An Introduction to Video Editing
It's normally very difficult (-if not entirely impossible) to get perfect video footage in a single take. The answer - as any movie mogul will tell you - is to shoot multiple takes and manipulate them into a cohesive whole in the editing suite.
The answer .. is to shoot multiple takes and manipluate them into a cohesive whole in the editing suite
If you have a camcorder to shoot family events, video blogs or YouTube videos, then you will probably need to tidy them up prior to airing them. This is where a video editor comes in handy!
The easiest device to record and upload video footage is probably a pocket digital camcorder, such as the Flip or similar. Most of the major manufacturers have now jumped on the bandwagon and there is a plethora of these devices out there, ranging in price from about £30 to nearly £200. In the examples below, we are using a mid-range device from Sony, as it records directly in MP4 format, but the process will be the same whichever device you choose.
These devices nearly always come with associated software to allow you to easily upload images onto your PC (-often, embedded in flash memory inside the camcorder itself) but these almost always require Windows or MacOS. Now, you could install WINE and then use the Windows version but, to be honest, that is probably overkill unless the software provides some feature that you can't live without. The simplest way to transfer files is to follow the instructions in the section on uploading video.
The good news, is that there are several video editing packages available for Linux - and they are all available free of charge! In the following sections, we will concentrate on two main packages:
The following tables gives a comparison of the two products:
|Multiple Video Formats||Yes||Yes|
|Separate Audio Editing||No||Yes|
|Multiple Screen Transition Types||No||Yes|
|Multiple Audio Tracks||No||Yes|
|Multiple Video Tracks||No||Yes|
|Green Screen (Chroma Key)||No||Yes|
On the face of it, the choice is a no-brainer: KDEnlive can do all that Kino can and much, much more. However, it is a little more finicky to install and configure (-although not hugely) and it does take, perhaps, a little longer to master. As a result, our recommendation is:
If you have never edited a video before (-and only need to trim out unwanted footage from or insert clips into your video) then go for Kino first. Once you are happy with Kino, you can then move on to KDEnlive if required
If you do not need advanced features but you are familiar with video editing - and have the spare time to invest in installing and training - then go with KDEnlive from the start
If you think you will need advanced features later, then go straight to KDEnlive as you will need to install it later anyway
Another package available is Cinelerra (-also known as Lumiera). This package is a full video editor like KDEnlive -and the general layout and features do resemble KDEnlive - but it is less intuitive to use.
The main reason we have not included instructions for Cinelerra here is that, so far, we have only got it working (-reliably) under Ubuntu (-although Puppy includes it in Quickpet, it does not seem to run well from a USB drive). It is also rather finicky about the input format of video footage (-e.g. we had to convert MP4 files to .DV before it would accept it). In addition, compiling from source for distros where no package is available (-such as Fedora) can be hugely frustrating (-due to the number of dependencies) and is probably beyond the casual Linux user. As a result, we have decided to eschew Cinelerra and concentrate instead on KDEnlive, which does not seem to suffer from these drawbacks.
If you do choose to use Cinelerra, it's operation is broadly similar to KDEnlive, so the sections on KDEnlive should help introduce you to the basic video editing process.