Join thousands of professional movie editors from around the world who use Lightworks to edit and produce their movies and documentaries. LICENSE IS GOOD FOR ONE YEAR.
Designed for editors, by editors
Lightworks is the fastest, most accessible and focused NLE in the industry, because it is based on the simple idea that the editor, not the computer industry, knows what’s best. The latest release of Lightworks is based on the cumulative knowledge from twenty years of top-flight editing.
Unmatched format support Lightworks has the widest support available for formats currently available in a professional NLE. MXF, Quicktime and AVI containers, with every professional format you can think of: ProRes, Avid DNxHD, AVC-Intra, DVCPRO HD, RED R3D, DPX, H.264, XDCAM EX / HD 422 – check out the detailed Tech Specs for a full list of supported formats.
Incredible timeline We like to shout about our timeline. It looks uncomplicated – and it is. But it’s more powerful than any other timeline out there. With the most comprehensive drag and drop support, and all the standard insert, replace and fit-to-fill edit commands, a Lightworks timeline probably gives you the most advanced feature set available. Change clip speed, control clip and track volume levels, add effects and transitions in real-time – all in an uncluttered and flexible timeline that out-performs anything else out there. And it’s free.
Resolution, format and codec independent timeline We live in a complicated world of formats, frame rates, codecs and standards, which is painful when all you want to do is edit. So we’ve taken that headache away. Put whatever you want on your timeline – any standard frame rate, any format, any codec – we don’t think you should worry about that. In fact, the only thing you have to decide is what you want to export your edit as. That’s all you have to do. If we could make it easier, we would.
Trimming If Lightworks had one key advantage 20 years ago it was its ability to trim media. Most NLEs make you perform unnecessary editing functions to delete, lift, cut or move media when all you really want to do is trim it. Lightworks sets the standards for trimming, with an AutoSync feature that has never been matched. Why make something complicated with several edits when you can do it with just a couple? Once you’ve trimmed in Lightworks, you won’t look back.
Multicam Sync Groups Not everyone shoots with multiple cameras. But when you do, you need the best tools to edit. Syncing-up shots and switching angles in real-time all help create a great multicam edit. The last thing you need is technical restrictions getting in your way. So we removed them. Edit unlimited sources and any mixture of resolutions or formats in our unique Sync Group for the most flexible multicam editing feature available in a professional NLE. It doesn’t get easier than this.
Stereoscopic Support Stereoscopic is here to stay. And we’re here to support it. But why change the way you edit, just because the way you view media has changed? Lightworks has a completely unique way to edit stereoscopic media – exactly the same way you edit the rest of your media. We automatically keep track of your left and right eye media during import, editing and export; all you have to do is decide how you want to view it. And we offer plenty of ways to do this: Anaglyph, Side-By-Side, Checkerboard, Difference. You can even view stereoscopic media on a regular 2D display. Who said 3D workflows had to be expensive?
Project Sharing Seven years ago we developed the EditShare shared storage solution based on real world experience: working on location with shared FireWire drives drove us mad. We believe we understand project sharing better than anyone. We’ve developed a solution for Avid and we are the only company to develop one for Final Cut Pro. But with Lightworks, we’ve taken it one step further. This is what real-time collaboration should be. Share media, bins and edits in real-time with full permissions control over which user has read / write access. If you need to work together then this is probably the best solution available. Easy to configure, easy to maintain and it works on any network storage.
Powerful, real-time effects Remember the big announcements about background rendering last year? We remember them too and we’re still wondering why. Modern graphics cards are fast – lightning fast. Why render effects when they can be handled in real-time by inexpensive GPUs? Lightworks has a real-time GPU pipeline architecture, designed from the ground up to deal with compositing and effects, such as primary and secondary colour correction, blurs, mattes and masks – completely independent of the source media. HD? 2K? 4K? No problem, we’ll deal with it in real-time. The faster your GPU, the faster your system.
Unique and Patented Console Since 1989, Lightworks has had a unique and Patented hardware Console at the heart of its editing philosophy. Based around a flatbed film editor, the console offers the most tactile and intuitive editing experience available. There’s nothing else quite like it. Just because we edit using files and not film these days doesn’t mean we have to throw away the best way to edit. Using the console means you spend at least 50% more time looking at the images and not at shortcuts or disruptive application menus. It’s fast and it’s how the professionals edit. Every film that has been edited with Lightworks has been cut with a Lightworks console. And for those who fancy something different, we’ve developed a dedicated keyboard with an ergonomically designed layout for optimal use.
