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Easy, powerful, stable: Pick two with OpenShot 1.3
Posted Feb 21, 2011 22:24 UTC (Mon) by rvfh (subscriber, #31018)
Probably not, but then, most of us use editors all the time to type code...
This being said, if you could have a go at Openshot and provide a deeper analysis (doesn't need to be very long), or even just your impressions as an expert, I am sure many people would appreciate. Plus it would increase further the value of LWN ;-)
Posted Feb 24, 2011 11:54 UTC (Thu) by cantsin (guest, #4420)
Besides, the article fails to mention a detail of crucial relevance for beginners, namely that OpenShot (just like most other Linux video editors) does not support proxy files, GPU acceleration or intermediate editing codecs. This means that editing HD video from your average camcorder, smartphone, recent digicam or Flip camera - typically 720p or 1080p video encoded in h264 - is virtually impossible, or at least not with real-time playback/preview in the editor. I am also suspicious that the many crashes the reviewer experienced may have resulted from trying to edit h264 video directly in the program. (Openshot will import such videos without a warning message, but that doesn't mean that they can be safely played and edited.) Editing anything but video from old PAL-/NTSC-resolution (SD) cameras such as MiniDV will be a problem, or can only be solved with expert workarounds.
Openshot has a nice, friendly GUI, but the underlying MLT engine was not built for today's requirements of HD video. Unfortunately, this is a problem because users will be easily tempted to make use of the real-time multitrack editing features, video effects etc., which all will not work reliably with the video of today's cameras. For beginners who want to painlessly perform some simple trims and cuts on their video files, I would strongly suggest avidemux as an alternative. (Since avidemux is not a real-time editor, the above problems do not occur.)
And unlike what was suggested in the article, (I hate to say that...) iMovie is a great, simple yet powerful and well-designed program, and finding some Mac running it might be a pragmatic solution for the time being. (Think of iMovie as the micro emacs or nvi of video editors.) Professional filmmakers edit in iMovie, one iMovie-edited film even won the Sundance festival.
Posted Feb 24, 2011 15:16 UTC (Thu) by zonker (subscriber, #7867)
Posted Feb 24, 2011 15:47 UTC (Thu) by foom (subscriber, #14868)
Posted Feb 24, 2011 15:49 UTC (Thu) by Trelane (subscriber, #56877)
EULA and patent terms FTW!
Posted Feb 24, 2011 19:55 UTC (Thu) by cantsin (guest, #4420)
A viable workaround for HD video, and OpenShot, is to first transcode to HDV (high definition MPEG-2) or to high quality MJPEG using for example the command line "ffmpeg -qmin 1.0 -qmax 1.0 -i <input_file> -vcodec mjpeg -acodec pcm_s16be <output_file.mov>". Both have comparatively moderate performance requirements. Still, working on a fast Dual Core or Quad Core machine under 64bit Linux is a good idea.
Otherwise, you could transcode your video to MPEG/MJPEG with very low bitrates (but the same resolution), edit, quit OpenShot, swap the files with high quality files that have identical file names, reopen OpenShot and render your edit. (This is what is called "proxy editing".
The only Linux video editor that internally supports editing proxies is the Sequencer of Blender. I confess that I have been too intimidated by Blender's interface to use it productively (although I have used Cinelerra quite a bit...) so, yes, my comments on Linux video editing might have a big blind spot.
Posted Feb 22, 2011 14:31 UTC (Tue) by mpr22 (subscriber, #60784)
Posted Feb 24, 2011 5:54 UTC (Thu) by zonker (subscriber, #7867)
Advanced users of *what* though? I appreciate what you're saying - and this review would be wholly inappropriate for a LWN-like publication for video editors. But the percentage of LWN readers who are also experienced video editors is, I believe, relatively small. Going into the finer points of the differences in the OpenShot interface vs Final Cut is probably not going to be very useful (or at least I imagined that it would not be) for folks who are very experienced users/developers of FOSS, but not very experienced with video editors - and certainly not proprietary ones.
I am rooting for the OpenShot folks and other FOSS video editor teams that may help boost the percentage of professional editors working on Linux, though...
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