Lightworks V11 for Windows: First Take

A free Windows version of the industrial-strength video editor Lightworks has just been released, with a Linux release promised very soon. It's a teaser to encourage users to purchase upgrades to the Pro version.

EditShare has just released a free version of its industrial-strength, non-linear video editor (NLE) Lightworks as a free download for Windows users, with a Linux version expected soon.

The product website's opening page proclaims that Lightworks has been used by the movie industry in the production of many big-budget films — Hugo and The Kings Speech, for example — and the software has been in development since 1989. There are several video editors already available for the home and small production markets, including Adobe's Premiere Pro , Apple's Final Cut Pro X and Avid Studio for PC.

lightworks-workspace
The Lightworks V11 video editor user interface.

It seems that EditShare is offering the free version to make inroads on these products, and also to encourage try-out users to pay for an upgrade to Lightworks Pro. The comparison page for the two versions lists 32 features, 21 of which are only available in Lightworks Pro for a yearly licence of £40. Among the features not supported by the free version are QuickTime export, H.264 / AVCHD Decode and Encode, and Blu-ray and DVD export.

Lightworks supports a wide range of industry formats, has an uncluttered but powerful timeline display that's resolution-, format- and codec-independent, easy trimming with AutoSync, stereoscopic support and powerful real-time effects.

EditShare started a beta programme to develop Lightworks cross platform on Windows, OS X and Linux 18 months ago. It has been promising the free Linux and Mac OS X versions for some time — the initial release was planned for November 2011. The Linux version will be demonstrated at the 2012 IBC conference and exhibition, which starts on Friday 7 September.

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