Thanks for this
Have been doing a fair bit of editing and yes, openshot constantly crashes.
Pitivi looks worth a go, so I will.
When it comes to video editing, Windows and Mac rule the screen. Professional apps by the likes of Adobe, Avid and Apple only run in the Win/Mac world and Apple even throws in a pretty sophisticated video editor (iMovie) for free. No matter how much you love Linux and open source software, you're never going to get Adobe …
Don't bother with Pitivi,
Go with kdenlive and save yourself from a lot of trouble, although it has a stepper learning curve kdenlive works well and it is way more flexible, plus it doesn't crash just by looking at it.
Get the latest version from this ppa if you run Ubuntu:
I agree, did mention in the article that as the free version is limited in output formats, it would not be reviewed. Does seem a bit unfair as Adobe often mentioned in the review is not free and nor are any top end video editors on Windows or OS X.
The other good things about lightworks is its availability on all platforms, you can buy a perpetual license or just use the free version and pay a one month license should you wish to have access to higher resolution output formats.
So yes, if you want to edit video with the option to go from beginner to pro with the same package on Linux then the free version of lightworks IMHO is really the place to start, if on the other hand you want open source, the article has you covered.
I guess the point of the article was sort of "suppose you can't or don't want to spend too much money on hardware+software for video editing, what are the options?"
This premise would be a lot more credible if the author wasn't using a top laptop which could already have a video editing software on it, though. Like "I need to hammer a nail, watch me doing that by repeatedly hitting it with my toolbox". Some fingers will be hit, nail will get bent, but it is doable.
sure I could edit 4K video on a smatphone. But would I really want to?
How would the result compare to the same edits done on a system with say a 24in screen and a wacom tablet?
Best tool for the job and all that.
Sorta like trying to take pictures of Barn Owls in flight just after dawn from 100yds away with one of:-
- A smartphone
- A DSLR such as a Nikon D810 (36mp) with a 500mm lens on a Tripod/Wimberley head.
You could use the phone but which would give you a picture to hang on your wall?
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"Drink too much yesterday?"
Today as well, it seems....
Heh, both gurugeorge and Camillasmyth seem to have caved into the stress of xmas.
Time for a 'rest' (at the local laughing academy)
And I thought it was a nice article, restful, informative, perfect for the boxing day/St. Stephens (or whatever you call it in your location).
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I'm not engaging in no 'hairyfeet challenge' especially not using some Raquel Welch footage from some dodgy forum. I do have 'some' class and a lot more sense, besides, she's not my type...
Looks like we don't have a competition, we have nothing more than potential liver damage as the forum is mostly empty and the only engagement you are getting is ridicule...
I've done my brothers wedding and my dads 65th birthday using linux video editing s/w so I've nothing I feel I need to prove.
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Not sure how I got to the Axiom from your article but.. the Axiom looks very exciting to me
It wasn't too long ago that my only resource was my local cable access..
I have fond memories of recording on their huge VHS camera and editing on the video toaster.
Thanks for the article and to all who continue to develop and share open solutions.
-- $200+ US? Or has Adobe moved to software-as-a-service?
Well, anyway, for the relatively trivial projects I do it's worth neither the money for the Adobe software nor the security-privacy hassles of running Windows. Mac is an option for me, though, as my wife has a nice all-in-one. Lovely displays, those Macs. Have to try iMovie some time.
But on-topic: Kdenlive's interface seems very similar to OneShot, and K. allows speeding up or slowing down video clips, a feature O.S. seems to lack, if I recall. I use Audacity for dubbing in audio where desired. All pretty easy to do, really. I suppose in my case it's "simple applications for simple minds."
I tried Cinelarra when I was getting started, and the interface did indeed make me cry. I'll give it another try sometime, though. Pitivi was unstable on my machine.
Thanks for the article.
I haven't done any video editing for a couple of years, but the last time I did it was with Avidemux. It is very simple, but as I had not done any video editing before it was actually the only one I could figure out without losing patience. All I wanted to do though was to edit out unwanted bits from vacation videos and to splice together multiple separate clips and to fix up audio which was out of sync with the video. Those it was able to do brilliantly. There are other features such as splash screen intros (or whatever they're called), but you have to do some reading up on how they work (I couldn't be bothered).
If I was to switch to something else, then I think that I might have a look at Pitivi again. I suspect that most people don't really want to do anything other than basic cutting and splicing since they, like me, have neither the time nor the artistic talent to do anything other than make a botch job of anything more complex.
Same here, as I just needed to snip out commercials to make some race DVDs. Adding a title card was rather a hassle, as it didn't have splash screens back then.
