OpenShot released version 2.6 yesterday with an impressive list of new features. Some of the highlights of this are:
- New AI effects (motion tracking, object recognition, stabilization)
- Standard audio effects (compressor, expander, distortion, delay, echo, noise, EQ, robot, whisper) and
- Audio Proofreading Effects (Crackers, Pops, etc.)
- New zoom slider (easy navigation in the timeline)
- New transformation tool (resize, rotate, move, origin point, shear, scale, enlarge / reduce)
- Improved snapping when positioning and trimming
- New video effect “Subtitles”
- FFmpeg-4 support, updated Blender support, WebEngine + WebKit support
- parent clips and keyframes)
- Improved performance and stability (when rendering, zooming in the timeline)
New AI effects
For the first time ever, OpenShot now includes AI video effects.
- Stabilization offers a simple way of calculating camera shake and eliminating it.
- With Tracker, you can now draw a frame around any element in the video, and OpenShot will follow the coordinates of that object in each frame. After the calculation, the movement and the coordinates are cached to enable a preview in real time. This motion data can then be used in the animation system by appending another clip to these coordinates.
- Object recognition identifies all objects in a scene and allows boxes to draw certain types of objects (e.g. to identify all people in that scene or to identify all cars in a scene) or to add text labels over each object.
New audio effects
There are 9 new audio effects, many of which are based on implementations from the JUCE audio library on which libopenshot-audio is based. These are standard effects that work in real time and contain many parameters and options (compressor, expander, distortion, delay, delay, noise, parametric EQ, robotization, whisper effect).
New zoom slider tool
So far, navigating the OpenShot timeline has been rather tedious. Now OpenShot is following what other DAWs and NLEs have shown and introducing a zoom slider. It shows a preview of the entire timeline and draws a tiny representation of every single clip, including those that are selected. Clicking and dragging the blue circles determines which part of the timeline is visible. You can move the timeline horizontally by dragging the entire blue area.
You can now move the mouse wheel over the video preview to enlarge and reduce the preview window so that you can see objects outside the screen. That makes complex animations a lot easier. There are also new effect symbols that are intended to better communicate the behavior of an effect.
OpenShot’s stability and performance have been improved, particularly with regard to threading and CPU usage. Another change is the (internally used) color format, which was changed from RGBA8888 to RGBA8888_Premultiplied. This makes certain types of compositing much faster and requires less CPU per pixel.
Improved transformation tool
Selecting a clip now automatically enables Transform mode (which can be turned off in Preferences if necessary). The “Transform” mode has been completely redesigned. Resizing, rotating, scaling, positioning, and shearing is now very easy and fully compatible with the animation keyframe system and allows you to create complex animations quickly.
Improved snapping / trimming
The snapping of clips has been improved. OpenShot now has the ability to snap to clip edges while trimming, which makes aligning clip edges on different tracks a lot easier. You can snap into place while trimming, at the playhead position and at clips (while holding down the CTRL key). Snapping accuracy has also been improved.
Improved video effects
Many of OpenShot’s video effects have been expanded and improved, along with a few new features. There is a new subtitle effect that can render text in a very common format (VTT / SubRip) onto a clip. You can quickly adjust the font, colors, frames, background, borders, positioning and size and even add a simple fade-in / fade-out animation. You can also insert text manually at any playhead position, which makes inserting text very easy.
Keyframes can now be overlaid and used to manage more complex animations. For example, you can assign a number of clips to a single parent and control them all in one place. This is also used for the new tracker and object recognition effects.
Almost 1000 emojis were added from the OpenMoji project. These are built into OpenShot and are useful when experimenting with a video editor for the first time.
In my opinion, OpenShot has become more stable, mature and fluid and is no longer inferior to Shotcut. It’s fun to work with. The zoom slider in particular helps a lot when navigating – even if it’s a bit slow – and the new transformation tool is particularly noteworthy for beginners because it allows you to animate clips without keyframes. The speed and the workflow are constantly improving. Some much used functions (fade-in, fade-out – see picture) could be even more easily accessible. But these are details that you can live with.
OpenShot can be downloaded via PPA, as an app image and also as binaries for macOS and Windows.