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Building a Video Editing Box? 143

RexDart asks: "I'm building a new AMD64/939 box and would like to build into the system: capabilities to capture video from analog and digital sources; edit; add text and overlays; and maybe do the occasional DVE. This is for home movies, wedding videos and occasional project for work. This will be a dual boot Linux (Red Hat or Ubuntu most likely) / WinXP system. Open source, free, software would be ideal (Audacity will definitely be installed), but commercial solutions are not out of the picture. I'd like to keep the media production on the Linux side of the system and reserve WinXP for gaming, but is Linux up to the task?"
"Given the above considerations, the questions:
1) What's a good recommendation for video capture hardware?
2) What's a good recommendation for software?

I don't expect a definitive answer, but would like to narrow the starting points of my research.

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Building a Video Editing Box?

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  • Get a Mac instead. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordNimon ( 85072 ) on Friday January 21, 2005 @01:46PM (#11433538)
    is Linux up to the task?

    No, it's not. Get a Mac, and you'll have all the tools you need, the ability to play a few games, and a Unix OS to satisfy your geek side.

    • Not to mention the ability to run Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro, arguably the finest video editing package(s) out there. For video editing, FCP is a make-or-break for me, and I wouldn't consider not using a Mac.
    • Would still need a way to play windows games without horrible slow down crawls that we get in emulators.
    • Unix OS to satisfy your geek side

      Some of us du serious work on *nix, it has nothing to do with satisfying geeks sides. We go to great length to find the *nix OS that are the right one for us, thats why there are different distributions of Linux for example. It mostly has to do with how configs are setup, package management, stuff like that. Why on earth does evey mac fanatic thinks that just their OS (which doesn't even include most basic packages without resorting to third party solutions like fink or po
      • The reason the Mac is so highly recommended for this particular application is that it has the best video application made, Final Cut HD and Express.

        For what he's doing, I don't think there's any difference between Express and HD. Express is just $99 when purchased with any new Mac, and that beats any other solution hollow for both quality and cost-effectiveness.

        Fink and Portage are no more third-party than a Linux distribution, which is a system put together from disparate components from different vend
    • by swillden ( 191260 ) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Friday January 21, 2005 @02:34PM (#11434081) Homepage Journal

      No, it's not. Get a Mac, and you'll have all the tools you need, the ability to play a few games, and a Unix OS to satisfy your geek side.

      I disagree with this, after having done the comparison.

      I got a mini DV camera for Christmas, and bought my wife an iBook. Although I didn't want to hog her new computer, I did think for a while that maybe I should use it for video editing. After trying for a while, I'm using Kino on Linux.

      The problem with iLife tools is that although they're very polished and slick, they're also somewhat limited. Some of the problems I found are:

      • iMovie can't handle the anamorphic "widescreen" format that my camera optionally produces. I looked to see if there's some filter I can use to stretch the video out to its correct aspect ratio, but there isn't one. Kino just does it.
      • iMovie won't output any formats other than its own, DV or Quicktime. That's fine if you are going to use iDVD (see below), but that doesn't work for me.
      • I couldn't find a way to make iDVD produce a DVD without a menu, and it wasn't obvious how to make my own menu themes since I didn't like the ones Apple provided.
      • iDVD will not output the DVD image in any format at all, as far as I can tell. You can only burn the DVD but, of course, the iBook doesn't have a burner.

      There were some others as well that I'm forgetting, because I gave up on using the iLife tools for video editing a couple of weeks ago.

      Now, my situation is a little different than that of the questioner, because I'm not really willing to spend much money on buying video editing software. If there were something in the range of a hundred bucks, I'd consider it it, but certainly no more... I spent all my money on the iBook and the camera!

      IMO, for typical home movie stuff, making DVD slide shows for weddings (which I've done), Linux is perfectly adequate, and depending on what you want to do, may actually be a better choice than a Mac.

      Gimp runs much better on Linux than on OSX, too, which is valuable when building slide shows.