Thanks for the article not being a rehash of "Linux? you've got GIMP & Avidemux, guv!" - I actually learned something and I'll be trying out a couple of these.
I've watched the Rooster Teeth "how to edit a 'let's play' with EIGHT people in it, all with their own mic and capture card, complete with syncing audio and adding player name titles" - holy christ on a pogo stick. Of course they're die-hard Mac people.
Interesting - I took a few lowish quality train clips (720p mov files from a panasonic FZ45, i.e. a lowish-end stills camera) a few years ago on holiday, and eventually got round to trying to stitch various clips together / edit where it started and stopped / fade video from/to black and fade audio in/out. Cinelerra was impenetrable and put me off the idea for about a year, and although avidemux seemed like it would do the right thing something - probably sound - was totally borked on the clips I used for testing.
So I went with bash and ffmpeg : no, for quality video that is not an option, but for "good enough for youtube" it just about worked, although there was a visible judder whenever I put a caption over the video. Might try pitivi if I can be arsed to dig out the few clips I never got around to using.
Indeed Openshot is quite capable. I edited my nieces wedding in it
Yes the intro music is wrong and it WAS precisely what you expected it to be with that intro. Google muted the entire thing so I chose that licence free from their list just for something. Obviously the dvd they got is ok.
No I don't expect anyone to watch more than 2 mins of that !!
Openshot suffers from HORRIFIC timeline redraw delays when using MTS files and you really have to be careful lining up the cuts/Transitions. Kdenlive is superior in this sense because you can use proxy clips.
Both crash if you give it long enough (as does ANY NLE) so ..Save, Save, Save as you go.
I installed Lightworks when it was beta but it has one heck of a learning curve and then you find out that to actually render out to something you can use requires plenty deneros to cross palms
"Kdenlive does have its quirks, including the fact that it seems to be very crash-prone on Linux Mint, so much so that I ended up doing my testing in Debian 8, where it worked fine."
Certainly I've used Kdenlive for ~6 years including 1080p/50 for the last 3 years. In the early days its stability varied but its been rock-solid for ~3 years (under OpenSUSE/KDE)
I've used Kdenlive for ~6 years.. In the early days its stability varied but its been rock-solid for ~3 years (under OpenSUSE/KDE)
I was about to write something similar, though in my case I've only really been using Kdenlive for 3½ years or so (also OpenSuse/KDE - I tried a couple of the others listed and chose Kdenlive partly because it's part of the KDE project). I wouldn't call it "rock solid", but it's foibles today aren't usually deal-breakers.
Kdenlive's documentation is good when compared with some OSS I could mention and it mostly does exactly what I need. I have no 4k sources so haven't tried editing those, but it copes well with my usual mix of 480p60/576i50/720p30 and 1080i50 sources, usually outputting 720p25, which is no mean feat.
Even on my distinctly mid-spec AMD A10 machine with 8GB RAM editing is smooth enough without using proxy clips so long as the clips are local. Local, in my case, means an SSD for the OS and scratch with home/videos on a mirrored pair of WD Blacks.
Rendering is slow - Kdenlive relies (for now) on the processor while some more "professional" software can make use of the capabilities of some graphics cards. Simple edits with just cutting and a few simple fades render in approximately real time, but anything more complex slows the whole process right down. Rendering is slightly quicker if there's room for the source clips on the SSD
I do a lot of multicamera work (very amateur), for which Kdenlive isn't ideal, but it is usable.
Every time there's an update you have to work out where the new bugs are hiding, but these days bugs are usually quite minor; they haven't been so frustrating that I give up on a project for a good long while now. The current bug that seems to hit me most often is that when adding a lot of alphain effects (I use them for the multicamera stuff) it will occasionally crash out. In those circumstances it will always restart with everything intact except the edit that caused the crash, though I have got into the habit of saving on a very regular basis.
The previous bug that affected me (which seems to have disappeared an update or two ago) was that when cutting between sources of different frame rates there was occasionally a "hiccough" in the video - a repeated frame or two at the point of the cut (note - not the audio). This could be edited out, but doing so was tedious.
It even does "align to audio" as do the "big boys", which is a boon when doing my multicamera stuff, though it works best when the original clips have similar frame rates - when they don't, long clips will drift out of alignment over time. To be fair, I have also found this to be the case with Final Cut on the Mac at work. The work-around is to split the "faster" clip and add a frame or two of delay every now and then - this can often be done as part of an edit.
