open source video-editing

can it be done?
has anyone ever actually edited live-action film on an open-source program?

Sure. I edit in Blender all the time. Works pretty well.

Avidemux has become my favourite. My use is mostly cutting existing films, it is easily done marking starts and ends with [, ] -keys and deleting with Delete. The best in Avidemux is that it does not have long import times, it does not write big swap files, and saving is done immeditely, in the same format as the video was loaded. It only handles videos of AVI-format, but the mp4, which is the format downloading from YouTube, is included.

hmmm---- yeah – programs like these are good, but you couldn’t really use them for editing larger projects very well. With live action often you have several video files to edit together. Blender is OK for simple edits but you cannot cut a clip that has been slowed down or sped up, and, so far as I know, you can’t reverse a video clip.

I agree yogyo, open source still falls short for editing video and audio when dealing with multiple tracks or professional needs.

Those two needs, video and audio, are the only reasons that keep me in Windows land. There are no Adobe products for Linux.

The Blender VSE could come up to speed, but they need to drop their current approach and do what I said several years ago.
“Make it work like After Effects”.

I’m not saying Blender can do all you would like, but it can reverse video clips. (“Flip Time” in the sequencer buttons area.)

yogyog, please don’t make bad assumptions. You can cut video that has a speed effect, in fact you can even animate the speed effect. You can edit a hundred live action video files in Blender. Buy my book. Thanks.

ok - yesterday I slowed a clip and then cut it, and it stopped i from working properly.

I think I worded that message rather badly. Sorry.

and yes, you can put loads of clips into Blender, right about that.

can I see the videos?

Give it a try and find out. :slight_smile:

Blenders VSE is no NLE. But out of the open source offerings I think it is the best on balance. I’ve tried to use kdenlive, OME and Cinelerra. All far too buggy and unstable or just downright ugly to use, with some very odd decisions made on design.

I’m currently editing a 100,000 frame video in blender which has been imported as a series of .png image sequences and a separate sound track recorded on a Zoom. The image sequences are derived from some HDV footage I shot at the weekend and converted to png’s in AVISynth rather than FFmpeg. I’m not interested in working in a video format in the VSE or Nodes unless it’s a quick hack.

I use the VSE to do the edit, the primary colour corrections, localised relighting using masks generated by nodes ( added as scenes) or curves/roto, a look colour correction over the top and mastering out to .png’s again before encoding with HCEnc or X264.

I don’t use blender to do the deinterlacing, slow mo, deartifacting or final rendering of delivery format though.

The sound track is edited / created in Audacity from a mixture of camera recorded sound and clean sound from my Zoom and synced in blender.

Blender’s Nodes and VSE will get you so far but you’ll need a combination of other open source applications as well. But that’s very similar to a commercial setup anyway.


report that as a bug in the bugtracker, unless developers know about bugs they can’t fix them.


There also seem to be some serious problems with the VSE in the 2.49 release series, at least on Windows. Proxies don’t seem to work properly and you can get random crashes from cutting certain types of files. 2.48 is more stable for this type of work.


again, file bug reports.

Also if people don’t do testing before a release then we end up having bugs with the releases, so please people remember to test prerelease versions and file bug reports.


Tried open movie editor for a short project without too much trouble. Don’t know how it’ll behave on a full-length show or film.

Cinelerra was the first app that I managed to figure out at least a little bit. I like it a lot, although it does feel a bit clunky, especially the mask editing part. And now I’ve learned that Blender can do video editing. How does it compare to Cinlerra?

Oh, Blender is much better. I couldn’t even get Cinelerra to run under either Windows Vista or XP.

Who would want to run windows anyway…:slight_smile:

There are plenty of high quality commercial audio and video editors available for Linux, just look past Adobe and you might be pleasantly surprised :slight_smile:

you might try kdenlive… It was a tiny bit buggy but might be ok it has been under dev for some time now. It handles hd quite well.

I was determined to do a recent edit in open source, so I sat down and figured out Blender. After proudly finishing the project entirely in Blender, these are my impressions:


  • clean, customizable interface
  • very solid stability
  • able to work with many types of video files
  • rich feature set


  • somewhat clunky/choppy playback of easy video formats
  • no hotkey for play/pause!? (I know Alt-A does this, but for some reason Alt-A playback is much choppier than clicking the play button in the timeline)
  • no rotoshape tool in compositor
  • no text tool
  • no integration between compositor and sequencer

Overall I am very impressed with the tools blender provides for working with 2D imagery and video. With a little bit of fine tuning, it could really compete at the level with Final Cut, Vegas or Premiere.

There are some options for performance - how big did you set your cache in preferences? How many frames did you set prefetch to? Did you enable proxys?