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EditShare Announces First Ever Lightworks Open Source platform


Though its not Blender related news it is open source news for editing which I felt warranted mention here.  I'll let you in the community  figure out if its worth it or not. From what I've read it on their site, it looks impressive.  Have any of you ever used it?

Academy® and Emmy® award-winning Lightworks was introduced in 1989 as the first and most advanced professional editing system on the market. Its intuitive controls, real-time synchronization, and multi-camera ingest and editing features still remain unmatched by top industry players.

EditShare officially acquired Lightworks in August 2009 and plans to make the first step towards releasing Lightworks Open Source in Q3 of this year in the form of a free Lightworks download.


  1. That could be interesting. Never heard of the software, but a decent cross-platform open source NLE would fill a gap (although Blender has already been taking big strides to fill that gap).

    It seems that the Edit Share folks may be consciously trying to emulate Blender's open source success story, which is pretty cool actually. It's great if good proprietary software can get a second chance through open sourcing. They're also Dutch it seems. Is the Netherlands angling to be the mecca of open source content creation?

    Lightworks doesn't show up here on this comparison. Maybe somebody at Edit Share ought to edit the Wiki to include it, to give people a better idea of where it stands against other apps.

    Anyway, potentially very interesting. Hope it gets past the vaporware stage!

  2. My colleague from the final BUG (Berlin FCP) group has the dates for the German road show:

    The future does not seem to look too good for FCP these days (H.264 (camera) licensing fiasco makes some Pro users ask certain questions/recent discussions about only a Prosumer FCP...)

    It's wonderful that finally open-source video editing is about to take off!

    With Google's WebM/VP8 there now should also be a safe way for commercial distribution without licensing fees...

    I really believe that the Blender VSE has helped a lot in creating awareness for open-source video editing/made people believe that this could actually work!

    The only thing that worries me a lot today in this context is the fact that software patents may have found their way to Germany... (19.05.10)

  3. I think this will really show what the industry is using on the big screen and help opensource further. When projects like this become open sourced they really pull the whole technology up further. Just like the VP9 codec that Google is making opensource. This is good news for developers and users alike.

  4. Nice, but we don't know anything about the licence. As far as I can tell, "open source" doesn't mean necessarily "free software". Think, for example, to the Java Research License used by Sun in the early days of the Java Development Kit. It was "open source", free to study for academic or research purposes, but it was quite restrictive in its clauses.
    They're asking for developers, so they are probably trying to constitute a community around Lightworks, but before an official announcement about the license they will use, I wouldn't be too excited. :-)

    I really hope they will use an OSI approved license.

  5. Sergie J. Reyes Guzmán on

    I think that is good to see this type of software becoming Open Source, it will give some serious competition in the area of video editing only, because in the area of 3D, blender is giving the fight.

  6. @mjordan:

    from the article: "...towards releasing Lightworks Open Source in Q3 of this year in the form of a free Lightworks download. The download will be made available to everybody."

    Sounds pretty "free" to me.

  7. oofoor said:
    “Though its not Blender related news”
    Stopped reading right there.

    And yet you felt the need to comment...?

    @Tim Formica:
    This doesn't mean anything to me, because I don't know what Lightworks is. Google and Wikipedia are pointing me in several different directions... could you provide a link to more information on the correct Lightworks, please?

    Edit: I guess this is a good place to start:
    I'll see what else I can find from there.

  8. Being someone who mainly uses blender for film related work I found this new item to be well worth the mention.. a tool such as this is something that a think a large number of blender users could benefit from if it is nearly as cool as it sounds :-)
    Film editing is one of those things that I have found the open source world is so far behind in that its just depressing, I think this stands a chance to change all of that :-D really exciting news :-)

  9. I've been following this promising piece of soft since it was announced to be coming as Open Source, this NAB. I hope it's released with a true OS license, something like LGPL or BSD.

    Now, if we could have a professional OS audio/MIDI sequencer... and no, Ardour is NOT there yet. Maybe for recording audio, but not for composing (VST instruments and effects, advanced MIDI edition...)

    Good times for audio/video/3D enthusiasts!!

  10. @oofoor
    Why? You may miss something that could enhance your work flow. Although blender is awesome, there are other tools I use to help my work flow, and learning about new freebies (and some commercial packages) I can try out is an important part of increasing the efficiency of your work flow. I find I have a respect for those die hard Blender supporters, but I wonder if it's folly to just narrow mindedly stick with one thing.

