Making Movies with Kino

Today's inexpensive camcorders can shoot great video. All you need to do a real video project is the right editing tools and, of course, practice.

With Kino, you can change the sound in your scenes completely, add sound to a scene, mix music or leave the soundtracks untouched. Finding suitable music for mixing or replacing might be the most difficult part of the work. For noncommercial projects, check Creative Commons.

Kino works with sounds in WAV format, not MP3. If you have an MP3 file and want to use it in your film, you have to convert it to WAV. We prefer to use mpg123:

mpg123 --wav foo.wav foo.mp3.

If you are using live sound, it's better to export soundtracks from a .dv source because sound is lost with cut video scenes. To edit sound, we use snd. Find the starting and ending points of the scene to use the sounds, then go to Audio. Select the parameters as needed, including From and To (Figure 11). Do not forget to specify the output file without an extension.

Figure 11. Saving Sounds from the Scene

Figure 12. Audio Transition Menu

You can use Split to join several scenes into one in order to apply sounds. Be sure the scene for applying sounds is selected in the Storyboard. Next, click on FX and select Audio Transition. Choose Dub for applying sounds from the file or Mix for mixing the file with what already is in the scene. Add your audio file and preview the scene. Play with the parameters, and when you're satisfied, press Render. Rendering may take some time.

Exporting the Movie

After putting everything together, output the results. Although it is possible to create many output formats, to keep the original quality, we recommend that you output your film back to the tape to save hard disk space. Do this by selecting the Export tab and then IEEE1394 from the menu. Before exporting through this interface, set up the dv1394 device and driver. First, issue one of the two following commands, depending on your camcorder. The command creates the dv1394 device.

For PAL systems the command is:

mknod -m 666 /dev/dv1394 c 171 34

For NTSC systems the command is different:

mknod -m 666 /dev/dv1394 c 171 32

Now, still as root, load the driver with the command:

modprobe dv1394

Next, as an ordinary user from Kino, select Preferences→IEEE1394. A window similar to Figure 13 appears in the screen. If you captured with Kino, the part titled DV Capture is filled in correctly; your camcorder is recognised as a VCR (AV/C) Control device. The camcorder should be turned on so it understands control signals (usually Play mode).

Figure 13. Setting Kino for Exporting Film with IEEE1394 to the Camcorder

To output through the IEEE1394 interface, change the clue line dv1394 device to /dev/dv1394. Then click OK to close the setup menu. Next, click Export and select IEEE1394. You should see something like Figure 14.

Figure 14. Exporting the Movie Back to the Camcorder

Notice the information line on the bottom of Figure 14. Here, Kino informs you about dv1394 device availability. If it complains, wait about 20–40 seconds. If the error repeats after this interval, read more information about the device on the Linux1394 home page.

Next, select Preview. The movie should start playing on the camcorder screen. Now, put the tape in the camcorder to the position where you want to write, and select the Export button to start writing the movie to the tape. Check what your camcorder indicates according to its User's Manual. Usually it shows a line like DV Input and possibly provides additional DV export information.

If everything is okay, you can stop the camcorder, put the tape exactly at the position from where you want to write the movie and start exporting. The time needed for writing is equal to the movie duration. While exporting, Kino indicates the elapsed and remaining time in the bottom of the export window.

You also can export the movie as a file or a set of files. Kino, with additional programs, provides the following:

  • A DV file that stores the movie in a new file format, which can be used further for compression and exporting without the Kino interface.

  • Stills save the movie as a sequence of images in JPEG format.

  • MPEG codes the movie to MPEG or DivX.

  • Audio lets you save only the audio tracks.

  • DV pipe gives you a nice tool to create your own method of saving movies. It also includes standard features, such as exporting to MPEG1 for Video CD or to MPEG2.

Remember that all export features might not work on the box you are currently using; installing extra programs might be necessary. Exporting to a DV file should work and reflect the general rules similar to saving a movie on the tape with the camcorder and IEEE1394 interface.

To export the movie into a single .dv file, select Export/DV File. Disable the option Auto Spilt Files, and specify All as Export Range to export the whole movie from the scene list. Select Type File—we prefer Raw DV. Put zero values into the fields Frame per File and Max File name, as shown in Figure 15. Click Export. Kino starts exporting, indicating the estimated time necessary to finish the process.

Figure 15. Exporting Movie in a .dv File in Progress



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Kino export

fatpaw175's picture

Thanks for the article! I was finally able to get my DV exported properly with your help.

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Otto E. Tutzauer's picture

I am a Linux Journal subscriber for many years.
As I am located in Germany, I do not receive the Journal with a label
but I would like to participate in the suscriber info.
I am certain that you will help, as this situation concerns many
international subscribers.


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I'm located in Spain, and receive the magazine via DHL Globalmail from "ALLEMAGNE", with a label (with the subscriber info too 8-)