AutoSave There’s nothing more depressing than losing your last edit. You’ve spent hours fine-tuning a cut and the power fails or your hard drive dies. We’ve been there and we know what it’s like. So that’s why we have an AutoSave feature that is as good as it gets. To put it simply, you’ll never lose your work again. Lightworks saves every keystroke, every edit, every change you make in your project. Not only does Lightworks save your project continuously, but it also saves incremental backups of each Edit. You can decide how often and how many versions are kept. Peace of mind that you can return to any point and not lose any of your hard work.
Powerful media management Multiple Terabytes of media: It’s a headache. How do you filter content quickly and efficiently? How can you log your media so that others can find it? Lightworks offers a powerful solution for managing your media, and doesn’t leave you at the mercy of a consumer operating system’s file system. Knowing where your media is and what you have available can make the difference between a great final product and an average edit. Log media, Storyboard, make automatic edits, and advance search for content. Powerful tools for any editor or assistant who collaborates with other departments such as audio of VFX.
Lightworks Community We would love to think we have all the answers, but some of the best ideas come from people using Lightworks every day… and we are more than happy to listen to them! The Lightworks Community is full of great people – editors who not only love editing, but also enjoy sharing knowledge and helping others find better ways of using Lightworks, with tips, tricks, or just good old-fashioned advice. Lightworks has the largest growing community in our industry and we’re proud of it. Join us and experience something above and beyond the software!
32 bit and 64 bit (64 bit beta coming soon) Offering the most flexibility for a professional NLE, Lightworks is available in 32 bit and 64 bit versions. With the 64 bit version, Lightworks can take advantage of larger memory capacity, which increases codec performance, particularly for Long GOP formats such as H.264.
Real-time GPU effects architecture With a fast effects pipeline architecture that uses the full power of modern GPUs, Lightworks can handle many layers of real-time effects in SD, HD, 2K, 4K and even 5K! You can even adjust parameters during playback giving you the best experience in effects editing for an NLE.
Cross platform Lightworks will be the only professional editing solution available for all three major desktop operating systems – Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. With the Windows version out now, and the Linux release around the corner, we’re excited to be the first to offer this level of cross-platform flexibility.
Broadcast monitoring with SDI hardware Display your edits on Broadcast monitors through SDI hardware for crystal clear compliant monitoring. Audio offset adjustments allow picture and sound to remain in sync no matter what output route they take.
Up to 5K resolution editing Resolution independent projects and timelines provide a far less restricted editing experience. Lightworks supports up to 5K file formats for real-time editing and up to 2K in real-time output monitoring without any additional hardware.
Red Rocket Lightworks supports up to two RED Rocket hardware cards in a single system, providing real-time 4K and 5K full resolution playback. Even with a single card, you can edit in full resolution 2K with no additional I/O hardware.
Matrox MXO2 Lightworks supports the entire Matrox line-up of MXO2 devices for superior I/O support – HD-SDI, SD-SDI, Analogue and AES Audio, input and output. With support for desktops and laptops, the MXO2 range provides comprehensive connectivity in a portable form.
Mackie Protocol support Support for Mackie’s communication protocol means Lightworks’ audio mixer and fader automation can be driven from an external Makie mixing console
Console Lightworks’ patented and unique Console provides the most intuitive and engaging editing experience available. With all the common editing commands and user definable presets, the Console is one reason Lightworks is chosen by professionals all over the world.
Keyboard A custom designed keyboard, ergonomically designed for fast and efficient use. The Lightworks Keyboard offers much more than standard editing features, such as advanced modes, project functions and direct links to the Lightworks Community.
Turnkey systems Lightworks has always provided turnkey systems, fully configured and optimised to the last nut and bolt. In fact, until recently, this was the only way you could buy a Lightworks system. For those editors who need the peace of mind, full technical support and an editing system that is configured to deal with the most demanding of situations, Lightworks can provide a full turnkey system.
Import and Export
Batch Import Queue up multiple imports from different locations – with multiple selectable rates, resolutions and transcode options. Then simply sit back and let Lightworks do the rest.
Transcode on import Lightworks can handle many formats natively. But for those times when you want to standardise on a single format, Lightworks offers Transcode on Import. Go from Long GOP to I-Frame, MXF to Quicktime or vice versa. Whatever you want, we probably support it.
Wide format support Lightworks has the widest support available for formats currently available by a professional NLE. From MXF, Quicktime and AVI containers, with every professional format you can think of: ProRes, Avid DNxHD, AVC-Intra, DVCPRO HD, RED R3D, DPX, H.264, XDCAM EX / HD 422 – read the full list of supported codecs: http://www.lwks.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13&Itemid=174
AAF for interoperability AAF is fully supported in Lightworks for both import and export and is an ideal way of moving edits between non-networked Lightworks systems or sharing with other software such as Avid Media Composer or ProTools.
