the newest version of OpenShot (1.4.0) for a feature freeze exception, and will ship it in their repository / software center in mid-October. So, if you are interested in trying out the latest version of OpenShot when you install the next version of Ubuntu, just launch the software center and type "openshot", or click on the banner "Our star apps"!

I am also excited to announce that OpenShot has been included on the new developer.ubuntu.com website as a featured application!


I am proud to announce that OpenShot version 1.4 has finally been released! This version represents a huge investment by our small and dedicated team of developers, contributors, testers, translators, and users. We love video editing just as much as we love Linux, and we are happy to deliver this amazing open-source software to the world. Before I discuss the details of 1.4, I want to personally thank the following people:

  • Andy Finch - Andy was instrumental in developing and managing version 1.4... committing over 50 patches (bug fixes, new features, and enhancements).
  • Olivier Girard - Olivier helped arrange key meetings, manage bugs & forums, and promote OpenShot.
  • Emil Berg - Emil contributed many critical bug fixes and enhancements.
  • Maël Lavault - Maël contributed many user interface improvements, as well as contributed to our GTK3 branch (soon to be released).

As always, here is my exciting announcement video for version 1.4... Cue the dramatic music in 3, 2, 1...

Feature List for OpenShot 1.4:
  • Timeline improvements (middle mouse dragging on the canvas)
  • More stable video & audio effects engine
  • Powerful color correction and adjustments
  • Many new & exciting video & audio effects
  • 15 new video profiles & updated descriptions
  • New 3D animations
  • New transitions
  • Many enhancements to the project files tree
  • Improved internationalization & translations
  • Removed use of the "melt" command line (depending on your MLT version)
  • Thumbnail improvements (clip thumbnails update based on IN/OUT, file thumbnails regenerate if missing)
  • Improved title editing
  • New keyboard shortcuts
  • Improved color accuracy with 3D animated title color pickers
  • TONS of bug fixes and speed improvements!
  • Works best with MLT 0.7.4+, but is still compatible with older versions
  • Want to know every single bug fix, enhancement, and new features? View the full list.

Dream. Create. Share.

Video editing on Linux has never been easier or more fun. If you create an awesome video with OpenShot 1.4, please share it with us. And remember to tag your videos with the word "openshot" on YouTube so others can discover them.


Can't get enough OpenShot news? Tired of waiting on this blog to be updated? Then head over to our Facebook fan page, and join. More news, more updates, and more personal discussions.

What's Next

My goal is to get OpenShot 1.4 included in Ubuntu 11.10, which is quickly approaching. So, as soon as Debian approves our newest package, I'll submit a sync request to Ubuntu, and apply for a feature freeze exception. We have really focused our testing efforts on Ubuntu 11.10, to ensure the best possible performance and compatibility. I'll post an update once this happens, so everyone can follow along. Enjoy version 1.4, and stay tuned for news about our GTK3 version, new C++ video editing framework, and more!


It's been 3 months since my last blog post, and I have so much to say. I have been working harder than ever before on OpenShot, and regret that I have not had more time for writing blog entries. I have new details on our next release, version 1.4, a request for translations, a GKT3 update, details on a new Daily PPA, enhancements to www.openshot.org website, an announcement about a new OpenShot video editing library, and more! Let's just call this... an information explosion for OpenShot fans. =)

Version 1.4

For the past 7 months, we have been working very hard, across many different branches of code, with many significant contributors helping, to bring you version 1.4.0. This version is in the final stages of testing, and will be released by the end of September, 2011. A few of the big features include:

  • Timeline improvements (middle mouse dragging on the canvas)
  • More stable video & audio effects engine
  • Powerful color correction and adjustments
  • Many new & exciting video & audio effects
  • New 3D animations
  • New transitions
  • Many enhancements to the project files tree
  • Improved internationalization & translations
  • TONS of bug fixes and speed improvements!
  • Works best with MLT 0.7.4+, but is still compatible with older versions