      • by CompVisGuy ( 587118 ) on Friday January 21, 2005 @03:06PM (#11434493)
        The recent MacWorld Keynote said that Final Cut Express HD will cope with the widescreen format, and I believe this is true for the new iMovie, too. Advice: Buy a Mac with a version of Final Cut HD.
      • by Dragonmaster Lou ( 34532 ) on Friday January 21, 2005 @03:29PM (#11434742) Homepage
        • The new iMovie supports HD camcorders and 16:9 widescreen formats. It's available January 22nd either bought separately or with any new macs bought after that.
        • No reason why you can't output to QuickTime or DV and then use a program to change the DV to something else (I often use D-Vision to create Xvid AVIs). What formats did you have in mind?
        • I believe the new iDVD lets you create menuless DVDs as well. Comes in the same box as the version of iMovie I mentioned above.
        • The new iDVD does let you output the DVD to a disk image
        • Looks to me like your gripes have all been answered. If you have any other questions, you can feel free to ask me -- I'm pretty handy at Mac video editing for an amateur.

        • Looks to me like your gripes have all been answered.

          Cool. So for $80 I can upgrade to versions that will do what I want.

          I'm pretty comfortable with the Linux tools, so I think I'll stick with them, but it's nice to know Apple is fixing these problems.

          • Yeah, if the Linux tools do what you need and you're fine with using them, go ahead and stick with them.

            Still, for the others out there who haven't decided, at least they know those issues have been fixed.
      • iDVD will not output the DVD image in any format at all, as far as I can tell. You can only burn the DVD but, of course, the iBook doesn't have a burner.

        iDVD '05 (or whatever it's called) will support saving a DVD image. iDVD Features [apple.com]

        I've never used this software, but here is a web page that explains how to do the same thing with iDVD 2.0-4.0 Burning iDVD to 3rd party drives [mac.com]

        It sounds like what you actually want is Final Cut Express, which was going for $99 with the purchase of any new Mac a while a

      • Others have pointed out that the new version of iMovie has solved most of these problems.

        What's really solved these problems is Final Cut Express, which has all the features he needs for $99 when bought with a new Mac. FCE has the same professional video editing features as Final Cut Pro. It also includes LiveType and SoundTrack for titling and music composition respectively. That's a very fun bonus, especially for wedding work.

        It blows anything on the PC end out of the water. Adobe had to write creak
        • What's really solved these problems is Final Cut Express, which has all the features he needs for $99 when bought with a new Mac.

          Can I get a copy for my month-old Mac?

          • You can get it, but I think it's $149 when purchased separately. The new version of Final Cut Express (FCE HD) is $299, but it also adds Soundtrack (previously a standalone app) and Livetype along with the ability to edit HD video.
          • This is one of those cases where a little social engineering might help. If you were to call Apple, and explain the problems you;re having with iMovie, and tell them you would have bought FCE for $99 at the same time as the Mac purchase, had you known. . .

            It's worth a shot. Try Applecare first (product support) before you call the sales line.
      • After trying for a while, I'm using Kino on Linux.

        Works great for amateur use, but if you're ever going to do professional editing, you can forget Linux -- at least for a while. Main Actor (for Windows and Linux) is the very bottom end of what I'd even look at for professional video editing (and that includes, from my point of view, doing a wedding for anyone). That doesn't mean I'd use it. Premiere (Windows only, AFAIK) is the low end of what I'd actually use for professional editing.

        But I also get t
        • The original article mentioned wedding work. This is pro work (even if low end) and should be approached as such, especially if you're "just" doing it for a friend's wedding. I've worked feature production for 19 years, and I'd say that wedding videography is more exacting in it's way, because there are no second takes or reshoots. Or at least you hope not. =)
      • iMovie won't output any formats other than its own, DV or Quicktime. That's fine if you are going to use iDVD (see below), but that doesn't work for me.

        Strange -- I export from iMovie to Xvid directly all the time without any problems.

