Have you ever wanted to slow down or speed up a video including the audio?  How about change the speed or direction of a video over time, for example, start at normal speed, and then slowly speed up or slow down the video?  What about reverse the direction of a video over time (forwards, backwards, forwards, backwards, etc...)?

With the new OpenShot library, time is in your control, and can easily be mapped to a curve.  The curve can be linear, more gradual (i.e. bézier), or even just a random sequence of frame numbers.

Are you getting excited yet?  Remember, if you are interested in hearing more updates and news about OpenShot, please follow us on: Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.  Enjoy the short demo video!


Twas the night before Christmas, four years ago, I released the first screenshots of OpenShot Video Editor on this very blog.  Over the years, many improvements have been made to OpenShot since those first screenshots were taken, however, none quite so dramatic or important as the new video editing library I am currently developing.

Waveform visualizations can be composited over video, with animated colors.
Waveform visualizations can be composited over video, with animated colors.
As many of you know, I've been working for the past year on a new cross-platform video editing library to power future versions of OpenShot.  This library is built from the ground up to excel where OpenShot has struggled the most:
  • Stability (Crashes)
  • Performance (Multiple processors & cores)
  • Animation & Keyframe Limitations
  • Glitchy Transition Alignment & Compositing Artifacts
  • Audio Crackles & Pops (and lack of speed and direction of audio)

My work on the OpenShot Library is nearing completion, and I will soon release it under GPLv3 license, and begin the journey of integrating it into OpenShot Video Editor.  Here are some of features and highlights of the library so far:
  • Multi-threaded, Cross-Platform (Linux, Windows, Mac)
  • Curve-Based Animation and Time Shifting
  • Powerful Image Editing & Compositing
  • Sub-pixel Positioning & Animation
  • Audio Waveform Visualization
  • Powered by FFmpeg (Formats & Codecs)
  • Written in C++ (with Python Bindings)

While the main purpose of this library is to power a Desktop video editor, it can be so much more than that. For example, it can easily integrate into website back-ends and provide video conversion, watermarking, transcoding,  thumbnailing, video meta-data (such as height, width, aspect ratio, sample rate), and even web-based video editors.  I am happy to provide consulting, programming, or advice, if you are interested in integrating this library into your business.

Okay, so enough with the words and boring technical details!  Here is a quick sneak peek of the new OpenShot library, showcasing a few of the it's features: compositing, curve-based animation, color animation, sub-pixel positioning & rendering, and waveform visualization (with animated color).

OpenShot Library Preview from Jonathan Thomas on Vimeo.

If you want to show your support of OpenShot and our new cross-platform library, be sure to share this video with your friends, make a donation, join our Facebook page, post an inspirational comment, or just spread the word. =) Thank you and Merry Christmas!


After many months of hard work and dedication from many great people, I am proud to announce the official release of OpenShot 1.4.3!  This release has more bug fixes, enhancements, and new features than any other release of OpenShot to date!  Please watch our release video and check out the new features:

OpenShot 1.4.3 Released! from Jonathan Thomas on Vimeo.

Before I get into the details of this release, I want to thank all of the wonderful people who have contributed to this release: Andy Finch, Olivier Girard, Yann Morere (for the amazing 3D animations), and everyone who contributed ideas, artwork, code, testing, and translations!  I am always humbled to work with so many talented volunteers from around the world, so thank you!

While there are many open-source video editors to choose from on Linux, none offer the simplicity, powerful & beautiful 3D animations, and community support of OpenShot.  Download Now!

New Features for OpenShot 1.4.3

  • Improved Timeline Snapping for Transitions (no more manual adjustment of every transition)
  • Improved Drag & Drop features (Vertical Constraints, Improved Gap Removal, New Keyboard Shortcuts, and more)
  • New 3D Animations (Realistic Earth, Exploding Text, Dissolving Text, and more)
  • 10+ New Effects (Sharpness, Vignette, Lens Correction, and more)
  • Apply Effects to Tracks (and Multiple Clips at the same time)
  • Adjust Speed of Animated Titles (utilizing time remapping, for interpolated smooth animations)
  • New Transitions (6 bars, boxes)
  • New Dark Theme
  • Improved Translations
  • Updated Documentation
  • Updated Dependencies (Now requires Blender 2.62+)
  • Tons of Bug Fixes (Full List of Bugs & Features)

Help Spread the Word

Please help us spread the word about OpenShot to every corner of the world!  Linux has an easy to use, and powerful video editor, and believe it or not, there are still many people who have never heard of OpenShot before.  So, please post on Facebook, write blog entries, share the video above with your friends or embed it on your website, and lets see how many new OpenShot fans we can get!  Thanks for your help and support, and I hope you enjoy using OpenShot 1.4.3!

