Multitrack Video Editor Roundup

Video editing in Linux can be hell, but a handful of programs are showing the way forward to a better world.

One of the great weaknesses in open-source software in the video domain thus far has been a lack of imagination. In the commercial world, because of the way the industry has developed, there long have been a handful of sharply divided paradigms for editing. Market strategy being what it is, it's in the interest of commercial developers to keep their products for the various paradigms in separate tracks: more programs equals more redundant software sales, and the ability to set high prices for some markets while giving away the software for other markets (usually bundled with hardware). So far, open-source developers have been content to emulate it, and it's a philosophy that has hobbled the development of a killer app for video editing on Linux. All three of the projects covered here would do well to take a look at the asset management, footage commenting and multicamera switching strategies innovated by Drew Pertulla and implemented in his now-fallow multitrack editor Cuisine and at other innovations among the also-rans.

Fortunately, OpenMovieEditor and Blender are starting to break the mold, and I have high hopes that KDENLIVE will follow suit.

However, what's left is quite usable and in some cases bordering on downright impressive. So, grab your cameras, get a script, and dive on in!

Dan Sawyer is the founder of ArtisticWhispers Productions (, a small audio/video studio in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been an enthusiastic advocate for free and open-source software since the late 1990s, when he founded the Blenderwars filmmaking community ( He currently is the host of “The Polyschizmatic Reprobates Hour”, a cultural commentary podcast, and “Sculpting God”, a science-fiction anthology podcast. Author contact information is available at



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Anonymous's picture

You missed out LiVES (

check out this awsome rotosplines tutorial for Blender!

Anonymous's picture

here is an amazing tutorial for rotosplines in Blender:

hope this is useful