This section is to help people understand which formats are supported natively and how to use formats that are not.
A note about format/codec support
The codecs for many formats are protected by intellectual property copyright. This means that vendors have to pay to use these codecs and the licensing is generally to a particular vendor. This means that even if you have a program that uses a codec installed on your computer, other programs may not be able to use it.
Lightworks is currently in a transitional state. It is still closed source until it is open sourced which is scheduled for summer 2011. Until it is, common GPL style licensed toolkits and libraries are not an option. At the same time proprietary libraries have to be removed/replaced before it is open sourced. Which leaves the current chain of beta releases with a very small choice of external libraries.
When Lightworks is open source, only open source codecs will be used (or commercial professional ones you purchase specifically for use with Lightworks). EditShare is looking into using a open source program called ffmpeg to improve support and there will also be plugins where you can purchase certain codecs. Remember this is free software. Be nice to those supplying it, giving them abuse over format support is unproductive. Asking nicely is OK;).
Here are the supported formats, if the format is not covered adequately look at the bottom of this section for a list of useful encoding/transcoding programs.
|Quicktime DV / DVCAM||Native|
|Canon HDV||3rd Party (See HDV Workflow)|
|Sony HDV||3rd Party (See HDV Workflow)|
|AVCHD||3rd Party (See AVCHD Workflow)|
|Quicktime DVCPRO 50||Native|
|Quicktime DVCPRO HD||Native|
|Quicktime H.264||Native (playback performance dependant on CPU – transcode recommended)|
|Quicktime AVCHD||Native (playback performance dependant on CPU – transcode recommended)|
|Quicktime Photojpeg||Native (playback performance dependant on CPU – transcode recommended)|
|MXF OpAtom DVCPRO (P2)||Native|
|MXF OpAtom DVCPRO 50 (P2)||Native|
|MXF OpAtom DVCPRO HD (P2)||Native|
|MXF Op1a DV / DVCAM (XDCAM)||Native|
|MXF Op1a MPEG-2 SD I-Frame (10Mb/s – 50Mb/s)||Native|
|MXF Op1a MPEG-2 HD I-Frame (50Mb/s – 300Mb/s)||Native|
|AVI DV / DVCAM||Native|
|AVI DVCPRO 50||Native|
|AVI DVCPRO HD||Native|
|AVI Uncompressed SD||Native|
|AVI Uncompressed HD||Native|
|AVI MPEG-2 SD I-Frame||Native|
|AVI MPEG-2 HD I-Frame||Native|
|Image Seqeuence (BMP, Targa, TIFF, JPEG, PNG – others still to be tested fully)||Native|
Quicktime DV / DVCAM
Quicktime DVCPRO 50
Quicktime DVCPRO HD
MXF OpAtom DVCPRO (P2)
MXF OpAtom DVCPRO 50 (P2)
MXF OpAtom DVCPRO HD (P2)
MXF Op1a MPEG-2 SD I-Frame (10Mb/s – 50Mb/s)
MXF Op1a MPEG-2 HD I-Frame (50Mb/s – 300Mb/s)
AVI DV / DVCAM
AVI DVCPRO 50
AVI DVCPRO HD
AVI Uncompressed SD
AVI Uncompressed HD
AVI MPEG-2 SD I-Frame
AVI MPEG-2 HD I-Frame
Image Sequence still to be fully tested.
More codec support is on the way. We will be extending codec support based on the feedback we receive. We are also aware that certain codecs such as MPEG-2 and DV25 can have variations, so if anyone has issues with certain files, please send us a small sample to www.lightworksbeta.com/upload (you need to log in to see the page). We can then take a look at the possibility of supporting these additional formats.
Useful programs for transcoding
If Lightworks can not play the file natively and can not transcode the file itself you may need to use a media conversion/transcoding program to process the file before importing it into Lightworkss. Below are some programs that should help you with this. There are many settings that can be used and it can be verry daunting. The Lightworks Forums Codecs section is a great place to ask for help. Hopefully in time more instructions foer specific codecs will be added to the Wiki.
Mediacoder is probably the best program to use. It has a GUI and you can tell it to do a whole directory at once (or queue up several directories/files). People seem to be having more luck with the 64bit version. Mediacoder actualy includes several encoding programs including FFMPEG (mentioned below).
Quick Media Converter (http://www.cocoonsoftware.com/)
This is a program simpler to Mediacoder. It is simpler to use but is not as sophisticated and has less features.
FFMPEG (http://ffmpeg.org) (LGPL or GPL License)
This is a command line utility.
FFMedia BroadCast (FFMBC) (http://www.videohelp.com/tools/ffmbc) (open source).
This is a customised version of FFMPEG for broadcast and professional usage. Command line tool. Can be used with a frontend/GUI like Avanti. Useful for re-wrapping MTS AVCHD files to QuickTime format (MOV, MP4) so that they can be imported into Lightworks. Note: FFMPEG suffers from a long standing bug that makes re-wrapping of MTS files to Quicktime problematic. FFMBC does not suffer from this bug. See this thread
Virtualdub (http://www.videohelp.com/tools/Virtualdub) (open source).
Useful for transcoding MTS AVCHD files to MPEG I-frame HD in an AVI container so that they can be imported into Lightworks. See this thread.
WinFF (http://winff.org) (GNU License)
This is a front-end for FFMPEG which makes it easy to convert formats using presets (including the ability to add your own) and batch processing.