Movie Studio in a Linux Box

Heroine Virtual Ltd. presents an advanced content creation system for Linux. Cinelerra takes what normally is a boring server - studied in computer science classrooms, hidden in back offices - and turns it into a 50,000 watt flamethrower of multimedia editing.

That's right guys. Unlike most of the Linux solutions out there, Cinelerra requires no emulation of proprietary operating systems, no commercial add-ons, no banner advertisements, no corporate dependencies, no terrorists, just a boring old Linux box.

Cinelerra does primarily 3 main things: capturing, compositing, and editing audio and video with sample level accuracy. It's a seamless integration of audio, video, and still photos rarely experienced on a web server.

If you want to make movies, you just want to defy the establishment, you want the same kind of compositing and editing suite that the big boys use, on the world's most efficient UNIX operating system, it's time for Cinelerra.

Until recently Cinelerra has been confined to hardcore Linux users who didn't mind rolling their own. An offshoot of the main project known as Cinelerra CV has made great improvements in both the stability of this prog and availability through package management in various distros.

I have been trying it out for a couple of months now in both Linux Mint 4.0 and Ubuntu Studio 7.10, using the Cinelerra-Generic package with openGL support. Video newbies who've never used a NLE Editor before will find this program a little daunting, I strongly recommend downloading the well-written manual and browsing it first. The GUI of Cinelerra is unlike anything I've ever seen, used with Compiz it is quite attractive once you get used to it.

It has 4 main windows consisting of a timeline, a viewer for editing clips, resources window and compositor window to display the output as formatted, It will import many types of clips but some (MPEG-2, DVD) require indexing with a 3rd party indexing tool. (I use "Seven-Gnomes" available at the Cinelerra CV site in the Links). I can directly import video clips in MJPEG format from my Canon Powershot S5 Camera and edit them with ease in Cinelerra, I then export the project as RawDV or DVavi and convert them to DVD or MPEG-4 with another program like WinFF, AviDemux or DeVeDe. Cinelerra will export to other formats but in my opinion there aren't as many options as I'd like to render the final project directly. There are a good assortment of transitions and filters to choose from and LADSPA Audio plugins can also be added if needed.

In the event that the program crashes it usually is kind enough to create a backup so you can restart and reload your work. I am hesitant to compare Cinelerra to Adobe or Vegas because it does what I want and does it well so I see no need to peg it as an alternative to anything in Windows. I believe it succeeds on it's own merits.

NOTE: Very helpful if you visit The Cinelerra CV site, all instructions to get packages for different distros can be found there.


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