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Nevertheless, when you find the elusive, easy to use video editing software that has the features I mention, that doesn't crash, or at least when it does crash recovers files the user was working on, that doesn't need constant tweaking using the shell, that has reasonable, non obfuscated documentation in understandable english, please let me know. I will buy you a beer and the software without hesitation.
The developers of the Pitivi editor believe that a video editor should be flexible, and efficient. Users can choose from simple views, to a complex mode that allows experienced users to make finer edits to their project. Users get access to “hundreds of animated effects, transitions and filters”, great looking audio waveforms in the project timeline, and a timeline that supports lots of different video and audio codecs.
I make short films, the last one was 30 minutes long, and I used Premiere Pro for it. Premiere was very buggy for me, I don’t know if this is the case for everyone, probably not. I tried (well, let’s say I’ve installed them and looked at them) a few video editors, including Cinelerra, Kdenlive. I found Cinelerra’s interface really ugly (controls, icons…) while Kdenlive seems very clean and functional. I didn’t tried them with real projects, but I’ll try to. But I just can’t imagine Cinelerra is a good software, seeing his ugliness :)
The Cinelerra entry needs updating. Not only does the provided install link not work, the separate branch GG Infinity supports 8 Linux distros and provides instructions to auto-update every month (see https://www.cinelerra-gg.org/downloads/). If the different branches are confusing, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinelerra which will clarify it.
I have worked with several commercial offerings including Final Cut Pro, Premiere and Video Wave. I recently used Cinelera (on Ubuntu Hardy) on several projects and I like it very much. Cinelera is much more powerful than Video Wave and is more near the class of Final Cut Pro and Premiere. Sure, Cinelera has some stability issues from time to time but they are not major and it also recovers nicely since it saves your most recent changes anyway. To be fair, I have seen similar stability issues with the commercial products as well so I do not find this aspect of Cinelera any different.
That said, I am also long time ‘nix user (from before we had the GUI) and other OS. Linux has its place but fast video editing isn’t one of them. My office needs to edit about 3 hours of video every day, splicing together the scenes from two fixed cameras. There is some Linux software that might do it, but it is just too slow, awkward and buggy to use. We use Womble’s DVD Wizard software on Windows on that. It’s not expensive, good support and very fast to use even on lower spec hardware.
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Do all this in a basic newly opened blender session. Then click save as default. Then when you open a new blend you will always have these presets select. If you do this mid work in some blend you are working that blend will become your default (almost never what you want to do). You might also want to skim through the addons. Blender has a lot of power that comes turned off by default but nothing much for film editor.
The point is, I make some of my income from editing video files. They are an important part of our business’s value adding strategies. So I don’t have time to experiment. I need something that works and is easy for our staff to master. Windows and Mac software does and, like most businesses, we’re happy to pay the price so that we can get on with the job. BTW, the package we’re using costs less than $100.00 per seat, has easy to understand configuration and user settings, is easy to master, makes editing, cutting, dubbing a doddle. It also batches files for rendering (from the GUI). it is reliable and robust, comes with excellent support and the authors have been quick to respond to requests for new features. It is also written to actually run in a multitasking environment so we can do other things when video files are being rendered. Linux authors, take note.
It has got a tremendous range of tools and techniques to provide the best experience of audio video editing. There are 2 move and 3 trim tools alongwith 4 techniques of appending, overwriting and inserting a clip on the timeline. Another great feature of this video editor is that if has more than 50 image filters and more than 30 audio filters to ensure the best video and audio editing output.
Introducing Lightworks, it’s a commercial video editing suite for Linux, Mac and Windows. It’s a non-linear tool with a completely different approach to editing video. Instead of a simple GTK or Qt window that is manipulated by the desktop environment (and themed by it too), the app offers up a full screen editing environment. Lightworks isn’t free. In fact, unlike the other apps on this list it actually requires a monthly subscription to use but it’s worth it if you want to edit and produce video on Linux.
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.

Pitivi has been around for a few years too. This video editor for Linux is a GNOME application and is designed to fit into the GNOME desktop. (I assume it will work just fine in KDE or XFCE too.) Installing it requires the use of Flatpak, but they give rather easy-to-use instructions on the Pitivi website, and I had no problems at all. Drag-and-drop seems to be well supported, and it first transcodes videos before they can be used, which takes a few minutes or seconds, depending on the size of each. But it appears the videos can still be used during this process.
This is not a Linux defence. This is classic user interface tradeoff on all platforms- its Photoshop vs MS Paint. MS Paint might look easy to use, but as soon as you want to do anything outside its scope, it is quickly extremely difficult and frustrating- it would take an expert to do anything complex with it. Photoshop looks like a huge learning curve for my mother, but it is the best app out there for photo editing. After some practice, novices can do powerful things with Photoshop.
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