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Pierre, did you not see the mention of Blender??? It is GREAT for doing video. Yes, you do have to learn it but you want to do a good job right?? One thing to note. It is best in blender to turn the movie into a series of stills in the openEXR format. It is also important to go into settings and increase the buffer memory so that you get a much faster response as it loads much more movie at one time. Make sure to render the firm into its own director or you will have a LOT of picture files cluttering some other directory! Also more Ram mean better responsiveness and having a SSD drive is also a GREAT benefit. I would think this is true of any system.

Cinelarra has two versions: the unsupported community version and a commercial edition. Every six months the nice Cinelarra developers release the latest source code. It’s not widely available in the usual distro repositories, but the good Cinelerra-CV folks bundle it up into Arch, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, and other distro packages. There is a Cinelarra PPA— Personal Package Archive– for Ubuntu users. PPAs are user-supported repositories for specific applications, like Cinelarra. They’re not official repos, but they allow you to use your normal Ubuntu package manager to install and remove third-party software.
The most promising or also often called best Linux free video editor of all, OpenShot has a long history of development and should be mature and stable. I downloaded the latest Openshot from its PPA since the one in the main Ubuntu repositories is, rather perplexingly, a very old and outdated version. Once OpenShot is opened, it appears very easy to use. The default layout is simple and intuitive, and there are even hints that pop up the first time you use it! I drag-and-dropped a few videos I had taken in preparation for this post, and boy, was I disappointed with this so-called best Linux video editing software.
Coming from a film editing background I *know* how to edit, it’s just the tools I need to master. It should not be that hard. What’s finally pushed me over the edge is that the windows codec is broken (I have the worst lemon version of XP you can imagine) so that I can’t even see the images for the thousands of hours of video I have recorded with my Canon camera in the premium video editing software available for Windows But I can’t replace the codec because Windows thinks it works, so it won’t reinstall. Which is too bad because I slaved to learn that bloody commercial editing software that cost a bomb and got quite good at it. But intuitive? No way, Pierre.
Paul, this is the biggest problem with getting linux accepted. “If you can’t figure it out, theres always fisher price.” that attitude makes people who are having difficulty turn back to other operating systems. Not everyone out there is a computer geek, many have no clue about terminal or how to find and install software. Windows has wizards, with Linux, sometimes you need to be a wizard. So lighten-up and remember that people will judge linux by the people they meet. Be an ambassador for the movement, not an ass.
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When working a film convert it from movie format to a bunch of stills (you can render it so. I think andrew has a video on this). Make sure to do this in a unique directory because you get about 24 pics per second. The format for these pics should be png or if you want to do a lot of composting then OpenExr is the way to go but the files are bigger and might slow down and older machine. Think of it this way. PNG has 0-255 for each color of each pixel, whole numbers only. Try multiplying that by .1 and then by 1000 a few times and see what you get. The other system uses floating point math for each dot and that keeps it high quality. PNG works but don’t expect much in the way of high quality compositing.
You’re missing the point; ‘nix has its place. Our servers run on it. My netbook runs it. My web development is done on it. Our databases run on it. But I don’t have time to “try” this bit of software or that software for video editing in the hope that it will provide the magic bullet. In any case, as I have stated elsewhere, every video editing program I have tried on linux has one or more severe failings in respect of the things I need to do. Attempts at creating robust video editing software on linux are, IMO, amateurish.
Lightworks is a feature-packed video editor with a truly impressive resume. It was used on movies such as The Wolf of Wall Street, LA Confidential, and Pulp Fiction, and there’s nothing stopping you from seeing first-hand why so many professionals like it because you can download it for free and use for 7 days without paying. If you decide that Lightworks is worth your money, you can upgrade to Lightworks Pro and unlock additional features.
The ubiquitous Kdenlive strikes again. It has been around for years and is used by many people. I tried to use it a few months ago, but it was completely unusable. It often didn’t start, and when it did, it crashed and refused to export properly. However, for this article, I installed the latest version from the Kdenlive PPA and tried it out. Things have changed. Oh my, how things have changed.
Trey has a good point, I don’t want to do much more than combine my video with a few transitions and a soundtrack. Kdenlive works fine for that. My biggest issue with Linux video editing is the lack of good transitions and simple drag and drop functionality. Also DVD menu creation is still really poor on Linux. But over the last four years it has gotten much better.
Feature wise, Cinelerra looks to be the best fit if you want to do anything serious, and that’s a problem, because it falls apart when doing anything serious thanks to a seriously bug ridden code base. I mean it! This thing is such a race-condition fest, it can’t even open its own project files on my system without crashing! (Start project, add clip, save it, try to load it … freeze!)
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