screenshot of kdenlive video editor

Video editing on Linux is in a great place thanks to open source software like Kdenlive.

And today it just got even better.

Kdenlive is already the go-to video editor for Linux desktops, and today’s monster new release front-loaded with pro features is only going to cement that fact further.

The non-linear editor now boasts native multi-cam editing, gains an enhanced noise reduction filter, and intros Slip trimming mode (an editing technique favoured by many professional editors who say it speeds up their workflow).

Slip trim is an exciting addition on its own, but it isn’t the only advanced editing mode Kdenlive devs have planned. Ripple, Slide, and Roll trim modes will be coming to Kdenlive in future updates.

Another big-ticket feature introduced in Kdenlive 21.12 is AI-enhanced motion tracking. “The DaSiamRPN visual tracking algorithm relies on deep-learning models to provide extremely accurate results,” Kdenlive say of the feature.

Kdenlive 21.12 features powerful motion tracking

This includes an improved Object Obscure effect with pixelate, blur, and opaque fill options for masking out a particular portion of video (and having that track automatically). In the hero screenshot you can see I motion tracked my face using DaSiamRPN algorithm and applied the pixelate effect (which moves with my face throughout the clip).

To make use of the advanced tracking the user must first download a set of AI models. But once these files are in place, it’s good to go — and from a brief hands on: it adds a taught string to Kdenlive’s already impressive bow.

OpenShot video added a motion tracking feature back in August to much hype. I look forward to seeing how they compare (and how they differ) as I play with the feature.

A huge glut of bug fixes, stability tweaks, and performance enhancements ship in this update. There are also a few new ‘minor features’, including an option to loop a selected clip, and being able to hit esc while using editing tools to return to selection mode.

Furthermore, projects now support multiple bins (handy if you have video footage split across different folders on the same drive).

Get Kdenlive 21.12

While many of these advanced features won’t be used by everyone they help the editor better compete with pro video editing software on other platforms, including Adobe Premiere Pro. Flexibility is key in creative tools such as this, and Kdenlive 21.12 is nothing if not versatile.

Interested to see if Kdenlive can cope with your next editing project? You’ll find downloads for Windows, macOS and Linux on the Kdenlive website.

An AppImage is provided for Linux users (and this is what I use) though this update is also available from the ever dependable Kdenlive Stable PPA. Expect to see the update roll out to the Snap Store and Flathub in the coming days.

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