Science and technology

Edit video on Linux with Kdenlive

Whether it is attributable to snow days, a seasonal trip, or time without work for any variety of holidays, December is a superb time to cool down in entrance of your pc and get artistic. One of my favourite pastimes is reducing video footage collectively. Sometimes I edit video to inform a narrative. Other occasions I edit video to convey a temper or a single concept, and typically I do it to supply visuals to music I’ve both found or composed. Maybe it is as a result of I discovered to edit movie at a college whereas aiming for a profession within the discipline, or possibly it is simply because I like highly effective open supply instruments. Still, my favourite video enhancing utility to this present day stays the formidable Kdenlive, a strong {and professional} enhancing software program offering an intuitive workflow and loads of results and transitions.

Install Kdenlive on Linux

Kdenlive is accessible on most Linux distributions out of your bundle supervisor. On Fedora, Mageia, and related distributions:

$ sudo dnf set up kdenlive

On Elementary, Mint, and different Debian-based distributions:

$ sudo apt set up kdenlive

However, I exploit Kdenlive as a Flatpak.

How to inform a narrative with video

What does it imply to “edit” video, anyway?

Editing footage has a considerably inflated repute. Sure, it is the method that allows large blockbuster motion pictures to have an effect on thousands and thousands of individuals worldwide, however while you’re sitting in entrance of your laptop computer, you do not have to think about it that approach. Editing a video is, fairly merely, eradicating the “bad” components of a video till simply the “good” stuff stays.

What makes footage unhealthy or good is completely as much as your personal tastes, and it could even change relying on what you are making an attempt to “say” along with your creation. If you are enhancing footage of the wildlife you discover in your yard, you would possibly reduce out the components of the pictures that prominently function your garbage bins or the shot of you stepping on a rake. What stays is bound to make your yard appear like a magical secret backyard full of hummingbirds, butterflies, a curious rabbit, and a playful canine. On the opposite hand, go away that “bad” footage in, and you’ll as an alternative create a comedy a few suburbanite taking the garbage out, stepping on a rake, scary all of the animals away, and usually making a nuisance of themselves. There’s no proper or incorrect. Whatever you chop, no one is aware of ever existed. Whatever you retain tells a narrative.

Importing footage

When you begin Kdenlive, you will have an empty mission. The Kdenlive window consists of a Project Bin within the high left nook, an info panel within the heart, and a Project Monitor within the high proper. Along the underside is the actually vital half—the Timeline. The Timeline is the place your story will get created. Everything within the Timeline on the end of your mission is what your viewers sees. That’s your film.

Before you begin constructing a narrative in your timeline, you want some footage. Assuming you’ve got taken some footage on a digital camera or cellular machine, you could add clips to the Project Bin. Right-click within the empty house of the Project Bin panel and choose Add Clip or Folder.

Cutting footage

In Kdenlive, there are many methods to make cuts in video footage.

The three-point edit

Historically, the official solution to make a reduce is to carry out a “three-point edit.” Count the factors:

1. Open a video clip in Kdenlive’s Clip Monitor panel, discover the purpose the place you would like the video had began, and press I in your keyboard to mark in.
2. Then discover the purpose the place you would like the video had stopped and press O to mark out.
3. Drag the video clip from the Clip Monitor to a degree within the Timeline on the backside of the Kdenlive window.

This methodology remains to be vital in some settings, however it’s a bit formal for a lot of customers.

Inline edits

Another solution to make an edit is to pull a clip into Kdenlive’s Timeline panel after which click on and drag the sides of the clip till solely the nice half stays.

The artwork of the cut-away

Another sort of edit is the cut-away. It’s an vital trick as a result of it not solely helps you skip over unhealthy components of a video clip, however it could possibly add quite a lot of context in your viewers. You’ve seen numerous cut-aways in motion pictures and on TV, even for those who do not understand it.  Every time somebody on the display screen appears up in shock, and you then see a shot of what they see, that could be a cut-away. When a newscaster references a spot in your metropolis, and a shot of that place follows it, that could be a cut-away.

You can do cut-aways in Kdenlive simply as a result of the Kdenlive Timeline is layered. There are 4 “tracks” within the Kdenlive timeline by default—the highest two for video and the underside two for any accompanying audio. When you place video footage on the timeline, the footage on the best video observe takes priority over footage on a decrease observe. This means that you would be able to functionally edit out footage on one video observe simply by putting one thing higher on the observe above it.

Export your film

When accomplished with your entire edits, you possibly can export your film so you possibly can put up it on-line for others to see. To try this, click on the Render button within the toolbar on the high of the Kdenlive window. In the Rendering window that seems, choose the format suitable along with your video internet hosting service. The WEBM format is fairly common nowadays, and along with being open supply it is also among the finest codecs obtainable each for distribution and archival functions. It’s able to 4K, stereoscopic imagery, a large colour gamut, and far more, and all main browsers play it.

Rendering can take time, relying on how lengthy your mission is, what number of edits you’ve got made, and the way highly effective your pc is.

An extended-lasting answer

As I write this, it was precisely ten years in the past in the present day that I printed an introductory six-part series on Kdenlive right here on To my very own shock, meaning I’ve been a Kdenlive consumer now longer than I’d been a consumer of the proprietary editors I discovered in movie college. That’s some spectacular longevity, and I nonetheless use it in the present day as a result of it delivers on flexibility and reliability as no different editor does. Heck, the video editor I discovered on would not even exist, at the least not in the identical type, anymore (which makes me want I’d discovered to edit on an open supply platform!).

Kdenlive is a strong editor with numerous options, however do not let that intimidate you. My introductory sequence is as related and correct in the present day because it was ten years in the past, which in my estimation, is a attribute of a very dependable utility. Should you select to discover Kdenlive as an editor, make sure to obtain our cheat sheet, so you possibly can internalize keyboard shortcuts that cut back clicks and make the enhancing course of seamless.

Now go inform your story!

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