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I'm taking a look at Lightworks right now

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Greg Andonian
I'm taking a look at Lightworks right now
on May 10, 2013 at 3:38:54 am

Due to the recent undesirable changes that have taken place in Adobeland, I've now began to look around at other NLE options. I was already giving serious thought to adding Media Composer to my arsenal since they dropped the price, so I'll probably do that at some point.

In the meantime, earlier today I downloaded the free version of Lightworks to take a look at it. It looks like it could be a very capable NLE, once I get everything figured out- but doing that has been quite an adventure so far, let me tell you.

When I heard about Lightworks, it sounded to me like it would work very similarly to Avid, with a heavy focus on keyboard commands. So I came at it from that perspective and that did help tremendously, especially when I found the settings menu with all the keyboard shortcuts. That was very important because it does lean very heavily on the keyboard.

When you start a new project, there is only one track by default. For a long time I couldn't figure out how to make a new one, and that was very frustrating. I kept thinking, "How am I supposed to add b-roll or do an overlay?" And then I thought, "I really hope I don't have to buy the pro version just to get more than one track. Even the free DV editor that Avid put out ten years ago had two". But then when I found the keyboard shortcuts I saw that by hitting the BACKSPACE key, you bring up the "add tracks" menu. That was weird- but at least I had more tracks now.

There were other things that took me a while to figure out, and some that I still haven't. But I'm excited about learning it. From reading about it I saw there have been many Hollywood movies edited on it- including The King's Speech, which I really liked. So I figure if it's up to the task of major Hollywood films, it must be a good NLE once you're used to the way it works.

From looking at the interface, it does seem well-suited to editing films- and by that, I do mean, FILMS. It has an "export to change list" icon right in the main list on the left side of the screen, and other menus mention things like this that would be used if your edit was destined for a film-out. This seemed a bit odd considering the way things are now. I read an article a while back here on the COW that said that the last film camera had been made, and movies would be shot digital more and more from this point on. Remembering that, and considering movie theater screenings are happening digitally now, made me wonder just how much this functionality is REALLY going to be utilized in the years to come.

During my testing I noticed one aspect of it that reminded me of FCPX- there is no "save" function. It just keeps saving continually while you're working. There's also no file menu and I haven't found a "Save As" function. I haven't looked really hard for it yet because I was focused on other things. But hopefully "versioning" won't be an issue. I did see you can separate a project into different areas, which Lightworks calls "rooms". This seemed to be similar to creating sequences in Premiere, but maybe it's more for different versions of a project. I'll have to look at that.

So there you have it. Lightworks: Part Avid, part FCPX, very capable if you have the Pro version. It's been a rocky start, but I think I'm getting the hang of it now.

______________________________________________
"Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Frank Gothmann
Re: I'm taking a look at Lightworks right now
on May 10, 2013 at 8:12:29 am

So I assume you also have access to a win machine. Why don't you also try the other options out there, Edius, Vegas?
When we found X not to our liking we looked at every option out there and all of them are available as trials. Lightworks is something to look into but for us, Edius was the best and most flexible choice.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Greg Andonian
Re: I'm taking a look at Lightworks right now
on May 11, 2013 at 1:00:27 am

[Frank Gothmann] I assume you also have access to a win machine. Why don't you also try the other options out there, Edius, Vegas?

I haven't looked at Vegas in a while. I may do that.

I remember you saying a lot of good things about Edius during the early stages of the FCPX debacle. Can it decode ProRes files? That was one of the things that I liked about Lightworks. That and it has AAF import and export. It seemed like moving between Lightworks and Avid (and Premiere CC, at some point) should be pretty easy because of that.

Aside from that I took the dive into Lightworks because it's free (or very cheap) so why not. I also wanted to know more about it, because I found it very intriguing, especially the open-source aspect. It will be interesting to see where that goes in the future.

I wanted to mention it here because I remember seeing a lot of comments about Lightworks during NAB, and a couple people saying they would be keeping an eye on it, so I thought I'd do a post about my experience with it so far.

______________________________________________
"Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Frank Gothmann
Re: I'm taking a look at Lightworks right now
on May 11, 2013 at 1:19:55 am

[Greg Andonian] "I remember you saying a lot of good things about Edius during the early stages of the FCPX debacle. Can it decode ProRes files? That was one of the things that I liked about Lightworks. That and it has AAF import and export. It seemed like moving between Lightworks and Avid (and Premiere CC, at some point) should be pretty easy because of that.
"


Edius cuts Prores, DnxHd or any other QT flavour like butter. Actually, it handles pretty much anything and doesn't bog down. And yes, it has AAF in and out. It also imports FCP 7 xml.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Greg Andonian
Re: I'm taking a look at Lightworks right now
on May 11, 2013 at 1:58:28 am

[Frank Gothmann] Edius cuts Prores, DnxHd or any other QT flavour like butter. Actually, it handles pretty much anything and doesn't bog down. And yes, it has AAF in and out. It also imports FCP 7 xml.

