11 Best Open Source Video Editors

11 Best Open Source Video Editors In 2020

An open source video editor contains source code that enables you to customize the program according to your current needs. Therefore, anyone with a bit of coding knowledge and video editing experience will give preference to open source software.

11 Best Open Source Video Editors

  1. OpenShot – Our choice
  2. Blender – Professional video sequence editor
  3. ShotCut – Modular video editor with a portable version
  4. KDEnlive – The best open source video editor for Linux
  5. Lightworks – For quick special effects
  6. Pitivi – Video editing accuracy up to nanoseconds
  7. Avidemux – For simple changes and spitting out modified files
  8. LiVES – For VJing and real-time editing
  9. VidCutter – For basic editing
  10. Flowblade – For Linux
  11. Natron – The best choice for VFX

Users have limited choice when it comes to open source video editing tools. Only a few companies provide the source code of their program. Keep in mind that they aren’t as stable in various build versions and may not be completely free.

In this article, I cover the best open source video editors that have cross-platform capabilities and don’t require any financial investments. It is significant for small businesses and start-ups due to budget constraints.

1. OpenShot – Our Choice

 
The best free open source video editor
  • Compatible with the majority of formats
  • Keyframe animation framework
  • Desktop integration (drag-and-drop support)
  • 3D titles and effects, ability to resize the clip
  • Advanced graph with panning, scrolling, zooming and snapping
  • None detected

Verdict: OpenShot offers an installer for Mac without manual compilation and installation. It is the best free video editor for YouTube notable for a straightforward interface, and an integrated guide providing an unrestricted number of tracks.

It is possible to put any type of media in any track, drag and drop it to import or work on the timeline.

This free open source video editor boasts an array of transitions with a real-time preview, slow motion and speed modifications, time effects and 3D animation, keyframe-based animation, and three-dimensional animated titles.

OpenShot incorporates a title editor and file manager. Besides, users can visualize audio files via audio signals, mix and edit audio.

openshot open source video editor interface

2. Blender

 
Professional video sequence editor
  • 2D/3D modeling toolset, snap-ins
  • Large community, Steam
  • Support for extensions, VFX
  • Integrated composer, preview
  • Redundancy of functions
  • Not the simplest option for novices

Verdict: Blender is a stable and performant advanced 3D graphics package and free animation software for creating animated movies, 3D applications, video games, and visual effects.

It is supplied with an extensive modeling toolset, as well as topology, sculpture and curves. Blender is an integrated non-linear video editing application present in stable versions of Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora.

Blender is the best open source video editing software due to the presence of 3D modeling, rigging, texturing, animation, rendering, skin creation, and motion tracking capabilities.

The video editing toolset comprises transitions, filters, keyframes speed control, adjustment layers, video masking; audio mixing, clearing, syncing, and waveform visualization.

blender best open source video editor interface

3. ShotCut

 
Modular editor with a portable version
  • Compatible with all FFmpeg formats
  • Dockable panels, keyboard shortcuts
  • JACK-transport synchronization
  • Portable Windows version, dual monitor support
  • Certain learning curve
  • Absence of the “Import” version

Verdict: ShotCut is a reliable nonlinear and easily integrated video editor. It offers everything from color correction, waveform correction, histograms to adding transitions. A straightforward minimalistic interface based on the system of flags and sliders is complemented by functional modules.

This open source video editor for Windows works with 4K content, supporting stereo, mono and surround sound. Blender enables users to edit their own timelines without importing, create a media playlist, drag and drop clips to the timeline with a full feature-set, such as adding tracks, clip fragments, and cropping.

shotcut best open source video editor interface

4. KDEnlive

 
Open source video editor for Linux
  • Compatible with all FFmpeg formats
  • Tons of transitions and effects, customization
  • Fast proxy editing, backup auto-copying
  • Customizable interface, keyboard shortcuts, desktop integration
  • Manual compilation and installation on Mac

Verdict: Based on the MLT media environment and running in the KDE desktop environment, it is the best free open source video editor for Linux. Kdenlive’s timeline supports an unrestricted number of video/audio tracks, visible audio signals, pre-rendering, and JKL playback shortcuts.

Kdenlive pleases users with a remarkable set of transitions, creative effects and filters. Clips aren’t difficult to drag and drop, modify their settings, and preview them in real time.

When exporting a finished video, it is possible to pick from a vast selection of presets and file types. Kdenlive supports 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios for PAL, NTSC, various HD and HDV standards, provides experimental AVCHD support. Users may export videos to DV devices or copy them to DVD.

kdenlive open source video editor interface

5. Lightworks

 
For quick special effects
  • Tons of special effects
  • Synchronized video from different cameras
  • 2D/3D text animations
  • Dedicated mouse and keyboard for acceleration
  • Absence of export of 3D videos
  • Difficult to post 4K clips

Verdict: Lightworks is an Emmy award-winning open source video editor for PC. It is compatible with the resolutions of up to 4K in SD and HD format. The interface is slightly different from the majority of free video editors. But it is customizable and lets users modify various controls and windows to meet their needs.

