OpenShot 2.5.0 Free Video Editor Adds Hardware Acceleration, Blender 2.8 Support

OpenShot, a free and open source video editor, was updated to version 2.5.0 with some significant improvements like hardware encoding and decoding support, much faster keyframe performance, support for exporting and importing EDL and XML (Premiere, Final Cut Pro and more) files, and Belnder 2.8+ support, among others.

OpenShot Video Editor

OpenShot is an easy to use yet powerful video editor for Windows, macOS and Linux. It features powerful curve-based key frame animations, unlimited tracks / layers, clip resizing, scaling, trimming, snapping, rotation and cutting. Using it you can also add video transitions with real-time previews, compositing, image overlays, watermarks, animated 3D titles and effects, and much more.

The application makes use of the FFmpeg library, being able to read and write most video and image formats.

The most exiting feature in OpenShot 2.5.0 is experimental (the changelog calls it "a bit experimental") hardware acceleration support for both encoding and decoding. Thanks to this there should be major performance improvements on systems with graphics cards that support hardware acceleration for the video formats you're using.

OpenShot hardware acceleration VA-API VDPAU

If your graphics card supports it, you should see some new options with OpenShot 2.5.0. In the OpenShot Preferences, on the Performance tab you can choose the hardware decoder mode (which defaults to CPU - no hardware acceleration): VDPAU or VA-API, depending on your graphics card, as well as the hardware decoder and encoder graphics card. You'll also see some new options in the Export Video dialog that lets you choose a target that supports hardware acceleration.

Another major improvement in the latest OpenShot release is a completely rewritten keyframe system to deliver real-time interpolation values and no longer cache the entire value set. Thanks to this the performance should be magnitudes faster on projects that contain long clips or many clips.

OpenShot 2.5.0 also brings support for the latest Blender 2.8+. The application now supports the new .blend format, and most animated titles have been recreated from scratch or fixed to work with this new Blender version. OpenShot makes use of Blender for its animated title editor, which can be used to add animated 3D titles to videos.

Other important changes in OpenShot 2.5.0:

  • OpenShot can now import and export data in EDL and XML formats, which are supported by Premiere and Final Cut Pro, among others
  • Improved and fixed thumbnail generation
  • Added the ability to recover previous saves and improved auto-backup. Before every save, a copy of the entire project is now copied into a recovery folder so in case you delete everything and auto-save is running, you can recover a previous version of the project
  • Better SVG support, especially on macOS and older Linux distributions
  • Improved preview window: OpenShot now checks if it's divisible by 2 to prevent flickering lines and bars on the sides of the preview / playback
  • Export improvements (no longer modifies project keyframe data)
  • OpenShot no longer automatically sends metric data. The user now has to specifically opt in to share metrics with the OpenShot developers
  • Cross-platform improvements (fixed lots of small differences between OSes)
  • Changelog

Download OpenShot video editor

On the OpenShot downloads page you'll find binaries for Windows, macOS and Linux. The source code is also available.

On Linux the OpenShot developers offer a 64-bit AppImage and an Ubuntu (and Ubuntu-based Linux distributions) PPA. At the time I'm writing this article the PPA has not been updated to the latest OpenShot 2.5.0 version.

To run the OpenShot AppImage binary you'll need to make it executable: right click -> Properties -> Permissions -> Allow executing file as program (or similar; this depends on your file manager). Now if your desktop environment / file manager allows it, double click the AppImage file to run it. On desktop environments which don't allow double clicking AppImage files to run them, open a terminal and drag'n'drop the AppImage file onto the terminal window, then press Enter. You may also type ./OpenShot-v2.5.0-x86_64.AppImage from the folder where the AppImage is located in to run it.

You may also integrate AppImages with your system (get your desktop to allow running any AppImage without changing permissions or anything else, integrate AppImage programs in your applications menu, etc.) by using the AppImageLauncher tool.