My other stalwarts are Handbrake (again, really rather good documentation) and Audacity. It sometimes pays to convert all clips to a common format, a task at which Handbrake excels, and occasionally it's worth editing the audio in Audacity before assembling the video.
As with everything (I find DTP is similar), it pays to know what you want to achieve before you start, and good preparation is everything.
What I haven't yet found is a decent FOSS application for creating DVDs - with menus and suchlike - but fortunately more and more people are able to play .mp4 files directly these days and don't need a standard DVD.
@ Martin an gof
I'll clarify on the rock-solid - that's what I mean. (Using 1080p/50 source and outputting the same as H264 mp4 usually with a file size of ~1MB/sec)
4-core i7/8GB/spinning rust OpenSUSE 13.1/KDE renders in ~twice real-time. To convert to 720p/25 for my lesser devices I use ffmpeg
This article is not explicit about exclusive about "Free as in freedom" offerings, is it?
There is one really big fish in the sea of video editors: Lightworks.
There is a free-as-in-beer version and it works like a charm, at least for me (on Fedora 23, on a relatively recent and powerful computer).
The features you don't get without paying are: rendering your project at higher than 720p, multi-monitor support, and some other features for pro-level work on long films, regarding managing multiple storage areas for your stuff.
The editing workflow is really excellent. If you are a cheapskate and still want that 4king massive video resolution you can work on your project with the free version and then buy a month's license to export your project (a month is US$25 or something like that).
I've only discovered it this year, but it's been around as a professional tool for donkey's, on Linux as well as Windows or Mac (with identical user interfaces), so the time you invest in climbing the learning curve is not locking you into a platform.
Kudos to the Lightworks team for creating such an amazing tool and making it available via the freemium model for us cheapskates!
Reading all of this makes want to dust off the A-3000T and Video Toaster. The Amiga did all this stuff and did it well without resort to Silicon Graphics or other high end systems. Gould and Ali should burn in the hell of whatever religion they followed for killing that company for immediate profits.
As an aside - most of the FX of the original Star Wars movie were done on a suite of Toaster equipped Amigas. It was a point of pride and bragging rights to keep those mouthy, supercilious MAC hacks in their place.
As an aside - most of the FX of the original Star Wars movie were done on a suite of Toaster equipped Amigas.
Like heck. In 1977 it was about as much as a £400 computer could do to output block graphics to a monochrome monitor. If you are talking about the 1997 "special editions" then again, like heck. The Toaster was a strict standard definition NTSC device and as far as I'm aware was never able even to deal with PAL, let alone the sort of high resolution output Lucas wanted for his films.
I know it was a "revolutionary for its time" bit of kit and was used on some pretty high-profile TV work (Babylon 5's early seasons I think) but Star Wars? Citation Needed.
It is unclear whether the article auther is indicating that large Movie Studios are or are not using rendering farms run almost exclusively on Linux.
I attended presentations at IBM HQ in New york City where "executives" from Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), as well as Disney Studios (before purcgasing Lucas Film/ILM ) when they confirmed conclusively that "most all" (impression was that maybe 90% or more) of their video rendering farm work and video creation (modified Linux code to proprietary) was Linux based.
The funny thing is one of the Knoll brothers (Photoshop creators) works for ILM, and they never ported it to Linux.
Anyway a rendering farm is a large parallel system designed to create frames from a predesigned input. It makes a lot of sense to keep costs down and to be able to modify the code if you need it, to use something like Linux. They have the engineering capabilities to tailor it for their needs, and that's their highly closed source secret...
Those secrets will be re-engineered given time so really they are just making money while they can. Unfortunately for them and others that think that closed source it the way to go, most programming secrets are not really secrets at all and it just means that the community cannot improve what has been written or help port it if required or add new features.
Look how far Linux has come - it owns everything else by not be closed source! Having said that, there are still some applications that are more mature on other platforms but that is changing rapidly.
We should all be putting pressure on closed source companies to both open their source as well as port their software to other platforms!
This looks like a review from thirty years ago... software barely working and crashing, ugly UIs....ok, it's free... but even for casual use a software that can't stay on its feet or understand what a UI is, is something I believed was part of personal computing infancy... it looks most of Linux is still there.
Certainly linux has been 'blessed' with many authors trying their hand at software. Some programs have interesting either in utility, speed, ease-of-use, scope etc. Most don't manage everything . Also most don't have the time/resource/knowledge to polish, or even plan how their creation will develop. Many indeed are treating it all as a learning exercise.