Actually, that sounds pretty sweet! I may have to check out the trial...

Can it also EXPORT an XML? or just import?

______________________________________________
"Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Frank Gothmann
Re: I'm taking a look at Lightworks right now
on May 11, 2013 at 9:52:59 am

XML import only, but AAF worked fine for me.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Greg Andonian
Re: I'm taking a look at Lightworks right now
on May 12, 2013 at 2:41:13 am

[Frank Gothmann] XML import only, but AAF worked fine for me.

That's cool... My main concern is getting into After Effects, since I still have CS5, but I see I can also use AAF- so hopefully that will work OK.

I checked out the Edius website, and one thing I saw that I really liked, is it can do real-time frame rate conversions?? That sounded really nice.

I downloaded the trial for it, but I haven't installed it yet. I'm going to wait on that and the Media Composer trial that I downloaded until Premiere Pro CC gets here. That way I can do a very thorough head-to-head comparison between those three and also Lightworks, and do some exhaustive testing on interoperability between the newcomers and After Effects, and also between Premiere Pro CC and the other NLEs- to see how well they would work as a safety net if I did start to use Premiere and then lost access to it.

My main focus in the meantime is to become a competent Lightworks editor. Either way I go, I think it will be good to know Lightworks since it's either free or really cheap, and seems quite capable.

I'll probably upgrade Lightworks to the pro version around the time I start the trials for the other three. That way I'll have the full version to use in my evaluations when I do my NLE Royal Rumble.

Yes, The NLE Royal Rumble... See it here, next month- LIVE on Pay Per Edit. ;)

______________________________________________
"Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Frank Gothmann
Re: I'm taking a look at Lightworks right now
on May 12, 2013 at 9:51:47 am

That would always be my first suggestion. Install all the trials, have a go at all of them and see what app suits your workflow and expectations best.
For me, I just want a timeline that flies, no delays, no stuttering, great trim tools, no beachballs or waiting cursors. It has to go through the footage like butter, no matter what the source codec, size, framerate, filter applied. Especially with IO since I just want and need to watch whatever I do (also with AE) on a broadcast monitor. And when I go at 32x speed to fly through material (which Edius can do) I also want as little latency on my external monitor as possible. The only NLEs that do all that is Edius and, at least with native media, Final Cut Classic Media Composer. FCPX and Premiere CS6 are terrible in that respect.
Maybe I'll do a little youtube vid comparing timeline behavior under heavy load of all those apps. The results are quite impressive and there is a clear winner.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Sam Lanes
Re: I'm taking a look at Lightworks right now
on May 10, 2013 at 3:47:01 pm

I have read a few things about Lightworks lately and I'm intrigued by it as an NLE. I might give it a try when I get chance.

I also know quite a few people who use Edius and have done for years; I never know anyone move away from that programme once they have started using it, and many often upgrade regularly.

I was told by the VP of Grass Valley once that it is the standard NLE in Japan, but other than that line from the vice-head honcho, I can't verify that!


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Brian Mulligan
Re: I'm taking a look at Lightworks right now
on May 10, 2013 at 5:03:05 pm

I used Lightworks back in the 1990's - it was a great content editor. it never had effects at the time. I look forward to it on the Mac.

Brian Mulligan
Senior Editor - Autodesk Smoke
WTHR-TV Indianapolis,IN, USA
Twitter: @bkmeditor


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Chris Devers
Re: I'm taking a look at Lightworks right now
on May 31, 2013 at 4:06:50 pm

If you are trying out Lightworks, we encourage you to take a look at the new 11.1 version that EditShare released this week. Please see Lightworks Windows 11.1 release for Windows for a brief overview, as well as this video overview we posted on YouTube:







There’s a lot of new stuff in 11.1 — see the Lightworks Forum for more details & discussion.

We’re also making progress on the public beta of the Linux version, and the version for Mac OS X will be available in the near future as well. Once the software is available for all three major operating systems, the next goal will be to relaunch Lightworks as an open source project. Stay tuned to LWKS.com (or our Twitter, Facebook, etc pages) for news as it becomes available.

--
Chris Devers
EditShare Tech Support
support ( at ) editshare • com
http://editshare.com
Twitter: @EditShare & @ESLightWorks


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