OpenShot: An Easy-to-use Video Editor For the Average Linux User

Video editing in Linux is never an easy stuff. While there are several top-notch video editing software available for Linux users, most of them are not meant for the faint-hearted. With the release of OpenShot, the averagae users (like you and me) now have an easy to use video editor that they can fire up, drag their photos into the time frame and quickly produce a slideshow movie.

OpenShot is a non-linear video editor for Linux. It can easily combine multiple video clips, audio clips, and images into a single project, and then export the video into many common video formats. Things that you can do with OpenShot include creating photo slide shows, edit home videos, create television commercials and on-line films, or anything else you can dream up.

Installing

There are several ways to install OpenShot in your Linux machine. If you are using Ubuntu Karmic, you can add the repository and install from the PPA:

There is also deb/rpm installer and also a LiveDVD. You can even compile from source if you want to.

Usage

Open OpenShot from Applications -> Sound and Video -> OpenShot Video Editor

openshot-main

Import in your video/picture/audio files.

openshot-import-files

Drag the required files to the timeline at the bottom. Move them around to the desire position.

openshot-add-files-to-timeline

Click on the Transition tab. Drag your favorite transition effects to the timeline.

openshot-transition

At the timeline toolbar, select either the Razor, Resize or Snapping icon to manipulate the video effects.

openshot-toolbar

Click the Play button to preview your creation.

Once you are happy, go to File -> Export to Video. You can now select the format that you want to export the video to. There are two tabs: Simple and Advanced. The Simple tab contains the pre-configured setting for some of the popular format, including BlueRay, DVD, Device and Web.

openshot-export-file-simple

In the Advanced tab, you will be able to customize the video/audio format and quality.

openshot-export-file-advanced

Click Export Video to complete the process.

Other Features

Image sequencing

You can either import images sequence based on the filename pattern or you can export your video into a series of images. What it will do is to take a snapshot of each video frame and save them as PNG file.

Support for multiple timelines (akin to layers in Photoshop)

You can add/remove as many timelines as you want. Each timeline can be used for different purposes: 1 for background audio, 1 for video, 1 for transition effects, 1 for watermark etc.

Support many video, audio and image formats

Thanks to FFmpeg, OpenShot is able to support all multimedia formats that are supported by FFmpeg. Unless you are using some weird out of the world codec, the video format you are using are most likely to be available in OpenShot.

Digital video effects

Other than the transition effects, OpenShots also include various digital video effects like brightness, gamma, hue, greyscale, chroma key (bluescreen / greenscreen). One thing that I like about this is that they are easy to use and you can easily and quickly produce a great video without any skill or experience.

Conclusion

If you are looking at this software from an expert point of view, OpenShot is not definitely not up to par with professional video editing tool like Final Cut Pro or Cinelerra. However if you just want a simple, easy to use video editor that comes with plenty of useful features, then OpenShot will be the one for you.

11 comments

  1. The only thing I’m missing from Openshot when creating a picture slideshow is that I cannot see thumbnails of my images on the timeline.
    For the rest I totally agree with you, excellent ease of use and overall quality (despite a few tweak I needed to export in hdtv quality)

  2. I run Kubuntu KDE 4.3.5 on my machine. I installed OpenShot but, When I launch it, it tries to run but dies instead. I will stick with Kdenlive since it already works good.

    It would be nice if someone could make a comparison between the two.

  3. Added /usr/share/openshot to system path
    ——————————–
    OpenShot (version 1.0.0)
    ——————————–
    *** ERROR: MLT Python bindings failed to import ***
    *** ERROR: MLT Python bindings failed to import ***
    Exception in thread Thread-1:
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/lib/python2.6/threading.py”, line 525, in __bootstrap_inner
    self.run()
    File “/usr/share/openshot/classes/thumbnail.py”, line 174, in run
    mlt.Factory().init()
    NameError: global name ‘mlt’ is not defined

    ——————————————————-
    Error: OpenShot has not been installed in the Python path.
    (Both the site-packages and /usr/share/openshot folders were checked)

  4. I just did a complete purge of openshot/mlt and a reinstall and still have the same problem. The mlt packages are from the ppa as is openshot. It not strange that libmlt++2 has libmlt++.so.3 in it rather than libmlt++.so.2?

