Video Production 101: Making a Movie with Kdenlive
The coffeehouse is a single room with good acoustics and lighting that poses no special problems for a video recording. Coffee Amici also has an excellent in-house sound system manned by co-owner Craig Allen, so I knew the original sound source would be well balanced. I planned to perform with most of the students, so I needed to position the camcorder where I could operate it remotely. I also needed to get a good shot of the performance area and a good audio level. Fortunately, I had no problems with my setup, and the shoot was trouble-free.
Incidentally, I learned that the camera's battery will last just long enough to record a complete 60-minute miniDV tape. The student shows routinely last at least that long and often longer. Wherever possible, I plan to use the camcorder's power supply, but now I know how long I can expect the battery to perform before I need to switch it out for a recharge.
Kdenlive records real-time video over a FireWire connection or from a Video4Linux (V4L)-compliant Webcam. The program also utilizes the RecordMyDesktop software for capturing on-screen actions, such as mouse movements, window placement, program controls and so forth. I used Kdenlive's Record Monitor panel (Figure 3) to transfer the videotape recording to my computer. The panel provides full transport control of my camcorder, and I quickly searched for and found the sections I wanted to transfer to disc. I clicked on the Record control when I wanted to transfer the video, and I clicked it off until the video reached the next interesting point.
When I was finished with each transfer, Kdenlive asked if I wanted to import the resulting DV file. I said yes, and my transferred video appeared in the Kdenlive Clip list. When my clip collection was complete, my project was ready for the editing stage.
I dragged and dropped my clips along the timeline in the multitrack display. I wasn't concerned with their accurate placement yet, because I had three main jobs to do first as an editor:
Trim excess footage.
Add audio and video fades to the start and end of each clip.
Create title clips to introduce each performance clip.
Kdenlive's Scissor tool made quick work of the excess footage. The fade-ins and fade-outs are drag-and-drop effects with user-definable lengths and auto-sync between the audio and video fades, a handy default action. The material had no need for color correction or other repair, so I proceeded to create my title clips.
The name and length of the title clip can be redefined at will, and a titling editor is provided for adding text, images and background colors to the clip. The editor has a number of amenities, including some handy positioning tools and animation effects. However, I intended to use the title clips only for introducing each performer's footage, so I kept things simple again with a yellow text against a basic black background.
After editing my title clips, I could then drag and drop them as needed. Thanks to Kdenlive's Snap function, they aligned themselves instantly when I placed them near their respective footage, yet another friendly default action. I added fades to those clips too, and I was effectively done in the edit room.
Kdenlive's Render button opens a dialog for preparing your movie for its eventual output format (Figure 4). I selected the DVD option from the Destination list, named the output VOB file, and defined the format as NTSC. I set the encoder for a 2-pass rendering to a widescreen display, ticked the option to open the DVD Wizard after rendering, and clicked the Render To File command. Next I made some coffee (it seemed the appropriate thing to do) while Kdenlive did the rest.
The DVD Wizard (Figure 5) stepped me through the process of preparing an ISO image to burn to disc. I selected my files, defined the disc chapters and made a basic menu. The menu builder can set the background to a color, an image or a video file. I selected an image of the coffeeshop at night and added a text overlay of menu items. Each item is linked to a particular target—that is, one of the chapters defined during the Wizard's configuration. The whole process was uncomplicated enough to bring me quickly to the final stage of creating the DVD image. I clicked on the Create ISO Image and again let Kdenlive do the rest while I finished that coffee I brewed earlier.
The ISO image creation dialog includes an option to start a disc-burning program when the image is ready. I selected the K3B option and followed that program's instructions until I had successfully burned the number of discs I needed. Some discs were specially prepared media for use in my laptop's Lightscribe drive. Templates for making detailed CD/DVD labels are available for various Linux graphics programs, and the Lightscribe technology will burn the label graphics directly to the surface of the special discs, giving them a professional appearance.
Simplicity and ease were my prime directives throughout this project, so when I wanted to make inserts for the disc jewel cases, I availed myself of the services of Avinash Chopde's cdlabelgen, an on-line insert creation utility. I selected a background, added titles, songlists and credits, and saved the output as a PDF file to be printed as needed (Figure 6).
Similis sum folio de quo ludunt venti.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide