Creating an Animation in KDEnlive
Animation is the art of taking a series of still images - each slightly different from each other - and presenting them rapidly, one after another, so that the illusion of motion is formed. The effect is essentially an optical illusion created by our brains being unable to distinguish the individual frames, once the frame rate is sufficiently high.
Technically, all motion on film is produced in this way but the term animation is normally reserved these days for images that are produced artificially (-i.e. by drawing or computer graphics) or that are not shot in real time (-i.e. "stop-frame" animation.
Unlike packages such as Kino, KDEnlive makes animation really easy by allowing you to import an image file - such as a .png or .jpg as a five second clip using the Add Clip icon:
Note: you can add a photo as a clip here as well as any image that you have already prepared in GIMP and saved in a supported image format
The length of each clip can be adjusted to the required duration (-e.g. from five seconds each to, say, a tenth of a second per image). The most precise way of doing this, is to double-click the clip, then adjust the Duration in the the dialogue box that pops up - then click "OK":
Once the first frame has the correct duration, simply drag the next frame into place:
Keep on adding the frames, one after another, until the sequence is complete:
You can preview the animation using the arrow keys to advance/retrace frame by frame.
Note: you can view a demonstration of how to do frame-by-frame animation in KDEnlive in our Video Section
A less labour-intensive way of animation is possible by moving one image over another using the Blue Screen facility (-to make parts of the top image transparent) then using the Keyframe facility to move the top image.
The basic process is as follows:
Create the foreground image with a distinctive colour background, not used in the image itself
Place each image on a separate video track, for example with the foreground on Video 1 and the background image on Video 2
Drag the Blue Screen effect to the foreground (Video 1) track - then choose the background color that you want to become transparent
Apply a Composite Transition to the Video 1 track
Select the Composite Transition to the Video 1 track and drag it out to the full length of the clip. Next, add Keyframes at the start and end point of the movement, defining the start and end co-ordinates (x,y)
Note: you can as many keyframes as you like - if you need to define a more complex movement!
The picture below shows an animation of this type created in KDEnlive, where the image of a magnifying glass (-on a red background, made transparent using the Blue Screen effect) is moved over the background text "Catch the Linux Bug" using three keyframes:
Note: you can view a demonstration of how to do keyframe animation in KDEnlive in our Video Section