April 4, 2014

At Long Last, the Release Date for Lightworks for Mac Public Beta Has Been Announced

LightworksIt has been almost a year to the day when Editshare shared that their award-winner NLE Lightworks was going through alpha/beta testing for Mac OS X, and since then the question on the minds of its supporters has been, "When will the public beta of the mac version be available?" Well, it looks like they're much closer to completing the platform trifecta (Windows, Linux, and Mac), because Editshare has announced that they indeed have a date nailed down, as well as a few other pertinent pieces of information about Lightworks that you might want to know.

According to an article from RedShark News, Lightworks has been retooled a bit to accommodate the NLEs platform versatility, resulting in an "elegant solution where features and fixes can be added across the three platforms without incurring three times the work." As promised last year, the testing process for the Mac version of Lightworks has followed that of both the Windows and Linus versions -- alpha then public beta then go to release -- and now the public beta version is upon us, and the release date is set for June 11, 2014.

RedShark News spoke to Matt Sandford of Lightworks about the upcoming release date. Here's what he had to say:

The most common question we get asked is when will Lightworks be available on Mac? Well, we are pleased at last to say with confidence that the Mac Public Beta will begin on the 11th June 2014. Before that though there will be a short Alpha program to a dedicated select team of users. These are users that have requested Alpha access in the past and are keen to help make sure that the Mac version is on track where it needs to be. This is the exact same process we did with the Linux version. The Mac version has been in existence for some time, so is already very stable, but because reliability is essential we are looking to test this intensively from Alpha through to Beta

Though most production companies are a part of the AAA club (Adobe, Apple, Avid), some of the biggest titles in cinema have utilized Lightworks in the last 20 years of its existence, including The King's Speech, Pulp Fiction, and 28 Days Later. In fact, Lightworks is the go-to NLE for Academy Award-winning editor and frequent Martin Scorsese collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker, who has used it to edit Hugo, The Departed, and most recently, The Wolf of Wall Street.

If you're trepidatious about giving Lightworks a whirl, this summer might be a good time to give it a try, since it'll most likely be free -- or, if you'll be at NAB this year, you can get your hands on it at their booth.

What are your impressions of Lightworks? What are the pros and cons of using this NLE as opposed to Premiere, Avid, or Final Cut? Let us know in the comments below.

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34 Comments

if there was more plug in support for the likes of film looks, plural eyes and neat video would prob jump ship. stuck with cs6 as i dont want to go subscription and this seems like a worthy option

April 4, 2014 at 9:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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kev

Finally. This is great news on the release date. As I'm in the process of building a new DIT Station running Ubuntu Studio I now have a reason to dual boot with OS X. I love Lightworks because it's just an NLE, a very good one, and nothing more. Sure some of the other programs might have more features, but with Davinci Resolve being cross platform as well I don't see me going back to Adobe or FCP X.

April 4, 2014 at 10:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jorge Cayon

Hi Jorge!

Do you think that Lightworks (on OS X) will works well with DaVinci Resolve?

April 4, 2014 at 1:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Manuel

I don't know on OS X but I have tried the roundtrip in Linux and it works. I don't see why there would be an issue as long as an EDL is used.

April 4, 2014 at 1:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jorge Cayon

Thank you to answered me Jorge.
One more question: How does Lightworks works with Raw?
I've got a Canon 5D Mark III, I use it only with Magic Lantern...

April 4, 2014 at 1:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Manuel

Manuel, I've never worked with Magic Lantern RAW and Lightworks but would assume that it is like any other RAW workflow in which a proxy should be used offline to edit and then roundtrip back to your online footage and output to your deliverable format. How do you work with your Canon RAW images now, are they assembled into an image sequence of some sort?

April 4, 2014 at 2:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jorge Cayon

I have tried a Linux DIT station as well, but I gave up on the idea since I couldn't find a good software suite to review all formats of video. Davinci would change that, but it costs $20,000 to get a Linux license (the $1000 does not work on Linux).

April 4, 2014 at 2:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Chris

I can view and playback just about any codec I've supported on shoots. Which recording format are you not capable of using in Linux?

April 4, 2014 at 2:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jorge Cayon

What software are you using for playback? I have issues with R3D and MXF containers.

April 7, 2014 at 12:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Chris

Great news! I already use lightworks on windows on my home station and I find it's a great piece of software! I can't wait to try it on the macs at the office!

