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Please add Lightworks NLE subforum

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    Please add Lightworks NLE subforum

    Next to Avid, Lightworks is the oldest professional NLE in existence. Where Avid was designed for broadcast video editing, Lightworks was originally designed for digital intermediate editing of feature films. It still includes features for editing and conforming film negatives today like using negative edge numbers for timecode. Lightworks originated as a turnkey studio level hardware/software solution that sold for $48k per seat.
    The user interface was influenced by and designed to meet the needs of feature film editors who at the time edited on flatbed tables like Steenbeck.The original editing console that came with the package emulated the Steenbeck control surface. I use a Lightworks MK1 serial console made in 1991 on the current version of the software today. It is the most precise and ergonomic editing controller I have ever had the pleasure of using. Later versions are similar but added a jog wheel. The console jog function is accurate to 1/4 frame slow jog increments and provides analog quality audiio scrubbing from subframe speed to 4x speed.
    Screenshot 2023-01-19 190209.jpg
    Lightworks development lanquished through rounds of corporate ownership until it was spun off from Editshare into an independent company, LWKS, two years ago. Since then it has undergone rapid development to update for current codecs, workflows and features. It has a very active and supportive user forum with rapid response to bug reports and updated release installers with bug fixes coming at least every two weeks. It works on all three major operating systems: Windows, OSX, and common release versions of Linux. The core code is OS agnostic. Lightworks staff, including programmers, are active on the user forum daily. On properly set up hardware with up to date OS and system drivers it is very stable. It saves every edit step automatically so any crashes typically recover to the last state of the edit.

    Lightworks conceptual workflow process is very different from the typical preview/program linear timeline assembly approach of broadcast editing that is still the core approach of most NLE's today.
    The original open desktop GUI is a bit intimidating to new users, but LWKS has added a more conventional fixed layout interface that is more user friendly for first timers or editors moving from other NLE's. However for long form narrative and documentary editing involving many hours of footage Lightworks original flexible desktop has a lot of advantages. It allows editors to organize their screen space anyway they want to that best suits the task at hand.

    I'll share a couple of my own project screen layouts to illustrate.

    The first is from a doc of a DC street demonstration event. 90 minutes of footage shot over five hours with an iPhone 12 Pro. A mix of long takes for narrative themes and short takes of crowd shots. The finished piece is about 18 minutes.
    The flexible GUI allows one to have multiple named bins of source material, clips, subclips, and sequences, all open on the desktop at one time. Material is organized for the edit into bins of narrative subclips, music subclips, and cutaways by opening the named bins on the desktop and dragging named subclips for each category from the media manager into the bins.
    The bins are arranged on the desktop with large tiles for content preview. Highlighting a tile opens it on a dedicated full screen preview monitor. A preview window isn't necessary. All project assets are immediately accessible and visible on the desktop with no need to open the project manager. Tiles can be pretrimmed to rough cut length in the bin window. The narrative sequence is auto assembled from selected clips in the narrative bin. Music clips are added on a separate track, then cutaways, titles, and FX added for the final pass. lwks flexible layout sample.jpg

    The second example is from a cell style cartoon animation project. Each scene was edited as a separate sequence to the narrative soundtrack. The master sequence was auto assembled from rendered copies of the scene sequences, music bed and scene transitions added to the master.
    The screen shows a scene sequence. Each animation element is on a separate video track managed with 3D DVE's for motion, position, and scaling within the scene. Display order is top down from V1.

    The node based native FX layout window appears next to the sequence window, organized top down to match the track layout.
    To the left of that is a rack (group) of bins with a dedicated bin for each scene containing all assets for that scene.
    Left most is the content manager for the project. With this layout I was able to quickly recut three one minute videos from the scene sequences for the original two minute version at the request of the client. Edited sequences are treated just like clips for insertion into new sequences whether rendered or not.

    lwks flexible layout sample2.jpg

    The latest pro version 2023.1 of Lightworks accepts third party OFX plugins and VST3 audio plugins for FX, though many of those are not compatible with Linux.
    Subsets of New Blue Total FX are included with paid Lightworks licenses. The full Total FX package is available as an add on purchase for about 80% off of retail. So the full up pro version with Total FX costs about half the cost of the New Blue package alone. The development of native Lightworks FX is open sourced with a large library of free user FX available for download from the forum.

    Since the release of the first desktop beta version 10 years ago under Editshare ownership, there have been more than 5 million downloads of Lightworks and there are now over a million paid license users. It is a premium professional NLE with a unique history and feature set.
    Since the original hardware version was released, every major feature film produced by Martin Scorsese in collaboration with Thelma Schoonmaker as his editor has been edited on Lightworks. Several other major feature film editors use it as their preferred choice too when they have the option.
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    Last edited by Razz16mm; 05-29-2023, 08:09 AM.

    Just to add that Lightworks also has a fixed layout, for those more used to a traditional NLE user interface. In the V2023 Lightworks, personal layouts can also be created for those who aren't satisfied by the Edit, Assembly, Logging, VFX and Audio workspaces provided by LWKS. However, these layouts can't be completely changed on the fly, as can be done with the flexible layout shown in the above post.