However in almost all categories of software there are example that stand out. In the graphics areas I find :-
Kdenlive for video editing
Darktable for RAW photo development/editing
Inkscape for vector graphics
to be exceptionally good, stable and well-documented. There are others, I'm sure, but given the time required to become completely familiar with programs of some complexity/subtlety and indeed the concepts they are implementing I tend to stay with trusted tools for routine use.
Surely software on all systems crashes and has random bugs? I won't deny that Linux source software has its share of buggy programs (though I seem lucky with my choices, Google Earth apart) but I've come across a fair bit of buggy software on Windows too and relatives have had issues with Mac software. Sadly it's the nature of software that human error will always creep in and the vast number of different hardware and software setups used means no software is guaranteed to work for everyone.
@ Chemist: My Pi tends to just run and run as an HTTP, SSH and mpd server but it has to be said that that kind of thing is a solved problem without any need for development. It would be extremely bad if web servers needed rebooting more than once a year or so since they've been pretty much doing the same kind of things for decades. Video editing and the like, however, is coping with things like 4K and a huge number of graphics cards and attempting to use every single piece of optimisation available on the platform. I dare say that if one used these video programs on last-years best graphics card, a many-threaded processor and a shed load of RAM they wouldn't crash at all (my ageing bulldozer rarely crashes and it's a rubbish processor) but this software is meant to push the limits so is bound to crash.
Games tend to he the same, also, as they're designed to push the system to its limits in order to be slicker.
"It would be extremely bad if web servers needed rebooting more than once a year or so since they've been pretty much doing the same kind of things for decades."
Sorry I should have explained. My 'fileserver' is also a print server, compute server ( for scientific software ), SSHD entry point for my network and is also used for video transcoding (1080p/50-> 720p/25 ) as well as a load of misc server tasks including a daemon to my PIC micros and a media server.
I repeat Kdenlive often used to crash but has been rock steady for ~3 year (for me on my systems). I have some form in running high-intensity software as ~12 years ago I was running protein modeling software ( on RH linux ) on a dual Xeon at ~100% cpu for days
Thanks for the article! It was a well written, delightfully concise, and much needed overview of the current Linux video-editing landscape. Every few years I get an itch to mess about with video on my Ubuntu box, and I've always been let down in one way or another. But Shotcut and Flowblade are both new to me, and a minimally-crashy Pitivi warrants a new look. Sounds like it might be time to try and scratch my video itch again.
I have been using Kdenlive for around two years now under Mint Linux and it's been rock solid. Having said that, I use KDE which Kdenlive was written for and… version 0.9.10 which the most up to date rendering for KDE4 is a total mess. If the author was using 0.9.10 they would likely hit troubles. I stick with 0.9.6 and Mint Linux KDE 17.0 and it's smooth as silk, on a dual core Atom at that!
I produced a demo of Mint Linux KDE which demoed Kdenlive in operation as well as showing up all the claims that 'Linux is hard to use, you can;t install software on without compiling from source, etc, etc."
Fair enough. I tend towards AMV's where special effects and the like are needed so I push the software capabilities. 0.9.10 has major problems with long edits - it freezes after about an hour of footage, and slowing down video beyond 80%. It seems to be in relation to sources, mind, but the Kdenlive team had jumped firmly to Plasma 5 and were''t interested.\
I regressed to 0.9.6 which I always found a winner. But if it works for you - go for it!
Really nice software to work with.
Can I suggest generating smaller files - say ~15 mins and then concatenating by generating a file e.g test.txt , in the same directory consisting of :
save it , cd to the same directory and run ffmpeg
ffmpeg -f concat -i test.txt -c copy output.mp4 - that will add the .mp4s and sort out the timebase
One kdenlive gotcha I've just remembered is that I find that kdenlive, ffmpeg, melt. mlt need to be from the same repo. ( Packman)
The article mentions avidemux twice but doesn't give any more details ...
I have to say that, after spending a couple of days with this article, I downloaded avidemux yesterday from the website - http://avidemux.sourceforge.net/download.html and following the instructions in http://www.avidemux.org/admWiki/doku.php?id=build:install_2.6 ... I'm pretty happy today, opening .mts files, editing them, saving them as .avi files ...
Having said that, I do understand Camilla Smyth's state of mind, especially if you use the default repos - that for Ubuntu was giving me an ancient version of avidemux which didn't work at all ... so I'd suggest getting stuff from the source websites, not the repos ...
My XP PC has a Linux boot drive as well and I do not like anything post Win 7 (and prefer XP to that) so of course I am looking at moving fully to Linux.
I have a lot of material in DV AVI format, and a growing amount of material in HDV.
