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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