Shotcut

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Shotcut

The Shotcut to your video editing!

4.5

Our rating: 

4.5

Pros & Cons:

has Advanced graphical node based compositiong. Very good audio mixing capabilities Combined motion tracking with creation suite. Renders videos in almost all outputs.
Needs time to get used to as it has complex mechanisms. Requires a strong PC so it might affect its performance. Some distributions require additional extensions/plug ins.

Our Review:

Shotcut has advanced graphical node based compositing with:

  • "Effects Strips": Essentially generates a strip in the sequence editor that you can layer above the target media strip. Like using a Photoshop layer for one specific effect.
  • Decent audio mixing capabilities
  • Fantastic motion tracking (advantage of being built into your creation suite)

It also supports a lot of media formats via FFmpeg and screen, webcam, and audio capture. It has timeline for non-linear video editing of multiple tracks that may be composed of various file formats. Scrubbing and transport control are assisted by OpenGL GPU-based processing and a number of video and audio filters are available.

It includes a lot of features for a free licensed software product which makes it even more reliable, saves time, money and a lot of effort as it simplifies your video editing!


Shotcut was reviewed by on based on version 18.03.

Comments

This is currently my go to video editor, but only because of problems using NCH VideoPad.

Initial impression: it looks familiar with a timeline and a project area to drop clips etc.

The main problem is that it doesn't work like other similar-looking editors. If you have a video on the timeline and want to drop another in front of it, it "overwrites" rather than pushing the existing clip up the timeline. So you end up having to Google how to do the basics and watch a few tutorial videos to do anything. It's a frustrating learning curve, if only the user interface worked like all the others!

Having mastered it, it does a lot.

Some of the other oddities compared to other video editors:

* You don't need to put all the clips, photos etc into the project area and then drag to the timeline. They can be opened, previewed and dragged directly to the timeline

* You can produce an output video directly from the project area (known as a playlist) without using the timeline at all

* Deleting from the timeline by default doesn't close the gap - this has actually turned out to be useful, but not how other editors work. It is easy to close the gap later or there is a setting to control this (but does that setting do something else undesirable, I haven't found out)

* Creating consistent looking titles requires a bit of effort as by default the font size is as large as will fit the text in the text box resulting in different size titles for different pieces of text. This can be fixed but it takes experimentation to get the size of text looking good, it would be nice if the defaults looked good out of the box.

Overall it's not quite as polished as some but is better than a lot of open source.

It's one of the few pieces of software that uses my laptop's AMD Radeon graphics - it gets used for the video preview in the upper part of the screen (the video you see when you press play in the editor). It doesn't get used for final video file rendering however.

I switched to Shotcut recently, after my "free" version of VideoPad became trialware and refused to export the video. This really should be removed from the list of recommended video editors.

The review of Shotcut and the previous comment both refer to difficulties with the interface. I experienced no such problems, and I am not an expert. Before trying Shotcut, watch its 15 minute beginner's tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtsB2iZRb9c . Keep this open while you edit your first video, so that you can refer to it to see exactly how things are done. I was productive after 1 hour! I consider this to be a short learning curve.

Shotcut is updated regularly. The review is based on version 18.0.3. The current version is 20.11.28. The list of changes is at https://shotcut.org/blog/ . Look at the first 6 pages of changes since 18.0.3; there have been MANY improvements.

I did have one temporary problem. An underwater video was accidentally recorded vertically. I did find some tutorials about how to convert to horizontal, but these all referred to an old “rotate” filter, before it was combined with the resize filter. To accomplish this: change Video Mode from Default to “HD 1080p 29.97fps”, select the “Size, Position & Rotate” filter, set the vertical size to 1920 (i.e. the size before rotating), set rotation to -90, Export Video. Simple!

I have decided to stick with Shotcut.