Follow Us

Do you want to follow every single development decision, every new feature, and/or help share your opinions and shape the future of OpenShot?  If so, please consider following us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.  We post updates more often on these networks, and look forward to hearing from you.

What's Next

So, you are already bored with 1.4.3, and want to know what's next?  Well, here are a few tidbits to keep you well informed on the future of OpenShot.  We will likely have 1 additional (possibly 2) releases in the 1.X series, based on the MLT framework, with many big changes coming to our timeline canvas, to make it compatible with GTK3, and also improve it's usability.  Then, if all goes according to plan, we will have our first release of the OpenShot library, our new video editing back-end, and move OpenShot into the 2.X series.  Stay tuned!


Take a look at the new OpenShot dark theme called "holo", clearly influenced and named after the Android 4.0 default theme.  Many users prefer dark themes, and previous versions of OpenShot were not specifically designed for dark themes... which resulted in a less than ideal appearance.

But, with OpenShot 1.4.3 (coming very soon), this all changes, and now users can enjoy a beautiful, and integrated dark theme for their favorite video editor!  To use this new theme, go to Edit->Preferences, and choose it from the "Default Theme" dropdown.

New dark theme called "holo", available in OpenShot 1.4.3.
Main window in OpenShot 1.4.3, using new theme: holo.
We are almost done with our testing, and expect to release 1.4.3 on Monday, October 1, 2012, if everything stays on schedule.  So, be sure to check back on Monday for the latest information, or follow us on FacebookTwitter, or Google+ to be alerted the exact moment we release it.


If you speak a non-English native language, and want to get your name included in the next version of OpenShot, today is your lucky day! All you need is a web browser, a free LaunchPad account, and to visit the following link:

Translate OpenShot (and get your name included in the credits):

Many schools and businesses can only use software that has well written, and completed translations. For example, imagine a school teacher in India trying to teach a video editing class with OpenShot, but only half the menu items are in Hindi.  So, let's get OpenShot translated into as many languages as possible, and help spread it around the world as the best, free, open-source video editor available!

All translators are listed in the credits of each release (in the About dialog)


Do you like explosions?  How about logos?  Both!?!  If so, today is your lucky day, because OpenShot 1.4.3 comes packed with dynamite!  Take a look at these exciting screenshots, and be sure to leave us a comment below.

A big thanks to Yann Morere (ian57) for the amazing 3D animated titles.  Also, don't forget to join our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter, which is a great way to follow OpenShot news as it happens.  Thanks again for supporting our project, and stay tuned for more news on 1.4.3 very soon!


Have you ever wanted to layer or mix different videos together?  Or perhaps layer multiple videos, one on top of the other, or add a watermark image? If so, this is called "compositing", and is a super cool, and very useful technique when editing videos.  I thought it would be fun, to offer a quick and simple tutorial for new users, and show the basics of multi-track video editing using OpenShot.

Here is the main screen in OpenShot.  It contains three different layers (also called "tracks") at the bottom of the screen (labeled 1, 2, and 3).  These tracks behave much like layers of paper on your desk: the bottom track is covered up by the track directly above it, and that track is covered up by the one above it, and so on, for as many tracks as you choose to add.

Top Track
Clips on this track will be on top.  Logos and watermarks should be on this layer.  The OpenShot logo is on this track in the illustration.
Middle Track
These clips are under the top track, but above the bottom track.  The image with circles is on this track in the illustration.
Bottom Track
These clips are under all other tracks.  The sunset is on  this track in the illustration.

So, now that you understand the basics of multiple tracks, notice how the 3 layers (in the illustration above) are composited together in the preview window. Just like layers of paper on a desk.  Of course, if your video or image contains transparency, it will show through what is below, which is why layers 1 and 2 don't completely cover up the bottom layer.

Editing videos on Linux can be easy and fun, once you know the basics.  So, now that you've learned a new technique, it's time to practice using OpenShot to edit your own videos!  Have fun!


Greetings!  With version 1.4.3 nearing release (in the next 10 days... give or take a few), I thought it would be a great time to share some of the details, and also fill everyone in on the past many months of development.

