Video sequencer improvements

I am always wondering why blender developers are not much focusing on making video sequencer really a next level improved version. Inspite of having such a simple interface VSE is powerful module. Is there any serious plan from Blender team on this? If needs to be revamped what developer skills are required for it?

Also want to know can node editor be used for VSE? ( I m sure currently it is not, but can it be made possible? )

Curious to know.


The problem is not enough people to work on it, few volunteers have showed up but it seems like “life is in their way”, I saw some conversation in the mailing list but may be people are too busy. For example here is a patch need update to be reviewed

I would say with the VSE, ditch the ‘Blender only’ way of interacting with clips (Ie left click to select, drag clips about etc) and you’d see a lot more people using it, and also it would be a viable tool for people to edit with even if they’d never used blender, and had no intention of doing 3D stuff.

@Tedri Mark, in case you haven’t seen this suite of addons might be helpful

This is a subject that comes regularly into the table.
There are few things to consider :

-The main purpose of the VSE isn’t to have a replacement of an dedicated editing software (you can use other OSS alternatives like Kdenlive, shotcut ect…)
it’s more some editing and grading tools aimed at 3D animations (all the open movies where edited with the VSE) with special features that you won’t find in a regular NLE. I guess with a feature length movie or a very big project you’ll use a dedicated software for editing anyway.

-As said, there is already too much work on the 3D side for dev’s so if something append that should come for someone willing to invest time, like with grease pencil development, that would have stayed an annotation tool if there haven’t been someone working on it by himself.

-I’m not a dev myself, but from what I’ve heard VSE would need a rewrite for some simples features to be implemented because the first version has been coded in a hurry and the actual version still suffer from that. It not as easy as it could to implement things inside.

About vse and nodes, you can use scene strip that contain some compositing and edit them, not the contrary (do an edit and use that as a source for compositing).

To me , VSE isn’t complete as an NLE, but it’s an awesome tool for pipeline stuff, using blender python API you can make things that wouldn’t be possible in any NLE that I know of (except Nuke Studio)… With some script you can parse a .EDL from final cut to generate all the project folder structure, do some conversion ( sound , video) so animators have a preview of each shots. You can (automatically) load all the 3D shots into a timeline for review, open the corresponding .blend file ect… As long as what you want can be scripted you can do a lots of stuff.

I’ve used it as a main pipeline/review tool for several projects (animated series) and it worked very well.

Above few references such as -

Kdenlive, shotcut ect.

Definitely new for me and I will have a look at them.

However what always impressed me about VSE is, it is amazing to have realtime 3D viewport camera view frames dynamially connected with strips and get your thing done. This is something exceptional feature I believe. I dont know if there are other softwares having such feature / flexibility.

Secondly the GUI of after effect like software really sometimes sucks, coz except few quick hot keys for lots of things you have travel your mouse so much to do this and that every time. While in blender I find things just in place and @ finger tips. atleast for simple tasks… lol. I am not A/E professional of course but the way blender’s fludic interace helps raw person like me to easily handle things After effects like Pro. application doesn’t. isn’t it really funny. I am not blaming its abilities but Adobe people really think of bringing mouse travel necessity from miles to inches while handling A/E.

I am looking for possibilities to see if I/we can take VSE like module to rewrite or enhance & what all is required to achieve that milestones along with how much of time / cost / skills parameters.

If not speaking too much, VSE is developed in right way will create a havoc & will drift monster post production tool makers to rethink about their traditional post production application.


Indeed realtime preview of 3D scene is a powerful feature that you won’t find in a regular NLE.

AE isn’t really an editing software, you can of course edit shots, but it’s more aimed at animation, motion design, compositing…
VSE is a bit similar, it’s better at doing quick edit, image manipulation ect… To have similar features as a true NLE is will be IMO too much work and maybe will loose original focus of the VSE.

IMO there are few “simple” stuff that can already be very useful without touching the core design :

-add more blend mode : you can composite strips using alpha over/under , cross, add , multiply.
adding screen, overlay, soft light, dodge,burn ect… would be awesome.

-add more strips modifiers :
hue/saturation/value , this can help getting all in the same place, you can tweak saturation in the filter panel, but you can’t do hue shift.
maybe blur and glow filter can be ported as a modifier too so everything is in the same place.

A more complex work would be to rework the cache system so it can play realtime easier. But I guess it’s a tough area to tackle.

If not speaking too much, VSE is developed in right way will create a havoc & will drift monster post production tool makers to rethink about their traditional post production application.

Hum, it’s already a bit the case, as a pipeline/review tool it’s already quite good. I’ve used it on many productions, I’ve read that Tangent Animation is also using it quite intensively on their feature films.

To make a regular NLE, it’s too much work I guess, it won’t make too much sense also. If photoshop get a full featured sound editor , would you really use it as a professional ? or would you just use a standard software that isn’t filled with image operations you’ll never use.

To understand better what is needed as a professional editing software :
-it should be able to manage hours of video, store them internally in folders, add tags so you can manage you footages easily.
-it should handle different footages with different framerates , size , being able to de-interlace them and re-interlace them as needed.
-it must have a bridge with color grading application (.EDL,XML) to at some point send the edit for professional grading tool and get it back in the timeline.
-it should display video thought professional card / monitors like this one :
-Of course it should at least be able to pull a quick greenscreen key to preview VFX in the edit and then send them to the VFX team.

I’m sure a professional editor would see a lot of other issues, all this stuff that would be required to get a true interest from production companies in blender as an NLE.

That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be improved, but IMO it should be improved in areas it’s already good at.

I agree with you. I always feel like one day blender will hit the top as a mother of all apps !

Can’t keyframe masks. Or frame compositing. Or nest sequences. Very limited titling. They are toys. For all of VSE’s warts - and it has them - it’s the only editing tool on Linux that comes close to competing with Premiere or AViD on basic pro features. VSE updates are crucial for a working FOSS pipeline.

There are always going to be specialized tools, but I wouldn’t mind a bit more sound editing in Blender. Even just a re-sample to speed up or slow down audio in time with video would be really convenient.

One thing I would like to point out is even if you’re not a coder and want to see something improved, you can always start making a document that lists all the various ways a thing could be improved, and all the various ways that it doesn’t work well. It’s useful work that a coder who’s interested in doing something like that can pickup and hit the ground running, instead of going through the entire design process themselves.

For example put a document on Github that’s markdown formatted. It can be easily edited, shared, versioned and saved.

There’s also the Blender wiki which is (I guess) more obvious, but I don’t know how that works myself. :smiley:

Google Docs is also how many people do collaborative design work.

There’s also a website specifically set up to collect and discuss ideas for Blender.

Yes, I run that site.

I’ve seen that someone made a patch to implement all blend modes (screen, overlay, ect) to VSE strips,That’s very useful.