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Cinelerra: Rough and ready video editor

By Dave Kline on July 15, 2005 (8:00:00 AM)

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The average computer user is now in quite good shape to develop and publish content. Video is a fun and challenging way to bring ideas to life and expand your skills. Needed hardware is becoming less expensive, and software to make and edit video is becoming more practical and accessible. Linux is no stranger to video, and fortunately for us little folk, its quite easy to get a hold of great Free Software tools. Enter Cinelerra, the "50,000 watt flamethrower" of Linux video.

Cinelerra is a freely available media editing suite for Linux licensed under the GPL. Cinelerra is available in two flavors: the original developer's work and an unofficial 3rd-party CVS version. Both versions share much in common, so for simplicity I will let Cinelerra refer to either version. Among its many features are the ability to work with multiple audio and video tracks, the effective use of multithreading, and the ability to perform many useful editing and exporting operations simultaneously. These features combined with such freedom are simply unheard of.

Requirements

When working with video on a computer, most home users will not be concerned with much more than the Digital Video format, or DV for short. Working with video in this case would be akin to filming something with a digital video camera, capturing the video off the camera through IEEE1394 (also called Firewire), and modifying the video on the computer. When editing, try to keep your work in the same format whenever possible to prevent lossiness due to format changes. Often this means editing in DV and outputting in a more compressed format for DVD creation or web publishing.

Cinelerra can do big things, and as a result can use big hardware. Because an hour of DV is roughly 12GB, you are going to want a lot of disk space and a lot of memory. Cinelerra can be built as an AMD64/x86-64 target, so it flies on a pair of Opterons. That said, Cinelerra still works quite comfortably on more modest systems. There are reports of Celerons with 256M of ram running Cinelerra, but I would recommend at least a 1Ghz CPU and 512MB of ram. If you have the hardware to spare, you can even set up multiple machines to form a render farm.

Where does Cinelerra fit in?

Cinelerra shares company with other fine Linux video tools. Kino is another great video editor that is more geared toward quick jobs and beginners. Kino currently handles only a single combined audio/video track but includes very flexible and powerful export options. Kino also provides a well-designed interface to dvgrab, the premiere Linux IEEE1394 video capture tool. Kino offers very helpful developers and a vibrant user community. Though Cinelerra includes a DV capture facility, many will first use dvgrab or Kino and dvgrab to capture DV and then feed it into Cinelerra.

Cinelerra fills a diverse role in Linux video. Users that simply want to trim off unneeded parts of video are quite well served by Kino. These same users can use Cinelerra to simultaneously edit and add audio and video, add still images, and incorporate a myriad of complex audio and video effects. Cinelerra has high-end features such as the ability to handle High Definition video, but also can do great work with home video as well.

Some things to consider

Cinelerra is also, well, flaky. Like many people that make amazing work, the main development source, Heroine Virtual Ltd, is quite mysterious and also quite private. Cinelerra provides industrial strength capabilities and doesn't really spend a lot of time hand-holding beginners. As a result, the interface will take time to get used to. Cinelerra also has been known to crash, but thankfully there is a very useful "load backup" feature which upon restart reverts to the last successful operation. Save your work early, and save often because Cinelerra can conjure up early Netscape on Linux days: It can just disappear when you're working.

Cinelerra's stability is probably its Achilles Heel. Newcomers can certainly be deterred when they lose work if Cinelerra crashes and they hadn't saved often. Because Cinelerra can be used as a one-stop editing suite, it can be frustrating when it does one task better than others. A user can make wonderful work so its worthwhile to bear through some instability every so often.

A Quick Spin with the Flamethrower

So you're ready to jump right in with Cinelerra? You will need the following:

  • A reasonable digital video camera.
  • A reasonable Firewire card.
  • A Firewire cable to connect the camera to the Firewire card.
  • A recent kernel compiled with proper Firewire support options.
  • Dvgrab and of course Cinelerra.
  • Lots of disk space and patience.

For this example, we will use Cinelerra CVS located at http://cvs.cinelerra.org.Cinelerra CVS offers Debian packages and even PPC packages, while the main Cinelerra page offers RPM packages. We will be using a Debian Unstable system as our platform.