        To do so, you need to select Export -> QuickTime -> Advanced, and then select the output codec. If you don't already have them, go out and get the free DivX, Xvid, 3ivx, and RealVideo 10 Quicktime codecs, just so you can export to any of these formats if the need ar

      • The thing to do is to look for one of the deals Apple tends to have with $200 off Final Cut Express when you buy a Mac.
    • Mac OSX has a bsd 'like' micro kernel, NOT a unix 'like' operating system.
      • [OSX:/bin] jsdobbie% ls
        [ csh echo ln ps sh test bash date ed ls pwd sleep zsh cat dd expr mkdir rcp stty zsh-4.1.1 chmod df hostname mv rm sync cp domainname kill pax rmdir tcsh
        [OSX:/bin] jsdobbie%

        huh?.. I'm running Nicotine behind

  • AMD 939 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mabu ( 178417 ) on Friday January 21, 2005 @01:49PM (#11433566)
    As I type this, I'm looking over at my new Athlon 64 3500+ system I've been building. Unfortunately, the darn thing was shipped without a CPU heatsink so while I've got the new system put together, I am waiting for the heatsink to be delivered before I can try it out. It seems 939 parts are pretty scarce around here.

    I'll be very interested in responses here because I don't have a video capture card installed and am looking into it.

    My system is an MSI K8N Neo2, 1GB DDR400, GEForce 6800GT 256MB, 2x300GB Seagate SATA Barricuda drives, 1 Sony DVD drive, 1 Sony dual-layer DVD+/- burner.

    I too would like to run dual boot. The last time I set up a PC this way, I installed Windows second and it wiped out my partitioning that Unix set up.

    If I want to do dual boot with XP and Linux (or better yet FreeBSD), what should I install first?
    • Without a doubt install Windows first followed by your *nix of choice. Either windows 2k or XP (can't recall which) started killing linux when it installs so your only choice is to install windows and then install linux and grub/lilo afterwards.
    • kind of off topic but...

      install Windoze first then any alternative O/S as the windows installer will insist on overwriting you MBR containing the LILO/GRUB/whatever) boot loader.

    • Re:AMD 939 (Score:2, Informative)

      Keep in mind that, unless you tell it to overwrite your linux partitions, the only thing that the Windows install will overwrite is your MBR. That means that you can install linux first, and then Windows, as long as you have a bootable linux CD or floppy that you can use as a rescue disc and get to a shell to run lilo again.

      I dual boot Windows and Linux, and while I'm still using a linux install from way back, I've replaced Windows several times. Each time I just toss in a Debian Woody CD (Debian is my
    • Re:AMD 939 (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ZephyrXero ( 750822 )
      I run a dool boot (WinXP/Gentoo) and have ran into the problem of Windows not recognizing my Linux partitions, and Linux not being completely stable writing to an NTFS partition. My solution was to divide my harddrive into 3 partitions. I have a 120GB SATA Seagate. I gave Windows 20GB, Linux 20GB, and then made the remaining 80GB a FAT32 partition because both OS can read and write to it easily. I use the Windows and Linux partitions strictly for programs and use my 80Gig for all of my files (ie..audio,vid
      • I have had same setup, but problem with FAT32 is that files cannot be larger than 2GB, which, if you're into video-editing and stuff, might be to small. So I've changed that partition to ext3, for which a windows driver exists (google for it)
    • It looks like you spent some money on that system. Go get VMWARE and forget about dual booting. With VMWARE you can run both operating systems AT THE SAME TIME in different windows. It's much better than rebooting when you want to switch environments.

      • Having used VMWare a lot, under both Linux (running Windows) and Windows (running Linux), I can't say there's any chance in hell I'd want to use it for either gaming within XP, or video editing on Linux.
    • Look into the hardware requirements for the video editing software you want to use first. This will save you a lot of time and headaches later.

