As Linux users, we're now lucky enough to have a few decent video editors at our disposal, and the latest release of Kdenlive is the best yet. But there's nothing that can quite compete with the commercial and proprietary nonlinear editors on both Windows and macOS, and in particular, Apple's Final Cut Pro. This is why it's always great to see a new contender, and that's exactly what Olive is – a completely new editor that's in a rapid state of (alpha) development. It's already fast, intuitive, and relatively powerful to use, and the great thing about catching it at such an early stage of development is that you can master the easily manageable set of keyboard commands and processes before the application grows into the behemoth of complexity that all video editors seem to become eventually.

Olive has an editing workflow much like Final Cut Pro, with a timeline for video and audio tracks, though sadly too few thumbnails on the video track.

Being in a state of flux is perhaps the best thing about Olive, because, while it's definitely not as feature-packed or as stable as any of its competitors, it beats them for development speed. Almost every time you refresh the web page, there's a new release out, and it has come a long way in a short space of time. The basic layout will be familiar to anyone who's used a nonlinear video editor before; you start by adding clips and media. A preview window to the right of the clips view can be used to playback a clip, as well as set its length. You can then drag the clip into the timelime below, and the pane in the top right is then used to preview the final output of your edit.

Most of the editing is accomplished in the timeline, where you can use edit tools like Ripple, Split, and Transition to cut and trim, both the start and end times of a clip, as well as edit fades and crossfades. There are icons for these to the left of the timeline, as well as menu options. This is why the editor is nonlinear, as all this editing elasticity means you can feely chop and change clips, reorder them, and ripple changes back through the timeline without having to manually line everything up. It's still a little buggy, but it feels super fast and functional, and it's brilliant that such a young editor already has features like these.

Another surprising feature, despite its nascent status, is that there are already a few usable effects that you can drop onto your clips and that are rendered in real time thanks to the GLSL hardware acceleration. There's cross-dissolve, solid color, various transformations, and an image stabilizer, as well as onscreen text generation. You're not going to be able to create the next CGI epic with Olive, but there are just enough effects for most problem solving and polishing on simple projects, and we're sure more effects will follow. There are a huge number of export formats, however, including MPEG-4, WebM, and OGG, alongside even animated PNGs and GIFs, making this a brilliant, fast, and efficient application for all kinds of uses that can only go from strength to strength.

Project Website

There aren't many creative effects, but those that Olive does include are functional and cover the basics.

Fractal physics


MarbleMarcher is one of the most stunningly beautiful games we've seen in a long time, including leisurely watching the sunset in Red Dead Redemption 2. The key to its beauty is the fractal-generated landscape, and it's not a fractal in the 1990s sense, or even of the kind common in the 2000s. This is a fully three-dimensional, volumetric, infinitely complex, and rendered in real time kind of fractal, drawn as a solid object in the game. You do need some decent graphical horsepower to attain a good framerate, but integrated Intel will work at a reduced resolution. The graphics are the game's main feature – almost by the author's admission – as there's only a tentative link between this and the actual gameplay, but it's still surprisingly addictive and always sumptuous.

The game itself places a glass ball onto the undulating surface of the fractal, and drops a flag somewhere else. The idea is get the ball to the flag as quickly as possible, while at the same time avoiding the catastrophe of a fractal-generated chasm, volcano, or the edge of your 3D fractal world. You accelerate the ball with the cursor keys and attempt to change its forward direction with your mouse. The physics applied to the ball feels entirely accurate, with both gravity and momentum affecting your direction and the ability to steer the ball. There are 15 levels of increasing difficulty. With an estimated playtime of 15-30 minutes, it's not going to take long to get through these levels, but it's a lot of fun and a great way of exploring these awesome landscapes. It's likely future games from the same author will build on the same game engine. However, the best thing about it is that when you've finished, the game makes a brilliant screensaver.

Project Website

The fractal physics engine, developed by the game's author, allows for fast collisions with fractals and other procedurally rendered objects.

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