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Making Movies in Linux with Kdenlive - page 2

Video Editing With Kdenlive

  • May 13, 2010
  • By Akkana Peck

The Timeline

The timeline area represents your movie. By default, kdenlive gives you four tracks, which can hold video or audio. You can put clips one after another in the first track and ignore the rest, or you can use multiple tracks to overlap clips and add effects.

Choose a few more clips -- Project->Add Clip each time, then Set zone start and Set zone end -- and drag them to the timeline area. For now, just put them all in the first track. If you leave a little space between them, you'll get a brief interval of black between one clip and the next. (In the next article, you'll learn how to add fancy transition effects.)

You can preview your movie at any time. Use the Project Monitor tab next to the Clip Monitor you used earlier, and you can use all the same play, fast forward, step and position controls you used to view your clip. Or click in the Position area just above the timelines and drag the position slider to view your movie at any speed.

Saving and Rendering

File->Save saves your kdenlive project, so you can continue editing it and make further changes. But eventually you'll decide your video is good enough, and you'll want to create a movie other people can watch. For this, you want Render -- available in the toolbar or from the Project menu.

The Rendering dialog (Figure 3) gives a complicated list of video output options. Don't panic! The Destination menu at the top offers some options that can simplify the choices a lot. If you're planning to upload to a site like YouTube, set Destination: Web sites and you can choose options like YouTube 640x480. Some options may be unavailable because of codecs you don't have installed -- kdenlive seems to lean heavily on closed codecs like AAC and H.264 -- but you can surely find something that will do the job.

<em>Rendering (fig. 3)</em>
Rendering (fig. 3)

That's all you need to take a bunch of clips and stick them together into a movie you can upload to YouTube or your favorite video web site. But of course, kdenlive can do a lot more. In the next article, I'll show you how to add and titles at the beginning and end of your movie, fancy transition effects between clips, and music. So stay tuned!

Akkana Peck is a freelance programmer and writer and author of the book Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional. She also spends way too much time fiddling with reconfiguring her Linux distros.

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