Demo of Timeline Improvements

The scroll wheel on your mouse is useful for moving the timeline up and down, but not so useful at moving the timeline side to side. In fact, an average video timeline is much wider than it is tall, so we have added a new method for moving the timeline left to right, by clicking and dragging your middle mouse button on the timeline. This is a common feature in most graphics applications (such as Gimp or Inkscape). In OpenShot 1.4, moving the timeline has never been faster or easier! Watch the video for a demonstration:


If you speak a non-English native language, we need your help translating OpenShot. It's web-based, easy to do, and you get your name in the credits of OpenShot! So, please help us, even if you only have time to translate a single word or phrase. To begin, log in to LaunchPad, and visit our Translations page.

GTK3 Update

One of our top contributors, Maël Lavault, has been working hard on adapting OpenShot to GTK3. Most of the work is already done, and we just need lots of testing before we merge this branch into our trunk. This will most likely be the next release of OpenShot, after 1.4. I will post details on how to test this branch soon, so stay tuned.

Daily PPA (for testers)

We now have a daily PPA, which always has our most recent source code and our most recent Debian packaging scripts: OpenShot Daily - Highly Unstable, Perfect for Testers. As you can see by the name, I really don't want normal users to install OpenShot using this PPA. This PPA is only stable at the point we release a new version of OpenShot. During active development, this PPA would be a very bad idea. =)

OpenShot.org Enhancements

Lots of new content, streamlined menu, enhanced footer, dynamic content on home page, updated pictures, and many new features have been added to the OpenShot.org website. A new Donation system has been added, which was created using Python, Django, and PayPal. It's much slicker than Pledgie, and now supports both 1 time donations of any amount, as well as monthly subscriptions. The following new pages were added to the site:

Recipient of the August 2011 DistroWatch.com Donation

Each month, DistroWatch.com chooses an open-source project, nominated by their users, to receive a cash donation. OpenShot has been lucky enough to receive this donation two times in 2011, once in February and again in August! DistroWatch.com has given over $29,000 to open-source projects since the beginning of this program in 2004. I am proud just to be nominated, much less actually receive the donation. So, thank you very much DistroWatch.com!

Our Picks > Ubuntu's Sweetest Applications

When you install Ubuntu 11.10 this October, you might notice that OpenShot is now a featured application! When you launch the software center, and click on the "Our Picks > Ubuntu's sweetest applications" banner, OpenShot is now listed with about 20 other applications. We are excited to be included in this category, and look forward to new users discovering OpenShot!

Featured Application on LaunchPad

OpenShot has been using LaunchPad.net for code hosting, bug tracking, questions & answers, mailing lists, translations, and release management since we began the project. Basically, our entire project runs through LaunchPad. I'm proud to announce that OpenShot is now a featured application on the home page of LaunchPad, along side some great projects: MySQL, Inkscape, Ubuntu, OpenStack, and more. Of course, we are very honored to be a featured application, and to showcase how LaunchPad can help facilitate open-source projects, such as ours.

OpenShot Video Library (C++)

Let me preface this by saying what a pleasure the MLT video editing library has been over the past 3 years. It has powered most of the features in OpenShot, and has been a cornerstone of our project. I have much respect for Dan Dennedy and the other MLT developers. However, in order for OpenShot to reach my ultimate vision, a decision would have to be made: should we continue to use MLT and contribute the features we needed? Evaluate other libraries? Or build our own library? I spent a long time exploring each of these options, and forming my plans.

My ultimate Vision: A video editing library that is a cross-platform, object-oriented, multi-threaded, frame accurate, with a powerful key-frame animation system, unit tests, Python support for OpenShot, and has a ridiculously simple and stable API. The decision: OpenShot needed to have it's own, bad ass, video editing library. Something that would help us achieve our goals very rapidly, and raise the bar for video editing on Linux.

