Archive for the ‘Lightworks’ category

Lightworks’ Public Beta Arrives

November 30, 2010

The Lightworks public beta is now available. You can register and download the software here. (Their server was down earlier this morning, but it seems to be working now.) On paper, the feature list is impressive and focused squarely on high-end editing. A few highlights:

  • Background saves (hallelujah!). Every keystroke is backed up automatically.
  • Asymmetric JKL trimming, slip, slide, etc.
  • Native support for MXF, Quicktime, AVI, R3D, DPX, DNxHD, ProRes, and others, up to 2K.
  • Node-based visual effects.
  • secondary color correction.
  • Stereo video without the need for muxed files.
  • subframe audio keyframing
  • realtime audio effects
  • audio bus routing
  • project sharing

You’ll need a PC to run it on, and of course, the proof is in the pudding, but I’d give a lot just for background saves.

Don’t Count Lightworks Out Yet

November 9, 2010

Lightworks, once the darling of longform post production, may soon find a second life. EditShare plans to release the first beta from their ongoing open source project on November 29. If you’ve registered, you’ll be able to download it for free. At the moment, it’s Windows-only, but they plan a Mac port next year. The list of features is impressive, at least on paper: resolution independence up to 2K, multiple frame-rate support, native support for DNX, Prores, R3D and dpx files, 3D support, unlimited multi-cam, subframe audio editing, audio bus routing, project sharing, film footage display in the application, 3-perf support, change lists, a node-based vfx interface with support for many common vfx plug-ins, secondary color correction — all wrapped in a modular user interface that looks slick. Check out the full feature list here, and the company website here.

Competition among editing system manufacturers drives development and keeps everybody on their toes. Lightworks fell out of favor because of a quirky interface and weak visual effects capabilities, but it has remained a favorite for some editors, Thelma Schoonmaker and Chris Gill among them. I’ll be very curious to see how the new build performs in the real world.

NAB in the Rear View Mirror

April 19, 2010

What a difference a couple of years makes. Avid (and Media Composer 5) picked up several awards at NAB, including a Videography Vidy award, a Pick Hit from Broadcast Engineering, and a Star Award from TV Technology. Not bad for a company that a lot of people thought was moribund a few years ago. Apple, of course, was a no-show at NAB, and the Final Cut community seems to be taking notice. Here’s a quote from the Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group forum: “I hope Apple takes this as a wake up call. Because Avid is making FCP seem like the Media Composer of five years ago…”

Oliver Peters offers a great summary of post production-related NAB news on his blog here. I was intrigued to see that some of the new digital cinema cameras generate both raw files and either DNX or ProRes simultaneously. We thought the lab would end up in the editing room. Maybe it’s actually going to end up in the camera. And later this year, it looks like Lightworks is going to have a new life as a free download, with the code released to the open source community. The modern Lightworks has plenty of useful features, not the least of which is background saves. And it can edit both ProRes and DNX without transcoding. Don’t count them out yet. Meanwhile, as I’ve mentioned¬† previously (here and here), Premiere might be morphing into a legitimate contender.

Not long ago it looked like the editing software wars were nearly over. Today, the playing field is a whole lot more level — and exciting.¬† This is how it’s supposed to work. Competition drives innovation — in economics, and in evolution. And we, the editors, win.