A new version of the OpenShot video editor is now available to download — and it’s boasting some colossal sounding improvements.

OpenShot 2.6.0 is the first update to this popular open source video editor this year, but it looks to have been well worth the wait.

Bundled up inside the latest build are new ‘computer vision and AI’ effects. These include some impressive-sounding motion tracking and object detection capabilities, plus configurable stabilisation effect to (try to) straighten out any shaky footage.

Motion tracking in OpenShot 2.6.0
Motion tracking in OpenShot 2.6.0

However, there are a few caveats to a few of these effects. The ‘object detector’ effect, for instance, doesn’t work “out of the box” as it requires the manual installation of additional files that editor can’t bundle up in its installer. You’ll get a (not catastrophic) error about an ‘incorrect path to class name file’.

Stabilisation is, however, present and working. The results aren’t quite as super fluid as in big-name video editors, but you can get some acceptable post-shoot video smoothing if you play around with the smoothing window values.

Motion tracking (you draw a box around an object in a clip then OpenShot tracks it) works pretty well, though it’s not immediately clear how to ‘use’ the motion track info to, say, track another clip to it.

OpenShot 2.6.0 also includes 9 new audio effects:

  • Compressor
  • Distortion
  • Delay
  • Echo
  • Expander
  • Noise
  • Parametric EQ
  • Robotization
  • Whisperization

These are a lot of fun to play around with. Audio effects don’t take long to render out so give near-instant playback results for very satisfying in-edit vibes.

A new ‘zoom slider’ widget above the timeline makes it easier to get a handle on your timeline overall. You can quickly move in close for precision cuts, then dial back out for an overview of your entire project.

Also boosting efficiency is new on-canvas transform tool which lets you resize, move, rotate, shear, and set an origin points for quick animations.

new transform tool

Other changes in OpenShot 2.6.0 include:

  • Improved clip snapping
  • New Caption video effect (rasterize captions on top of video)
  • FFmpeg 4 Support
  • Parentable keyframes
  • Improved performance & stability

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

How to Install OpenShot 2.6.0

OpenShot is free, open source software available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chrome OS (though technically the latter is also Linux, but hey). Head to the OpenShot website to grab an installer or runtime for your system:

Visit the OpenShot Downloads Page

Linux users can download OpenShot 2.6.0 as a standalone, self-contained AppImage. This doesn’t require ‘installation’; just download the runtime, give it permission to open, and away you go — no dependency chain to worry about:

Download OpenShot 2.6.0 (64-bit .appimage)

Alternatively, if you’re on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and above you may prefer to use the official OpenShot PPA. This contains pre-packaged builds, ready to use on Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Zorin OS, et al.

Open a new Terminal window and run:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openshot.developers/ppa

Then install OpenShot:

sudo apt install openshot-qt

Finally, launch the OpenShot app using whatever app launcher or dock your system comes with.

Summary

It’s been a long time since I used OpenShot for any of my own video editing projects, so I’m keen to hear if it’s becoming a solid alternative to Kdenlive — or maybe even Davinci Resolve. Let me know down in the comments, and don’t be shy about sharing examples of your editing with this particular editor.

h/t Ankit

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