Shotcut stands out as one of the premier free video editing software options available for Linux, Mac, and Windows, making it an appealing choice for users who prefer the continuous updates provided by an enthusiastic community over reliance on large software corporations.
Despite its outward simplicity, Shotcut conceals a sophisticated array of features. The screen displays all commands, with menus situated on top and tools above the timeline. Panels can be rearranged or set as floating windows, and additional panels can be brought forward to provide more information simultaneously, including audio meters and video scopes for monitoring various aspects of your clips. The design allows for customization, ensuring that the interface adapts to your needs.
Upon starting a new project, Shotcut offers the option to leave the resolution as 'automatic' or set it to a specific dimension, with presets available up to 4K at 60fps. Media can be easily added by dragging and dropping, allowing for previewing, setting In and Out points, and direct placement onto the timeline. While seemingly limited to one video layer at first, additional video and audio layers can be manually added as needed.
Advanced Text Editor
One standout feature of Shotcut is its advanced text editor, providing comprehensive control over titles. Options include text color, gradient, background, animation, shadow, letter and line spacing, typewriter effect, zoom, rotation, text patterns, and more.
Audio and Video Effects
Shotcut impresses with a vast array of audio and video effects. With around 70 audio effects and numerous categorized video effects, users can enhance their projects significantly. Notable audio effects include Audio Equalizer, Bass, Deesser, Normalize, and Balance, while video effects range from Blur and 3-point balance to Stereoscopic 3D and Fade In/Out.
Composition and Transition Effects
The program combines composition and transition effects, providing approximately 40 options, including four transition effects (one audio and three videos). Composition effects add depth to projects, serving transitions or capturing viewer attention.
Shotcut may experience occasional freezes when working with effects, similar to other software. Recovery options exist, but they rely on the last saved point, introducing some uncertainty. Additionally, Shotcut does not utilize GPU for video rendering, placing a significant load on the CPU.
The Export feature offers a range of presets, including standard options like H.264 and YouTube, animation presets preserving transparency, audio-only choices, camcorder export, DVD export, and legacy, lossless, and stills options. The Advanced button allows for fine-tuning presets for users familiar with the process.
Shotcut emerges as a well-rounded video editor, challenging the notion that free alternatives inherently come with limitations. Despite a few glitches and design decisions, it stands as a robust and stable editing package, updated monthly to provide users with additional features and flexibility. While not exempt from occasional quirks, Shotcut's performance and feature set make it a worthy option for users seeking a free and capable video editing solution.