The Highlights

The OpenShot team has been very busy over the past 6 months, and version 1.4.3 sports many exciting new features, and of course, lots of bug fixes and updated translations.  Here are a few of the highlights to get you excited:
  • Improved Timeline Snapping for Transitions (no more manual adjustment of every transition)!
  • More than 10 New Effects!
  • New Transitions!
  • New 3D Animations!
  • Improved Drag & Drop features (such as Vertical Constraints, Improved Gap Removal, New Keyboard Shortcuts, etc...)!
  • Tons of Bug Fixes!

Development Update

Over the past many months, the OpenShot team has actually been working on 2 different projects : OpenShot (the video editor) version 1.4.3, and a new & improved video editing back-end (i.e. library).  While also investing some time in GTK3 compatibility... although that's another topic altogether.

The library is coming along great, with some incredible multi-threaded performance results, and a great set of animation and compositing features, which should really raise the bar for open-source video editing platforms.  Currently, I am the only developer that is working on the library, which will soon change once I open-source the code, and release an alpha version (which should happen towards the end of the year).  However, just because I am the sole developer on the library, that does not mean others have not helped and guided me:  A special thanks to Cody Parker, Noah Figg, Mark Hatch, Justin Thomas (my brother), Andy Finch, Olivier Girard, and the wonderful Internet (I'm talking about you Stack Overflow)!

On a side note, and to add some credibility to the library, it's already been successfully deployed and tested on a website for a client (and supporter of OpenShot), as a real-time video editing back-end, which streams the edited video back through Python + Django (and Apache) to an HTML5 video element (cross browser support).  Did I mention it all works in real-time?

I've also got the library's Debian packaging working great, and Lintian clean, which simplified the installation of the library for my client considerably.  Now, I just need a few more hours in the day... =)

We Need Your Help!

I feel bad that it took 6 months for this update to be written and posted, so get ready for lots, and lots of updates over the next few weeks.  We need testers, translators, and supporters to help us complete version 1.4.3. Thanks for your support, and stay tuned for more information very soon!

If you want to get the latest OpenShot news, and get it before everyone else does, be sure to join our Facebook Fan Page or Follow us on Twitter.


I know, it's been an entire week, and you are probably ready for another version of OpenShot! Well, you win, because today I am proud to announce version 1.4.2 has been released! This version addresses many locale and translation-related bugs, and contains the following highlights:

  • Fixed many critical locale-related bugs
  • Fixed reversed clips, for accurate IN and OUT points
  • Updated translations & fixed missing translations
  • Improved help manual (now supports Yelp version 3)
  • Fixed h.264 exporting for non-English languages
  • Full details available on LaunchPad

I do not expect to make a release of OpenShot every single week, but this version solves many critical locale-related bugs, and I felt it was very important we address them quickly. I hope everyone enjoys the new version!


I am proud to announce that OpenShot 1.4.1 has been released! This was originally going to be a quick and simple bug fix release, but instead, has grown into a more full-featured release. This has been a very busy month for OpenShot, with a trip to SCALE 10x, a couple presentations, and now a new release! My head is still spinning, but enough about that... lets get down to business.

Our goal for OpenShot has always been to create the most complete, simple, and flexible video editor available on Linux. This release takes another step towards that lofty goal, and is the best version of OpenShot created yet! Also, I want to say "Thank You" to all the people who make this project possible: Olivier Girard, Andy Finch, Maël Lavault, all the bug reporters, translators, packagers, users, and fans!

Highlights of 1.4.1:
  • New 3D animation (wireframe text)
  • New Titles (gold)
  • New Effects (fish eye)
  • New Animation Presets
  • Support for Blender 2.6.X
  • Localization fixes (seg faults, audio volume, rotation effect)
  • UI bugs (disappearing icons using some GTK themes)
  • Improved Help Manual
  • Improved Title UI (interactive font list)
  • Improved Precision (clip length, default image length)
  • Tons of bug fixes! (view all bug reports)

Please help us spread the word about OpenShot: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Articles, or however you can. With your help, we can hopefully reach more users, more schools, more kids, more businesses, and grow OpenShot into the biggest and best video editing community on Linux! Thanks for your support.

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, if you want the latest OpenShot news & developments!


I am officially back from SCALE 10x (Southern California Linux Expo), and I have a few photos and experiences to share with everyone. We (myself and a few co-workers) arrived on Thursday (Jan 19th) at the Hilton LAX in Los Angeles. We spent most of Friday in PostgreSQL training (unrelated to OpenShot, but really awesome). Andy Finch arrived Friday afternoon (from London), and we finally got to meet in person, for the first time. Andy is a great guy, and it was awesome to hang out with him and talk OpenShot! We spent the rest of Friday setting up our booth, and enjoyed a few $7 beers (that got expensive quick)!