Your distribution should have the needed Firewire support compiled in. My 2.6 kernel has the following options:

	CONFIG_IEEE1394=m
	CONFIG_IEEE1394_EXTRA_CONFIG_ROMS=y
	CONFIG_IEEE1394_OHCI1394=m
	CONFIG_IEEE1394_VIDEO1394=m
	CONFIG_IEEE1394_DV1394=m
	CONFIG_IEEE1394_RAWIO=m
	CONFIG_IEEE1394_CMP=m
	CONFIG_IEEE1394_AMDTP=m

Next install Dvgrab and Cinelerra. "apt-get install dvgrab" will install Dvgrab and its dependencies on a Debian system. Cinelerra CVS provides Debian packages via an Apt source for specific processors. Be sure to add all Apt sources as instructed on the home page. Once complete, simply issue "apt-get install cinelerra".

With a properly setup system, you are now ready to capture video. Plug the Firewire cable from your computer to your camera. Turn on your camera and rewind to the desired portion of film and press stop. From your Linux machine issue the following:

	dvgrab --format raw my_movie

Dvgrab will start your camera and grab your footage as unmodified DV data. Your movies will have filenames like "my_movie001.dv" and so on. Though Cinelerra prefers the Quicktime format, we will use "Raw" because it is compatible with Cinelerra and other tools and can later be converted easily to other formats if need be. Press "Control C" to interrupt Dvgrab once you have captured all of the footage you want.

You're now ready to give Cinelerra a spin. From the command line type "cinelerra". You will notice 4 windows: The Viewer for viewing and selecting media, the Compositor where your edited movie can be viewed and modified, the Program window with the timeline showing your video and audio tracks, and the Resources window showing effects and media.

Next we need to start a new project and load media files. Select "File" > "New" and then select "480I". This gives a reasonable NTSC setup. PAL users will of course want to set their options accordingly. Next select "File" > "Load Files". This will open a dialog box where you will select your "my_movie" files. Under "Insertion Strategy", choose "Create new resources only". Thumbnails of your added video(s) will appear under the "Media" folder of the Resources window. Simply drag a movie thumbnail into the Viewer window to preview and select clips.

The Viewer window allows you to play footage and navigate to sections you would like to keep. Once you find something you like in the Viewer, press the "[" button and then the "]" button around footage you like. These brackets are called "in points" and "out points" respectively. Press "v" to splice these onto the timeline. Notice also that the timeline has in and out points, so be mindful of these when you are splicing video together. Cinelerra will paste from the Viewer into the timeline according to where the timeline's in point is located. This process, called "Two Screen Editing", can be repeated until you have a finished product. Your movie with edits can be viewed with the Compositor window. If you make mistakes while editing, you can press "z" to undo.

After you have something simple that you like, be sure to save and optionally export your work. First, save your file into something Cinelerra understands. Go to "File" > "Save As" and choose a name like "my_movie.xml". This will save your project for future Cinelerra use. To export your work as a final movie, place brackets on the timeline around the footage you want then select "File" > "Render". You will have a dizzying array of export options to choose from. Lets keep it simple and choose "Raw DV" as the file format. Select the red checkboxes next to the "Render audio" and "Render video" options. The "Insertion Strategy" should be "Insert Nothing". Press "OK" and Cinelerra will create a Raw DV version of your edited movie.

We've just been through a crash course of but a fraction of what Cinelerra can do. Cinelerra offers much more than what was just shown. Using the above method, you can quickly create nice videos. As your skills and familiarity with the application grow, you can add multiple video tracks, special effects, music soundtracks, and much much more.

Conclusion

Its important to see the big picture with Cinelerra. When you can drive a car at 300mph you likely wouldn't worry that the engine is loud. By that same light, its important to judge Cinelerra by what it can do less than its quirks. Home users looking to do more with simple video footage will have amazing power at their fingers. Rarely does a software package enable so much to be done. Cinelerra forces you to see the big picture of doing things, so if you get lost in the details you will miss something truly wonderful.

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Comments

on Cinelerra: Rough and ready video editor

Note: Comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for their content.

Sorry, I don't agree with you.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2005 06:38 AM
We Linux users are quick to point out how unstable and unreliable Microsoft software is, and how we wouldn't get anywhere near it. So why should we forgive the same faults on _our_software, just because we have no alternatives to Adobe Premiere or whatever?

From my point of view, Cinelerra may have a powerful engine (yes, I've used it), but is crashes _way_ too often, has an hideous interface, and doesn't comply with neither Gnome nor KDE's usability guidelines.

Who knows, maybe someone can use some of the good ideas from Cinelerra and make a usable and stable non-linear video editor for Linux.

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Re:Sorry, I don't agree with you.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2005 07:01 AM
VERY well said. Bravo.

I have used Kino too, it is as unstable and buggy as Cinerella.

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Re:Sorry, I don't agree with you.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2005 07:12 AM
I've used Kino as well, and it did crash on me a few times.

The point is I've been following Cinelerra from the days it was called someting else I don't recall right now (I'm getting old, y'know?) and watched all the other open source projects mature into stable versions and Cinelerra remained unstable.

Maybe it is the way it is being developed, I don't know. I learned about Cinelerra CVS from this article, so maybe that is what's missing: group coding to flush out the bugs!

I do hope someone manages to get a Gnome or KDE wrapper around the core, it would make a killer NLV editor...

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Re:Sorry, I don't agree with you.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2005 11:43 AM
Personal opinion:

I read somewhere on the Cinelerra web site that they were using assembly hacks to improve performance. I think that is a mistake. I think they would be better served to stick with c and make the thing rock solid. They already have the foundation for threading and clustering built in, they should let that take care of the performance issues. Assembly is hard to code right -- especially if you are trying to code for maximum speed.

I wouldn't be surprised that if the project was forked, and the assembly worked out of it, that the fork would pick up stability and loose very little in terms of performance.

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aka Cinelerra

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2005 11:53 PM
Broadcast 2000?

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Re:Sorry, I don't agree with you.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2005 09:23 AM
If it crashes then fix it rather than complain. You got the source. Either pay the developers of cinelerra to fix it or STFU and pay money to buy iDVD or Premier.

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Re:Sorry, I don't agree with you.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2005 01:32 PM
the package.mask file (list of packages prevented from installation) in gentoo linux has a nice little blurb 'cinelerra is too broken to be fixed'

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Why don't you STFU?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2005 11:09 PM
People like you that always say, fix it yourself or STFU, really grate on me. Do you think you are cool, leet, superior, or funny? You're not any of those. You are just an ass!

He simply stated his opinion. He said that, contrary to the syrupy praise of the article, the program is buggy, crashes a lot and has a dysfunctional interface. He did not place any demands on the developers, nor did he get personal as you did.

Just because someone makes crappy, buggy, or dysfunctional software freely available does not mean that no one can comment on its quality without fixing it themselves.

The developers can choose to accept his input or ignore his comments entirely. But, he is still entitled to state his opinion on the matter.

So, why don't you STFU!?!?!?

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Re:Why don't you STFU?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2005 01:32 AM
>But, he is still entitled to state his opinion on the matter.

B.S. The user got a free piece of software. The developer developed Cinelerra for his own use and it works for him. (Scratch his itch blah....blah).

If the user can't program, the user needs to either pay the developer or find other programmers who will do the development on Cinelerra. But he has no god damned business complaining to the developer that it's buggy and ugly

You guys feel like you're entitled to free development and free products. F***C OFF you leechers. Pay the developer and then you can start making all kinds of demands.

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Re:Why don't you STFU?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2005 08:59 PM
Are you some type of moron? Are you older than the age of 13? No demands were made. He stated his opinion which he is very much entitled to do, no matter what you think.

The way you say it, no one is allowed to say anything but praise for free software, no matter how bad it might be. With that thinking I imagine that many many more people will be disappointed by open source software because 90% of it SUCKS and, according to you, no one is allowed to say which ones suck. You're pathetic.

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Ha ha ha

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 19, 2005 12:27 AM
Why don't you?

Here in the USA our free speech rights haven't been so curtailed (yet) that a person can't state their opinions on software usability. Even make demands if they want.

Heck, I can even spout nonsense about software that I've never even used, like this: Hey Cinelera folks! How come your software is such a memory hog? You need to fix it.

So, mister STFU, did I just give you a heart attack?

As for your leechers comment: I laugh myself silly everytime I get called a freeloader or leech because I use software that was given away as free.

Why don't you go back to Microsoft where you belong, before your blood pressure makes your head explode? At least there you'll feel like you paid enough to express your opinion.

As more and more people make the change from MS you're going to hear more and more opinions from non-developers whether you like it or not....so, is Linux really ready for the desktop or not?

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Re:Why don't you STFU?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 19, 2005 12:58 AM
>But, he is still entitled to state his opinion on the matter.

B.S.


No -- you, really are full of B.S. We're fully capable of stating our opinion whether you like it or not.

You guys feel like you're entitled to free development and free products.

No, something (Cinelerra) was offered for free by the developer, used, and an opinion was expressed by that user.

F***C OFF you leechers. Pay the developer and then you can start making all kinds of demands.

Ha, that's funny. How can you can you be a leech if the program was offered with no strings attached (other than say, the GPL to ensure it stays that way)? Anything the developer gets in return for his free software, including an opinion from the user is extra. If the developer wants or expects something in exchange for the use of his program then he should not offer it for free.

"Free" is a one-sided transaction. So is "Gift".

I suppose in your world view everyone has to provide a quid pro quo exchange, including the ability to talk to you? Well, you F**ing leecher, did you forget to pay back for all the food and clothes you got during your childhood?

F***C OFF you leechers. Pay the developer and then you can start making all kinds of demands.

Yea, no doubt you'd like everything in the computer world to be a "pay-for" transaction. You sound like a secret Microsoft astroturfer.

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Re:Sorry, I don't agree with you.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 19, 2005 11:04 PM
Classic response to user criticism: STFU, go learn C and code it yourself, go play with your windows PC, etc. etc.

What these people fail to understand is that when the _users_ criticize something, it is because they want the tool they use to be improved.

So listen to your users, unless you are coding something only you will use.

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Re:Sorry, I don't agree with you.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 21, 2005 11:22 PM
Open Source requires a community spirit to work. That means making a contribution in some form before expecting that others will meet your demands. It doesn't work properly unless members pull their weight.

I think that the argument is: if you generate "weight" in the form of demands then you'd better demonstrate that you have something to offer or else you can be ignored.

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Re:Sorry, I don't agree with you.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2005 01:31 PM
...and doesn't comply with neither Gnome nor KDE's usability guidelines.

I can´t help but laugh when I hear such a thing. Listen, HIG advocates, a 3D modelling program or a non linear video editor or any highly specialized application for that matter aren´t programs intended to be used by your grandma and they actually (God forbid!) requires its users to learn something before try to use. There is too much power and functionality that needs to be disposed somehow on the screen and guess what: most of the time, the creators have to ignore your worshiped HIG in order to get it done.

There is this trend on the OSS world lately that any program that don´t follow this or that HIG isn´t worth its salt and sometimes I wonder where this comes from. While I´ll agree that some sensibility is required when designing UI´s, and that some HIGs might even help it, its up to the developer (which is a specialist on his/her field otherwise he/she wouldn´t be capable of create a program to fullfill such task) decides what´s best for him/his creation.

I hear all the time people complaining about the Blender and Wings3D UIs´, but what these people fail to realize is that once you learn how the UI works for these programs, you´ll increase your productivity in 100%.

You can yell your HIG as much as you want for browsers, e-mail clients, RSS readers, IM clients, office suites and the likes but please leave it there.

I´ll concede for your remarks about Cinelerra UI, though: It really is awful. Definetely there is room for improvement on it.

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Re:Sorry, I don't agree with you.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2005 11:34 AM
Cinelerra's UI might be aweful, but I have used some commercial apps on windows that were of the "professional" classification that were as bad or worse. It seems that there is only so much usefulness tht can be inserted and still follow the general guidelines.

As far as media is concerned, the programs that I used under windows either were gutless wonders and followed some simple UI guidelines, or they approached the capabilities of cinelerra, and had evil interfaces.

So far as stability is concerned, Yes, it does still crash on me, but since there have been others contributing besides the one lone developer, the stability has improved a lot.

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Re:Sorry, I don't agree with you.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 19, 2005 11:24 PM
Which is the last version of cinelerra you tried? 1.0?

Are you paying for the software? Why don't you buy Adobe Premiere, AVID, or FCP?

I use cinelerra almost everyday (1.2.2 cvs version), and I can't remember the last crash.

If you like video editing, and you want to improve cinelerra, you don't need to fix it yourself, just open a new bug at <a href="http://bugs.cinelerra.org/" title="cinelerra.org">http://bugs.cinelerra.org/</a cinelerra.org> , and probably someone will fix it for you, although you are so ungrateful.

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Re: Sorry, I don't agree with you.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.217.163.87] on December 28, 2007 12:05 AM
Yes, I cannot capture my video with ether Cinelerra or Kino... very buggy! In fact a lot worse than most windows app. Oh my!

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copying a vhs?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2005 02:10 PM
I'd like to do something more simple than what the article is reporting or what Blender or other tools can do. All I need to do is to be able to take screen shots of a vhs recorded video tape that I can play back on a vcr.



What's the simplest way of getting the vhs clip, or just screen shots, from the vhs tape, to a digital format on my computer?



I have a video in video card available (V7100 deluxe, geforce2-mx) on one computer, I just picked up a Plextor TV402-U (before I became aware of their anti-community actions as outlined right here on Newsforge in the last few weeks). I believe with the card above I have sufficient ability to import the video clip (but how?), or at last resort use the plextor to capture video from the vcr.