      I've seen people pulling their hair out trying to configure/troubleshoot a PC box for video. This is one of those overlooked steps that might make it a little easier.
  • kino http://kino.schirmacher.de/ [schirmacher.de]
    avidemux http://fixounet.free.fr/avidemux/ [fixounet.free.fr]
    cinelerra http://heroinewarrior.com/cinelerra.php3 [heroinewarrior.com]
  • Capture hardware (Score:5, Informative)

    by ip_vjl ( 410654 ) on Friday January 21, 2005 @02:00PM (#11433676) Homepage
    For capture hardware you can save yourself some hassle by looking at the analog firewire converters like the Canopus ADVC line.

    This way, you never need to worry about drivers, just plug the thing into a firewire port and it makes any analog device look like a firewire camera.

    I have the older ADVC100, and it makes capture easy. I can move the thing from computer to computer and platform to platform with no problems.

    • I forgot the point that the video arrives as a DV stream regardless of the original format. So plug in your vcr or older legacy camera (like hi-8) and get DV captures directly into the computer.
    • I've got mod points atm but rather than mod this up, I thought I'd just post instead.

      I'm a video guy (I run a TV channel for a school system) and this is exactly the hardware you want. Don't get a TV capture card. If you want the ability to watch TV, use the TV tuner on the VCR to bring in TV through the DV bridge.

      Again, don't get a capture card. Esp. one of the hauppauge 250/350 cards. They are great for making PVR/DVRs, but they don't bring is video that's useful for editing (mpeg2 - it's not a grea

      • Could you clarify? First of all, what's the "DV Bridge"? And how does this end up in a computer if there isn't a "capture card"?

        On a somewhat related point, we've had a problem where some "cards" seem to be able to see Closed Circuit TV signals, and other cards can't see those signals. Unfortunately, I don't know what the name of the standard is [other than generic "NTSC"] that one card can see and the other card can't.


        • Probably the most cost-effective way to get editable video into a computer right now is through FireWire in DV video format, either from a MiniDV camera or this device called a DV bridge. A DV bridge is a converter box... analog video in one end and FireWire digital signal out the other. Usually it converts in the other direction as well, for a preview monitor and the final video export to tape. The only hardware the computer needs with one of these is a FireWire/IEEE1394 port. And preferably the largest ha
        • Not a prob..

          A DV bridge is like a capture card in that it bring video into a computer, except that (usually) it's an external box and does the dedicated de/endcoding in hardware rather than software. It also works only in the DV format (or sometimes DVCAM) which is exactly what you need for editing or TV/DVD production.

          Usually it's firewire, and while USB2 is fast enough, don't get a USB dv bridge - firewire does works out of the box w/o drivers (even under linux).

          Basically, a DV bridge translates whate
          • Just to be clear that a device called a DV bridge should be just DV, there are companies that make uncompressed firewire capture boxes. For instance see the AJA IO line. Alas, I believe most of these speak a proprietary protocol. However, at least one company makes an uncompressed firewire capture box that speaks IIDC (commonly used for web cams).

            Also, while a DV bridge could be nice for a lot of things, it's probably best just to use DV directly with cameras/vcrs that support it.
        • The DV bridge is the device which reads in analog video and outputs a DV stream.

          So you plug any analoge video signal into one end, and a firewire connection into your computer.

          The device then streams a DV stream into your computer, exactly like a digicam does.

          All modern video editing software is going to be able to read this.

          By contrast, a capture card it going to use hardware to encode some sort of MPEG stream. Getting drivers for these cards is impossible for linux sometimes.

          Plus, the quality of the
      • mpeg2 - it's not a great editable format for nearly any platform, let alone linux

        That depends, it's practicly the default format for current Grass Valley equipment, and has been since Profile PDR 300s were introduced. But, they make it work by storing the vertical blanking seperately (uncompressed, which is one of the reasons the Profile requires an assload of storage bandwidth).

        I'm not a TD, I just fixed the things, but I know the Profile with the M/E option is quite popular with sports folk, so it must
      • Re:Capture hardware (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dghcasp ( 459766 )

        [...] but they don't bring is video that's useful for editing (mpeg2 - it's not a great editable format for nearly any platform, let alone linux

        Actually, MPEG-2 video works fine for editing, as long as you configure it to capture for editing: Set it to use I-frames only (no B or P frames.) It's much smaller than any reasonable editable AVI format (3 Gb/hr instead of ~ 40 Gb/hr) and most capture cards will let you configure that way (although it's usually really buried deep.)