So, for the past 8 months, I've been working... harder than ever before, to create the backbone of this new library, and establish a strong, stable code-base to build on. The library is written in C++, with all original hand-crafted code, and is fully cross-platform, building on Windows, Linux, and Mac... although Linux is my primary target. It is licensed GPL version 3, and is fully open-source. So far, here is what the library does:

  • C++, object-oriented design
  • Cross-platform build system (CMake)
  • Multi-threaded, dynamically scales to # of processors (OpenMP)
  • Video, Audio, and Image Encoding / Decoding (FFmpeg)
  • Frame accurate seeking
  • Unlimited curve-based key-frame system (Bézier, Linear, and Constant)
  • Time Remapping (Curve-based speed and direction of video)
  • Powerful image manipulation and compositing (ImageMagick++)
  • Audio mixing, filters, waveform generation (Juce)
  • Python support, including exception handling from C++
  • Simple & elegant API (from C++ and Python)
  • Capability to support different encoding / decoding back-ends (Currently only FFmpeg is supported)
  • 150+ unit tests already (UnitTest++)
  • Documentation for all public API classes / methods (Doxygen)
  • Source code and details will be released soon on LaunchPad

So, what does all this mean? The outcome of this library will be increased competition for other video editing libraries, increased choice for application developers needing video editing capabilities, and ultimately... increased choice for end-users. Being cross-platform, and having a simple API, I hope this increases the number of contributors, and results in more features, more stability, and of course, more users. This is not open-core, and it's not crowd-funded, and it won't live or die based on some corporation's interests... it's open-source, by the community, for the community!

The Future

Once version 1.4 is released, we will likely follow that up quickly with a GTK3 version of OpenShot, and then probably 1 or 2 more releases (still using MLT) into next year. Sometime next year, we'll branch OpenShot, and start integrating our new video editing library into this new experimental branch, for testers and developers to work with. What does the future hold for OpenShot and our new library? I'm not sure, but I know it's going to be an exciting journey!


OpenShot was recently featured on an episode of Category5 Technology TV, which teaches users how to obtain, install, and use OpenShot! Robbie Ferguson and Christa Wells have done a great job introducing OpenShot, and I hope everyone will enjoy the high production values and enthusiasm as much as I did! Check out the video below:

Outline of Episode:
  • Feature: Video editing in Linux using the free OpenShot video editor.
  • Robbie's quick thoughts about Jonathan Thomas, and his dedication to creating a fantastic video editor for Linux.
  • Installing the OpenShot video editor from the provided PPA rather than the Ubuntu repositories.
  • Setting up the OpenShot PPA.
  • Viewer Question: Why not get OpenShot from the repositories?
  • Updating your apt sources list.
  • Installing OpenShot using Synaptic Package Manager on Ubuntu Linux after setting up the PPA.
  • Installing Inkscape using Synaptic Package Manager to add vector graphics support to OpenShot video editor.
  • Obtaining and configuring Blender to be used by OpenShot video editor to add 3D titles to your video productions.
  • Adding media files to OpenShot.
  • Creating 3D / animated title sequences to your video production in OpenShot video editor.
  • A brief rundown of the main tools used when working in OpenShot video editor.
  • Adding segments to your video production in OpenShot video editor.
  • Adding photos to OpenShot video editor.
  • Creating a closing credits roll-up for your OpenShot video editor production.
  • Using Inkscape to create more substantial text for your OpenShot video editor production in Linux.
  • Animating your show's end credits in OpenShot video editor, moving it from the bottom to top of the screen.
  • Top-secret Information: ??? You will have to watch the video to hear this!

Soon we will release more information about version 1.4 and our top-secret project. So, stay tuned!


The 9th Annual Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE 9x) has come and gone, and was an unqualified success for OpenShot! There were 1800+ attendees at SCALE this year, and lots of interest in the OpenShot booth and my presentation titled "OpenShot: Lights, Camera, Action!".

