"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Sunday, 30 August 2009

OpenShot for video editing

Editing home videos is one of the activities I use my desktop computer for. I'm still using some Windows program to di this but I'm continuously looking for the definitive Linux program to solve my problems.
I first read about OpenShot in this post of Gabuntu blog. I so decided to try it even the program is still in a development phase (version 0.9.22).

Installation
OpenShot is available as .deb package, I downloaded them from OpenShot's download page. The files needed are two: OpenShot main package and a dependency archive containing the packages required by OpenShot installation. I also downloaded the optional Italian language package. I so extracted the dependencies package and installed them all as follows:
sudo dpkg --install openshot-ffmpeg_git-2623d8f-1_i386.deb
sudo dpkg --install openshot-frei0r_1.1.22-1_i386.deb
sudo dpkg --install openshot-mlt_0.4.3-1_i386.deb
sudo dpkg --install openshot-x264_0.67.1173-1_i386.deb
I then installed the main package:
sudo dpkg --install openshot.deb
I got an error about some more missing dependencies: python-pygoocanvas, libgoocanvas3 and libgoocanvas-common. All missing dependencies have been easily solved by the command:
sudo apt-get -f install
At last I installed the Italian language package.
sudo dpkg --install openshot-it-pack.deb
First impressions
As first run I loaded OpenShot with some short clip from my digital camera

and mixed them with some simple transition.

OpenShot's user interface can be all managed by simple drag and drop operations. This make the program very easy to use but it could editing long sequences a bit tedious. Anyway OpenShot it's still a “developer preview” so I'm sure there is a lot of space for improvements.
The video export window offers plenty of parameters to play with:

Conclusion
In spite of being a still in development version OpenShot has all the features that are needed for a simple production. It also looks stable enough to be used in home video editing. I'll try so to use it in my future home videos.

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