        • depends what you're going to do with it. you're probably going to further encode it at some point downstream, and then you'll be compounding the mpeg artifacts in your source material with even more artifacts. do you mean working with an mpeg proxy?

          I always want to work with the highest resolution source that I can, because I never know if I'm going to want to upsample or downsample, and in either case, the less garbage in, the less garbage out. DV seems to be the best choice overall, and is within most of
    • I _love_ my ADVC-100. I've had it for about a year now, and it hasn't done me wrong yet.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      A hidden feature of the ADVC-100 (not sure about the newer models) ... press and hold the button for 15 seconds - the unit now strips Macrovision [google.com].
    • You don't actually NEED a converter, you can just use a mini-DV camcorder with inputs to do the same job. Doing this does mean that you have to bounce your video to mini-DV in real time, then play it into the computer in real time, so it makes the process slower, but if you are not planning on doing it very often, it will probably make sense to save the money and spend it on more drive space.
      • Actually, most mini-DV cameras have a pass through mode where you just connect your video source to your camera and it passes digital video through to the computer in real time. No need to capture to mini-DV first. You usually have to activate it through one of the menus.

    • Our lab could really use some integration of microscope still shots and closed circuit video into our LabVIEW front-ends.

      Unfortunately, National Instruments wants like $1500 for their video capture cards, which is like ten or twenty times the cost of a comparable WinFast/Hauppauge/ATi solution, i.e. NI is charging you like $100 for the hardware and $1400 for the LabVIEW drivers [the so-called "NI-IMAQ" library].

      I did a ton of Googling, and the best I could find was the ADLINK Technologies Angelo RTV-24

    • I totally agree with you on that one - the ADVC 100 is an excellent device and is very well supported under linux for both capture and export.

      Being a developer on the kino project, I would unreservedly advise it.

      Just in case anyone is interested, I am currently developing 'shotcut' - an Open Source video editor for an Indian TV broadcaster. This is a multitrack, realtime fx applying video editing environment based on the same library that we will use to build kino v2 (which will be a more fully featured
  • if you bothered to even google it, you'd find this site.

    /not even worthy of wasting /. time...
  • hw/sw (Score:3, Interesting)

    by farnsworth ( 558449 ) on Friday January 21, 2005 @02:25PM (#11433958)
    For software, Cinelerra [heroinewarrior.com] is the best editing suite out there. I haven't used Final Cut Pro, but Cinelerra is much more useful than iMovie. I haven't used Premiere is years, and Cinelerra is on par with what I remember of Premiere. Cinelerra should be able to do everything that you need.

    I've only done DV over firewire capture, and for that I would guess that any old firewire card would be fine. For analog capture, I'd look into using a Hauppauge 250 for capture. Just `cat /dev/video0 > /home/me/projects/bills-wedding/capture.mpeg`. You could also get the 350 which does hardware mpeg decoding (and you could hook a crt up to the tv out, too.)

    The only thing that absolutely stinks about video on linux is the choice of mpeg codecs. I can do everything I need to create a decent looking movie, but once I mpegify it to burn it to dvd, the picture quality looks terrible (to my eyes, anyway. some people say it looks fine). I just got a Hauppauge 250 so I could do all my editing/compositing in DV, write that back to the camera via firewire, then capture the final cut with a dedicated hardware mpeg card over analog connections.

    I actually looked into getting an old mac that I could stick in my garage and remotely mpegify my final cuts and burn them. At the time it was too much money for what I was doing (and I never did figure out how to script iMovie anyway), but it may be worth it to you.

    • If you use the mpeg encoder internal to cinelerra, that may be the problem. That code is over 5 years old.

