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Old January 29th, 2008, 10:49 PM   #1
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Non-Linear Editing on the Linux =D

So guys, I've got this laptop laying around, nothing fancy. 512mb ram, Intel Centrino, 80gb drive, 17" screen, yadda yadda.

I'm thinking about repurposing this for use as three things-

1) E-mail, the boring stuff, next to the mean machine mac pro.
2) Live capture, for the time being via firewire (just to use scopes and the like with a suitable program) or possibly capture with higher quality if I can think of a cheap way to go about it.
3) Experamental Linux editing machine!

As far as that last bit... that might cover all 3 but I haven't decided yet. (If not, I can do dual-boot) It would require something similar to OnLocation for Linux, of which I do not know the existence. :) I've heard about Cinelerra and will probably give that a shot for the editing, unless anyone else has any suggestions. I currently edit HDV using Cineform and PPro2.0. I am thinking about using this machine for DV offlines using Cinelerra. I just feel the need to run away from Windoze as fast as I can. :)

This computer is NOT for any critical stuff - so I'm free to play!

Any suggestions on hardware and possible fun ways to configure and try out this setup? My current idea is Red Hat's Fedora i386, with Cinelerra and any other programs that jump out at me (such as the GIMP, of course!)

Carl

PS - I'll be installing stuff starting tomorrow morning! Any ideas by tomorrow would be GREATLY appreciated!!!!!
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 06:37 AM   #2
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I just joined the site Carl and my reply is so late that I don't know if you'll even see it but I have configured my laptop with CentOS v5 and added the dag RPM repository "rpmforge" so that I can install Kino and Cinelerra without breaking out the C compiler. DAG provides a lot of additional software for Red Hat distributions so search it out, install their rpmforge package and then run "yum install cinelerra kino" and watch the magic. I haven't used cinelerra yet but it looks promising. Other applications you'll want to install are thunderbird for email and openoffice.org for a MS Office like software suite. For audio editing check these links out:

http://linux-sound.org/
http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/7274

I'm in Tallahassee BTW. It looks that there's not too many Linux folks on this board :-)
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 08:42 AM   #3
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Hehe, since I first posted, I discovered a major flaw with the laptop -

It has a custom graphics card driver. I tried 5 versions of linux or so, from red hat to videolinux, with not a single success story. All died in interesting ways. I then had to integrate the laptop into a workflow as a windows box for the time being, so no more tinkering until after a delivery date in march/april :(

But, good to see another linux guy/video type, right down the road!

C
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 05:52 PM   #4
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I have close to zero experience with Linux, and I am not a computer programer by any chance. My only exposure to Linux is Knoppix, which I played with a few years ago; then, after reading this thread I downloaded the current version of Knoppix. As you see, I am not ready to commit to Linux, but I like to explore options.

My question to you Linux guys is: can I install any other software besides what is on the Knoppix CD?

Thanks,
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 06:06 PM   #5
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Carl, What is the laptop make and model of the laptop? It's too involved and off topic to try and describe fixing the GUI here but, if you can get your laptop on the internet so that I can access it, I might be able to find a fix for ya. Have you tried the latest version of Ubuntu?

Ervin, Knoppix is based on Debian which has a lot of support but since it's a modified version designed to run from the CD, I don't know what to say about updates and addons. A better bet would be to have a look at Ubuntu Desktop. Everything you need is out there for Ubuntu and the support forums are great as well. Ubuntu is very well supported by the usergroup.
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 06:58 PM   #6
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No, I don't think I tried ubuntu.

Unfortunately, the computer is now integrated into a workflow.... I really can't tinker with it at all until march/april. And at that point, I may look into a macbook pro as a laptop and make it a true experiment. We shall see! =)

As it stands I now have 1 day off in my scheduled future (probably till around the deadline - march or april) and I'm 'sposed to move on that day. Yikes. ;)

C
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 07:46 PM   #7
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I have an old , and I mean old, celeron here with win98 on it, and I did a dual boot with Freespire (based on ubuntu) and it worked pretty well, even though I really didn't have enough ram only 198 meg. Freespire is the more oft updated, "beta" form of Linspire. It didn't have nearly enough power for me to try anything of substance with it, I only messed with it to see what linux was like. Its in the garage and I may mess with it more when I have time (and if I can figure out what ram it uses!)