Native RED R3D support Lightworks supports native RED R3D files for import and provides the ability to playback the files at resolutions from 1/16th up to full resolution. Real-time full resolution playback is possible with the RED Rocket card.
DPX 8bit, 10bit and 16bit DPX files are fully supported in Lightworks for import and export, at resolutions up to 4K.
Stereoscopic Import and Export Syncing up left and right eye media for a stereoscopic workflow can be painfully slow, so Lightworks takes that strain away, automatically handling the sync for you. Import and export as you would with regular media, with no need to change the way you work.
Export Bins and Projects Most editing software will only export edits or clips. But there are many scenarios where it would be useful to export a bin of clips or an entire project. Lightworks makes this as easy as exporting a single clip: you just drop your export tool over the item you want to export – a clip, an edit, a bin or an entire project.
SDI, Firewire Record and Playout Lightworks has support for capture from SDI or Firewire-based devices through our range of supported hardware. With RS-422 control and real-time onscreen preview, capturing media from tape or live sources is easy.
EDL Importing and Exporting EDLs provides a standard interchange between other post-production and finishing systems and Lightworks.
Multicam Multicam editing can be difficult without the right tools. Fortunately Lightworks has some of the best tools available with our unique Sync Group. Use unlimited sources in any format or resolution for a totally intuitive multicam experience.
Stereoscopic editing Editing stereoscopic media should not change the way you work. So Lightworks does the background tasks for you, allowing you to continue doing what you’re good at – editing.
Storyboarding Sometimes you just want to sketch out an idea. Storyboarding in Lightworks is easy and allows you to go from a rough idea to a full edit in just a couple of seconds.
Resolution, format and codec independent timeline There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a ‘format not supported in this project’. So with Lightworks we make our edits format, resolution and codec independent. If you’re in a 24 frame project, you can import any content and put whatever you want in an edit. Just decide how you want Lightworks to output it. It doesn’t get much simpler than this.
Edit at any frame rate Lightworks supports all standard video frame rates - 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, or 60 fps. Import and edit all media together in a 24fps project and Lightworks will deal with pull-down and frame rate conversion seamlessly in background, all in real-time.
Comprehensive Drag and Drop support Drag and Drop editing is a powerful way to move content into an edit. So we’ve added some enhancements that take this to another level. It’s easy to insert and replace, and there’s a unique ability to drag sections of edits back to a bin for future use. Lightworks’ drag and drop functionality is flexible, fast and efficient.
Full-screen, real-time output on single or secondary display On a laptop or dual display setup, output full-screen, real-time video with a single key stroke for SD, HD and 2K preview through your VGA, DVI or HDMI port. A great alternative when you do not have a dedicated broadcast monitor or SDI outputs available.
Varispeed (Slo-mo) control Adjust the playback speed of any clip, forwards or backwards, in real-time direct from the timeline – no need to add an effect, and no need to render.
Powerful trimming tools Trimming in Lightworks is more advanced than any other editing software available. Unjoin cuts, associated cuts or multiple non-adjacent cuts for complex trims that would require several edit operations in other software.
Virtually Unlimited Video and FX tracks Who said you could only have 99 video tracks? Have as many as you like. We won’t stop you.
Fast editing Lightworks is the fastest editor available. With up to 33% fewer keystrokes required for common tasks, you’ll focus more on picture and sound, and less time looking at menus.
Flexible User Interface Lay out your viewers, bins and other tools exactly where you want them. Lightworks doesn’t tell you how you should work, but lets you decide. We will even remember your tool positions for you.
Hardware-accurate vectorscopes and waveform monitors Checking your video for colour and luminance levels often requires expensive external equipment. Lighworks includes real-time, hardware-accurate vectorscopes and waveform monitors to assist you.
Quick transitions Lightworks’ Quick Transitions gives you fast access to the most common transitions and wipes. No need to open an entire effects window to add a simple cross dissolve.
Auto-sync You trim some video but forget to trim the associated audio, and now your timeline is out of sync. But with one click of the the ‘AutoSync’ button, your timeline snaps back into sync.
Cues Adding Cue points to clips and edits is a useful way to mark up your media or collaborate with other users. You can export Cue lists to help locate points of reference in the future.
Avid and FCP keyboard layouts We understand that trying out a new NLE can be daunting and sometimes confusing. So we’ve added preset keyboard layouts for Avid and Final Cut Pro users. You can drive Lightworks as you would drive your current NLE, helping you get up to speed much quicker.