Lightworks enables users to create sophisticated qualitative clips. The video editor is rather straightforward and agile, offering a Hollywood level of detail for video projects that may be shared with other Lightworks users.

lightworks best open source video editor interface

6. Pitivi

 
Video editing accuracy up to nanoseconds
  • Any formats are supported with GStreamer Multimedia Framework
  • Timeline is independent of the frame rate
  • Integration with the GNOME desktop or Linux desktop environment
  • Real-time crop preview
  • Not the easiest installation

Verdict: With each version, Pitivi is consistently being ranked among the best free video editing software. A beautiful and straightforward interface supports the audience: contextual hints about the basics provide the user with the ability to self-document.

It includes time-saving capabilities, such as rippled and roll editing, real-time searching and assets management, grouping and snapping, non-modal cutting, play-head centric zooming and editing, smooth scrolling and automatic zoom adjustment.

pitivi open source video editor interface

7. Avidemux

 
For simple changes
  • High level of video encoding
  • Ability to copy the filters, support for Virtual dub
  • Custom scenarios for automation
  • Open API and Cloud Hosted deployment platforms
  • Official SourceForge page
  • Basic video editing

Verdict: Avidemux is the best open source video editor for making simple modifications (cutting, saving, adding titles) and uploading the resulting file. Moreover, it is possible to apply filters, color effects and borders that enhance the clip by increasing sharpness or reducing noise; add audio streams or extra clips to the end of the current clip.

If you have plenty of clips to encode, you may queue them for mass processing. As part of export, Avidemux is capable of encoding video and audio into an impressive range of file types with many detailed options, as well as a vast array of codecs.

avidemux open source video editor interface

8. LiVES

 
For VJing and real-time editing
  • Control via MIDI, keyboard and joystick
  • Support for multiple tracks and plug-ins
  • VJ keyboard control
  • Compatibility with projectM and the LADSPA audio
  • Not the easiest installation
  • Windows support in development

Verdict: LiVES is a non-linear video editor free with bonus applications aimed at a particular type of user: video jockey or VJ. Along with standard video editing features, LiVES boasts a number of real-time options that let users mix and control video clips to combine them with sound alongside live performance, create custom maps for calling effects or switching between clips at the touch of a button.

One part of the interface is the clip editor that enables users to apply effects, such as fade, swirl, and color, to imported media. Then it is possible to place the clips on a multi-track timeline for immediate rendering or save them for later.

lives open source video editor interface

9. VidCutter

 
Best for basic editing
  • Key frame viewer
  • Ability to cut, split and add different clips
  • Compatible with major audio/video formats
  • Basic UI
  • Under development
  • Complicated installation

Verdict: VidCutter is the best open source video editor for standard operations, such as cropping or slicing. If you wish to make a quick and effortless edit, VidCutter does a great job of cutting videos. This cross-platform program is capable of importing and exporting the most widespread formats.

Its interface with theme parameters comprises several elements. Imported media files are displayed in the preview area. Thumbnails may be displayed on a timeline from a single track at the bottom.

vidcutter open source video editor interface

10. Flowblade

 
Best for Linux
  • Advanced time control
  • Multi-track editing
  • G'mic tool
  • Primary audio/video formats of FFMpeg libraries
  • No support for Windows and OS X
  • You have to get used to the interface

Verdict: Flowblade is a straightforward and free open source video editor compatible with Ubuntu, Linux and Debian. It is concentrated on offering fast and stable video editing, faster loading and operating experience.

Avoiding a large number of additional capabilities that can slow down and complicate the process, it guarantees speedier video editing. Besides, this makes Flowblade more stable and reduced crashes.

The modern interface of Flowblade is intuitive with timeline tool buttons placed in a row. This slightly stripped-down panel offers enough tools for moving and cropping. Although its "insert edit" model with the automatic movement of clips to the left may take some getting used to.

flowblade open source video editor interface

11. Natron

 
Best for VFX
  • Robust tracker
  • Key VFX tools
  • Shadertoy and G'mic tools
  • Compatible with OpenFX plugins
  • Not a non-linear video editor

Verdict: If you are a fan of VFX and motion graphics, Natron will be a decent alternative to free VFX software, although it isn’t a non-linear video editor for cutting and assembling video clips.

It offers an efficient way to handle a significant aspect of video production: creating visual effects (VFX) and moving graphics used to combine various elements in order to produce movie effects in a specific frame or scene.

Effects are built on a series of “nodes”. Users specify and configure the effects’ details on the node and apply them, connecting and stacking multiple layers and node branches as needed.

Moreover, this free video editing software for PC lets users take advantage of the options of moving and resizing 2D/3D elements, a color key to replace the background, and tracking movement as points in the video.

natron open source video editor interface
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