FWIW linspire and freespire have CNR which is pretty much a software repository that is supposed to do one click download and install, but it didn't work on my box, which I blame my box for more than anything else.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 01:57 PM   #8
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I've been editing with cinelerra on my ubuntu box for a couple of months now, I'll warn you it has its issues. Then again, it's free.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 05:29 AM   #9
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Update on Linux with AVCHD ...

This is my first post on this forum. This forum is a very good source of information and thankyou for letting me join and post. I am in the market for a Camcorder (I do not own one yet). I have played with Non Linear Video editors using videos from my Canon Ixus still camera, and also using videos from the internet.

I am a Linux user, so I thought that on the computer side of things, I would offer what little I have to bring in terms of experience with applications using the Linux operating system. Hence I thought I would see if I could "resurrect" this old thread.

There have been recent developments in the free open source (GPL licenced) software package ffmpeg, such that it can better handle the AVCHD format. This means that Linux applications that use ffmpeg may also be able to better handle the AVCHDD format.

For example the Non Linear Video editor kdenlive (for Linux KDE desktop) can now handle AVCHD files.

As a test, I managed to obtain a copy of the raw video files from two recent AVHDC camcorders: a Canon HDC SD100 and a Sony HDR-XR500V camcorder. I then tested them on 3 PCs, all running openSUSE-11.1 Linux :
  • Dell Studio 15 laptop with Intel Dual Core P8400 CPU, 4GB RAM, and ATI Radeon HD3450 graphics,
  • old desktop with athlon-2800+ cpu, 2GB RAM, and nVidia FX5200 graphics (4+ years old),
  • older desktop with athlon-1100+ cpu, 1GB RAM, and nVidia MX440 graphics (9 years old).
I tested these raw video clips with vlc, ffplay, kdenlive, and mplayer open source free (GPL licenced) softwawre on those 3 PCs. The versions of kdenlive, ffmpeg and mlt were:
  • libffmpeg0-0.4.9.17161svn-20090211.pm.2139
  • ffmpeg-0.4.9.17161svn-20090211.pm.2139
  • kde4-kdenlive-0.7.2.1-0.pm.2
  • mlt-0.3.6-0.pm.1
  • libmlt++1-0.3.6-0.pm.1
where "pm" means a version packaged by the 3rd party packman packagers for openSUSE. Note while the ffmpeg "svn" version is fairly new, I believe there is purportedly an even newer version of ffmpeg with even more AVCHD updates.

I was able to play both Canon and Sony raw AVCHD files with ffplay. The audio/video play back stuttered a bit on the old athlon-1100+ PC. They played ok with ffplay on the athlon-2800 and P8400. mplayer could not play the Sony raw AVCHD on any PC, but could play the Canon raw AVCHD. vlc had similar behaviour to ffplay.

I ran kdenlive on all 3-PCs, and was able to drag the raw video files into kdenlive, edit them, drag the edits to the timeline and then rendering them. This worked on all 3 PCs. The P8400 rendered about 2.5x to 3x faster than the athlon-2800+ and rendered about 8x to 9x faster than the athlon-1100+. I would not recommend editing a video on the athlon-1100+ as it is slow, and less stable having less memory.

I hope to purchase a new desktop with an Intel Core i7 processor in the near future (I'm waiting to confirm Linux compatibility with the motherboard I choose). I've also read that recent ffpmeg supports VDPAU video decoding on the GPU, and thus offloading the CPU. However the user telling me this expressed the view that VDPAU is still not decently integrated into mplayer/ffmpeg. This needs a nVidia card which supports VDPAU in order to do GPU decoding. Such cards are from the 8xxx and 9xxx series. 7xxx or lower do not support this as they don't have programmable hardware for this. Since I do not have those cards, I can not verify this.