April 4, 2014 at 11:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Andrea

You mention always the three A's but what about that greatly underestimated software EDIUS!

April 4, 2014 at 12:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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It seems really good but I think there might be an issue regarding versatility of plugins compared to other packages.
Also, the hardware editing console costs £1850.00 (over $3000.00) and seems to just sit there in a forgotten corner of the website; I'm not sure if it gets used much, and though not essential to have, I like the idea - it might be nice to revise the price and maybe push the idea of selling more units instead.

April 4, 2014 at 1:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Saied

Although your workflow and speed might be improved with the console, it is not needed to edit. Just like a control surface isn't needed to color grade. Sure it makes life easier but not needed. I've personally committed to learning how to cut with my Wacom tablet and have seen huge gains personally compared to just mouse and keyboard. Although I would like to invest in the keyboard/console combo at a future date. But for my needs creating dailies and on set proxies viewable on tablets for the above the line guys, Lightworks and Resolve will be perfect for me. And to be quite honest, resolve on its own is probably all I need on set to support the picture.

April 4, 2014 at 1:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jorge Cayon

The veteran Lightworks professionals swear by the Console control surface and say it is an amazing tool (haven't used it myself). It speeds editing considerably and eanble you keep your eye on the display without having to look at the mouse cursor. If you are earning your living editing the it would be definitely worth shelling out for it.

Others use the much cheaper Contour shuttle and seem pleased with it.

April 9, 2014 at 10:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Chris

I've tried lightworks, I was not a fan of the interface or the method of setting ins and outs. I think if it was the first NLE you learned on, it would be a great piece of software, but it's not for me. As a free NLE, it's amazing (because it's free) but Davinci is quickly closing the gap for an awesome free editor.

April 4, 2014 at 2:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Chris

How do you set in and out points on your NLE? Because pressing "I" and "O" seems to work for me on every NLE platform I've ever used.

April 4, 2014 at 2:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jorge Cayon

Can confirm 'I' & 'O' is the default for Lightworks. Not sure what he means exactly. I've tried out Lightwroks and I was comfortable with the interface as I'm coming from Avid and it seems to have that earlier school of thought. Most of the complaints I've heard is from people trying to "mouse edit" but if you learn the keyboard shortcuts, you'll flying in no time.

April 5, 2014 at 3:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Benjamin Forrest

I was in the linux beta and it defaulted to the "play to out" or something like that. I was very confused coming from FCP7/PR and learning Avid.

April 7, 2014 at 12:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Chris

I also confirm that the default keyboard short cuts are "i" and "o" but Lightworks uses a system known as "mark and park" that eliminates the need for one of them.

1. Mark either an "in" point or an "out" point.

2. Hit the play button (if you have marked an "in" point") or reverse play button (if you marked an "out" point) and stop where you want the other end of the selection to be. Lightworks automatically assumes that where the playhead stops (i.e. is "parked") is the other end of the selection so there is not need to hit the "in" or "out" again.

April 9, 2014 at 11:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Chris

I am grateful that lightworks arrived in Linux, there was a need for a proffessional NLE on that OS. Now audiovisual production is entirely possible in linux, which is awesome. However, I am eagerly awaiting some other truly open source project to reach a production level. There's openshot, kdenlive and pitivi, which are actively in development and quite ambitious on their goals.

April 4, 2014 at 3:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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maghoxfr

Hi Jorge! I can't reply above, so I write here.
I'm looking for a software to star my experience in editing. Until now I worked in a team where I was the first AC. I've never edited my footage.
I'm interested to DaVinci, Lightworks and Avid, but I can't choose!!!
Have you got any advice?

April 4, 2014 at 5:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Manuel

Hi Manuel. Depending on what your needs are my opinion would be solely based on that. What OS are you mainly using, hardware specs, type of files used (R3D, ARRIRAW, ProRes, CANON RAW, MXF, XAVC, etc). But I would say for the basics Davinci Resolve seems to have everything even the best NLE's had only a few years ago. The fact that you can Ingest, Cut, Color Grade, and Output with Resolve with every flavor of codec is a strong suit. If you are just learning how to edit I would first try a free version of Davinci Resolve on your OS. A simple search will lead you there. After your skill set and knowledge of an NLE workflow has progressed switch to something more serious like Adobe or Lightworks. All of this is contingent if Resolve 11 isn't a full blown post production suite by then, minus graphics packages and 3D effects.

For an entry level person I would not recommend the Avid, unless it is something that is required for your current employment. Avid is a very capable NLE, but it comes with a steep learning curve and some quirks. Although it is probably the best for a large studio/production facility/broadcast environment, I personally do not see a plus using it as a solo operation. For that I believe Adobes Suite wins the prize. 3D, Stills, Motion, Editing, Coloring, Graphics, and DVD/BRD authoring all from one brand with great support.

The reason I'm interested in Lightworks is because I'm slowly transitioning to Linux for maximum control of my DIT Station. Sorry for the long posts Manuel, and NFS family. I'm in a transition right now with tech and gear for this year and am really aiming towards a full Linux implementation in my Pre - ->D-Day - ->Post Production pipeline and still be able to support all my current and future clients. Sadly I still have major clients who refuse to Upgrade their ops from FCP 6 or 7 and won't even contemplate a grading session with Resolve and one of my Colorists. Don't even bring up shooting RAW to some of them < - - - HAHA.

April 4, 2014 at 7:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jorge Cayon

Hi Jorge!

Thank you very much for your long answer, you were clear.
I think that your advice is perfect for a guy like me, an entry level guy I mean.
I'm going to try DaVinci this month, your post intrigued me.
I want to wish you good luck with your transition to Linux.
Have a good day!

April 4, 2014 at 8:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Manuel

Anytime. Thats what this community is about. Good luck in your filmmaking endeavors and with your choice of NLE.

April 4, 2014 at 9:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jorge Cayon

Resolve or Speedgrade for lesser quick speed work with a direct link to Premiere. I'd recommend premiere over avid or anything apple can dream up (fcpx what?) I wouldn't recommend Baselight or something more expensive as it sounds like you're starting out.

April 4, 2014 at 8:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Haha Mac

+1. I actually failed a class in college years ago because I refused to cut on FCP and chose Premiere CS$ instead. It really is a great suite no matter what level of filmmaker you are.

April 4, 2014 at 9:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jorge Cayon

Mac... people still use those?

April 4, 2014 at 8:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Haha Mac

I've been using Lightworks since the first public Windows beta. As an old 16mm film maker who grew up editing on Moviola's and Steenbeck tables, the film editor's paradigm of Lightworks just clicked. I love it. Love the media management, love the timeline, love the editing tools.
For the mostly classical doc style editing I do the pro version has everything I need in one app. Ingest, finish, and deliver in pretty much any common format.
Simple but decent titles, powerful set of color grading tools, a decent range of common VFX and high quality delivery encoding.
I moved from various versions of Premiere and haven't looked back.

April 5, 2014 at 10:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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David Rasberry

Lightworks is a sensible tool for an artist to choose. Lightworks console gives you variable speed playback which is the right way to review video and only a lever can do that properly. So get the console if you are a serious editor. The open source promise of Lightworks and its cross platform capability are the guarantee that you can rely on it as your editing environment for the rest of your life. It has changed little in the last two decades and will change little in the next two.

April 5, 2014 at 8:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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bunkum

Just got excited about this and went to look at their website.
I was disappointed to see that is too is "rental" software, just like Adobe is doing.

Sorry, not interested, I'm not prepared to RENT my software just yet. CS6 and FCPX are still doing just fine for me.

CC

April 10, 2014 at 5:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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CC

you can also buy a version of lightworks... eg. 11.5, you can then buy an upgrade, eg. to v12
greets
s

April 13, 2014 at 1:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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s-temp1

After your post, I also looked at their website. They give three options: (1) Rent Monthly (2) Rent Annually (3) Buy Outright. And as of me writing this, they have a 30% 10th Anniversary discount offer. So your problem again is....what?

May 30, 2014 at 1:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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William Koehler

I'd like to do simple editing on a macbook air when I'm hanging out in coffee shops, and I'm planning on teaching a beginner video editing course on Windows machines. Would Lightworks fit the bill for these tasks, or is there another simple editor that I can use on Mac and teach on Windows?

May 30, 2014 at 2:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ryan

actually I think the software will need to be free so that all my students can use it in the computer lab. Lightworks is only pay to use? No free version?

May 30, 2014 at 2:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ryan