I need to capture both formats.
I also burn to DVD and BluRay
Currently got Corel/Ulead Video Studio X3 and for DVD I also used TMPGENXP.
So what should I look at trying out then please?
"I have a lot of material in DV AVI format, and a growing amount of material in HDV.I need to capture both formats."
Not a lot of help I'm afraid. Kdenlive should capture a number of formats by firewire including DV AVI & HDV - did you want to use USB ? No real experience as I changed from tape to flash quite a while ago. There were certainly several other programs that would capture via firewire Some people seem to have had success with USB using the program dvgrab which I've also used for firewire which I think is it's default.
I've just gotten a little into video editing recently. I haven't really needed anything complex so far. The one I ended up using for what I've done so far is Kdenlive. I'm running the version from the PPA on Ubuntu Studio 14.04 on an approximately seven or eight year old laptop with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB of RAM, and some old Nvidia Quadro graphics card. It has worked fine with the 720p video (some 480p) that I have worked with so far. I also have it on my desktop machine which is an AMD Bulldozer with an AMD 7870 video card and 16 GB of RAM, running Ubuntu Studio 15.10. This of course hasn't had any problems doing the simple stuff I've done so far with Kdenlive (other than temporary user errors).
Software for creating DVDs with menus has been mentioned a couple of times. For the simple DVDs I've made either DVDStyler or DeVeDe has been acceptable. Even those programs are capable of more than I have taken advantage of when creating DVDs.
Nested sequences are the one single feature that keeps me using Adobe Premiere. The ability to sting together clips in one sequence then import that into a new sequence and apply effects and filters to everything at once is a must-have for me. Do any of the reviewed apps over that?
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sting together clips in one sequence then import that into a new sequence and apply effects and filters to everything at once
Pretty certain Kdenlive can do that, after a fashion. String together your clips and save the file, then start a new project and import that file to the clips list. After all, a Kdenlive project file is just an EDL as a bunch of XML. Hang on a mo...
...(60 seconds later). Yup. Can do. I imported three short clips into a new Kdenlive project, laid them on the time line, even did a dissolve between two of them. Saved the project file as "test" and then opened a new Kdenlive project. Dragged the file "test" into the new project, put it on the timeline where it appeared as a single clip and applied an effect to the whole thing. Worked as expected, even over the dissolve. I suspect (though I haven't tried it) that if I were to edit the original project, the clip in the new project would also change, though I would hope that Kdenlive would warn me the clip had changed, particularly if its overall length was different.
I was surprised how hard it was to find a package which would accept files from even two cameras recording simultaneously and allow you to do simple cuts between them. In the end I used Blender, which of course is scarily complicated given all the other things it can do.
What I do in Kdenlive is to put clips from each camera on different video tracks and line them up. Left alone like this track priority means that track 1 shows on top of everything else unless there's a gap.
Instead of cutting out sections of track 1 (and 2 etc.) I use the "alphain" effect whenever I want to cut away to a lower-priority track. Doing this makes it much easier to change edits because you don't have to go back and find your clipped-out bits; you can just adjust the start and end points of the effect.
Kdenlive has a split-screen preview which allows you to see four tracks at once. Once you've placed the clips and lined them up, playing through to this preview monitor means you can make notes about where you want to cut (insert alphain) before you do it.
There are disadvantages:
Alphain seems to be the fastest alpha effect to render, but if you want something other than a simple cut it can be effective to use another effect such as "affine" which can do several things at a time.
Just my method - I'm sure there are others!
Good roundup, thanks Reg! I recently had to do an editing piece, thankfully only at 1080 not 4K, and did it in Blender on Ubuntu. Really powerful, if a little flaky.
As you've pointed out though, the hardware demands are high! Which puzzles me, thinking about it. I first did digital video editing at school using Avid on a PowerMac with two huge 20" CRT monitors - it seemed revolutionary at the time, but it was speedy and responsive, more so than my i7 with 12GB of RAM and running from SSD. I realise that those years ago it would have only been low resolution PAL video, but still why does modern hardware feel less capable?
Because in those days Avid required the use of special I/O cards that did all the grunt work? I'm only guessing here, but that was certainly the case with the early audio editors I worked with in the 1990s. Most of the heavy lifting was shuffled off to specialised silicon optimised for the task. Some systems even had HDDs connected directly to these cards, rather than relying on the ISA (later PCI) bus for transfers.
Remember that one of the early affordable video editors was based around Amiga hardware - the Video Toaster made use of some of the special facilities built-in to those computers, but added a lot of additional hardware to make it all work.
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