Lightworks: Slightly Ahead of Our Time

After a recent melt-down of my trusty MacBook Air, I was faced with the unenviable task of doing a full MacOS install and reinstallation of all my apps. Unfortunately, I was not even able to boot into recovery mode and do a full system restore from my Time Machine backups.

Sometimes a clean slate is like a second chance to do something different for a change.

Although I have purchased many professional software tools over the years for photo, audio, video editing and graphic design on the Mac platform, I also utilize a FreeNas server for network attached iscsi storage, and a Linux box for Resourcespace development. Therefore, I decided to take another look at the various open source and freeware applications that would suit my aforementioned needs as a photographer and videographer. Running the same software across a Mac laptop and a Linux desktop can be a real positive experience – the best aspect of all is that it is FREE!

I have recently downloaded and installed both Da Vinci Resolve and Lightworks as my primary video editing software of choice along with the venerable GIMP for image editing. Today, I would like to briefly talk about my experience with Lightworks.

I am no stranger to Lightworks (having used it in its early days) and its unique interface and design. Nevertheless, coming from Apple’s Final Cut Pro X (FCPX), Lightworks is a bit of a steep learning curve nonetheless. Without burying my head in the Lightworks manual and referring to online help, I managed to create a short video from scratch in about twice as long as what it would take me to do in FCPX. Most of that time was spent just trying to figure things out via trial and error. With a little time, I will get up to speed 🙂

This is by no means a full review of Lightworks, but rather a brief summary of my own user experience with the video editing application. In the final analysis, I am favourably impressed with the latest incarnation of Lightworks, even if the free version is crippled to outputting to Vimeo or Youtube at only 720P. That is sufficient for my needs as a blogger, but woefully inadequate for a professional editor. An upgrade to the Pro version is in order for the professional user.

I am going to continue to work with Lightworks over the next thirty days or so before I move on to experiment with the capable Da Vinci Resolve. Decisions…decisions. Here are a few screenshots of the application in my workflow.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 4.33.45 PM
Lightworks Audio View
Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 4.33.10 PM
Lightworks Log View
Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 4.31.47 PM
Lightworks VFX View
Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 4.29.58 PM
Lightworks Edit View

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2 thoughts on “Lightworks: Slightly Ahead of Our Time

    1. I know…I hear that all the time. Everyone seems to have used Avid, Premiere, and Final Cut Pro, yet Lightworks remains a hidden little gem, used in many Hollywood films and an Academy and Emmy award winner. Go figure?? It is my hope that the current developers open source the software as they explicitly promised to the community some time ago.

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