Thursday, April 26, 2012

Novacut 12.04, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

I'm happy to introduce you to both Novacut 12.04 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS:

Backer list

I really apologize about this, but no backer list this month. We were fixing bugs and serious usability issues right up to the release, and there are still a few glaring usability issues we didn't get to. So in the end, this month didn't seem like the right time to add the backer list on our website and in the editor. For me, I kinda see the backer list as the delivery of our good, so I want it to feel special.

Heck, considering how hard we all work on this, and how much we deeply appreciate our 802 Kickstarter backers, and everyone who supported us through PayPal, everyone who backed our first Kickstarter (the one that failed), our friends and family who have loaned us money countless times, every journalist who gave us the time of day, everyone in the open-source community who encouraged us and offered us guidance, the epic efforts of Ian Hex, the artists who made videos like this and this to help explain Novacut to other artists, not to mention the zillion artists who have taken the time to help us understand what you need... I don't want this backer list to just feel special, I want it to feel down right ceremonial.

To be clear, once said goods (cloud beta too!) are delivered, that's not the end of the Novacut story. It's just when we level-up at the end of a meaty chapter. Remember, we see tools like the editor as just a means to an end. Personally speaking, I don't want a video editor, I want more Firefly. Which is perfect as I'm certain that no artist really wants a video editor either... they want to tell their story, get it to market, and earn a living doing so. And not get canceled by Fox.

I also want all the Fireflies that should have been but weren't because they got jammed up by some gatekeeper. You might think of Novacut as our take on OCD fandom writ large. And we think a darn good business model, one that can fund the development of tools like the editor for many decades to come.

Where does all the value in the entertainment industry come from? Artists. So we're here to serve artists, period.

Try it!

There are still rough-spots. Multicam and audio have yet to come. Novacut will continue to get better every month. But all the same, I still think that now is a great time to see what all the fuss is about.

It's wonderfully easy to install software through the Ubuntu Software Center. However, as Novacut isn't yet in any official Ubuntu software channel, the process is a touch more difficult.

So to kick the tires, please follow these instructions to install Novacut on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Just ask us if you need help or get stuck!

You probably want to start by watching this so you understand a bit about Dmedia, and then watch this to get a good tour of Novacut.

Source code

You can download the source code from each component's Launchpad project page:

This is just the beginning

Think about that. Thank you, everyone!


  1. Nice job. The whole import-edit-render process is fast and effective. The only moment when the slices turned blank came from going wild and using Panasonic m2ts files. Dmedia is actually able to import them, so the future of Novacut won't depend on how Canon DSLRs resist to the growing concurrence.

    Thanks for creating a neat and smart storyboard mode. I like it even better than the Lightworks UI because it doesn't tend to become cluttered over time. The only thing asking for improvement is the low number of keyboard shortcuts.

    Having a frame-accurate mouse wheel is very handy and using SHIFT+mouse wheel is actually nicer than the J and L keys to scroll backward and forward. But personally, I wouldn't enjoy the “hover-click-drag-release” method if I had to cut hundreds of slices this way. The editors you met have also expressed how they feel about mousing around the workspace:
    “Participants like not having to use a mouse; they like keyboard shortcuts; one participant suggested that modeling our shortcuts after FCP 7 and Avid would help people make the transition to Novacut; might be helpful to support input hardware (e.g. a Pinnacle Jog/Dial, J-K-L)”

    For instance, if you press the space bar to play back a slice and stop where you want to set an in or out point, then the usual fast way is to hit the I or O key. But here, you have to move your eyes away from the images in order to move your mouse appropriately. It isn't just the fear of having RSI symptoms after working long hours, it's the fact that moving the mouse puts you in a more active state than simply and blindly hitting a key when needed. All this activity prevents you from feeling the pace of the footage. It goes against the immersion you managed to create with your UI.

    That being said, I have no idea how much work would be required in order to incorporate the usual keyboard shortcuts, and I'm very much looking forward to using a Novacut timeline with audio tracks... So please, don't let this prevent you from moving forward. As long as you keep in mind the keyboard vs mouse preference, every editor on the planet will be happy :-)

  2. Just downloaded and installed 12.04 and can't wait to see how this excellent project develops. It's refreshing to see such a novel approache and as soon as audio is working, this will be my video editor of choice. Well done!