      The cvs version [cinelerra.org] contains vast improvements to the mpeg encoding by providing a yuv4mpeg output stream that can be fed to the latest ffmpeg or mpeg2enc version. When I started using it, my mpeg quality went up and my render times improved 4x. I don't know if that change made it into 1.2.2 or not.

      Multimedia on Linux is very capable and progressing rapidly. I highly recommend using the cvs versions

      • Interesting... right now I don't use cinelerra's mpeg encoding, I do something like:

        lav2yuv $INPUT_FILE | mpeg2enc --reduction-4x4 1 -2 1 -a 3 -b 3800 -q 1 -n n -f 8 -s -v 0 -2 1 -o $INTERIM_VIDEO_FILE

        I know I don't know a whole lot about what all those options do, but they seem to be tuned to the best quality as far as I understand the documentation. I'm curious to learn more about better-quality mpeg encoding on linux. Any hints or urls are appreciated!

        • I have been piping to

          ffmpeg -f yuv4mpegpipe -i - -y -target dvd outputfile.mpeg

          ffmpeg is a lot faster than mpeg2enc and the target dvd sets the quality to pretty much as good as the dvd spec will allow. Give it a try.

          • Thanks for the info.

            What version of ffmpeg are you using? I'm using 0.4.6 and I don't see a "-target" option at all. Reading the docs, I don't even see an explanation about what it does or how it does it, although it seems to rely on other codecs, so I wonder how much better the quality is vis-a-vis mpeg2enc.

            Are you piping a QuickTime for linux files to this, or DV, or what? The docs don't say what input its expecting outside of the very vague "-formats" option.

    • For software, Cinelerra is the best editing suite out there. I haven't used Final Cut Pro

      Just curious - if you haven't used an application, how can you declare that another app is better then it?
  • by Andy_R ( 114137 ) on Friday January 21, 2005 @02:59PM (#11434405) Homepage Journal
    The slower MacMini configured with the larger hard drive and the DVD writer costs $649, and includes iMove and iDVD.

    Compare this to the price of:
    a DVD writer
    a firewire card
    an 80Gb drive
    movie editing software
    DVD authoring software

    Use your exisiting mouse, keyboard and screen (consider the belkin KVM switch if you'll be giving it heavy use).

    Once you factor in the knowledge that you'll have a tried and tested set-up, good software, no driver issues, a shallow learning curve, and just 1 small desirable multi-purpose box on your desk rather than 3 or 4 specialist ones, then it makes a lot of sense to think of the MacMini as a video editing box in addition to your Linux machine, the fact that it has it's own CPU and OS rather than inhabiting the same beige shell isn't really that relevant.
    • Without much research, here are prices of hardware on newegg.com:

      a DVD writer - $60 [newegg.com]

      a firewire card - $15 [newegg.com]

      an 80Gb drive $57 [newegg.com]

      movie editing software - OSS

      DVD authoring software - OSS

      So, grand total of $132 (chances are, the guy already has all the hardware too, in which case $0)


      • I know this is going to sound lame - but you're not factoring in the 'time' factor.

        Order it all online, wait for it to get here, unpack, take home, install.

        Not much time/effort there. And there won't be *IF* things work correctly as they should. Got the right driver? Free PCI slot? Extra slide-railes for the open bay in the case? Where's the screw driver set's heads (the kids took them again...). Hope that f/w card's chipset doesn't have issues with any other h/w I've got.... etc etc.

        While I grant you th
  • by Sancho ( 17056 ) on Friday January 21, 2005 @03:23PM (#11434688) Homepage
    ...you really might as well go Windows all the way. Periodically I look at the Linux tools for video capture/video editing. As far as I'm concerned, they're not there yet, which is a large part of the reason that I still have Windows on my desktop. There are some really advanced filtering tools on Windows so you can really make your final product shine. Check out AVISynth and its related documentation, as well as VirtualDUB (if you're going the mpeg-4 route) our QuENC (if you're going the mpeg-1 or mpeg-2 route).

