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Linux Movie Production: Basic Overview (cross-forum post)


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#1 Sam Javor

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 08:00 PM

I wrote a tiny tutorial to cover some of the more complicated basics for Linux Video Production incase anyone wants to give linux a shot on their workstation. If anyone has other walkthroughs they want to write I'm collecting them for a Linux Media Production tutorial site. I am posting this in a couple forums.
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Linux based media production contimues to develope and many tools have been produced to accomplish each task necessary to capture, edit, and output to DVD a video. ... the problem is the documentation is very sparse.

I personally use DeMuDi Linux 1.3.0 RC1 because it is tailored for Audio production and is fairly complete along those lines.

To capture footage - I havn't tried yet but most people seem to use Kino which is a very straight forward program like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie... a basic "splicer"

Editing is done in Cinelerra. There are two versions of Cinelerra... the origional is released by Heroine Warrior and another is a an unofficial development group called Cinelerra CVS. The editor is along the lines of Primier or Final Cut... however it has two things .err....three... three things going against it. #1 Documentation is practically nonexistant. #2 It has been touted as the worst usersupport in the world... the sourceforge forums are a wasteland. #3 It's often called a resource hog... and #4 it's hard to compile... but I installed from binary.

Installing Cinelerra from "binary" is fairly easy though not straight forward for new users... a seperate program called Alien is necessary when running DeMuDi. Alien can convert Red Hat packages (.rpm) to Debian packages (.deb) which are then easy to install. The commands will look like:
For x86 users download the Athlon RPM from the Cinelerra website
apt-get install alien (to install alien)
alien -d cinelerra-package.rpm (to create a cinelerra-package.deb)
dpkg -i cinelerra-package.deb (installs cinelerra)

For me Cinelerra is then started from the commandl line by:
cinelerra

It should also be noted that programs can be started as root user for convient access to all devices (and the power to destroy them!) by:
su (which prompts for the root password...and then entering the command)

Editing in Cinelrra - I havn't done much yet :)

Exporting from Cinelerra... I render to Quicktime for Linux... and go do something else for the next hour or so... this creates a DV video.

Creating the DVD file system was a bit odd and took me a while to figure it out... but is easy to do once the right command is found. ffmpeg may need to be installed:
apt-get install ffmpeg

and then to convert the big DV file to a useable fullscreen mpeg file:
ffmpeg -i imovie.dv -target ntsc-dvd -aspect 4:3 movie.mpg (ugly eh? this was the second hardest thing to figure out... the are different varialbles if the movie is widescreen or PAL)

Then to actually make the DVD file system use dvdauthor... if not installed can you guess how to install it? yep:
apt-get install dvdauthor

THE UGLYNESS at the moment is you actually have to type an XML file to create menues for the dvd... right now I use the absolute minimun. In a text editor type:
<dvdauthor>
<vmgm>
</vmgm>
<titleset>
<titles>
<pgc>
<vob file="invisible2.mpg" />
</pgc>
</titles>
</titleset>
</dvdauthor>

(replace invisible2.mpg with your mpg... and save it as moviename.xml ...this DVD will start playing automatically with no menu.)

then to create the DVD file system it's only:
dvdauthor -x moviename.xml (this will create the dvd directory and the AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS directory with all the files necessary to burn a DVD...

To actually burn a DVD I use K3b ...because it's pretty... DeMuDi 1.3.0 RC1 does not come with it for some reason... simply:
apt-get install k3b (you will need to uninstall Rosegarden which is ok)

Then in k3b click:
file->new project-> New Video DVD Project ... then just load all the files in the proper directory and burn... then enjoy.

peace
Sam Javor
zekthedeadcow@hotmail.com

Edited by zekthedeadcow, 09 April 2006 - 08:02 PM.

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#2 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 03:34 AM

video post on linux for me didn't happen. Cinnerella sucked, and like you said, compiling was a pain in the ass.

Support for good video editing in linux isn't there, and I don't think it will be.
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#3 Trevor Swaim

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 05:14 AM

I would love to see a small company (or large I don't really care at this point) make a barebones linux or freeBSD based OS with the sole purpose of video post production. a company like adobe could do this and the os would only run adobe products premiere pro, after effects, photoshop, etc and maybe a version of open office. if all other unnecessary items were removed from the workstation then everything important would be much faster.

I don't really see this happening anytime soon so i think i'll stick with my mac.
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#4 Kai.w

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 06:43 AM

Support for good video editing in linux isn't there, and I don't think it will be.


At least not in the medium class. There are however highend solutions such as Smoke or Piranha, which as you can guess work fine.

-k
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#5 Sam Javor

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 07:05 AM

I think after all of Pixars pestering to get Photoshop ported it's unlikely Adobe will do anything linux related.

As far as turnkey systems there's a company called Linux Media Arts selling systems
http://www.lmahd.com/

They will have a booth a NAB this year so if you happen to go you can take a look at what they have.

Most Open Source projects arn't going to compete with commercial projects feature wise... however most of us don't really push our software to it's limits... and have probably paid for less in the past. Audio wise DeMuDi isn't as feature rich as SONAR 5 but it beats SONAR 2... and the price is much more appealing. :)
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 01:10 PM

Hi,

LMA release a tweaked version of Cinelerra. The free versions are horribly limited and unusable for anything other than the most basic work. I understand that the tweaks LMA do include a lot of the missing stuff, such as complete timecode and EDL support.

There are two main problems.

First, Linux tends to get applications that software engineers need. This happens because they are working for free and therefore tend to write applications they find interesting or useful. Therefore, Linux has a thousand thousand email clients and text editors and almost no provision for big applications (video edit) whatsoever.

Second, it's a truly huge project to equal something like Final Cut, and I simply don't think that the opensource movement has the coordination to pull it off. It's a sad fact, but the absolute best examples of opensource software, principally things like Cinepaint, are generally a sad and pale imitation of their closed-source counterparts. Photoshop eclipses Cinepaint and GIMP to such a degree that I wish Linux advocates would recognise the comparison for the embarrassment it really is. The exception which proves this rule is Apache, the web server whose output you're almost certainly looking at right now, but even that isn't a fully-finished piece of software as the average Windows user might think of it. Video edit needs more.

I think both of these problems, which continue to cripple the Linux breakout into the mainstream, can largely be blamed on the zealous protectionism and advocacy of the open-source software paradigm (which makes it impossible to make money by writing code.) It is not mandatory that a Linux application be opensource, but the community frequently reacts so violently to the alternative that it's very hard to get cooperation - and since the OS itself is opensource, that can be a showstopper.

I would also welcome a commercial Linux distribution running proprietary code, but it's almost impossible to do that as you can't charge money for most of the Linux code that exists to date.

It's a vicious circle.

Phil
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