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Lightworks’ ease-of-use helps Tomas capture the drama of paragliding

Countless professional editors use Lightworks to make movies, television and corporate videos; however there is a burgeoning community of amateur editors using Lightworks to create their own professional-quality videos.

Tomas Brejla – or ‘brdloush’ to those of you who frequent the Lightworks online forum – is a software engineer from Prague, Czech Republic, and keen hobbyist. Following an excellent video Tomas posted on the Lightworks Forum of a paragliding trip to Lijak, Slovenia, we decided to catch up with him and ask him about using Lightworks:

Hi Tomas, can you tell us how you created the paragliding video?

This was my first attempt at working with 1080p@50fps footage from two cameras – GoPro HD Hero3 and Panasonic Lumix LX7. Editing the footage with Lightworks was so smooth. As I was using a slightly older version of Lightworks, I started by converting my clips from MP4 and AVCHD MTS files into ProRes 176HQ files. This took quite some time, but it was worth it (I’ve since upgraded to the latest version of Lightworks which helpfully requires no transcoding).

In the end I had to use 720p@50fps settings in Project Settings (for previews and editing), but I was still able to export to 1080p UYUV AVI @50fps. 50fps really makes a huge difference, and the video looks awesome in this format. For the YouTube export I tried using my original 50fps video as well as videos re-timed to 25fps and 30fps. After uploading and watching all the exports, I decided 30fps looked the best so I stuck with it. I’m looking forward to the moment video hosting sites will support 50fps.

What is your background in video editing?

I work as a software engineer in Prague, the beautiful capital of Czech Republic. My day job usually involves coding in Java while working on telco-related projects, so I’m a 100 per cent hobbyist without any professional background in video shooting/editing/grading/FX. The only ‘training’ I’ve ever attended was back in my university days, where we had two semesters of video editing on good old VHS analogue editing machines. I guess this was the time when I started to love analogue jog-wheels and the instant responses of editing machines (i.e. without having to pre-render).

How did you discover Lightworks?

I found Lightworks about a year ago and, almost instantly, started to like it a lot. I enjoy the overall smoothness of editing the most. With solid I-frame-only codec, the editing is super-fluid and responsive even in FullHD @ 50fps. The fact that everything just works without having to pre-render, really sold Lightworks to me.

I also enjoy all of the different editing options available such as ‘mark and park’, and the many ways of trimming, slipping, sliding and joining. I’ve also become addicted to Countour Design’s ShuttlePro v2, which works perfectly with Lightworks. It somehow reminds me of the nice responsive experience of an analogue editing machine. Overall, I like the fact that Lightworks (and video editing/processing in general) requires you to learn many new interesting things.

What kind of projects do you use Lightworks for?

So far, I’ve just been editing videos from my paragliding trips around Europe. I’m using GoPro HD HERO3 and Panasonic Lumix LX7. My workflow consists of pre-processing video files into ProRes MOVs, editing in Lightworks Pro, exporting to Uncompressed AVI master, and finally transcoding to YouTube-friendly h264 MKV.

You’re a regular contributor to the Lightworks online forum. What do you enjoy about the forum?

I really have to praise the community forum. This is the first product-related forum I’ve ever joined and even after more than a year, I check it regularly and participate. The people there are just great. They’re very helpful, friendly and have lots of knowledge and wisdom.

Recently I’ve found myself enjoying what I’ve started to call ‘learning by helping others.’ This is where someone will ask an interesting question about a technique I’ve never tried, but I feel that ‘it should be doable’. So I try a few things out, and in the end share my new knowledge with others on the forum. After that, ‘Khaver’ usually stops by and explains how the same thing can be done in a much more clever and simple way. He’s now my personal hero!

Anything you’d like to see improved or added to the forum?

One thing that I’d really love to see improved is to be able to invite multiple forum users into user groups. I strongly believe it would open doors to creating local user groups. I think it would be great to have a beer with other local Lightworks users.