Various open-source projects which were useful for video editing and production were profiled or discussed at the meeting. These included:

kino

  • Can capture digital video from various video sources, including firewire cameras, USB webcams, and pretty much any video capture device supported by video4linux drivers. Uses a DV file for its internal manipulation, but can import from or export to many other formats.

DeVeDe

  • Simple tool where you just select the video files you want to burn and a background and it creates a "ready-to-burn" DVD filesystem layout. You must use a separate DVD burning tool (like K3B) to burn the resulting filesystem.

dvgrab

  • command line tool to capture DV files from firewire devices

DVDstyler

  • Builds ISO files Allows you to build a DVD menu system with buttons and submenus Can burn DVDs, but is not recommended for this

k3b

  • burn ISO to DVD

ffmpeg

  • A very fast video and audio converter which supports a wide array of media formats and audio and video codecs.

One trick Tom used during his presentation was run from a command-line: losetup /dev/loop0 dvd.iso

  • this allows an ISO file to be mounted as though it were a DVD and played (some video players, like VLC, allow you to simply open the ISO file directly without this step).

cinelerra

  • A very powerful video editing and production tool. Probably the best available for free. It is highly recommended to Read The Fine Manual! Good results were obtained with using this package with the Dynebolic live-CD distro.

Jarrell Waggoner presented a very impressive amateur video he produced almost entirely from open-source tools. (The only non-open-source tools were tools for making orchestral music scores.) Jarrell used gimp, kino, cinelerra, blender and audacity in the production of this movie. Further information about the production of the video is below.

Next month:

  • Blender - 3D-modeling

Upcoming months:

  • Beryl and Compiz Fusion

For those of you who are interested in further information about the production of Jarrell's video, here are some of his comments:

My 3D animated introduction took about a month to complete, and about 2 months of on and off CPU time to render. Animation is built into blender, and it can do quantized, frame-based animation key framing, as well as armature-driven character animation.

For the video editing, I used Kino to import the DV (as it was more stable), and Cinelerra to edit the footage and integrate the audio and music. For the non-scrolling titles, they were just single images created and edited in the GIMP. For the scrolling titles, they were done using a very long GIMP-created image and scrolled using Cinelerra's keyframing features. Audacity was my primary tool for editing the audio, but I also employed Cinelerra's built-in audio leveling features for much of the broader audio changes as well.

It's also worth noting that the film is available on YouTube ( http://youtube.com/watch?v=l7jBdt6MVw4 ) as well as Google video ( http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1625495482280466543 ).

As for music projects, I'm not aware of a sample database that consists of exclusively musical samples, which is the type of music I write (I don't use synthesizers or sound effects very heavily at all in my musical compositions). There are Creative Commons "aware" databases of sound effects out there if you need sound effects for a film, but they don't help much (unless you're extremely creative) with a musical score. I've noticed a few research-oriented databases, but the time and trouble to get those samples into a linux sampling engine, and the quality and usefulness of these sampling projects look dubious at best.

For more information on music and composing in Linux, this article is probably the best resource for a clean overview: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Feb03/articles/linuxaudio.asp The AGNULA and Rosegarden projects are very promising, and I've begun experimenting with composing alternate genres of music (e.g. Techno, Dance, Ambient, Trance, etc.) on the linux platform (since those styles don't need live-sampled instruments, but algorithmically-synthesized waveforms), but I'm not yet familiar enough with the tool set to get any results to speak of (though I have completed a rudimentary Classical/Techno "fusion" piece that may be worth mentioning). These tools mostly work with VSTs ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Studio_Technology ) or other plugins to create exotic, "computerized" sounds rather than any instrument you may have heard of, though they seem perfectly capable of handing a live-instrument-sampled plugin, if such a thing were to be created.

Keep in mind that much of my saying that "Linux can't do that yet" when it comes to orchestral music is due to my high standards of having worked with professional tools. I've scored about four films over the past year, and I require raw .wav files that can sound "convincing" that can be synced to a film in a very short amount of time. My latest project ( http://youtube.com/watch?v=Fuxp1IiRVg4 ) is rather illustrative of the way I approach my film scores. My brother also composes music, but he is not in need of ultra-realistic orchestral samples (he just does musical "mockups" for pieces he later plays live), and he uses fully linux-compatible tools (though he runs these tools on Windows currently). So it *can* be done with linux tools, but it may not be anything you'd want people to hear outside of playing Super Mario Bros. or some such...

Anyway, that's basically my 2c worth on the topic of music. Though grad school has munched away a significant portion of my time, I plan to continue writing music (I hope I might be able to hook up with some student films in the area, if the opportunity arises), and I'm going to continue to look for ways to integrate Linux into my creative workflow. Once I become more competent, I'd be happy to demonstrate some of the linux-equivalents of what I use, if there's enough interest.