Friday, November 1, 2013

Video Editing Hell - Linux to the Rescue!

I'm the proud owner of the oldest and crappiest computers here at Frictional Games. This is quite unfortunate, to say the least, contemplating I'm the 1 generally recording videos of our operate, editing and then publishing it. For the Penumbra games it worked quite OK, for Amnesia it performs surprisingly nicely to record videos, possibly thanks to a considerably much more polished and optimized game engine. But as on the internet videos increase in quality it puts far more strain on my poor computers and I bet that "Security Update" is a synonym for "Force User To Upgrade Laptop", which genuinely does not help at all.

I record videos on my Computer utilizing Fraps and CamStudio, the former for undertaking complete screen capture of in-game scenes and the latter for partial screen recordings of the editors. These programs save in specific formats that I have to convert into other formats in order to import the videos into the editing computer software. I have not been really satisfied with the computer software that I have utilised for these conversions, VirtualDub, while it works it has problems employing a lot of of the codecs that I have installed, typically resulting in error screens. My very first step on this "Enhance The Video Editing Workflow With Out Spending Any Money On Computer software Or Hardware"-journey ("It vew wosaco soh"-reescha as the Swedish Chef would say) was therefore to uncover a new converting tool, should be the easiest point to find in the planet I thought. Hell no!

Video converters seems to be a typical piece of software that encourages it creators to add a lot of ads in them or to limit them a lot for the "free of charge" part. These that are actually cost-free tend to be a bit also basic, whilst I'm happy to not have to tweak a lot of settings there is some essentials configurations you want to be capable to manage. It feel I attempted four-5 distinct "totally free" converters until I ultimately located MediaCoder. MediaCoder is quite nice as soon as you get past two obstacles. The 1st is that the homepage and download internet site is filled with advertisements, placed so that it is challenging to know if you are clicking on an advertisement or the actual hyperlink. This continues on with a lot of advertisement in the software itself, it offers a bit of a bad impression simply because you get worried that the software program might be filled with spyware and the alike! But as far as I know it is not :) The other obstacle is that it is really detailed with settings and configurations for all the codecs. Even so, it has a good setup wizard which smooths it all out a bit and after you have configured a codec the way you want you do not have to do it again.

I continued my "It vew wosaco soh"-reescha by seeking into video editor choices.

For editing I have been using good old iMove running on my super fast 1.four Ghz PowerPC Mac. iMovie is basic and really sufficient for carrying out our sort of demonstration videos (infact all trailers for the Penumbra games created by us were developed utilizing iMovie). But as YouTube makes it possible for for bigger and bigger resolutions these days, the videos have been more and a lot more time consuming to make, not to mention painfully slow on the interface when everything lags about, the laptop struggling to render the previews in real time. The export of the final videos also take really some time on that old Mac, when it was designed there had been no such fancy issues has h.264 codecs.

This truly led me to commence seeking into some choices for video editing on my Pc, a true monster machine powered by an AMD Athlon two.2 Ghz (*sniff* Yes, I know, it is not actually a monster at all). I searched extended and tough to locate some suitable cost-free software program, one thing that was not very difficult, yet function wealthy adequate to do the sort of editing we have in our videos. I ultimately identified VideoSpin by Pinnacle, which at 1st seemed to be pretty good, but although trying to use it to edit our subsequent video, it was clear it was way to simplistic. Of course there is Film Maker, but that really didn't cut it either, so I searched lengthy and hard but could not truly uncover anything usable for Windows. But, for Linux there have been five possibilities that seemed extremely promising. I figured why not try some Linux editing, I do have Ubuntu installed too, so it would be straightforward to test some application.

I downloaded Kino, PiTiVi, kdenlive, Open Movie Editor and Cinelerra-cv (perhaps LiVES too). Kino and PiTiVi was very rudimentary, Kino the far better. Open Film Editor was nearly appropriate but, I am nearly ashamed for it, it wasn't a extremely visually attractive interface. Cinelerra was promising, but the interface a tad to cluttered, not quite fairly and for our editing needs as well complex. I was starting to get a bit worried, kdenlive was low on my list because it looked to be as easy as Kino and PiTiVi, but kdenlive actually shined! It's about the exact same level as iMovie, a bit far more functions and a killer with the quantity of supported codecs (not a special function, but properly implemented). I am not positive if it was due to running kdenlive on the most current Ubuntu release or if it is a common issue, but it took a bit of tinkering to get all the codecs to perform correctly. I am guessing the most current Ubuntu release as it has triggered very a bit of difficulties for our personal Penumbra games.

I've been working with the application (converter & editor) during the day and following a lot of infant actions of testing I am beginning to get quite comfy with them both. To summarise, the "It vew wosaco soh"-reescha was fairly profitable, it requires a while to get used to a new program but this setup is undoubtedly an improvement more than the old. At least it buys this dying laptop of mine a bit much more time until the day of doom. Our subsequent YouTube video will also be in HD, generating it our initial contribution to the bandwidth monster.

What are your suggestions for great video editing tools for Linux / Windows?

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