Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 17, 2013.

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The time has come for a cross-platform version of OpenShot Video Editor, including its powerful new video editing & animation engine!

Award-Winning Video Editing For All

OpenShot Video Editor is already an award-winning*, free and open-source video editor for Linux, which already boasts many great features:

  • Trim and arrange videos, audio, and images
  • Unlimited video and audio tracks
  • Video transitions
  • Video and audio effects
  • 3D animated titles and simulations
  • Vector title editor
  • Support for most audio and video formats**
  • Available in more than 50 languages

However, users of Windows and Mac have never before had access to OpenShot, due to dependencies and other technical reasons.  With your help, that is all about to change.

Over the past 2 years I have been developing a new, revolutionary, cross-platform video editing "engine", designed to power the next version of OpenShot.  My goal for this project, is to raise enough funds to complete the final features of this new engine, integrate it into OpenShot, and release it simultaneously for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The OpenShot Timeline
The OpenShot Timeline

Our Kickstarter as seen on:

Our Kickstarter campaign has already been featured on many popular websites, and we look forward to other websites covering this story as well!

Cross-Platform Engine

The engine has been built from the ground up for cross-platform, multi-threaded performance. It is written in C++, uses cross-platform build tools, and utilizes many amazing open-source libraries, such as FFmpeg & LibAV, JUCE Audio Library, and ImageMagick.

For the first time in OpenShot's history, it will spread its wings, and include Windows and Mac versions.  Our project was originally built to address the lack of open-source video editors available on Linux, but over time, we have come to realize that Windows and Mac also have a serious lack of quality open-source video editor options.  Not to mention, we receive a constant stream of requests for Windows and Mac compatibility.

Animation & Time Curves

Just about every setting in the new engine can be adjusted over time with the use of an animation curve and key-frames.  These curves can be bézier, linear, or constant, and can control things such as volume, position, scale, rotation, alpha, and even the direction and speed of a video (called time re-mapping).

For example, here are three different ways a curve could control the volume level of a clip on the timeline:

Example animation curves, controlling volume over time.
Example animation curves, controlling volume over time.

Controlling the speed and direction of a clip has never been easier or more powerful.  A simple curve can represent the speed and direction, as demonstrated in this video, which is built in the new OpenShot engine:

Compositing & Layers

Videos and images can be layered, and arranged in a stack, much like a stack of papers on your desk.  As pixels on these layers are hidden, the lower layers show through, which can create some amazing effects, especially when the layers are being adjusted by animation curves.

This diagram illustrates how the next version of OpenShot handles complex & overlapping layers.
This diagram illustrates how the next version of OpenShot handles complex & overlapping layers.

This video demonstrates 4 layers of compositing, including animated colors, animated waveforms, and sub-pixel precision for smooth motion.

Stability

Not only do we want OpenShot to have the best animation and compositing features of any open-source video editor, we want it to be the most reliable and stable one as well. This new engine addresses 99% of the stability issues that previous versions of OpenShot encountered, and I would like to improve that even more before I'm done.

In fact, a comprehensive and automatic testing system has been built into the new OpenShot engine, which already contains hundreds of tests and easily understandable reports if errors are detected.  This allows myself, and other developers a very quick and easy way to check the entire system as we develop it.

As a demonstration of the improved stability already achieved, we recently ran a demonstration at the largest Linux conference in the United States, SCALE 11x. A live, interactive chrome-key / green-screen demo ran for 9 straight hours, capturing live HD video, mixing multiple layers of 1080p in real-time, and never crashed or dropped a single frame.  The demo was also sharing the captured images in real-time to mobile devices using Python, Django, and Apache.

OpenShot booth at the Southern California Linux Expo, running our new engine for 9 straight hours.
OpenShot booth at the Southern California Linux Expo, running our new engine for 9 straight hours.

Interface

OpenShot's timeline has always been one of its strongest features, due its simplicity and flexibility.  Much of the power is initially hidden, to not overwhelm new users, but through context menus, keyboard short-cuts, and wizards, its true flexibility is revealed.

Due to cross-platform compatibility issues, our timeline will need to be re-built, using a new, and much improved canvas.  Utilizing HTML5, JQuery, CSS, and WebKit, the new timeline out-performs previous versions of OpenShot by many magnitudes, and is much easier to "skin" and "theme", due to the power of HTML and CSS.

Main window in OpenShot, using our new theme: holo.
Main window in OpenShot, using our new theme: holo.