Is there a standard way for users to pick up video from vhs tapes/vcr and transfer to their computer without getting involved in something like MythTV? tia.

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Re:copying a vhs?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2005 07:22 PM
You can capture using your video card with the rivatv software <a href="http://rivatv.sourceforge.net/" title="sourceforge.net">http://rivatv.sourceforge.net/</a sourceforge.net>.
You might well get better quality letting the Plextor TV402-U do the capture though. There's a Linux SDK available for it I believe.
If you want to edit your video with simple tools, then there are the MJPEGtools on Sourceforge too <a href="http://mjpeg.sourceforge.net/" title="sourceforge.net">http://mjpeg.sourceforge.net/</a sourceforge.net>. They include tools to clean up your video as well. The output from the MJPEGtools chain is usually MPEG2 in VCD/SVCD/DVD which can be written to CD or DVD relatively easily.

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New player in town..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2005 06:55 PM
<a href="http://positron.sourceforge.net/" title="sourceforge.net">http://positron.sourceforge.net/</a sourceforge.net>

that's all..

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Re:New player in town..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2005 11:31 PM
Nice to hear about a new project, but being a 1.0 release it seems more like a 0.1.

No, docs, no faq, no forum... And where's the source code, anyway? It says it's open source, but I downloaded a tar.gz which just contains an executable (which doesn't seem to work for me)...

I hope they put some more info soon on the site, otherwise it would be difficult for anyone to try it.

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Re:New player in town..

Posted by: Artis Rozentals on July 17, 2005 10:37 PM
The code seems to be in the CVS, if a little disorganized.

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It's just a revamp of Blender

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2005 04:03 AM
....has the Blender interface.

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Re:New player in town..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2005 04:14 AM
what a lame blender ripoff. They could at least state on the web site that they are trying to fork blender rather than make it appear they are developing a new software package. If they really want to get anywhere they should contribute to the blender project. There's no reason to try to fork the code.

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Re:New player in town..

Posted by: Artis Rozentals on July 18, 2005 10:06 AM
Now that I have tried it I side with the comments here, it's a bad blender ripoff. Can it actualy import any video files?

From a file in the archive:
<tt>New Features for Version 1.00

Blender Code Forked
Knife tool added (KKey allows the user to chop clips in the sequencer)
Roll tool (clips can be rolled with the RKey)
Image viewer is now Video Sequence Viewer</tt>
Wow, what a 1.0 release!
And now from the website:
What do brand-name products like Avid, Final Cut Pro, and Flame have in common that Positron doesn't? A Big Price Tag. That's right. Positron is breaking new ground in non-linear editing by releasing the first fully-functioned, feature-comparable NLE that is totally, 100% FREE!

Good luck, but don't expect anyone to take you seriously.

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Re:New player in town..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 25, 2005 02:58 AM
Positron is a piece of garbage. After testing this so called video editor it's apparent that the developers are not developers at all and just copied code from Blender. As already mentioned there's no docs and no source code. The website while designed nice is definitely misleading the public. This project is similar to the tactics used when PearPC was ripped off by another so called developer that called his program CherryOS only to be later found out as copying the code and just renaming the product with out improving on it.

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Diva attitude

Posted by: dukeinlondon on July 17, 2005 02:43 PM
I am not going to request anything. I know it's free and that I should fix it if I am not happy but I can't. I have not the beginning of any idea of how to code anything in C, let alone something as complex as video editing.

The problem with open source is that since most people will not pay for what they use, even if asked nicely, there is hardly any prospect for the developper to spend more time on his project and make it better/more reliable.

I hope opensource developpers will look for more ways to fund their efforts. They should experiment with a few schemes and not be affraid of the bitching crowd of those would care for opensource only insofar as it cost nothing.

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Re:Diva attitude

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2005 01:37 AM
> I know it's free and that I should fix it if I am not happy but I can't. I have not the beginning of any idea of how to code anything in C, let alone something as complex as video editing.

In which case you need to use other tools - like OPENING YOUR WALLET and buy help.

When you need to fix a transmission on your car, do you just write nasty letters to Ford or GM demanding that they fix your car for free?. You either fix the car yourself if you're a tree-shade mechanic or you take it into a garage and pay someone.

The same principle works in software as well.
If you paid for development and 100000s other users benefit - that's what open source is all about. IBM pays for some development and HP/Sun/Intel all benefit without spending money.

