Subscribe now Get the highlights in your inbox every week. It’s pretty well known that Linux is a big deal in modern movie making. Linux is the standard base, a literal industry standard for digital effects but, like all technology with momentum, it seems that the process of cutting footage still defaults mostly to a non-Linux platform. Slowly, however, as artists seek to simplify and consolidate the post-production pipeline, Linux video editing is gaining in popularity. It can be difficult to talk about video editing objectively because it means so many different things to different people.
The current state of Linux video editing 2018
Subscribe now Get the highlights in your inbox every week. It’s pretty well known that Linux is a big deal in modern movie making. Linux is the standard base, a literal industry standard for digital effects but, like all technology with momentum, it seems that the process of cutting footage still defaults mostly to a non-Linux platform. Slowly, however, as artists seek to simplify and consolidate the post-production pipeline, Linux video editing is gaining in popularity.
It can be difficult to talk about video editing objectively because it means so many different things to different people. For instance, to some people a video editing application must be able to generate fancy animated title sequences, while professional users balk at the idea of doing serious work on titles in their video editor.
It’s not unlike the debate over professional SLR cameras that happened when digital cameras in phones became contenders for serious photography. For this reason, a pragmatic overview of a Linux-based video editor needs two broad qualifiers: How it performs for home users, and how it might integrate into a professional pipeline. Defining key terms Independent: For the purposes of this article, I’ll call a workflow that begins and ends with either one video editing software or one computer system either “independent” or “hobbyist.
Their project is exported and delivered. Professional integration: A “professional” editor probably also uses only one application to edit video, but that’s because they’re a cog in a larger machine. A professional editor might get their footage from a producer or director, and when they’re done they probably aren’t exporting the final version that their audiences are going to see, but they’ll pass their work on to audio engineers, VFX artists, and colorists.
Top pro pick: Kdenlive Kdenlive is the best-in-class professional open source editing application, hands-down. As long as you run a stable version of Kdenlive on a stable Linux OS, use reasonable file formats, and keep your work organized, you’ll have a reliable, professional-quality editing experience. Strengths The interface is intuitive for anyone who has ever used a professional-style editing application. The way you work in Kdenlive is natural and flexible, allowing you to use both of the major styles of editing: Kdenlive has plenty of capabilities beyond just cutting up footage.
It can do some advanced visual effects, like masking , all manner of composting see this , this , and this , color correction , offline “proxy” editing , and much much more.
Weaknesses The greatest weakness of open source editing is also its greatest strengths: Kdenlive lets you throw nearly anything you want at it, even if that sometimes means its performance suffers. You should resist the urge to take advantage of this flexibility and instead manage your assets and formats smartly.
Don’t throw in an animated GIF without first breaking it out into a series of images. And so on. Gaining flexibility means you gain the responsibility for maintaining a sensible media library. The interface, while accounting for both “traditional” editing styles and the “modern” style of treating the timeline as a sort of scratchpad, wouldn’t really satisfy an editor who wants to cut by numbers. Independent If anything, Kdenlive could be overkill for home users who aren’t accustomed to professional-style editing.
Basic operations of the interface are mostly intuitive, but new editors might feel that there’s a learning curve for advanced operations like layered composting and offline editing. On the other hand, it scales down well.
You can use a fraction of its features and find it a pretty simple, mostly intuitive editor. And for serious home editors and independent movie makers, Kdenlive is worth learning and using , and it is likely to satisfy all requirements. It may not always be a drop-in replacement if you’re transitioning from some other editor, but it’s familiar enough to keep the learning curve manageable.
Professional integration If you’re working in a production environment with an established workflow, then any change to your editor requires adaptation.
Kdenlive saves projects as an XML file, so it’s possible to convert an existing edit decision list EDL to a Kdenlive project file, although there aren’t any official auto-converters available yet, so round trips i. Alternately, round trips can be done with lossless clip exports, which can be reintegrated into a project after whatever has been applied from the external application.
The same holds true for audio. You can render audio to a file and import into an external digital audio workstation DAW , but currently there’s no native, built-in audio-export target for popular formats like Open Media Framework OMF. For the most part, as long as your pipeline isn’t perilously rigid, Kdenlive can exist within any professional environment. It can output video, audio, and image sequences, and it’s hard to imagine a workflow where such generic output isn’t acceptable.
Hobbyist pick: OpenShot OpenShot is a simple but robust video editor. If you’re not interested in learning the finer details on how to edit video, then OpenShot is for you. It doesn’t scale up; a professional editor will find it restrictive, but for a quick and easy edit, OpenShot is a great choice on any OS.
Strengths OpenShot is focused. It understands exactly what its audience wants: Its interface is intuitive, and what you can’t immediately figure out from context, you can access with a right-click. The most common transition, a crossfade, is available by overlapping the edges of two clips. This is such a simple and obvious trick, but it cuts down on so many mouse clicks that you’ll wonder why all video editors don’t do that.
It’s also a very conservative application. You won’t see a new OpenShot release every month, and that’s a good thing. You can download OpenShot as an AppImage today and use it for the next year or more. It’s a beautiful, comfortable, simple piece of software.