    Anyway, if you want to know more you could have a look here are follow some more of the links

    Most notably there is a link here:

    Anyway, I'll see what happens when Q3 arrives and I get my mitts on some more OS programs to try out.

  11. Dusty: I think he's too busy driving screws with his favorite hammer to hear you.

    mjordan: I'm actually disturbed by the thought of someone opening code and not letting people work with it. I would say, "who does that?" but you beat me to it. This and Sculptris are two things I'd love to use in my workflow. I hope they both go well.

  12. Lightworks is "up there" with Smoke, Jaleo, and Piranha. They are not just editors, they are collaborative solutions, usually bound to hardware. Nice to see the software break free for single users and small studios who just want something to work cross-platform that isn't premiere, or FC! Looking forward to it.

  13. I think is a little too early to say anything before it happens, It may be a breakthrouth in OS video editing story, but IMHO we shall be in a wait and see state. I´ll give ´em reasonable doubt. ;)

    Ardour is not for MIDI compositing AFAIK but, with the right equipment tied to your station (as a friend of mine) gives impressive results.
    There is a FOSS capable MIDI and music compositor, LMMS and works great in win32 platforms too, obviously works better in Linux distros cause they can use Jack, VST compatible and other fancy technologies that make it in fact work with PRO equipment or even a cheap keyboard or MIDI controller . It just works gentlemen. :)

    If you are searching for software for almost everything you can imagine, go sourceforge

    my two cents

  14. I just recieved a newsletter from Editshare. I was a little sad to see that the supported platforms are WinXP and Win7 only... one of their goals/hopes is to port Lightworks to Linux and OSX when the source is released. I thought it was a cross-platform app, like others here have written.

  15. Sounds very nice! I, like others, am a bit skeptical though about whether this will be fully free or not, without knowing the license. I'm an Adobe Premiere and Blender user currently. Premiere CS5 just came out with a whole new 64 bit engine with real time GPU based effects, and it looks like Lightworks has a GPU based effects engine too. Nice! Premiere's highest mode of acceleration only currently works with certain nVidia cards, so I'm curious which cards are supported for Lightworks, and how much of a difference they make. Premiere has Open GL acceleration for certain effects too, which ATI cards support as well.

    With LuxRender and other renders getting GPU acceleration, it's exciting how much GPUs are being taken advantage of to make things faster! :)

  16. It's hopefully very good news. Before Lightworks was acquired (and rapidly killed) by Tektronix, it was IMHO the best editing system available at the time. It's still being used by Thelma Shoonmaker and (I believe) Jil Bilcock and I miss it badly. When I last used it, however, it was largely a hardware based system and I can't speak for the software-only version. But if Editshare can generate the same enthusiasm and support for their product as Ton does for Blender, it has a bright future.

  17. @duhast: Unfortunately, "free" doesn't mean nothing in this area. If your objective is not paying anything for a software, then it will be free (as in beer). If we're speaking about the concept of "free software" (as in freedom), we should consider the type of license it will be based on.

  18. @Eonmach: Ardour version 3.0 adds full support for MIDI sequencing. Scheduled to be released sometime later this year I believe.

  19. Free or Open... Non exist is more the word I'm thinking about.

    Seems to me Lightworks does not exist and EditShare is looking for free developers to create it for them.
    Probably to be a backend to their Xstream technology.

    Once the first download is available I'll have a look if the edit software is any good, meaning will run without any paid hardware from EditShare.

    Main problem with Pro Edit software is not the interface but the fee to get your (Sony)Cam codec decoded.
    The trick for the Pro Editors is to move their hardware away from companies that only deliver in proprietry codec.
    But Pro's want their IP protected and have an advantage by uneasy to pirate codecs.

    Anyway. For smaller companies this might be great news.

  20. ejnersan: In 2000 there was an announcement that Lightworks would be portet to Linux. Seems like they failed with that.

    Some more info have gone public btw:

    Commercial Software Version
    For those editors that do not want the Open Source version, but the full turnkey system with support and all options, we will be offering a commercial version of the software, which will be chargeable.

  21. "...we will be offering a commercial version of the software, which will be chargeable."


    "in case the software needs a replacement of it's AA batteries."

  22. @ZareOne: A bit late and off topic, but the combo Ardour/Rosegarden IS a professional audio/MIDI DAW.
    And if you really need VST you should stick to its native OS, Windows. While some work (and work great) in Linux it will always be a hit-and-miss whether your favorite VST will crash spectacularly or not. Otherwise LADSPA and LV2 is a good replacement.

    You could also try Qtractor for a combined audio/MIDI experience

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