Real-time BITC overlay Output timecode and any combination of shot labels such as clip name, comments or other metadata in real-time. No pre-rendering required. Ideal if you’re making viewing copies and you need to reference the original material.
Real-time letterboxing Mask your entire edit with a letterbox in real-time. No rendering and fully adjustable on the fly.
Re-link to hi-res media Work online or offline and always be able to re-link to hi-res media for a bandwidth-saving workflow.
Project Archive Lightworks can archive entire projects or elements of a project. Logs only or with picture and sound, Lightworks Archives are a great way to backup your entire project in a safe and secure way.
Powerful search capabilities Search for individual clips, or groups of clips such as Bins, Racks or Edits. All metadata is fully searchable, and the search results can be turned into bins or edits with a single click.
Search for references Search for elements within a bin or an edit, creating a search result that can be displayed as a new bin or a new edit. With a new edit, clips that match the search criteria can be left in place, providing a fast export method for editors and assistants.
AutoSave Never lose your work again, and never think about saving your project. One less thing to worry about, giving you more time to be creative.
Automatic Edit backups Lightworks incrementally backs up each and every edit. You decide how often to back up and how many versions to keep, ensuring you can always step back to a previous version if you need to.
Custom Bin views (Save view) View and organise metadata how you want to. Finding the right information can be time consuming, so Lightworks allows you to organise your bin views to display only the content that is relevant to you. You can then save this view and apply it to every other bin, or define the views for each bin individually.
Stereoscopic effects Lightworks has full support for Stereoscopic workflows, all the way from import, to edit, effects and export. With its powerful multicore media engine, Lightworks handles the complexities of keeping left and right eye media in sync and deals with effects and transitions seamlessly, freeing you to concentrate on the creative side.
Real-time GPU accelerated Primary and Secondary colour correctors Adjust, replace or stylize your edit with primary and multiple secondary colour correctors. Lightworks uses your GPU to provide potentially unlimited layers of real-time correction with a flexible toolset.
Node based effects compositing Layer and re-route effects, or build complex compositions using Lightworks’ node-based effects composition and video routing tool. Turn individual effects on and off, and add new effects into the chain with ease.
Fold and Unfold effects Adding multiple effects can be difficult to manage, so Lightworks provides the ability to ‘unfold’ effects onto their own FX track. Each effect can be trimmed or moved like a regular clip. Fold effects back to tidy up the timeline view and provide a clutter free interface.
Real-time blurs Blurs are often difficult to process. But with Lightworks GPU effects architecture, adding blurs is a breeze. Adjust in real-time and playback – no rendering.
Real-time chroma key Key out blue screen or green screen easily with Lightworks’ real-time chroma key effect.
Real-time titling Lightworks provides a real-time titling tool – preview fonts in real-time, with face colours, gradients, typewriter effects and fades. All parameters are keyframeable for complete control over title animations.
Masks and Mattes Create multi-point masks or use images with alpha channels. Alongside other effects, masks and mattes provide a powerful way to control a specific area of an image.
User effects templates Save all your custom effects settings for future use. You can also share your effects templates with other users. In fact, many do in the Lightworks Community. Using our open FX specification, you can also create new effects that can be added to Lightworks in real-time.
Support for third party effects applications We like to be open and working with third party applications is an important aspect of any editing software. With support for many third party products such as Boris RED, Adobe After Effects plugins. Eyeon Digital Fusion and Red Giant Looks, Lightworks gives you excellent integrated access to your third party effects software.
Real-time Pre and Post Audio waveform display See your waveforms on the timeline with fast real-time display and the ability to view pre and post levels. No hanging around while the timeline re-draws.
Analogue-style multi-track audio scrubbing If you have ever scrubbed through audio digitally, you’ll know it is difficult to find a specific point without some degree of guesswork. With Analogue-style scrubbing, you hear the real audio at the speed you scrub giving much more useful feedback.
Subframe-accurate audio keyframing Unlike video, audio is not defined by frame boundaries, so why be constrained to frames when you can adjust audio levels or add keyrames within a frame of video. Much more accurate control over your audio with no penalty on performance.
Audio Mixer Lightworks has a full multi-track mixer with Gain, Pan, Mute and Solo controls. It also includes multiple mix busses for advanced audio routing.
Clip and Track gain Change individual clip levels as well as entire track levels for total control over your audio mix.
Multiple Bus routing Advanced audio editing often requires the ability to control the overall output volume of groups of tracks. With Lightworks, you can route the output of tracks to individual busses, to control the output levels in your master mix.
Real-time performance Regardless of the number of tracks you decide to use, Lightworks guarantees real-time performance of audio effects and playback.