Weaknesses A hobbyist’s strengths are a pro’s weaknesses. It’s a deliberately simplified system, and little conveniences like the auto-crossfades are unwelcome to a professional editor who doesn’t necessarily want clips to crossfade when they overlap. OpenShot doesn’t have a very robust engine for real-time effects. Too many dynamic effects severely slow playback. Independent An independent or hobbyist editor with simple needs will find OpenShot perfect.
It’s an easy install, it has all the usual benefits of open source multimedia near indifference to codecs, no false limitations or paywalls for advanced features. Professional integration Integrating OpenShot with a larger pipeline is possible, but only in the sense that it can output generic video and audio files and image sequences.
Its project file format, however, is also open source, and it saves into a JSON format that theoretically could be leveraged for an EDL, but there’s no built-in exporter for that. Everything else Kdenlive and OpenShot are my top picks, the open source editors an editor ought to turn to for a quick fix, but there are, of course, several others to look at. Flowblade Flowblade is a simplified video editor that focuses on the editorial process.
If you’re an experienced editor and just want to get down to business, or you ‘re a hobbyist who needs little more than an interface to assemble video clips in sequence, then Flowblade’s minimal interface may appeal to you.
Strengths A no-frills, stable application for quick, no-nonsense cutting. Its workflow favors a traditional cutting style: Rinse and repeat. This makes it slightly less convenient to stumble around your project in search of a good edit, but that’s what makes it so efficient and smooth when you know what you want. A professional-level editor who lives to count frames and edit on the keyboard will love Flowblade.
Weaknesses Flowblade’s interface is arguably overly simple. At the time of this writing, its keyboard shortcuts are not user-definable although it’s written in Python, so an editor fluent in Python can adjust preferences by brute force.
Independent Many of the “obvious” things a hobbyist would expect from a video editor just don’t happen in Flowblade. For instance, moving a clip once it’s in the timeline requires activation of an “overwrite” mode, since otherwise clips “float” left.
Professional integration In addition to generic video and audio files, Flowblade can export to MLT XML for use with the open source multimedia framework that powers it, as well a plain text, parseable EDL.
Additionally, Flowblade’s project format is plain text and could be used to extract information for a custom EDL format. These options don’t provide specialized hooks into specific applications, but it’s certainly enough of a variety that a simple converter should be able to import the information. Blender excels at efficiency. Once you know how to interact with its interface, you can accomplish amazing things amazingly quickly. Transferring this kind of efficiency over to video editing is a dream come true.
Strengths By default, Blender’s video sequence editor VSE is, from what I can tell, optimized for only the most basic “editing” tasks. This makes sense, given that in the animation and VFX world, there isn’t generally excess footage. Artists work on shots that have already been finalized, so the only editing task after all the animation is done is to reintegrate shots into the final cut of the movie. Blender is stable, fully cross-platform, popular, and under steady development.
Using it to edit video isn’t exactly common, but the application as a framework for multimedia work is robust and reliable. Weaknesses If you’re expecting a traditional editing platform, Blender’s weaknesses are many. Its interface can be confusing, and the UI is unconventional as a video editor, at best. Even with VSE plugins and personal customizations, the interface is mostly utilitarian.
Blender’s rendering engines are backends for 3D model rendering. Rendering a video sequence, especially with effects like color correction, which one would expect to have on each clip in a primary editing application applied to each clip, takes far longer 10x as long from Kdenlive and Flowblade, in my most recent tests than rendering from any other video editor. This might be partly because the Blender interface offers no control over FFmpeg threads.
The VSE lacks integration with the rest of Blender. You cannot, for instance, attach clips from your VSE edit into the node editor and apply fancy effects.
In Blender’s internal pipeline, the VSE is definitely a separate process. Independent A hobbyist who knows nothing about Blender will find a steep learning curve. Even with VSE add-ons to make the VSE act more like a “normal” application, anything beyond basic cuts and sequencing just doesn’t work the way most users would expect.
Like all powerful applications, however, Blender is by all means worth knowing. In terms of application design, it’s one of the best examples, outside of Emacs, of combining internal logic and consistency with endless extensibility to produce a powerful, unstoppable force of computational wonder.
Previous Hardware only able to run Ver Dell Inspiron , 2Gb RAM, Gb the difference, I don’t think upgrading RAM in your laptop will make any difference. 2) produce video using 1/4 size hence faster editing. Operating System: Windows 7 Enterprise bit (, Build ) I believe the bin list view will give you the location of the file or use the file. How can I make the video run smoother and lag-free so I can make better, cleaner edits and effects? Thanks in advance! Acer Laptop.
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Welcome, Guest. Username Password: Remember me. Forgot your password? Forgot your username? Create an account. If you wish to create your own speed, rather then the standard choices, still you need some nice gpus/cpus to get the footage slower or faster*. So, I THINK this system will do a reasonably good/fast job with my video .. for me when running Lightworks to encode video, is essentially give.