Final Cut Pro is a non-linear video editing software developed by Apple Inc. The most recent version, Final Cut Pro X, runs on Intel-based Mac OS computers powered by OS X version 10.6.8 or later. A fully rewritten and re-imagined non-linear editor, Final Cut Pro X, was introduced by Apple in 2011, with the last version of the legacy Final Cut Pro being version 7.0.3. Since the early 2000s, Final Cut Pro has developed a large and expanding user base, mainly video hobbyists and independent film-makers. It had also made inroads with film and television editors who have traditionally used Avid Technology’s Media Composer. Some of the major films edited with Final Cut Pro are John Carter, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 300, Zodiac, (500) Days of Summer, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and several others.
Final Cut Pro provides non-linear, non-destructive editing of any QuickTime-compatible video format including DV, HDV, P2 MXF, XDCAM, and 2K film formats. It supports a number of simultaneously composited video tracks; up to 99 audio tracks; multi-camera editing for combining video from multiple camera sources; as well as standard ripple, roll, slip, slide, scrub, razor blade and time remapping edit functions. It comes with a range of video transitions and a range of video and audio filters such as keying tools, mattes and vocal de-poppers and de-essers. It also has a manual 3-way color correction filter, videoscopes and a selection of generators, such as slugs, test cards and noise. The Final Cut Pro’s interface was designed around traditional editing work-flows, with four main windows that replicate tried-and-trusted methods of organizing, viewing and editing physical tape or film media. This makes it quite easy to use and it doesn’t have a steep learning curve like some other non-linear video editors such as Adobe Premiere Pro.
Despite being a powerful and intuitive video editor, the software does comes with a high price tag of 299$ and it doesn’t include additional components like Motion and Compressor which some editors might need. So, we provide you here with several free and open source alternatives to Final Cut Pro.
Lightworks is a professional non-linear editing system (NLE) for editing and mastering digital video in various formats, including 2K and 4K resolutions, and television in PAL, NTSC, and high-definition formats. Lightworks was an early developer of computer-based non-linear editing systems, and has been in development since 1989. It uses a control interface similar to the industry standard Steenbeck flatbed controller. It provides a number of unique features, such as sync slip, synchronized varispeed playback with audio scrubbing, synchronized multi-channel playback, and an object-oriented user interface with a dedicated hardware console.
Editors using Lightworks have produced numerous internationally renowned award-winning feature films and television programs, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and The Departed, Mission Impossible, Pulp Fiction, Braveheart and Batman. No source code has yet been released, but the project roadmap has indicated that source code release will happen after versions for OS X and Linux are released.
The latest version of Lightworks is 12.6.0.
Kdenlive is an open source video editing software package, which focuses on flexibility and ease of use. Kdenlive makes use of a number of frameworks to provide a range of audio and video effects and transitions, including MLT, Frei0r effects, SoX and LADSPA. Audio effects include normalization, phase and pitch shifting, limiting, volume adjustment, reverb and equalization filters amongst others. Video effects include options for masking, blue-screen, distortions, rotations, colour tools, blurring, obscuring and others.
Kdenlive supports all of the formats supported by FFmpeg (such as QuickTime, AVI, WMV, MPEG, and Flash Video), and also supports 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios for both PAL, NTSC and various HD standards, including HDV and AVCHD. Video can also be exported to DV devices, or written to a DVD with chapters and a simple menu. Kdenlive also provides a script called the Kdenlive Builder Wizard (KBW) that compiles the latest developer version of the software and its main dependencies from source, to allow users to try to test new features and report problems on the bug tracker.
The latest version of Kdenlive is 16.04.0.
3) OpenShot Video Editor
OpenShot Video Editor is a free and open-source non-linear video editing software package built with Python, GTK, and the MLT Framework. The project was started in August 2008 by Jonathan Thomas, with the objective to provide a stable, free, and friendly to use video editor.
It includes features like support for many formats (based on FFmpeg), GNOME integration, multiple tracks, clip resizing & trimming, compositing, image overlays, watermarks, title templates & title creation, key frame animation, audio mixing & editing, presets for key frame animations, digital video effects such as chroma key and several others.
The latest version of OpenShot Video Editor is 2.0.7.