I had a booth on the exhibit floor, and was busy answering questions and meeting attendees all weekend long. Some of my co-workers came along for the journey, and helped me work the OpenShot booth. I am so glad they came, because we had more people interested in OpenShot than any one person could handle. I guess that is a great problem to have at a conference. I had 1/2 page flyers about OpenShot on our booth table, and about 300 of them were taken by attendees.

On Saturday at 4:30 PM (California Time), I gave my presentation on OpenShot to a packed room of over 100 attendees. We ran out of chairs really quickly, and people were standing around the walls of the room, sitting on the floor, and some people were laying on the floor. The speech was streamed LIVE on the Internet, although I did not know the details surrounding this, or I would have shared them ahead of time with all of you. I was wearing a wireless microphone and there was a PA system in the room, which my voice and my laptop were hooked up to. The presentation went about 50 minutes, and we had 10 minutes of Q&A with the audience. The presentation was fun and went really well, and people seemed to enjoy it, or they were just laughing at me... although I'm pretty sure they enjoyed it. =) If you are interested in watching the video of my presentation, it will be made available soon on the SCALE 9x website.

I was really curious if anyone would approach me at the conference about a potential job, or possibly try and hire me, but quite the opposite happened. We had many attendees approaching us asking for jobs at OpenShot, as if we were a real company. So, if OpenShot ever makes any money, it looks like we'll have no trouble finding employees. =)

If there was only one thing I learned during SCALE 9x this year, it is that OpenShot is very popular and loved by a lot more people than I would ever have guessed. People were sharing stories about how there businesses use OpenShot, everything from TV studios to Radio stations using OpenShot. It was exciting to listen to, and even more fun to attend. I am definitely planning on attending SCALE next year, if my financial situation allows for it.


I am proud to announce the release of OpenShot 1.3.0! Our team has spent the last 5 months perfecting this version, and I am so proud of what we have achieved! Our goal is to be the very best open-source video editor. This release brings us closer to that goal.

As tradition, I have created an original video to announce this release. Enjoy!

Release Highlights:

If you use Ubuntu 9.10 (or newer) as your operating system, then the easiest way to install OpenShot is with our PPA. Once you have installed our PPA, either install OpenShot or run your Update Manager to get the newest version.


  • The 3D animation now requires Blender 2.56 (or greater)
  • The new theme, Fresh, is now the default theme. However, if you are upgrading, you will need to change the theme in the preferences (if desired), because it will continue to use your previous theme.
  • The frei0r-plugins package is not required to use OpenShot, but if you install it, it will add many additional effects. This package should be available in your favorite package manager or software center.
  • Many distros do not include all video and audio codecs. If you want to install them all, you need to install the libavformat-extra-52 package (or equivalent). This package should be available in your favorite package manager or software center.

Learn More:

Want to learn more about OpenShot? Want to become an expert user? Want to become the next great developer / contributor? Check out our help manual, which contains 60+ pages of great content, updated screenshots, step by step instructions, and translations in many different languages:

Spread the Word:

Please help us spread the word about OpenShot 1.3.0. If you do write an article or blog entry, please share the address in our comments section for everyone to enjoy. Also, if you are using a package manager that supports reviews or ratings (such as the Ubuntu 11.04 software center, or the Mint package manager), please give us some love!

Thank You:

As always, this release stands on the shoulders of so many great projects, such as Python, MLT, Blender, Inkscape, and all of the other libraries we depend on. So, a big "Thank You" to all these projects. And also, I want to thank all of the amazing contributors that help me on a daily basis. This release would not have happened without you and your support!


I hope everyone enjoys using OpenShot 1.3.0, and please don't forget to mention OpenShot when you post your videos on YouTube, Vimeo, and other video sharing sites. Also, if you create a really great video, please share it with me, so I can post it here on this blog for everyone to enjoy. In closing, here is a video made by @johhjnsn with OpenShot, about a robot, which utilizes great art, vision, music, and truly showcases the magic that a video editor can create:


One of the most difficult tasks in creating a video or film is keeping track of and organizing all of your media files, such as videos, sound effects, sound track, titles, credits, and scenes. OpenShot has not been very good at this task... until today.

