Shotcut for Linux is getting better and better

Change can be very difficult for a lot of people. We are not all equally adventurous and many of us love to stick to what we are used to or have learned. That already is important on a personal level, but that can play an even greater role on a professional level. I can still remember how the professional video editing world exploded when Apple came out with Final Cut Pro X and this editing application got a complete makeover in design, workflow and functionality. A professional editing studio is not eager for all team members to have to learn everything all over again. But not every change is always a bad thing and sometimes it just need to grow on you. There are a large number of non linear video editors available for Linux, but when we look at the development speed and the release frequency, Shotcut is really in the lead with already 10 releases in 2018. And with every release there are really good improvements and changes given to the user. Shotcut for Linux is getting better and better and Shotcut release 18.10 which was released two days ago again offers important new features, fixes, changes and improvements.

About Shotcut

Shotcut is a non-linear video editor. A non-linear editing system is a video editing metaphor that performs non-destructive editing on your source material, in contrast to old school methods of analog linear video editing. With a non linear video editor it is possible to use your source components in a non-linear way. So non-linear editing is a method that allows you to be in a video clip without being hampered by the physical sequence in the video clip.

Source: Teacher’s Tech Youtube channel

The Shotcut software is based on a flexible to set up, but also a logical and clear interface and offers a powerful set of tools. For the most part, Shotcut works as an experienced video editor would expect from a modern video editing application. It uses a similar layout as many other applications of this type. Shotcut offers many out of the box expansions, filters and effects and powerful supporting functionalities such as precise snapping of clips, ripple trim and drop. overwrite and insert functionality and most recently the frequently requested keyframing tool, which makes it possible to implement animations and time-related mutations, such as the ability to move and zoom images or digital photos.

Source: Shotcut Youtube channel

The filters are probably one of the most used tools in an application like this, and they are very well implemented in Shotcut. Choosing and applying filters can be done very easily, and the effects are immediately visible. Shotcut is a powerful application, but requires some patience and perseverance to discover what it can do.

What is new

Some of the new functionalities are:

  • Grid and Safe Area overlays.
  • Snapping to the grid and safe areas for the VUI rectangle control as used by Text, Size and Position, and more filters.
  • Open Other in the main toolbar with a drop-down menu.
  • Drag and drop folders from a file manager into Shotcut.
  • Supply multiple file and folder name arguments to the shotcut command line executable.
  • The ability to make a temporary Custom Video Mode.
  • Added Settings > Clear Recent on Exit checkbox to prevent saving data on a shared computer account.
  • Added a dialog when you click to check for an update that asks if you want to check for update automatically (at startup only) with the option to suppress the dialog indefinitely.

What has been improved

And of course some existing functionalities have been improved:

  • Changed resolution restriction from a multiple of 8 to a multiple of 2.
  • Improved the layout of the filter chooser in Filters.
  • Changed Timeline fade controls to behave the same as Keyframes simple keyframes.
  • Changed the Noise generator from opening as a live source to a clip with a duration.
  • Changed drag-n-drop to Playlist to not automatically open the first file unless the project is empty.
  • Changed the Rotation parameter of the Mask filter to use degrees, and fixed its reset button.
  • Added more library dependencies to the Linux portable tar, AppImage, and snap builds including the SWH LADSPA plugins.

What has been fixed

A lot of issues have been fixed:

  • Fixed audio preview distortion on Windows.
  • Fixed some AAC MP4 files start in the middle.
  • Fixed unmute a track may not draw its waveforms.
  • Fixed whitespace in Text filter removed in Export.
  • Fixed crash adding clip to Timeline after removing all tracks.
  • Fixed simple keyframes go missing or not all the way to 00:00.
  • Fixed switching from simple to advanced keyframes in Text, Rotate and Scale, Timer, and Size and Position filters.
  • Fixed a possible crash when adding a transition by trimming.
  • Fixed moving a clip to the left where the right edge is not a blank.
  • Fixed some Timeline actions do not work correctly after a Ripple move.
  • Fixed undo/redo form trim-to-transition over a blank/gap.
  • Fixed Ripple moving a clip to the end of a track was not extending the hidden black background.
  • Hide the Text generator if Settings > GPU Effects is on (incompatible).
  • Fixed the Rotate and Scale filter preset not saving keyframes for the Scale parameter.
  • Fixed a crash opening multiple files at once either through File > Open or drag-n-drop from a file manager.
  • Fixed a crash closing a playlist-only project with Automatic Video Mode.
  • Fixed changing position or removing advanced keyframes for the Scale parameter of the Rotate and Scale filter distorting the aspect ratio of the image.
  • Fixed Timeline > Split not working if the current track is empty. (It should split the topmost clip under the playhead.)
  • Fixed clicking the reset button of the Center checkbox of the Crop filter does not re-enable the other controls.
  • Fixed the Timeline and Keyframes timeline rulers are incorrect after changing Settings > Video Mode.
  • Fixed a crash when the project frame rate is very low (< 6 fps).
  • Fixed a crash when switching keyframes on and off for position and size parameters in video filter such as Size and Position, Text, and Timer.
  • Fixed trimming multiple track filters hides them.
  • Fixed making a Text preset does not save the text (only all other parameters).

(Source: above lists have been copied from https://www.shotcut.org/blog/)

How to install Shotcut 18.10

Shotcut is available for Windows, macOS and Linux. You can find the different installers on the download page of the Shotcut website. Shotcut for Linux can be installed and used in different ways like via AppImage, Flatpack and Snap. But it is even possible to use a portable version that does not require an actual installation.

Find all about Shotcut on https://www.shotcut.org/.

Final words

As I already said Shotcut for Linux is getting better and better. The team behind Shotcut is very active and they manage to roll out real improvements with each release. Most Linux users with a passion for video editing are probably using Kdenlive, but Shotcut really deserves it to have a thorough look at. It has a bit of a learning curve but invest some time in it and you will be a happy editor.