Kdenlive devs have donned their Santa costume and dolled out an early present to fans of open source video editing — yes, a shiny new release of Kdenlive is here, just in time for Xmas.

Kdenlive 20.12 serves as a new stable release and a new feature release. Shipping alongside several new features (more on those in a second) is a veritable selection box of bug fixes and usability tweaks that, devs say, result in a ‘snappier timeline, improved thumbnail creation and faster project opening’.

But it’s new features that got you excited and I’m pleased to report that this uplift carries several new ones, including the addition of same track transitions.

Kdenlive say this feature will “drastically improv[e] the editing workflow” for many users. To activate it, press the u key (or prod the the new icon in the timeline toolbar) with a clip selected on the timeline.

Finding video effects is easier in this release as Kdenlive devs have overhauled the layout of effects. Effects are now labelled, grouped, and organised more clearly within the UI. A ‘deprecated’ category is present to group together ‘buggy effects’ which, devs suggest, are likely to be removed in a future release.

Talking of effects there’s new video effect called ‘Pillar’. This is sure to become a go-to for anyone looking to edit vertical/mobile/portrait style video in a regularly ratio’d project.

The effect is simple: it centres the vertical video clip and adds a blurred background to what would otherwise be empty/black space around it. A subtle but effective approach.

New subtitling tool

Finally, caption creators will find a new subtitling tool present in Kdenlive 20.12.

Yes, it’s now possible to add and edit subtitles directly from the timeline of the editor. This can be done use the new subtitle track or the new subtitle widget. Got an existing subtitle files in .srt or .ass — 🤭 — format? They can be opened or imported. Subtitles created/edited within the app can be exported as .srt subtitle files.

Other Kdenlive 20.12 features:

  • Ability to enable/disable normalization of audio thumbnails from track header
  • New Video Equalizer to adjust brightness, contrast, saturation and gamma
  • Clips in the timeline change color according to their tag in the project bin
  • Ability to delete multiple tracks at once
  • Timeline slider is now fully visible

Download Kdenlive 20.12

Kdenlive 20.12 is free, open source software available to download from the project website. A pre-packaged AppImage is available (linked below). This standalone runtime contains all required dependencies.

Download Kdenlive 20.12 (64-bit AppImage)

There are other ways to install the latest Kdenlive stable release on Ubuntu and Linux Mint including the Kdenlive Stable PPA, and an official Flatpak build hosted on Flathub.

A Kdenlive Snap package is available too but this has not been updated since April 2020 (at the time of publishing this article).

What’s next for the go-to open source video editor?

Kdenlive devs plan to introduce advance trimming tools, audio routing, channel mapping and —squee— nested timelines next year. The latter is is a huge feature addition that will unlock a raft of advanced editing capabilities — exciting!

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