Parametric EQ Lightworks comes with a full 3-channel parametric EQ native audio effect. Guaranteed real-time performance across all tracks.
Direct to timeline Voice Over recording Recording voice overs can be difficult and often require other audio packages. With Lightworks, you can record voice overs directly to your timeline whilst watching back your edit for perfect sync.
Real-time adjustments during playback Mixing audio is an important task and the ability to do this in real-time during playback is often required to achieve the right end result. Lightworks has full level and node adjustment on any channel during playback in real-time.
Real-time fader automation Adjust nodes with fader automation in real-time giving accurate results to your mix.
Mackie protocol support Lightworks supports the Mackie communication protocol for tight integration with external Mackie mixers. This allows you to use a hardware solution for mixing audio, in conjunction with the real-time fader automation for ultimate control over your mix levels.
Real-time audio normalisation Lightworks can normalise audio during import, saving you the time and effort of doing this at a later stage.
Mixed bit depth and sample support A flexible timeline is one that lets you get on with the creative job of editing and not worry about the technicalities of formats. Lightworks can handle mixed sample rates and bit depths in real-time with no conversion necessary.
Advanced Project Sharing We understand Project Sharing better than anyone. Collaborating and sharing projects, media and edits are a major part of modern post-production and should be an integral part of any professional NLE. Lightworks has the best project sharing available. Combined with AutoSave, you’ll always be up to date working with your colleagues – seeing changes as they happen in real-time. We think that when you try working this way you won’t want to settle for anything less.
Support for network storage Rock-solid shared storage is critical to any collaborative environment, and ensuring that Lightworks performs well on other third party storage is a key factor in Lightworks being chosen by many editors across the world. With support for 1Gb and 10Gb Ethernet and Fibre Channel solutions, Lightworks is the most flexible NLE for shared storage environments.
AAF interchange presets with Avid, ProTools and others. Collaborating with Avid Media Composer and ProTools is easy for Lightworks, with AAF import and export. Lightworks has predefined presets to allow seamless migration of edits to and from many post systems, with a fully featured AAF export toolset allowing Lightworks to sit alongside any other system that supports AAF.
Best forum in the industry The Lightworks Community is the fastest growing network in our industry, with editors from all over the world contributing advice, knowledge and support. Our forum contains thousands of topics about all aspects of Lightworks and the industry in general. It’s a great place to start and it is even better when you join in…
Industry leading professional support Lightworks is backed up by a world-class team of professional support engineers – people who know the product inside out. And when they get stuck, we have a team of developers with over 100 years combined experience of Lightworks ready to jump in. You won’t find better support than this.
All versions are designed to run on Intel and AMD chipsets and motherboards. Lightworks is currently a 32 bit application, but will shortly be released as a 64 bit version as well.
Mac OS X (in development)
Linux (in development)
Minimum Recommended System Specs
PC with Intel Core Duo, Intel Xeon or AMD processor
Windows XP Professional SP3, Windows Vista or Windows 7 Professional (32 bit or 64 bit)
2GB RAM (EditShare recommends 3GB RAM)
Display with 1024 x 768 resolution or higher
PCI Express graphics card (NVIDIA or ATI) with 256MB or higher and support for DirectX 9
IEEE 1394 Interface (FireWire) 800Mbs if you plan to use a FireWire digital device
Windows compatible sound card
200MB Disk space for Lightworks installation
Internet connection for activating Lightworks (first time only)
Intel i7 chipset or faster, fast AMD chipset
Windows 7 Professional (32 bit or 64 bit)
3GB RAM or higher
Two high-resolution displays (1920 x1080) or above.
PCI Express graphics card (NVIDIA or ATI) with 1GB or higher and support for DirectX 9
IEEE 1394 Interface (FireWire) 800Mbs if you plan to use a FireWire digital device
Separate media and system drives (these can be internal or external as long as the the interface is suitably fast. eSATA is an example).
Sufficient storage space for all the media
Windows compatible sound card
An audio monitoring system
(Optional) a Lightworks Console.
(Optional) a Lightworks keyboard.
200MB Disk space for Lightworks installation
Internet connection for activating Lightworks (first time only)
Lightworks is able to use the power of your graphics card or chipset to accelerate video processing. We get good results with NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards. We are currently using these two cards for the majority of development and internal testing:
Nvidia FX 4000
NVidia FX 2000
Lightworks Pro Keyboard (PC)
Custom keyboard for Lightworks Pro!
DESCRIPTION A custom designed keyboard, ergonomically designed for fast and efficient use. The Lightworks Keyboard offers much more than standard editing features, such as advanced modes, project functions and direct links to the Lightworks Community.
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