But it does appear there is promise for the Linux side of handling the AVCHD format.

I use kdelive a fair amount, but I caution IMHO, at this time, it does not have the same depth of features as the commercial MS-Windows (nor iMovie) non-linear video editors.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 07:32 AM   #10
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Something worth waisting my day on

Wow, it seems like finally video editing has arrived to Linux, and not just 'grandpa fashion' (old DV) but all the way to the latest consumer/semipro formats like AVCHD.

Although still far from commiting myself to Linux (at least not exclusively to Linux), since kdenlive can run from a DVD or USB drive, I will definitely give it a try.

Thanks, Lee! Will the OS also run all the other normal Linux stuff like internet, e-mail, Office apps?
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Old March 5th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #11
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Some Linux thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
Wow, it seems like finally video editing has arrived to Linux, and not just 'grandpa fashion' (old DV) but all the way to the latest consumer/semipro formats like AVCHD. .... snipped ... Thanks, Lee! Will the OS also run all the other normal Linux stuff like internet, e-mail, Office apps?
Linux is very different (under the "hood" ) from Windows and MacIntosh, even if the Linux Gnome or Linux KDE desktop GUI looks fairly similar. This drives many experienced MS-Windows and MacIntosh users to distraction. They often find Linux very frustrating and leave, because things are just done differently under Linux.

There are many different Linux Operating System "distributions" (ie many different organizations have "packaged" their own version of Linux). Internet, email, office applications (open office - not microsoft office) are typically VERY easy to get running on all distributions. Other aspects (such as driver compatibility, functional proprietary multimedia codecs) theoretically will work on all distributions, but some are harder to get working than others. The more experience one gets, the easier it becomes. The learning curve is very steep initially, and then once one is very experienced it becomes very easy.

The most popular linux distribution is called "Ubuntu", and it is based on another much older distribution called "debian". I don't like Ubuntu myself (for philsophical/software-political reasons) as they often do not pass their fixes directly upstream to the developers who code the basic Linux OS core (nor directly to the developers who code the Linux applications), but rather route them through "debian" (or simply not at all). That means the rest of the Linux distributions are very slow to benefit from their fixes. That is contrary to the policy of Red Hat/Fedora and openSUSE distributions, who immediately forward all fixes "upstream". Hence while Ubuntu may be the largest Linux distribution (in terms of number of users) and according to some may be the easiest distribution for new users to become familiar, I refuse to recommend it.

I use openSUSE myself, for a number of reasons. One of which they have IMHO the best KDE (desktop) implementation around, offerning two KDE choices: the older stable KDE-3.5.10, and the newer glossier (but currently less stable and currently with less features) KDE-4.1.3.

The Non-Linear Video Editor application KDEnlive runs on KDE. The kdenlive 0.5 version which runs on KDE-3 is no longer supported and I believe does not support AVCHD. The kdenlive 0.7.2.1 version (that supports AVCHD) specifically runs on KDE4. Having stated that, my being an average-to-above-average Linux user, I have it running on the more stable KDE3 (by installing KDE4 libraries : ) .... I suspect Gnome desktop users, could do the same. This talk of Gnome desktop vs KDE desktop likely has you confused, and you can read more in this openSUSE concepts wiki that I started (where that wiki has taken off on a life of its own - like some wiki's do): Concepts - openSUSE A lot (not all) of what is written in that wiki is true for all Linux distributions. KDE is mostly popular in Europe. Gnome is more popular in North America. In addition to presentation/look/feel differences between Gnome and KDE, there are also philophical/political differences.

As to what distribution to use, thats up to the user. I use openSUSE. In the kdenlive forum, someone asked what distribution the kdenlive developers use, and they obtained this reply: What distro(s) are the Kdenlive devs using to run and test? I'm stumped. | Kdenlive which was in essence a recommendation to use a debian based distribution, or openSUSE. .... But having stated that, I have read of Fedora/RedHat users running kdelinve. Theoretically kdenlive should run on all Linux distributions. But some distributions are easier than others to get it running.