    Also, if you ever intend on doing analog captures, you should consider using a striped raid array for a scratch drive for capturing. This way you can capture losslessly compressed AVI (with HuffYUV) and have as much data to work with. Be wary though that you should try to capture in a multiple of your final resolution--the less pixel interpolation you do when resizing, the better.
  • by RandomCoil ( 88441 ) on Friday January 21, 2005 @03:41PM (#11434856)
    Linux is not up to the task. There are a number of perfectly competent consumer-level Windows applications in the $100 range that will satisfy your needs. Adobe Premiere Elements, Sony Vegas Studio, and Ulead's video application come to mind*.

    As for hardware, the easiest approach is to simply make sure you have firewire. I'm assuming that if you're editting videos, you're also shooting them, probably on a digital video camera. Most such cameras have an analog video input. Digitizing an analog source using a DV camera is probably the easiest way to import the analog video into a computer. It avoids the cost of the capture card, the hassle of installing it, and any possible driver issues, and it completely negates problems with your computer dropping frames because, say, the anti-virus software fired up mid-capture. The only downside is the additional time required to dub and then import the analog video, but since neither process requires baby sitting, it may not be a big deal.

    *Pinnacle Studio is another possibility, but I had a video project that, after spending many hours working on, decided it would not render until I had removed and re-inserted the various video transitions. Quite obnoxious.
    • I use XP running Premiere elements for the little bit of editing I need to do. As the parent alluded, Pinnacle Studio is horrible. I was running it with all the latest patches and it never was stable. When I uninstalled it to install Premiere, it trashed by tv tuner/capture card drivers. Spent weeks trying to fix it. My point is: Never install Pinnacle Studio!
    • Yeah, those guys at Disney, Dreamworks, and ILM are real idiots for using Linux for their blockbuster films when it's not up to the task.

      The truth is that Linux is a very capable video production platform, but also requires a more significant investment of time in lieu of an investment of money.

      Kino [schirmacher.de] is a good entry level one-track editor and has excellent video capture capabilities.

      Cinelerra [heroinewarrior.com] is an excellent advanced editor and compositor, supporting a multitude of professional features on an unlimited

      • Yeah, those guys at Disney, Dreamworks, and ILM are real idiots for using Linux for their blockbuster films when it's not up to the task.

        Yeah, the quoted commenter is a real idiot who doesn't know the difference between film and video.

        The question is about video editing. Pros at Disney, Dreamworks, and ILM do not use linux for video editing. Their famous linux systems are primarily render farms, single purpose systems. Video editing at the pro level is primarily done on Avid or Final Cut Pro systems.

  • I'm also thinking of buying a machine for videoediting. I'm committed to doing it on linux with open source tools.

    The question is: could an HP/IBM laptop handle the load for nonlinear editing and input/output?

    Also, is it silly to think that the bus speed for USB2 would exclude the possibility of using USB2 hard drives?

    If I'm editing straight video (next to no graphics/animation, etc), is there a point at which extra RAM adds little value?

    • Laptop? No. Linux? No.
    • People who are answering this question with Linux knowledge are talking about things like checking out the software using CVS. This means they're telling you to get out on the bleeding edge. This may not be good advice if you have work to do and need to be pragmatic. If you're comfortable with that, more power to you, but it would make me a little queasy.

      Check your disk space. It gets used up very fast. When I've tried using laptops with external firewire drives, even fancy ones like La Cie, they have
      • I really appreciate this input.

        I'm going to be shooting in another city and it would really help to run things from a laptop.

        I'm somewhat anti-Mac (mainly for price reasons), but the discussion here has given me a lot to ponder. People change. Thanks.
        • I'm happy to be of help. If you have more questions, let me know.

          If you're in a remote place in temporary surroundings while you're editing video, your stress level is going to be high enough without trying to make bleeding-edge stuff work.

          I strongly recommend the Apple/Final Cut platform. Final Cut has served me well as a loyal user since version 1.1 eons ago, and Apple's served me even longer.

