NLE Video Editors
Linux Video Editor (LVE) developer Gerhard Monzel says, “The intended purpose was cutting MPEGs and to encode to (S)VCDs.” Monzel works at SAP as systems administrator in St. Ingbert, Germany. The LVE documentation is all in German. “LVE is based on some freeware libraries: libmpeg3 to seek and decode MPEG and libsdl as base of my GUI”, says Monzel. “The rest is self-made.” He says many MPEG formats are supported (MPEG-1 and MPEG-2) including VOB and IFO, but not DVB. His GUI design was influenced by Pinnacle Studio MP10.
LVE is cuts-only—no effects and no titles. Note that whether the source material is PAL or NTSC, the output is always PAL. NTSC sources must be processed with sox to correct the framerate changing the audio pitch. LVE has no install procedure. The tarball must be extracted in the root directory:
cd / tar xvfz /install/public/nle/lve/ lve_bin-31-10-01.tar.gz ls /usr/local/lve/bin bbainfo bbinfo bbvinfo ffmpeg_lve gensmart lmp mplex toolame bbdmux bbmplex encode genmpg gensvcd lve qdir chmod 666 /usr/local/lve/lib/SystemFont.bmp ./lve
MainActor is the only closed-source application we looked at. We installed it from RPM using Alien, following much the same procedure as with Broadcast 2000.
MainActor can title (2-D and 3-D text) and edit movies. It offers video transitions and audio effects. The evaluation version writes “MainActor” on your video until you purchase a registered copy. MainActor includes the following programs: maseq (NLE), mave (animation converter), macap (V4L MJPEG capture) and lmatool (console video file converter). The documentation is in /usr/share/doc/Packages/MainActor.
Trinity editor and maintainer Chris Hardy says it has rudimentary MPEG and audio support. Trinity can understand sequences of image frame files, too. “The source code hasn't been touched in two years”, says Hardy. “I haven't heard from the developer in a while and the project has been in limbo.” The GUI is one thing Hardy likes about Trinity.
There were several minor compilation errors that we fixed while building Trinity 0.5 and one serious one. We sent the corrections to Hardy. Because of a conflict with a commercial product, Trinity must be renamed, and Hardy would like a developer interested in working on an NLE to join the project so it can go forward.
Computers present a great advantage in editing movies because they can easily edit out of sequence or remove or add a scene—that's why it's called nonlinear editing. Nonlinear editors are used to edit video sequences to create television shows and motion pictures.
In examining Broadcast 2000, Crow, Kino, LVE, MainActor and Trinity, we've looked at some of the video tools available in Linux, but hardly all of them. FFmpeg, GAnSO, Gnonlin, Jahshaka, Linux Video Studio, matterial, mpgtx, mpegcut and SAMPEG-2 present more choices.
Two commercial (expensive) tools that we will be evaluating in the future are Nothing Real Shake and Silicon Grail RAYZ. These are used to add special effects to many Hollywood motion pictures. There is just one major open-source tool that is used in major motion pictures and that is Film GIMP, used in Harry Potter, Cats & Dogs, Lord of the Rings and more. We'll take a look at Film GIMP next time.
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