New in Lightworks 2021.1

This is without a doubt the biggest release of Lightworks in the last ten years! The overall foundations of the application have been rewritten with a faster and more flexible open architecture. This allows any media to be brought into a project and played at its natural size and frame-rate without being altered.

Main Features:

Universal Projects

Historically, Lightworks always suffered from a limitation: creating a project required setting a base frame rate (e.g. 24fps, 25fps, 30fps, etc.). All imported media had to match this rate: there was no way to import a 25fps clip into a 30fps project or vice versa. Additionally, clips and sequences could only play at the project frame rate, limiting flexibility and playback.

Lightworks 2021 - Universal Projects

In Lightworks 2021.1, the project frame-rate limitation has been completely removed, allowing media with any frame-rate (including variable rate) to be imported into a project, played back, logged, and added into sequences seamlessly. All source clips are played at their native frame rate, in their native shape. Once clips are inserted into a sequence, they are automatically/dynamically reframed and retimed to fit the sequence output format.

IMPORTANT Information:
Due to the complexities of removing the project frame rate, there is now limited backwards compatibility with earlier versions of Lightworks (2020.1, 14.x, etc). When opening an existing Lightworks project in 2021.1, a new copy of the project will be generated.

Any changes made using this latest version will not appear when stepping back to an earlier version of Lightworks. You will still be able to open earlier versions and gain access to these projects, but you will not see any of the changes made using 2021.1.

Lightworks 2021 - Sequence Playback Format

Sequence Playback Format

Previously the playback format within a project was governed by the 'Output format' setting on the project card. This resulted in all Clips and Sequences being played back at the project output format regardless of the native rate and/or aspect-ratio.

In Lightworks 2021.1, you can now right-click on a sequence and select the "Playback format" required.

If you require a frame-rate that’s not available in the list, then you can make a copy of the sequence and specify a new frame rate for the copy. The original sequence is left unaffected.

There is no limit to the number of sequences or the combination of playback formats, giving you the flexibility to deliver your content quickly and easily.

Resolution Preservation

Clips are no longer resized to match the project Output format. 4k/8k clips can now be viewed at the correct size - in full detail - throughout the Effects chain. In earlier versions of Lightworks clip resolution would have been discarded, resulting in poor quality images.

Custom Sequence Output Formats*

Previous versions of Lightworks limited users to broadcast output formats only. In today's world, this is extremely limiting. In 2021.1, Lightworks Pro users can now define their custom output formats. This custom format is then available for sequence output and publishing to 'H.264/MP4’, 'MOV', 'MXF', and 'AVI'.

* This option is only available when exporting with an active Lightworks Pro license.

Lightworks 2021 - Custom Sequence Output Formats

Social Media Custom Format Templates ‘Square’ and ‘Portrait’*

Lightworks 2021 - Social Media Custom Format Templates

These great new pre-built custom aspect ratios make preparing your content for social media quick and easy and can be toggled by simply right-clicking a sequence and selecting the option from the "Playback format" list.

* This option is only available when exporting with an active Lightworks Pro license.

Added ‘Associates’ Tab

This powerful new set of tools, grouped under the tab-title ‘Associates’, located below the source viewer, offers an extremely quick way of manually linking files together (User), seeing what media makes up a sequence (Constituents), and viewing any alternate variations of a loaded sequence (Versions). It is also extremely useful for determining what media makes up a sync (References) or finding any clips/subclips that are related.

Lightworks 2021 - Associates Tab

Associations can be viewed in either thumbnail or list views. The subtabs available under the ‘Associates’ tab vary depending on what asset (clip/sequence/subclip) is loaded into the source viewer above.

User Interface Improvements

This is the first major software release under the new company LWKS Software LTD, and we have taken the first step towards freshening up the interface with a colour-scheme adjustment and some new icons. A significant addition, we have also exposed several new controls within the ‘User Interface Appearance’ panel.

Lightworks 2021 - User Interface Panel

Users can now go further; in defining how they want panels, popups, buttons, tables, etc to appear, and we’ve also added the facility to adjust timeline segment colours (within the sequence timeline 'Settings' panel).

Lightworks 2021 - Timeline Settings Lightworks 2021 - Language Settings

Added Professional Language Translations

All the text within Lightworks can be altered/changed based on user preference. Bundled with all the installers we have a long list of Language preset files that are now more easily accessible to switch between.

As of 2021.1, we have added in professional language translations for:

  • Japanese
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese
  • Korean

All these can be accessed by simply clicking the cogs icon on the project browser screen and opening the dropdown list next to ‘Language’’.

Proxy Generation Improvements

The proxy workflow within Lightworks is one of the simplest to use. As new codecs are added that are more hardware intensive to work with natively, it becomes ever more necessary to work with proxy files generated from these file types. In 2021.1, we have made considerable improvements when working with 4K media including H.265/HEVC media.

Added Support for macOS 11 (Big Sur)

The Lightworks 2021.1 installer and release notes can be found in Downloads

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