In the case of openSUSE, I simply tell the Software Manager to get its applications from 4 specific file servers on the internet (3 of which are official Novell/SuSE-GmbH repository and one is the Pacman 3rd party packager's repository), and I click "install" for kdenlive, and everything is automatically downloaded and installed for me. Its that simple, ... but of course the trick is knowing what to click. :)

Note "open-office" for Linux, is in essence a 1 year year trailing version of "star office", where star/open office are mostly (but not completely) compatible with Microsoft office.

Here is a link (that needs some major clean up) on Linux non-linear video editors ... I know kdenlive works with AVCHD. I've read cinelerra also works with AVCHD. Video editing - openSUSE


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
Although still far from commiting myself to Linux (at least not exclusively to Linux), since kdenlive can run from a DVD or USB drive, I will definitely give it a try.
While Linux can run from a DVD drive, or from a USB drive, it will be much much slower when run from those locations, than it would be if run from an internal hard drive.

And finally, note that its only the vary latest kdenlive (based on ffmpeg) that has the fixes enabling AVCHD to be editted, so its possibly a live-DVD version of Linux will have an older ffmpeg/kdelinve and hence not support AVCHD.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #12
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Canon HF 11 not so smooth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Matheson View Post
As a test, I managed to obtain a copy of the raw video files from two recent AVHDC camcorders: a Canon HDC SD100 and a Sony HDR-XR500V camcorder. I then tested them on 3 PCs, all running openSUSE-11.1 Linux :
I found some raw mts clips from a Canon HF 11 and tested playing them on all 3 of my PCs with openSUSE-11.1 and ffplay.
  • athlon-1100 - both play and audio were stuttering
  • athlon-2800 - both play and audio were stuttering
  • intel core2 duo P8400 - play back of audio and video appeared smooth, but audio clearly lagged the audio by an increasing amount.
Rendering the raw .mts files with kdenlive worked on all 3 PCs (and playback of rendered files was ok).

This was with the 11-Feb-2009 svn version of ffmpeg. There is a newer svn version, which purportedly has more AVCHD "fixes" , so I will need to update and see if those improve the playback of the raw .mts files from this Canon.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 02:45 PM   #13
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kdenlive databse site

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Matheson View Post
I found some raw mts clips from a Canon HF 11 and tested playing them on all 3 of my PCs with openSUSE-11.1 and ffplay.
Further to this, I noted this page on the kdenlive site, where they list their estimated compatibility with various camcorders on the market: Supported camcorders | Kdenlive

Its interesting they list the HF 11 as "unsupported yet" although my testing indicated I can render the files with kdenlive.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 03:05 AM   #14
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I don't know if this has been mentioned already, but Blender, the open source 3d app, also has an NLE built into it. I edit on macs, but I have recently been trying out the Blender editor for live action footage to see how I could incorporate it into my work a little more, here is a clip that I just put on exposureroom;

From The Top By Adrian Frearson On ExposureRoom

This is a very basic edit, but demonstrated to me that if you are already used to the interface, the editor, like the rest of the program, quickly becomes quite intuitive.
Blender is cross platform and will run on Linux, as well as being able to open the same project file on a Windows or Mac machine! I don't know of any other NLE that has this capability. I believe there is a Linux/Windows port that supports HDV/AVC editing.

You'd still need a way of capturing footage though.

Adrian
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Old March 6th, 2009, 06:52 AM   #15
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Very nice footage Adrian, you're one heck of a guy filming while sliding down at speeds, I assume, over 75 km/h.

What camera have you used? It holds up nicely to the rapidly changing images. What format was the original, and have you also exported straight from Blender, or all you did in Blender was the editing? Please detail your workflow.

Does this mean that in Blender you can edit your video AND add special effects, all in one application? If so, that's even better than the integration between Adobe Premiere and After Effects...
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Last edited by Ervin Farkas; March 6th, 2009 at 07:56 AM.
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