Wow, Linux Video Editor Kdenlive is NOT Messing Around

Open-source video editor Kdenlive is turning into one impressive piece of software. And I don’t mean “well, I guess it’s impressive for a Linux app,” or “sure, it’s impressive… for free.” Rather, the usability, appearance and feature set is formiddable, regardless of operating system or cost.

Kdenlive 21.12 brings a substantial list of new features to the table, including advanced trimming methods, auto noise reduction, and motion tracking powered by deep learning. There’s an extensive change log here, but let me point out the most important changes.

Slip Trimming

Slip trimming is a new and welcome feature for Kdenlive 21.12
Slip trimming is a new and welcome new feature in Kdenlive 21.12

This method of clip editing happens on your timeline. It’s super useful for people who don’t build their timeline sequentially (or perfectly). With clip editing, you can change the IN and OUT points of a clip while preserving your timeline. And without affecting adjacent clips.

It’s one of the features I’ve been eagerly awaiting, and the Kdenlive developers say that Ripple and Slide + Roll trimming will ship in a future update.

Multicam Editing

Kdenlive 21.12 multicam editing in action

This is not only slick, but also a real time-saver. It’s essential for people who record scenes with multiple cameras. Kdenlive 21.12 will now let you activate the Multicam tool to trim clips in the desired track while the timeline is playing.

In theory (I haven’t personally tested it yet) this should enable much easier multiclip synchronization, and make your potential creative palette even larger.

Motion Tracking

Whether you’re applying color masks or need to draw attention to a moving object, motion tracking is crucial. And not all video editors have it. Fortunately for us, Kdenlive no longer resides on the “have-nots” list.

It’s still in the early stages of development, though, so don’t expect it to be as intuitive as Final Cut Pro. But it’s a fantastic start! Kdenlive’s motion tracking uses deep-learning to provide “extremely accurate” results according to the devs. But you’ll need to separately download some AI models.

You can find full instructions for that right here.

Rounding out the new highlights: you can now create multiple bins from folders, use auto-magical noise reduction, and obscure objects with new methods like pixelate and opaque fill.

Kdenlive Is Quickly Becoming A Killer App

As someone with two years of heavy video editing experience under my belt, I can confidently say these are welcome new additions.

Seriously, the work the developers have done throughout 2021 has completely reversed my opinion of Kdenlive. In 2020, I abandoned the software because it was persistently buggy and crashy. Fast forward to December 2021 and it’s a beautiful, stable, feature-rich application. If you have even a casual interest in video editing, it’s worth your time to learn this one.

There’s great news for macOS users, too. While there isn’t a native M1 version of Kdenlive yet, the current Intel version on macOS is now considered stable and “ready for prime time.”

Happy editing, folks!

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