          I know Apple's pricing can seem painful, but for Windows you'd need Adobe Premiere Pro or similar software.
  • I'm not sure what all the "no" answers are based on, but, my rather simple Gateway PC with RedHat 9 dropped on it has been doing great things for me for years in the video-editing department. The combination of Cinelerra and Blender is absolutely killer. I can render a bunch of animation frames in Blender with an alpha channel, and then easily composite them on DV footage from my firewire-enabled camera in Cinelerra.

    I've made actual movies with this and have received some small acclaim for my efforts.
  • get a mac??? hell no. only if youd need the design and got lots of money to spend. check out http://www.linuxartist.org/video-anim.html to get a small overview of mostly uptodate gpled apps and tools needed for video editing/animation. e.g. cinerellea - already mentioned. kino - already mentioned mainactor - nle video editing app - free for noncommercial i think blender - 3d modelling/animation/compositing tool http://www.jahshaka.com/ - realtime editing - looks VERY promising but still way to go... ...jus
  • I am building a new AMD64/939 box and would like to build into the system: capabilities to capture video from analog and digital sources; edit; add text and overlays; and maybe do the occasional DVE.

    I currently have an analog+digital capture board, and am in the market for a new capture board. I still need to capture analog, but I will simply be purchasing a firewire card.
    Analog capture boards are overpriced, and you can acheive the same results with a digital video camera and a firewire (or usb) car
  • "You don't need to install anything, you don't even need an harddisk to run a whole free software operating system running out of the box on your PC! Download the ISO-image, burn your own CD, reboot your machine and you'll get back true love ;^)

    dyne:bolic is shaped on the needs of media activists, artists and creatives as a practical tool for multimedia production: you can manipulate and broadcast both sound and video with tools to record, edit, encode and stream, having automatically recognized most de

    • "Ardour is a digital audio workstation. You can use it to record, edit and mix multi-track audio. Produce your own CD's. Mix video soundtracks. Experiment with new ideas about music and sound. Generate sound installations for 12 speaker gallery shows. Have Fun.

      Ardour capabilities include: multichannel recording, non-linear, non-destructive region based editing with unlimited undo/redo, full automation support, a mixer whose capabilities rival high end hardware consoles, lots of plugins to warp, shift an

  • How about an Amiga? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tonsofpcs ( 687961 ) <slashback@tons[ ]cs.com ['ofp' in gap]> on Saturday January 22, 2005 @02:00PM (#11442102) Homepage Journal
    How about an Amiga?

    Many network stations in non-major [not NYC/LA/etc] markets still use NewTek's [newtek.com] Amiga-based Video Toaster and Toaster/Flyer [computerroom.com] systems (The Toaster is a 4-input digital switcher/SEG, the Flyer is the NLE addition) for editing and effects. The Toaster comes with Lightwave (it is a bit slow on the Amiga systems, but it is still a great 3D package). You can pick up full Toaster/Flyer systems on ebay [ebay.com] for cheap, and they do wonders. Then, you can transfer flyclips (the Flyer's video clip format) to your PC or Mac and do compositing/rotoscoping/insertion work on it using Mirage [bauhaussoftware.com] and/or Lightwave 3D [newtek.com] if you need to.

    The Amiga may well outlive us all.
    1. If you haven't already bought the board and can afford it, get an Intel system instead. They're faster for doing video encoding.
    2. Unless you're overly political about software, I'd say forget doing it under Linux and do it under Windows. Windows editing software works out of the box, saving you having to do lots of tweakage.
    3. Software-wise, if you have a few beans, Sony Vegas [sonypictures.com] is a really good balance between phenominally easy to use and high power. Buy the DVD-Architect bundle, because then you get an AC-3
  • FAT32 + Firewire = HORRIBLE performance

    Overall I've been pretty unhappy with Linux support for external drives. Througput and performance are nowhere close to the performance of the same drive under Windows, especially if the drive is FAT32. (In general, the Linux FAT32 drivers suck performance-wise. Combine them with 1394 and it gets REALLY bad.)

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes