10
Feb
2017

A video editing review: Shotcut

Well if you saw my post yesterday, then you’ll know that I’ve switched to 21:9 goodness. This poses a bit of an issue for me, since I record some funny gameplay moments using Nvidia ShadowPlay and then I chop it up using Windows Movie Maker.

Already I can hear the hail of palms hitting faces, but there’s a couple of reasons why this worked for me. I’m only chopping up video, so I don’t really need anything complicated in terms of video editing software. Lets be clear – I’m not doing things like animations or titles (maybe the occasional text overlay). Movie Maker was just fine…

…until I realised that it’s maximum output resolution is 1920×1080. Boo. I’m now recording at 2560×1080, and downscaling to 1920×806 is just… nasty. I need something free and easy that can support the higher resolutions. I’ve managed to stumble across Shotcut.

First thing off the bat – the layout works great at 21:9! The timeline at the bottom is nice and long, the panels fit nicely at the sides with the main video feed in the middle. All of these panels can be moved about to your heart’s content. The editing experience on my PC is just fine, and it only took me a couple of minutes to figure out how to start editing down my videos.

It looks like you can output at 4K using the built in presets, but you may be able to go over that… I haven’t tried that yet but I might in the future. The Export tab is used to set up an encode, and the jobs get queued in the job list on the left hand side. Output speed isn’t as fast as movie maker but I’m not too bothered about waiting a tad longer. You can queue a whole plethora of jobs with “Pause” engaged, and then unpause the entire queue once you’re done editing. Let it churn and you can come back to a finished batch of videos!

So far so good for what I need to use the software for. I stumbled across something in the Settings menu however…

Wait, wait, wait. You’re telling me that thisĀ free, andĀ open-source NLE has GPU acceleration?! That is neat! I currently have a GTX 960 4GB video card and that seems to be picked up and utilised just fine. Even the video exports are GPU accelerated. I decided to benchmark using a 3 minute ShadowPlay recording:

  • Disabled: 14m 24s
  • Enabled: 9m 8s

A lot of the video filters you can apply are GPU accelerated (like colour correction) – I was able to get the GPU usage to 75% with totally smooth playback (though by this point the video looked awful!)

Shotcut is available for Windows, Mac and Linux – though I have had the Windows version crash on me a couple of times. The GPU acceleration mode is experimental after all. I’ll do some classic Windows vs Linux for video editing in the future – now that a decent platform exists for both!

So, to round up – this is a good review from me! I have relatively simple needs when it comes to video editing, but Shotcut certainly meets them for me. Maybe I’ll try doing some more advanced stuff with it in the future – I’ll be sure to let you all know how it goes!

Ultrawide 21:9 on Linux - LG 29UM68-P Review
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