Sunday, November 23, 2014

LightWorks 12 On Mac !

Its been a while since I took a look at LightWorks. Its now in V 12, and on Mac and Linux. So the very first thing you probably noticed here is... what this ? Nodes ? ! YES ! LW has nodal comping. Funny its been a while since I've done nodal comping so it took some brain searching to figure things out. Once I got the hang of it I made a few basic effects like a blur keyed on a color just to test the chain out. 

What else does LW have to offer ? How about real time scopes ! Hit play, they work.

LW also has a very spiffy color corrector thats like a mini version of Speed Grade right in the NLE. I'm sure you must figure performance sucks, right ? No ! I had real time performance on my MBP i7 with AMD 6750 1g Vram GPU playing 1080 ProRes and AVCHD. I'm sure stacking a pile of layers and effects on this, an nVidia GPU would probably pull out in front but for what looks like basic edits with a few effects this could be quite nice.

LW supports a wide variety of modern codecs and formats like AVCHD, HDV, MXF (op1a) and QT including ProRes ( mac only ). 

FCP XML import was just added. There is AAF, OMF and EDL support too. Round tripping with Resolve via AAF is supported.

Downsides ? Well yes they are there. The TL constantly wants to go into trim mode and its not the most drag and drop editing style friendly. In many respects it felt like media composer 10 years ago in that its very keyboard driven, I and O point driven. I'm sure there are some better D&D options but having just directly dove in and didn't RTFM, I did ok. Also remember that LightWorks still makes their Stienbeck style edit controller that this software is still based around. I'm sure having that controller would make this fly a bit nicer. For those of you who have editing film or tape, or even a few NLE's that did good hardware controls this might be a real welcome back. 

Audio lets you keyframe at subframe levels, but the audio mixer appears to no support track level effects, only volume and track routing to outputs. 

COST ?

How about FREE for the basic version thats a very decent editor that would certainly serve web / youtube editors needs pretty nicely. The free version is limited to YouTube MP4

The Pro version which adds many more export options that you'd expect for a pro NLE ( MOV, MXF, AAF, XML, ect. ), hardware I/O support for matrox, BMD and AJA, real time project sharing where multiple editors can work on the same project at once, and many other features. Price here ? $24.99/month, $174.99 yearly or outright own for $437.99. Pretty reasonable. The outright purchase includes all minor updates for that version. When a new full version is released its $174.99. The full license also includes 2 installed seats.

A full list of features between the two versions is here.

Adding DNxHD is a $65 extra license fee.

Either way its some good competition for the market place. Now, don't get me wrong here, I don't see LW replacing my current editor of choice, Premiere Pro anytime soon. However for students,  those on a budget  or you are looking for something thats not FCP X, its a decent tool. You could use the free version to rough cut selects, export the XML from the paid ver and bring that over to your online Prem Pro editor and colorist working in Resolve. Its another tool for a different level of the market. Its main lack of, from what I could see, drag and drop style editing its a real limitation for me, but if I had to edit something on a machine thrown in front of me with nothing on it to edit with, ok, maybe it had iMovie.... I'd down load the free version and cut away. Check it out !