Introducing the OpenShot Filter Bar, which helps you find what you need faster than ever before! Want to only view your audio files? No problem. What to only view your videos that have a label of "Scene 1"? No problem. What to find a specific transition or effect? No problem. Either click one of the easy toggle buttons, or enter the first few letters of what you are searching for.

[Show All Project Files]

[Show Only 'Video' Project Files]

[Show Only 'Audio' Project Files]

[Show Only 'Image' Project Files]

[Show All Project Files that contain 'Scene 1' in their name or label]

[Show All Transitions that contain 'Wipe' in their name]

[Show Only 'Common' Transitions]

[Show Only 'Audio' Effects]

I have done quite a bit of testing on these new filters, and I am really pleased with how they work. They are fast, and easy to use, and make creating complex videos even easier than before. When you combine the filters with the 'labels' feature, you can create a pretty incredible search system, that works just the way you want it to.

I hope everyone enjoys this new feature! I am waiting for all the translations to be completed before we release the next version. Please verify that your native language is completely translated, or you might be disappointed when the next release comes out. To verify your language is translated, please use these instructions:

Translate OpenShot:
Step 1: Login or Register on LaunchPad
Step 2: Click this link to verify the translations are complete for OpenShot

Translate Help Manual:
Step 3: Click this link to verify the translations are complete for the Help Manual


OpenShot needs your help to make the next version (1.3.0) the very best it can be! We need native language speakers of all languages (except English), to help translate OpenShot.

It requires no special software or special skills, other than speaking both English and your native language. All you need is a web browser and to follow these steps:

Translate OpenShot:
Step 1: Login or Register on LaunchPad

Translate Help Manual:

Remember, the translations for OpenShot and the Help Manual are located on different pages and each have their own link above. Also, please do not use Google Translate or some other automated translation system. If you do not speak the language, please do not offer translations for it. =)

LaunchPad will show you the translation for your default language. If you are seeing the wrong language, please change your default language in your LaunchPad profile. If there is no translation for your default language, LaunchPad will create one.

This is a great way to participate in open-source, without knowing how to program. So, I hope we can see OpenShot translated into lots of languages! Good luck and thank you in advance!


I am proud to announce that OpenShot will be attending the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE 9x) in February!

Not only will OpenShot be an exhibitor, showing off our best new features, I am also one of this year's presenters. So, if attending an OpenShot presentation sounds fun (and it will be) please come by and show some support!

Want to help us out, but don't know how?
Visiting our booth and attending the presentation is a great way to help! However, if that is not possible for you, donating a few dollars will also help us out with this event. The costs of travel & booth supplies has been a bit more than expected.

"In this presentation, we will discuss everything from basic video editing to the advanced topics of video effects and compositing. Learn all about this great project, such as where it came from, and where it's going."

This is the first time I have ever traveled and spoken on behalf of OpenShot, so it's a big step for me. I would like to make this the first of many events that OpenShot will attend. I feel that it is important to put the OpenShot brand in front of the users, attendees, and the press, and try and build as many relationships with other open-source projects and contributors as possible. So, I'm crossing my fingers that everything goes well. =)

If you are planning on visiting our booth or attending the presentation, please post a comment and let me know. I look forward to meeting you.


Over the past few days, I have shown off many of the exciting new features that are coming in OpenShot 1.3.0.

However, there are 2 really important goals that I have not spoken about recently, usability and stability. Much of the past 2 months has gone towards improving OpenShot in these areas.


  • As you might have noticed on the above screenshot, we are adapting more and more HIG compliant screens, such as the standard "unsaved changes" dialog.
  • Stock Icons - OpenShot now defaults to the current theme's stock icons, which will be more familiar to the user than our custom button images.
  • Simplified Export Dialog - The export dialog is smaller, faster, has more export presets, and auto selects many of the drop-downs for the user. In other words, it's easier and faster to export videos now.
  • Increased the speed interval of the play-head, resulting in smoother motion, more accurate time-codes, and a general feeling of awesome. =)
  • Animated the play-head and play-head line when the timeline is clicked. The play-head zips to the location on the ruler that was clicked. It's a subtle effect, but really adds a polished feeling to the UI.
  • Rounded Thumbnails - Softer corners on all thumbnails and icons.
  • Transitions now tile to fill all horizontal space, making it faster to find the desired transition.
  • And many other misc. improvements to dialogs and error messages across OpenShot.


  • Just as much time has been spent focusing on the stability of OpenShot as the usability improvements. Such as...
  • Improvements to MLT stability, including bug fixes for the affine filter, sdl preview consumer, and lots of other improvements by the MLT development team.
  • OpenShot is now aware of the version of MLT installed, and adjusts certain features based on the version, to prevent crashes.
  • A new Auto Saving patch is about to be committed, which will add another layer of safety for unexpected seg faults. This is one of the last remaining tasks in version 1.3.0.
  • More time has been spent on testing, testing, and even some more testing. Did I mention testing?

In summary, version 1.3.0 of OpenShot will not only bring a huge selection of eye candy and awesome new features, but it will also be the most stable and usable version of OpenShot yet! Stay tuned for more news coming soon.


Are you looking to add a sense of drama or perhaps add a sense of realism to a scene? Then you might be interested in an animated lens flare!

A lens flare is created in real life when a bright light is reflected or scattered on a camera lens, creating generally unwanted artifacts or washing out of the image. However, many film makers purposely add lens flares to their scenes for artistic reasons.

Which brings us to another new feature announcement! OpenShot now has a lens flare animation, which allows the user to adjust the starting and ending location of the flare, the brightness (at the start and end), and many other glare related settings.

Here are a few example lens flares, created by adjusting just a few simple settings. These flares are animated, and have a transparent background, so they can be added over any video with ease.

Here is the lens flare animation screen in OpenShot. It is just as simple to use as other animations in OpenShot. Set a few parameters, and click the "Render" button... and that's it. The animated lens flare will be added to your "Project Files", and can be added on top of any video clip.


Grab your scarf and gloves, and get ready for the next OpenShot feature announcement, Realistic Animated Snow!

Using the power of Blender 2.56+, we have created a particle simulation that generates realistic snow. This snow has a transparent background, and can be added on top of any video to create instant snow!

You can set many different parameters, such as the number of snow flakes, direction of wind, speed, size, color, alpha, and many more. Once the snow simulation is completed, a new video clip is added to the "Project Files" section in OpenShot.

The following video demonstrates the new snow simulation, and what it looks like over a black background and over a video. I started with just a little snow, and ended with way too much snow. =) Enjoy!


I am especially excited about this next feature announcement. Blender artist and now OpenShot contributor Gwen Bulleryahen worked with the OpenShot team to bring this feature to life: Animated World Maps!

How does it work? Simply put, it let's the user enter a few basic parameters, such as the latitude and longitude of anywhere on earth to anywhere else on earth, and renders a beautiful animated line between the 2 points. This effect is often used on television and movies, and is very effective at showing the distance traveled between 2 far away places.

To create an animated world map, you launch the "Animated Titles" screen in OpenShot, and select "World Map" from the list of animations. You will need to look up the coordinates of your 2 locations using a web browser, Atlas, Google Earth, or any other resource that has coordinates. Only 1 map texture image is included by default, but it's easy to point to other map images. You can find all sorts of equirectangular projection images on the Internet, if you do not like the default one. The rest of the settings are relatively easy to understand, such as the color, the text of the labels, etc...

[The World Map editor - available on the Animated Titles screen]

Behind the scenes, OpenShot uses all sorts of fun math to calculate the angles, rotations, camera movement, X, Y, and Z coordinates of many different objects, all based on the latitude and longitude entered by the user. These numbers are then passed into Blender using the Python API of Blender 2.5.6+, and the rest is history!

If you want to hear OpenShot news before anyone else, be sure to join our Facebook page or subscribe to our RSS feed. Enjoy!


Does your next video need some dazzling special effects, such as magic particles, sparkles, or fairy dust? Or perhaps another type of particle animation? Normally, this type of effect is added in a 3D animation package or a compositing application, and later included in a video editor for the final assembly.

However, OpenShot has the power of Blender (an open-source 3D animation package) under it's belt, and uses Blender's powerful Python API to automate and script animations such as a particle simulation.

Which brings me to the main point of this article. I am proud to announce the new "Magic Wand" feature in OpenShot! Found on our "Animated Titles" screen, this new animation has dozens of parameters, including where it starts and ends (i.e. X,Y,Z), size of particles, number of particles, shape, alpha, colors, direction, and even the gravity affecting the particles.

[Animated Title screen with new Magic Wand animation]

Adjusting just a few parameters can create entirely different looking particle simulations. Here are a couple examples of what you can create.

[Green particles with zero gravity]

[Small transparent particles shooting up in the air]

Once you have generated your particle simulation, it will be added to your "Project Files" in OpenShot as a clip, and can then be dragged and dropped onto your timeline. Also, these particles have a transparent background, which means you can mix and overlay many different particle simulations, or even overlay them on top of a video (if desired).

I am very excited about this feature, as it's another exclusive for OpenShot that you will not find in other video editors, and it's really fun to play with! I'd love to hear what kinds of particle effects come to mind after seeing these examples?


Adding a sequence of numbered images into OpenShot as a single video clip used to require a bit of research and some knowledge of string formatting commands, such as %d, %04d, etc...

The problem with that approach is that users are required to figure out these commands in order to import an image sequence. This has been the root cause of many bug reports and lots of user frustration.

A new feature has been added to OpenShot which automatically detects that an image is part of an image sequence, and prompts the user (just to be sure). If the user chooses to import the entire image sequence, they just need to select "Yes" on the prompt (pictured above).

[Import image sequence window]

The above window will appear when importing an image sequence. But now, it will already be filled out with the correct settings. All the user needs to do is click the "Import Image Sequence" button, and a new clip will be added to the "Project Files" section.

You might have noticed a new setting on this screen: Repeat Sequence. This setting will repeat the entire sequence as many times as desired. A good example is a walk-cycle, or some animation that needs to repeat. Of course, the more times you repeat a sequence, the longer the video clip will be.

[Folder with numbered images]

Remember, any folder with numbered images can be imported using this feature. Using a nice image editor (such as InkScape), it's easy to play around with your own "flip-book" style of animating. Just save each frame of your animation, and when you are done, drag one of the images into OpenShot. Enjoy!


How often do you record a video with the camera on it's side? Well, I was surprised to find that this happens quite often, especially when you think about cell phone cameras, flip cams, digital cameras, etc... All of these devices are just begging to be held sideways when recording video.

Well, if this sounds like a common scenario to you, then you will love this new feature announcement, Simple Rotation!

How does it work?

Step 1 - Choose "Rotate" from the right click menu on any clip, and select the correct amount of rotation. And... that's it. There are no more steps. =)

Rotation Setting
Each clip now has an internal "rotate" setting, that can also be modified on the clip properties screen, as shown in the following image:

[Clip properties screen with the new "rotate" setting]

[Main window using the new simple rotate menu]

[Main window after using the simple rotate menu]


Get it? Smooth Scaling instead of smooth sailing? Anyway...

Are you tired of choppy motion and jerky zooming? Would you like silky smooth awesome motion? Well, you are in luck! OpenShot now has a new "Smooth Scaling" option, which as you might have guessed, makes scaling, animation, panning, and zooming very smooth.