Take an early look at our new timeline, which already boasts an impressive number of technical and work-flow advantages over the current one. It is still missing much of its functionality, and I have not revealed the improvements to clip trimming, transitions, audio waveform manipulation, or the animation system yet. So enjoy, but know this is just the beginning of a great new work-flow for OpenShot!

Python API

Although our new engine is programmed with lightning fast C++, and uses many C libraries under the hood, we have hand-crafted a beautiful and simple Python API, which exposes 100% coverage of the capabilities and features available. This will enable a new generation of video editing applications, websites, scripts, and tools to harness the power and flexibility of this engine, with just a few lines of Python.  Yeah, it's just as cool as it sounds.

Super simple API, which can be used by anyone to automate video editing tasks.
Super simple API, which can be used by anyone to automate video editing tasks.

Open-Source

OpenShot has always been, and will always be a free, open-source application.  The source code is freely distributed, licensed under GPLv3, and contributors and fans from around the world can help improve it.  To learn more about the project, you can visit our official project page at http://www.openshot.org/.

Stretch Goals

We need your help to make OpenShot even better than our original goal!  At each of the following funding amounts, a new feature will be added!  Each of these stretch goals makes a dramatic improvement to OpenShot!  The final stretch goal is especially awesome, and I look forward to reaching it!

Rewards & T-Shirt Design

Although our best reward is the final delivery of OpenShot to Windows, Mac, and Linux, we have tried to select some fun, additional rewards as well.  Certain reward levels contain a small USB Flash Drive, featuring the OpenShot name.  Perfect for storing video files on, and transferring them between computers.  Other reward levels contain a 2-color, custom designed T-Shirt, featuring the OpenShot timeline (pictured here).

A preliminary design of the OpenShot T-Shirt reward, offered to some reward levels.
A preliminary design of the OpenShot T-Shirt reward, offered to some reward levels.

The Plan and Budget:

OpenShot's community of developers is very small (just a few of us), and the time and money commitment to bring OpenShot to Windows and Mac is very time consuming and expensive.  In the past, this has prevented us from attempting such an ambitious project.  But now that we have tools such as Kickstarter, it's making projects like this more realistic and achievable.  

I have created a detailed development plan, with budgets built in for additional artwork and user-interface design work, some light outsourcing on a few specific areas, a Mac development system, and enough funds to cover my costs during the development, along with the taxes and fees. 

OpenShot Studios, LLC will handle all software development tasks, legal obligations related to Kickstarter and your pledge, and manage this entire Kickstarter project.  This company is owned by me, and currently owns and oversees the majority of OpenShot source code copyright, trademarks, and all other intellectual property of OpenShot Video Editor.

Can You Do It?

I have dedicated my past 5 years to building OpenShot, and the past 2 years on developing a revolutionary video editing engine.  I have a proven track record for developing successful, award-winning applications, and I feel extremely confident in my ability to deliver on this project.

In February 2013, I gave a presentation on the new OpenShot engine (referred to as libopenshot) at the Southern California Linux Expo, where it was very well received.  Of course, one of the first questions I was asked, "When will this thing be released, and is it on Kickstarter so I can help?"

My presentation of the new OpenShot engine, at the Southern California Linux Expo, SCALE 11x.
My presentation of the new OpenShot engine, at the Southern California Linux Expo, SCALE 11x.

Release Date

We anticipate a November / December 2013 beta release date for all 3 platforms, Windows, Mac, and Linux.  Certain level of backers will have access to preview releases, and early access to beta and final releases.  If we raise more money than expected, we will likely focus on improving memory, performance, and stability across all 3 platforms, and I will likely introduce some stretch goals with additional features.

*OpenShot Video Editor was voted best Linux application in 2011 by TechRadar, best Linux Video Editor by WebUpd8, and most revolutionary open-source application in 2011 by PortalProgramas.com

**Video & audio formats are provided by the FFmpeg and/or LibAV projects.  No video or audio codecs are shipped with OpenShot Video Editor or libopenshot.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Creating a video editing engine is full of risks and challenges, but over the past 2 years, I have made great progress towards the project's goals, and overcome every technical hurdle (which there have been many).

Cross-platform desktop applications are already challenging for a number of reasons, such as differing build scripts and different dependencies, and then combine that with the differing video formats, codecs, operating systems, etc... it becomes very, very challenging. But these challenges can all be overcome, and our vision is to bring OpenShot to all platforms.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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