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Author Topic: HOWTO: non-linear video editing with FLOSS tools  (Read 5624 times)


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HOWTO: non-linear video editing with FLOSS tools
« on: May 06, 2008, 12:56:20 pm »

MODS: First of all, if this is considered "SPAM", please feel free to delete it. I'll be frustrated, but I'll get over it. That being said...

Hello, Vector Linux! Long time no chat! I thought you guys might be interested in a video project that my youth group recently completed. The reason I think you'd be interested is because I edited the video using ONLY FLOSS tools... and I'd be willing to guess that most if not all of these are already in the Vector repositories...

I should probably mention that I did this project on a TinyMe/PCLOS system. I have no reason to believe that this same process wouldn't work on a Vector system, but the last beta I downloaded, I couldn't get to run, so I didn't install it.

Anyway, the tools I used:
Avidemux - for simple video cutting
Audacity - for audio editing
GIMP - for title screens
OpenMovieEditor - for the non-linear video editing tasks
tovid - to convert video to it's final uploadable state.
vlc & mplayer - for viewing said video

We shot the video using one of our student's video cameras. We collected all of the shots we knew we'd need, including shots that would be used ONLY for audio. We then dumped the video from the camera to a WindowsXP laptop which saved it as a .wmv file.

(Now, I know SOME of you might be thinking, "Hey! If you used XP, it's not done with ALL Free Software!" And you'd be right. However, none of the EDITING was done on the XP machine. We just dumped the raw footage to a data CD, and then I transferred the .wmv file to my Linux laptop.)

First: ensure that the video played in Linux. I fired up VLC, and the raw footage played without a hitch.

Second: could I extract the audio track? I used Avidemux, opened the .wmv file (flawless, by the way, I was so pleased), and set the In/Out edit points to have ONLY the portion that I needed the audio. THEN, I went to "Audio/Save", and saved just the audio portion. Took me a couple of tries to find a format that Audacity liked, but I got it...

Third: imported the audio clip into Audacity, played with it until I liked it, and exported it as theme.wav. While I was in there, I grabbed a cheesy headset mic, and recorded a three track version of the theme for a second audio track, which I titled waaah.wav.

Fourth: converted the .wmv file to a vcd-compliant .mpg file with tovid. I did this because OpenMovieEditor didn't seem to like working with the .wmv file.

Fifth: Created the Title Page (and other graphics) using GIMP.

Sixth: FIXED a problem that made OpenMovieEditor crash all the time. I don't know if this would need to be done in Vector or not, but it did on my TinyMe/PCLOS system:
Code: [Select]
To be more precise:
- Change fle /etc/security/limits.conf
@audio - rt_priority 50
@audio - rt_priority 100

Seventh: Used OpenMovieEditor to work with the files. I literally just dragged and dropped the files I wanted to edit onto the timeline, cut them to the lengths I wanted, added the titles, and learned how OpenMovieEditor deals with crossfades. Since I was already familiar with other non-linear video tools, this was a snap.

Eighth: Rendered the edited video into one file, checked it for compatibility with mplayer & vlc.

Last: used tovid to convert edited rendered video to needed format for contest.


Hello! I'm writing this note to you to ask you for a favor: Our church youth group of First Presbyterian Church of Snohomish, WA has entered a video competition for a chance at one of three $25,000 endowment funds. The rules of the challenge are simple:

The youth had to create a video based on Micah 6:8. Ours is called "Captain Just Guy", and the students did a great job - very quirky humor! Once the video was uploaded, we're supposed to get as many people as possible to VOTE for it.

So, this favor actually involves four things:
1) Register for FREE at
2) Vote for "Captain Just Guy" at
3) Pass this email along to everyone you know! With your help, we've got a great chance at those endowment funds, which could *really* help our church.
4) DIGG it:

Would you PLEASE forward this to EVERY EMAIL ADDRESS you have - specifically connected to the church or not... Thanks so much!

Thanks SO MUCH for all your help! God bless you BIG TIME!
Ed Backell
First Presbyterian, Snohomish, Wash.



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Re: HOWTO: non-linear video editing with FLOSS tools
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2008, 03:38:56 pm »

Cool, thanks for the Howto. Sounds like a good candidate for the new Vector Linux Multimedia Bonus Disc. You may want to check it out...has tons of tools for doing exactly what you were talking about: Interesting video btw.
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Multimedia Bonus Disc website:


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Re: HOWTO: non-linear video editing with FLOSS tools
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2008, 04:07:38 pm »

I registered. Login/pass failed reset it twice but still failing.

I got to vote.

« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 09:51:04 pm by bigpaws »


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Re: HOWTO: non-linear video editing with FLOSS tools
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008, 04:43:54 am »


Thanks for the useful info's.  And good luck with winning.  I voted.

How could I not?  I lived 30+ years of my life in WA State.  And am quite fond of your area.