Category Archives: Video

At FrOSCon with Lumiera

It seems rather long ago now, but it really isn’t. Not this weekend, nor the last, but the one before that again me and my girlfriend Helene visited FrOSCon to meet up with parts of the Lumiera-community.

We were there mostly to recruit developers, as we’re kinda short on that front. Everybody is always wanting to recruit more developers, but other projects also have a much smaller community and user base waiting for it, than Lumiera has. So they also need to show themselves and get people to use the project. Sadly, we’re not in that position yet, as Lumiera still is not able to do a single cut.

However, that was always the plan anyway, to do things correctly, fast and extensible. That is no small task when we’re talking about video editing. Lumiera is also built so that it can do rather complex compositing, and do so in a smart fashion – another point on the “it’s a big project”-list.

Anyway, we got some considerable interest. I talked with a cool OpenMoko-guy that’s primarily into «low level» stuff. Just what we need. What’s even better, he was interested in helping. Sadly I haven’t found him on the net now after we left in a hurry to catch our plane.

I’m also going to help on uWiki so we can get it finished and hopefully accelerate the growth of the Lumiera code base.

I want to make something for Lumiera workflow

For a long time I’ve been meaning to make a mock-up screencast of the Lumiera (the new non linear video editor for GNU/Linux) workflow. However, I haven’t really tried for real yet – just tought a lot about it.

I’ve edited much of my life, I started when I was still at the first school you go to. I don’t remember age, but somewhere around 7-9 years old. Over the ages I’ve become faster and more steady when it comes to editing movies. I’ve never liked the Cinelerra-method of editing though, with two different “modes”. Edit-mode and Move-mode (or whatever they’re called). I want to have tools mapped onto the keyboard, as that is much more effective in my mind. It is also a hell of a lot easier to learn and understand. Much of Cinelerra’s problem with me (except for the crashy-crashy behaviour) is that it has a strange method of editing.

When Lumiera gets usable, it’ll be mostly used by people who has not used Cinelerra before. That is why I’m rather sceptic to making it behave almost like Cinelerra. I know there are many people who use Cinelerra, but most use Final Cut Pro, Premiere, Avid or Vegas. And I also guess that we’ll see a lot of people who are not pro editors who want to use Lumiera for their projects.

Ok, I’m not so very concerned about these newbies; I want Lumiera to be my work tool, and I thus want it to be as effective as possible. This is how I often edit after using the normal two-screen to get a rough edit

Quick and dirty overview over my video editing workflow

I do trimming, splicing, moving and generally enhancing my edit. All of this is fast and I do it with one hand on the keyboard and one on the mouse:

I press «r» for Roll, press one corner and move it in, — the clip gets shorter, but the movie follows along from the back (so there is no gap). This is my most used tool, it can also be used in reverse, — then it lengthens the clip, showing more of it and pushing the other edits behind it further to the right. This makes the full movie longer.

When all of the clips are in the rhythm (so that it looks smooth and nice) I use the other roll-tool ­«r r» which doesn’t alter the length of the clip, but only what segment of the clip is shown.

I press «s» for Split, splitting the clip in two. This is a move I do remarkably often, and it frustrates me how hard this is in Cinelerra. Lumiera must not be the same. I sometimes split a clip, then i «r r» it (changing the time things is shown), making it jump in time. A jumpcut. It works perfectly for editing video to music, hip-hop-ishly.

Well, that’s why I want to make a video of it

It’s hard to explain it with words, it would be so much easier to show it with a screencast. Now that I’ve publicized my intentions, I guess it will be easier for me to just start doing it, and not wait around anymore.

I want Lumiera to be the best! :D

Cinelerra crash and burn, sadly without sound

I started importing some video from my Nikon D90 the 14th December. I did some filming the day before with my beautiful girlfriend. I was bothering her taking video all the time. And so I wanted to test Cinelerra some more, I actually feel I can make videos in it, my last trial went very well so I was really into it. Now, a whole decade later (4 days) I still haven’t finished it.

This is due to a common fault in Cinelerra known as “crash”. It happens all the time. Often I press play, and the program deadlocks (or something) and I’m not able to gain control over it again. It just continues to move the cursor without updating the video nor doing anything else useful. Really horrible. That is, as far as I know, the reason why the excellent project Lumiera was created. Oh, the video editor will be excellent – but right now it’s only the non-working extremely pre-alpha project that is excellent.

Anyway, I’ve tried on and off with different settings, including the famous “Avoid alsa lockups”. … No, I checked it “Stop playback locks up”. No avail. Still no sound (sometimes) and still crashy buggy existence. I may be able to do a few operations on the video before it crashes yet again, but it’s not really effective working like that.

I so want to be able to work effectively with video on Linux; but it isn’t easy. I intend to try out OpenMovieEditor, as it looks quite capable and good. The developer, Richard Spindler, is very cool at least. I respect him a lot. I tried it once before, I couldn’t really use it. But at that time I also said I couldn’t use Cinelerra, and went quickly back to my Mac and Final Cut Pro. Anyway, it seems OpenMovieEditor has come a long way the last year.

Anyway, I don’t really think OME will do it for me, I’ve heard so little talk about it. I’m open, but I still feel that professional video editing in Linux is a sad story.

Maybe you’ll see my test video some day. It’s not good at all, it’s only testing using a DSLR for more “unplanned family excursions” type videography.