On Saturday (Jan 21st), the expo floor opened at 10 AM, and we got to work. Andy and I worked the booth and got to meet tons of OpenShot fans, introduced it to some people that had never heard of it, and met a few Hollywood post-production professionals (which was really cool). At 3 PM, I made my way into the largest room at SCALE (the la Jolla room), and setup for my presentation, "Create Stunning Videos with OpenShot!" The presentation was streamed live, but apparently we overloaded the servers, and the stream buffered continuously... so most people were not able to watch the entire presentation. Hopefully, I'll be able to edit a full version, with all my tutorial videos included, and make that available on YouTube soon. After the presentation, I was interviewed (and recorded) by Suite 500 Inc, which was a first for me =). Later on, at 6 PM, I gave my 2nd presentation to "The Next Generation", a youth conference that SCALE was also running. This presentation was targeted at kids, and was much shorter.

On Saturday night, we attended "Game Night" at SCALE, enjoyed some android cookies and ice cream sandwiches (from Google), the history of Nintendo (which was very cool), and even played some air hockey. There was also a full size laser tag arena, but I did not want to crawl around shooting people after the long day.

On Sunday (Jan 22nd), we once again worked the booth, met lots of nice people, and towards the end of the day left for the airport. Andy flew back to London, and we flew back to Dallas, Texas. We all had a great time, successfully promoted OpenShot at the largest Linux expo in the United States, and were happy to spend our free time promoting and supporting the larger open-source community!

The following photos were mostly taken with cell phones... so... keep your expectations low with respect to quality. =)


In my presentation at SCALE 10x (on January 21st, 2012), I created and then debuted a fun, short Minecraft video. The video tells the story of Steve, a resident of Minecraft, who wakes up to find monsters invading his land. Steve looks for safety in an abandoned cave, and unknowingly stumbles into the real world. Where in the real world does Steve appear? Maybe you'll have to watch the video and see for yourself. =)


In the December 2011 issue of Linux Format magazine, I just discovered a great article about OpenShot. The 4 page spread was written by Jono Bacon, and also included a small mention on the cover. In addition, OpenShot 1.4.0 was included on the DVD, which comes with the magazine.

Over the past year, OpenShot has been featured in many magazines, but unfortunately I rarely hear about them or see them. Whenever I browse a book store, it's always fun to dig through the Linux magazines, and look for mentions of OpenShot.

If your favorite Linux magazine features a story about OpenShot, I would love to know about it. You can always share the info on our Facebook page, or post a comment here.


Happy New Year! 2012 is going to be a big year for OpenShot. We are about to release version 1.4.1 (details below), and are packing our bags to attend SCALE 10x (Southern California Linux Expo). I spent a large amount of my time last year working on a new video editing framework, which will be revealed very soon, which is another reason 2012 is going to be so much fun!

Next Version

We are mostly done with version 1.4.1, which originally started as a minor bug fix release, and has now grown into a more full-featured release. It includes lots of bug fixes, improvements to localization and translations, fancy new titles, a new 3D animated title sequence (wire-frame text effect used in the 1.4 release video), and more!


We have some new English text that needs to be translated as soon as possible. If you speak a non-English native language, please help us translate OpenShot in your language. It's super easy, only requires a web-browser, and is a great way to "give back" to our project: https://translations.launchpad.net/openshot.


OpenShot will be an exhibitor at SCALE 10x, on January 20-22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. This will be our 2nd year to exhibit, and I look forward to meeting everyone who stops by. I am also pleased to announce Andy Finch, one of OpenShot's top contributors, will be flying in from the United Kingdom to help run the booth. This will be the first "real-life" meet up between OpenShot contributors, so that is very exciting!

At 3:00pm on Saturday (January 21, 2012), I will be presenting Create Stunning Videos with OpenShot!. It will be broadcast LIVE over the Internet, if anyone is interested in watching. If you are attending SCALE 10x, I hope you can make it to my presentation!


If you enjoy using OpenShot, I hope you will consider donating to help fund the next year of development. Any donations to OpenShot help fund servers, meetings, marketing materials, and important industry events such as SCALE. Our January donations are only $11 USD so far. Even small donations are very appreciated, so please be kind and Donate.

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