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Re:Diva attitude

Posted by: dukeinlondon on July 18, 2005 03:17 PM
Well, you can't read can you ? Most of the time, you CAN'T buy help. You can donate but that doesn't buy you anything. And it's not so much help that I want but a well finished product.

I've spent more on opensource soft than most on commercial software, so don't lecture me. And support is weak if not non-existent.

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Re:Diva attitude

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 19, 2005 11:35 PM
Hi dukeinlondon

Don't pay anything if you don't want, don't code anything if you can't, and make the developers life easier reporting bugs at <a href="http://bugs.cinelerra.org/" title="cinelerra.org">http://bugs.cinelerra.org/</a cinelerra.org>

Join the mailing list, and share your problems/experiences.

<a href="http://cvs.cinelerra.org/" title="cinelerra.org">http://cvs.cinelerra.org/</a cinelerra.org>

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Re:Diva attitude

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 21, 2005 08:18 AM
The problem with open source is that since most people will not pay for what they use, even if asked nicely, there is hardly any prospect for the developper to spend more time on his project and make it better/more reliable.

Have you ever used open source software or were you just told by your boss to go on to forums and spread FUD?

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Try the Live CD?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 18, 2005 08:14 PM
There is a live cd with Cinelerra, Kino and AVIDemux:

<a href="http://www.dynebolic.org/" title="dynebolic.org">http://www.dynebolic.org/</a dynebolic.org>

I use AVIDemux to chop my raw DV footage into appropriate chunks then throw them into cinelerra. It works well. For me it only crashes once every other session approx.

Tuxhead

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Linux video too complex

Posted by: emk on July 18, 2005 11:54 PM
I'm a long time Linux user and if there is one place where GNU/LINUX is truly deficient its video editing. Linux simply does not serve the needs of the vast majority of its potential users in this area.

For example. There are far more people with digital cameras than with firewire cards and 2.4ghz/dual opteron machines. They are not doing DV captures and editing feature length movies.

What Linux needs is a simple video editor that can do avi and mpeg formats. Just about any digital camera today can take large amounts of good quality video. Typically in mpeg and avi formats. Kino won't take them and neither will Cinelerra.

So you get sent over to Mplayer and FFMPEG fine tools all and we have to commend their developers on their amazing technical achievement. However, a look at the manuals for either quickly leads the lay person to the conclusion that these programs are best admired from a distance. You need a 3 credit semester long college course with a lab thrown in to figure these programs out.

What I'm saying is that we need a Linux video editing program that you can feed your mpeg and avi clips to, open them and edit them and output them in either format. Without having to buy a 2ghz computer and firewire hardware. The vast majority of people taking digital video today are taking small 30 sec to several minute clips with ordinary digital cameras that use usb connections not firewire.

emk

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Re:Linux video too complex

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 19, 2005 08:34 PM
Try avidemux then. Jeez, at least bother to spend a few minutes looking for something that'll handle the garbage output from digial cameras!

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Re:Linux video too complex

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 20, 2005 05:06 AM
Avidemux is a very nice tool for avi files.

However, the problem is about firewire vs. usb. I still didn't find a way to capture video in Linux using usb.

So I'm stuck with windows again when I want to edit my videos.

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Re:Linux video too complex

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 19, 2005 09:52 PM
I don't know where you get the idea that Cinelerra won't edit MPEG and AVI files. It does that just fine on my installation. MPEG, and most AVI formats (AVI isn't just one file format), tend to be lossy. Editing lossy footage is a problem because you'll lose quality, and no system can change that. But Cinelerra does let you do it if that's what you want.

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Re:Linux video too complex

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 21, 2005 08:16 AM
However, a look at the manuals for either quickly leads the lay person to the conclusion that these programs are best admired from a distance. You need a 3 credit semester long college course with a lab thrown in to figure these programs out.

What the hell kind of college did you go to?

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Re:Linux video too complex

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 25, 2005 03:07 AM
For those familiar with Adobe Premiere Pro I'd recommend Mainconcept MainActor for Linux. Though for those looking to do professional HD work intended for broadcast or film open source projects Cinelerra and Jahshaka are more suited to the task. The alternative is to use closed source software ported to Linux though in most cases costly due to the intended market such as Discreet's Smoke and IFX's Piranha HD both of which are ported to Linux.

As for the comment about Firewire cards and digital cameras most cameras now offer a DV port to export pictures/video. Depending on the project and the expense the consumer is willing to pay there's options for low end Firewire cards or more highend for professional NLE (Non-Linear Editing).

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