Don't take my word for it, check out this video comparison of "before" and "after":

Technically, this is accomplished by using the recently updated "affine" filter in MLT. Dan Dennedy gets the credit for this update, as he added the code which makes it smooth. =) All animations, panning, zooming, and rotation are now smooth.

This feature requires MLT version 0.6.0+, which is not widely available yet. It should be included in Ubuntu 11.04, but older versions of Ubuntu will not be able to use this feature unless you can manually install the newest MLT libraries, which I would not recommend for the average user. If you are using an older version of MLT, this feature will disable itself, and should be backwards compatible. In other words, OpenShot will still work... just not with smooth scaling.

Eventually, I plan on removing this from the preferences, and just have it as the default method of scaling. But I'll wait until the MLT library has been updated in most distributions before I make that change.


Transitions are very useful for gradually moving between two different video clips, but often they can be a pain to layout and position. Not only do you need to position a transition in a very precise place, but you also have to set the "direction" correctly.

The "direction" of a transition affects how the transition processes the image. If the top clip is fading into the bottom clip, the transition must have the direction set to "Down". If the bottom clip is fading into the top clip, the direction must be set to "Up". Many users get this confused, which results in a sudden jump to the other clip... which is the opposite of a transition. =)

When "Snap" mode is enabled (using the toolbar toggle button), a transition will now more accurately snap to the surrounding clips. Depending on which direction the transition is being dragged, and what clips are nearby, the snapping algorithm has been greatly improved.

Also, OpenShot will now automatically detect and set the correct direction of the transition, based on which clip comes first on the timeline, track A or track B. In other words, top to bottom, or bottom to top.

[Transition moving from top to bottom]

[Transition moving from bottom to top]

In summary, these updates to the transition snapping will make OpenShot even easier to correctly use transitions, especially for new and beginning users. Of course, advanced users will also benefit from this. =)


It's been a busy 2 months, and I am ready to start announcing all of the new features that will be included in the next release of OpenShot (1.3.0 is coming very soon). Of course, I can't list them all in one post, because that would be no fun. =) Expect lots of new posts over the coming days, each packed full of never before announced features!

Have you ever needed to add dozens, or even hundreds of clips to the timeline? Perhaps a sequence of short video clips or photos for a slideshow? If you answered yes, then you will enjoy our new "Add to Timeline" feature.

How does it work?

Select - Simply select as many files (from the Project Files tree) that you want to add to the timeline (holding the CTRL or SHIFT key), right click and choose the "Add to Timeline..." menu option. The clips will be inserted at the position of the play-head. But before they are inserted, you must select a few options.

[This is the Add to Timeline window]

Arrange - Rearrange your files and control the exact sequence on the timeline, or use the "Shuffle" button. The shuffle button will put your files in a random sequence.

Fade - If you would like to add a 'Fade In' or 'Fade Out' (or both), use the Fade dropdown to set your options.

Transition - Adding transitions is easy, just select one from the dropdown. You can also select the "Random Transition" option, which will choose a random transition between each clip. Transitions require 2 tracks, which can be configured in the "Timeline Location" section.

Enjoy - You have just added dozens of clips onto your timeline, arranged the sequence, applied fades and transitions, all in one easy step!

[Add many clips to the timeline in 1 single step]

Want to help us? If you enjoy using OpenShot and want help out our project, there are a few simple ways to help.
  • Translate OpenShot into your native language
  • Visit our Forums and help other users
  • Answer questions on our LaunchPad answers page. There are always unanswered questions that need some attention.
  • Join our team on Launchpad, and help us keep track of all the bugs, find duplicates, weed out the invalid bugs, fix small bugs, etc... NOTE: before joining our LaunchPad team, please send me a personal email and introduce yourself.
  • Promote and spread the word about OpenShot. There are still Linux users searching for a good video editor, and have never heard about OpenShot.

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