    • The PPA only works for Ubuntu Karmic 9.10. If you are using older version of Ubuntu, you have to use the deb installer.

      • This was on Karmic. Also, my last sentence was grammatically incorrect. It should have read..

        Is it not strange that libmlt++2 has libmlt++.so.3 in it rather than libmlt++.so.2?

        My point being that the ppa openshot is looking for libmlt++.so.2 but the ppa version of libmlt++2 only contains libmlt++.so.3.

  5. I am having the same error msg. I am on ubuntu karmic.

    *** ERROR: MLT Python bindings failed to import ***
    *** ERROR: MLT Python bindings failed to import ***
    Exception in thread Thread-1:
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/lib/python2.6/threading.py”, line 525, in __bootstrap_inner
    self.run()
    File “/usr/share/openshot/classes/thumbnail.py”, line 174, in run
    mlt.Factory().init()
    NameError: global name ‘mlt’ is not defined

    ——————————————————-
    Error: OpenShot has not been installed in the Python path.
    (Both the site-packages and /usr/share/openshot folders were checked)

    Use the following command to install OpenShot:
    $ sudo python setup.py install

    I have tried;

    – reinstalling
    – setup.py

  6. I freshly installed OpenShot 20 mins ago and repeatedly get the following
    well known error message. This happens on Ubuntu-9.10 Karmic Koala
    on a dual core AMD 64-bit machine.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Perseus

    —<snip>—

    ——————————–
    OpenShot (version 1.1.3)
    ——————————–
    Process no longer exists: 18465. Creating new pid lock file.
    *** ERROR: MLT Python bindings failed to import ***
    *** ERROR: MLT Python bindings failed to import ***
    Exception in thread Thread-1:
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/lib/python2.6/threading.py”, line 525, in __bootstrap_inner
    self.run()
    File “/usr/lib/pymodules/python2.6/openshot/classes/thumbnail.py”, line 170, in run
    mlt.Factory().init()
    NameError: global name 'mlt' is not defined

    ——————————————————-
    Error: OpenShot has not been installed in the Python path.
    (Both the site-packages and /usr/share/openshot folders were checked)

    Use the following command to install OpenShot:
    $ sudo python setup.py install
    —<snip>—

    The latter command doesn't find “setup.py” and thus doesn't run, also.

  7. I installed with the following command:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonoomph/openshot-edge
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install openshot openshot-docs

    and the installation went smoothly. Perhaps you can try uninstall your existing installation of openshot and reinstall again.

  8. SOLVED –

    I found out it has to do with a missing shared library: libmlt++.so.2

    On my Ubuntu-9.10 Karmic Koala system the following libraries were available:

    —<snip>—
    # ls -l /usr/lib/libmlt*
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 133520 2010-02-16 10:17 /usr/lib/libmlt.so.0.5.0
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 122648 2010-02-16 10:18 /usr/lib/libmlt++.so.0.5.0
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 15 2010-05-26 23:46 /usr/lib/libmlt.so.2 -> libmlt.so.0.5.0
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 17 2010-05-26 23:46 /usr/lib/libmlt++.so.3 -> libmlt++.so.0.5.0
    —<snip>—

    As you can see, libmlt++.so.3 and libmlt.so.2 are there but OpenShot expects libmlt++.so.2! So I simply tried to fake the existence of libmlt++.so.2 by placing a symbolic link:

    ### Enter the following command as root on a shell
    ln -s /usr/lib/libmlt++.so.3 /usr/lib/libmlt++.so.2

    Thus, every call for a function provided by libmlt++.so.2 is forwarded (thanks to the link) to libmlt++.so.3. Runs like a charm – PROBLEM SOLVED!

    Conclusion: Give the symbolic link solution a try, it won't hurt your system. If OpenShot runs after placing the link, you are done. If not, just remove the link.

    YMMV, as usual but HTH,
    Perseus

Comments are closed.

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