Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Linux & video editing

Yesterday was a very important day for me: I created my first home-video DVD, entirely edited on my Ubuntu machine.

It was a very interesting and satisfactory experience, even if not everything was so easy and straightforward.

After some thinking I decided to use Kino (http://www.kinodv.org/); I installed it and then I read Michele’s tutorial (I hope it can be made available somewhere some time soon) to get started.

I acquired the video from my DV camera and I got a separate .dv file for each scene. Then I cut the bad and boring parts, I added some “special” videos, generated some titles for the most important chapters and created some special effects for the video transitions. Doing all this was acceptably easy (it took some time of course, but video editing is not a quick task).

After that I moved to the audio.

While for the video part there are many tools available (transitions, special effects, title creation) the audio part is not very developed yet. What you can do with audio is a bit limited: you can mix your own music to the original audio (or replace it) and fade in/out. The two most annoying things I found are these:

- if you want to mix some audios you need to convert all your audio files to WAV PCM 44.1 kHz (now I created a small script which does it for me)

- when you do audio mixing you can’t keep the two tracks separated, so if you realize that your music background is starting too late or too early you have to try again and redo the processing. In general, after mixing whatever you do will apply to the mixed audios. So if you want for instance to fade at one point just the music background and keep the original audio at full volume, that is not possible.

Adding the music background took quite a lot of time, because I had in some cases to repeat the same operation several times to get the best result.

After completing the audio I created one mpeg file for each chapter using the “Export” option in Kino, and then I was ready for the menu.

Creating the DVD menu is also not very easy: I used ‘Q’ DVD-Author (http://qdvdauthor.sourceforge.net/) as a starting point, but then I had to edit manually one XML file to get it really working as I wanted. After doing this the good thing was that by pressing just one button I was able to get the whole DVD file system generated on my hard disk.

Last thing was to create the ISO image and then burn the DVD.

Now I’m very satisfied, and I can watch the videos from my trip to England on my TV!


Blogger Marchetti Family said...

"...Michele’s tutorial (I hope it can be made available somewhere some time soon)..."

Here we are!


I needed some motivation :-)
Have fun!

12:23 AM  

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