Cinelerra is a professional video editing and compositing software. It is produced by Heroine Virtual, and is free software distributed under the GNU GPL. Cinelerra also includes a video compositing engine, allowing the user to perform advanced compositing operations such as keying and mattes. Cinelerra includes support for very high-fidelity audio and video: it processes audio using 64 bits of precision, and can work in both RGBA and YUVA color spaces, using floating-point and 16-bit integer representations, respectively. It is resolution and frame rate-independent, meaning that it can support video of any speed and size. The application has a wide range of features.
Cinelerra’s interface is similar to that of other non-linear editing systems, such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. However, because it includes a compositing engine, it may also be likened to compositing software such as Adobe After Effects. Heroine Virtual generates a new release of Cinelerra semi-annually, available as source code only. Because of this a group of free and open-source software developers created their own version of Cinelerra referred to as Cinelerra-CV (Community version). In the beginning of April 2008 however, the Cinelerra community announced a complete rewrite of the current community version, named as Lumiera. It was born as a rewrite of the Cinelerra codebase called Cinelerra3 but soon was separated into an independent project with its own name. Lumiera is still in at the pre-alpha stage, but is under active development.
The latest version of Cinelerra is 4.6.1.
Avidemux is a free and open-source video editing program designed for video editing and video processing. It is written in C++, and uses either GTK+ or Qt for its user interface. It is capable of non-linear video editing, applying visual effects (called “Filters” by Avidemux) to video, and transcoding video into various formats. Some of the filters were ported from MPlayer and Avisynth. It can also insert audio streams into a video file or extract audio streams from video files.
The latest version of Avidemux is 2.6.12.
LiVES Editing System is a free and open source video editing software and VJ tool, released under the GNU GPL. The main developer of LiVES is Gabriel Finch who is also a video artist and international VJ. The LiVES application allows the user to manipulate video in realtime and in non-realtime. LiVES uses a system of plugins for effects, decoders, encoders and video playback. The APIs for these are now well defined, and the application can be easily extended.
LiVES has two main interfaces: the clip editor, which serves as a repository of video and audio material, and the multitrack window, where multiple clips can be positioned on the timeline. The clip editor allows free playback at variable play rates, applying of multiple realtime effects and mixing of clips. This mode is mainly used by VJs. In multitrack mode, the individual clips can be arranged in layers on the timeline. Further effects and transitions can be applied here, and the audio can be mixed down. The entire timeline can then be rendered, creating a new clip.
The latest version of LiVES 2.6.3.
Pitivi (originally called PiTiVi) is an open source, non-linear video editor for Linux developed by various contributors, with support also available from Collabora. Pitivi is designed to be intuitive video editing software that integrates well in the GNOME desktop environment. It aims to be “a powerful, flexible video editor that can appeal to prosumers and professionals.
Pitivi inherits its capabilities for importing and exporting media from the GStreamer framework, or plugins for the GStreamer framework. Pitivi supports simple media editing capabilities such as trimming, snapping, splitting and cutting of clips. Audio mixing is supported by curves, visualised as line segments drawn over an audio waveform. Initial support for video mixing (compositing and transitions) has been added in late 2009 but is still under heavy work. Through GStreamer, Pitivi is the first open source video editor to support the Material Exchange Format (MXF).
The latest version of Pitivi is 0.95.
VirtualDub is a video capture and video processing program. It is designed to process linear video streams, including filtering and recompression. VirtualDub operates on AVI files, requiring that appropriate video and audio codecs are installed. Primarily designed for Microsoft Windows it may run on Linux and Mac OS X using Wine. It is a free and open source software released under GNU GPL.
VirtualDub has digital and analog capture capabilities. It supports both DirectShow & Video for Windows capture. It can be used to delete segments of a video file, append new segments, or reorder existing segments. However, segments of different files cannot be mixed and no transition effects can be applied. VirtualDub also comes with a number of filters. Examples include reducing the video size by half, converting the video to grayscale, arbitrary rotation and about a dozen more. Plugin filters further extend VirtualDub’s capabilities. A filter SDK is available for developers to create their own video and audio filters.
The latest version of VirtualDub is 1.10.4.