Olive is the most open video editor in the world. From its completely configurable render pipeline to its open source codebase, every aspect of it is designed to provide users with as much control as possible over both their work and their workflow.
In a world where most professional video editors lock their functionality behind paywalls, paid subscriptions, and platform exclusivity (or all of the above), Olive aims to provide complete and unconditional freedom without compromise.
The first alpha/prototype version of Olive was released in 2018, and it made immediate waves in the open source community as one of the most capable open source editors of its time. As an alpha release, it was far from perfect - there were plenty of bugs and stability issues - but it showed so much promise, and its performance was so strong, that some people still use it to edit videos to this day. Despite its alpha status, it has been downloaded over 8 million times as of 2021.
However, Olive's goal was never to just be "an open source video editor that works surprisingly well", it was to make the jobs of professionals, prosumers, and independent filmmakers easier by making large projects with complex compositions as manageable as possible. This meant Olive needed to support not only the key features of mainstream video editing software, but also some features of its own that had never been seen in any video editor before.
Olive's ambitions are high, but led by a producer of online content for over fifteen years and programmer for more than twenty, it has the expertise behind it to make them happen.
Olive's key feature is its render pipeline. Every step can be modified, rearranged, or augmented to achieve whatever results the user desires. Control is provided through a node-based compositor, which is the gold standard for compositing workflows in the visual effects industry. By adding and connecting nodes together, users "visually program" how their video and audio is generated and processed. Compared to traditional "layer-based" workflows, this provides much more freedom in what can be created, and requires far fewer steps to achieve the same results.
Many mainstream editors blur the line between editor and compositor by providing a set of "canned" effects, but they generally still require users to switch to other applications to complete complex compositions. Olive's versatility allows users to achieve everything in one place, helping them to save time in their workflow by only having to learn and use one program. Node setups from one part of a project can be freely re-used in other parts, further saving users' time as if they need to tweak a frequently used effect, they only have to tweak it once rather than every time that effect is used.
The system has a very high degree of fidelity and flexibility, providing enough granularity to allow users to operate on individual video and audio channels. It's also intelligent enough to allow connecting seemingly disparate data types, for example using audio to control a parameter on a video effect.
The entire pipeline is also GPU accelerated, helping users get their work done faster by squeezing as much performance out of their hardware as possible.
Additionally, for users familiar with programming, nodes can be written and distributed to other users as plugins, providing even further flexibility in Olive's ecosystem.
Olive also tightly integrates OpenColorIO to ensure the pipeline is color managed from end-to-end. OpenColorIO was originally developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks and has been used in blockbuster films such as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Color management is critical in many high-end workflows, and OpenColorIO represents the next generation of it, helping users produce the best pictures they can. Through OpenColorIO, Olive can ingest content from any source (e.g. a camera's LOG color space), composite in an agnostic reference space such as "scene linear" (which, unlike legacy color systems, operates just like light in the real world), and export to any broadcast or cinematic standard with far less effort than most other mainstream video editors, all while providing powerful color correction and grading tools along the way.
Additionally, while current prototypes don't have this feature, the groundwork has been laid to allow for automating certain actions through scripting. If a user needs to perform a repetitive action, e.g. making cuts whenever a long recording goes silent, Olive will allow them to script this action and perform it automatically.
Finally, if the user can't get the results the desire from the above, Olive is completely open source. Any part of it can be modified by anyone with coding ability to work however they want it to. Additionally, it can be ported to any platform where its dependencies are available. Most mainstream editors refuse to support Linux, despite its popularity in the visual effects industry. With Olive, that will never be an issue.
With this featureset, and much more, we believe Olive is the future of high-level video production, at least in the open source world.
We want to work with you!
So far, Olive has been almost entirely developed by a single person in their spare time, but it's going to need much more than that to get it where it needs to be and to truly flourish. A small team (2-3 people) working full-time could almost certainly get it to a stable "1.0" release where it could sustain itself and continue to grow, but we need financial investment to enable that to happen.
Additionally, we also need video professionals willing to help test, consult, and advise us regularly to ensure Olive continues to suit a professional workflow. The developers may be accustomed to certain ways of working, but ultimately Olive should be useful to as many fellow video producers as possible.
If you would like to test out Olive in its current prototype status, development builds are available in the "Try" section of this website, but keep in mind these builds are unfinished and are provided with no support or warranty. They simply demonstrate how far Olive has gotten so far on its own steam.
If you're interested in working together, please feel free to reach out at [email protected].