It gives you the power of a full-fledged professional-grade video editor for free. With one big caveat- you are limited to exporting at a max resolution of just 1280 x 720, using the MPEG4 and H.264 formats.
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Lightworks Archive is the only other export format available apart from those two. You’ll also miss out on user-definable project locations, which means you are forced to store project files in the default folder and can’t select a location manually. Advanced project sharing and 3D output are also disabled on the free edition, along with timeline rendering and AVID DNxHD codec support. AJA, Blackmagic, Matrox, and Mackie Mixer support is also disabled.
Now that you understand the differences between free and Pro versions of Lightworks, let’s talk about its features and strengths. Lightworks is a non-linear video editing program designed to make video editing simpler and more accessible for everyone. But it doesn’t compromise on functionality, as is evident from the fact that it has been used across multiple Hollywood blockbusters such as The Wolf of Wall Street, Hugo, The Aviator, Bruce Almighty, Centurion, The Departed, Braveheart, etc. Famous professional editors such as Tariq Anwar, Henry Stein, Jill Bilcock, etc. have used Lightworks in their projects. You can import in a variety of formats, in fact- all import formats supported by the Pro version are also supported in the Free version.
The visual effects tools in Lightworks are truly amazing, and they let you tweak every single detail on an image or video. Titles and text are super easy to work with, and you can customize their locations/ orientation down to individual pixels. When you’re working on larger projects that are very complicated, you can split the work into multiple virtual workspaces. Each workspace is called a room, and you can focus on multiple stages of the project simultaneously in this manner. Color grading is very advanced in Lightworks, you can adjust shade balance, convert colored video to monochrome, correct brightness and contrast, change color tones, and do much more. If you want to stylize your video with simple post-processing filters, Lightworks has that too. Lightworks also have several transition effects like Blend, Dissolve, Masked Blend, Push, Squeeze, Wipe, etc.