Video editing with Shotcut


When you click Properties in the toolbar (the 'i' icon) or select View | Properties in the main menu, a sidebar with various additional information and settings appears in the window on the left (Figure 4). If the sidebar is only partially visible, zoom out the main window, and move the boundary divider to the right until the sidebar is completely visible: Reapportioning your sidebar in this way could reduce the preview size.

Figure 4: The sidebar provides technical information about the movie currently on view.

The Properties sidebar shows some useful information about the video currently on view, such as the Resolution and the format (Codec) used. If your raw material includes several audio tracks (e.g., for different languages), go to the Audio tab and set the desired Track in the corresponding list. You should only change other values in the Properties sidebar if you know exactly what they do.

To close sidebars and other areas, click on the small box with an X in the upper right corner. Alternatively, go to the View menu and click on the name of the section you want to close.

Pink Sunglasses

If the colors in the movie are wrong, or if the material is fuzzy, you can apply an effect. Shotcut refers to them as filters. To apply one, first select the Filters icon in the toolbar. You can also select View | Filter in the main menu. In any case, Shotcut adds a new Filters area at the bottom of the main window (Figure 5). Below the Filters list, click the plus (Audio) button and choose an effect, such as Color Grading from the menu that appears.

Figure 5: Shotcut basically always applies the enabled filters to the complete video. In this example, the movie was tinted purple to mimic an old celluloid film.

The filter-specific settings show up to the right of the Filters list (Figure 5). In this case, you change the input level by dragging the bar in the black-and-white rectangle. Similarly, you can give the image a different color mood by moving the black dot in the color wheel.

The Mode determines whether to apply the color to the Midtones, the Highlights, or the Shadows. The current version of the program has no option for entering precise color and brightness values. The workaround is to click around the color wheel and adjust the levels until you find a suitable setting.

The program at least offers the option of scaling the circle and the bar. To do this, move the mouse to the boundary between the Filters and preview areas. When the mouse pointer changes to a double arrow, hold down the left mouse button and drag the boundary upward.

All at Once

If you have created a filter that you want to apply to other movies, you can save it as a template (to the right of Preset). When you edit other movies, you just need to select this template in the Preset drop-down box.

More filters can be added by following the same principle: Click on the plus sign to add an audio filter, select the effect, then set up the filter using the controls on the right. Note that not all filters have user-controlled settings; for example, the Mirror effect always stubbornly uses vertical mirroring.

To disable a filter temporarily but retain the settings, uncheck its box in the Filters list. To reactivate the filter, re-check the box again. To delete a filter completely, select it and press the minus button under the list.

The Reset button in the Properties pane is used to undo changes, but the Shotcut version I was using contained a bug that destroyed the Filters list. You will want to avoid this button for the time being.

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