23 Oct

Greetings OpenShot Backers! I have lots of exciting news to share about OpenShot 2.0 and a progress / schedule update. It has been a crazy 4 weeks since my last update, but before I delve into those details, let me jump right into the newest completed feature: a brand new mask and transition system!

What is a mask?

For those who don't know, a mask is not just something we wear on Halloween, but is actually a very useful thing in a video editor. It is simply a grayscale image that is used to make parts of an image transparent. The darker the gray, the more transparent the image becomes. In effect, you can turn any image into a mask, by converting it into a grayscale image.

Masks can be used to erase parts of your video that you don't want. For example, you could mask out the sky, a building, or even an actor.


Masks can also be adjusted over time, which is typically called a wipe or transition. Transitions are very useful when blending one video into another, so the effect is more gradual. Here is where the really cool stuff happens. Not only can you create an infinite number of transitions, they are controlled by the user, with animation curves. Because you maintain control over the progression, the possibilities are endless!

Stacking Masks & Transitions

This was a tricky one, but is finally working, and working wonderfully! You can now layer masks and transitions together (as many as you want). This is cooler than it might sound. For example, you could use a Left to Right gradient to wipe across the video, and then add a Top to Bottom gradient to wipe down the video. Together, they would wipe diagonally across the video, revealing the next video.

Check out this illustration which has 3 components: a top layer (a semi-transparent angry face), a bottom layer (blue gradient fading to transparent), and a grayscale mask. Watch the effect wipe away the top layer, revealing the bottom layer. This illustrates how existing transparency information is preserved when applying masks!

OpenShot's First Employee

During the past 4 weeks, I embarked on an exciting (and necessary) adventure to hire my first employee to assist with OpenShot 2.0 and help with other project work. I found a great person with lots of potential, but unfortunately, things did not work out and they are no longer helping me. What I thought was going to be a great boost to my progress on OpenShot 2.0 was simply not meant to be. Unfortunately for me, this slowed me down and added additional delays (the very thing I was trying to avoid).

Schedule Update

I am very proud of my progress on OpenShot 2.0 so far, considering I've done most of it myself (at this point), and I've fixed many show-stopping bugs over the past few weeks. A few of the bugs I've been battling were unexpected (as they usually are), and there are only so many hours in the day. I am about 4 weeks behind my official schedule at this point, and I still expect another 10 days of work before I release the library and move into the next phase. The good news is many tasks from the next phase are already completed, since I've had to complete a few tasks out of sequence. I will be posting an updated schedule very soon, which will account for all the unexpected delays and time.

Also, I am hesitant to hire another person, due to my first experience and the short amount of time I have left on this project. So, I think it's safe to expect a delay on the previews and betas, but I will continue to post updates to keep everyone updated. Thanks to all of you for your patience and understanding! I am very excited to complete OpenShot 2.0, I just wish I had more hours in the day to work on it. =)