Video Editing Stop Motion Animation in Linux: HOW?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Michael, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. Michael

    Michael Guest

    Hi, bit of a tentative newbie post but interested in putting together a
    machine for video editing - with Linux.

    This is sort of what i do in windows with what i can get my hands on (at
    work usually).

    1) take a few hundred images on a C5050 camera
    2) whack a USB connecter in and download from camera onto hardrive.
    3) raname, and reduce size of images as a batch process(redress
    levels/contrast etc a bit sometimes here). Using PHOTOSHOP.
    4) record some stuff through my soundcard via a soundcraft mixer and AKG
    mike i've cobbled together.
    5) import the folder of images and the noises into AVID EXPRESS, edit
    it, export large uncompressed .avi
    6) throw avi into DESCREET MEDIA CLEANER and ask it for several flavours
    of mgep, mov, avi, wmv
    7) put kettle on/ go to pub
    8) import folder

    occasionally if there's a media composer or an adrenaline about i might
    knock out something on a tape from the source images.

    You can see a few clips at
    So, anyway - how would you approach that on a Linux platform. Having
    read a lot of posts along the lines of 'this looks good but i haven't
    tried it' I'm particularly interested in any user freeback as apposed to
    a bunch of google hits.

    Why change? I like free stuff, moreover I'm an old hippy at heart and I
    like the underlying philosophy behind free. Note my 'product' - the
    films - although not greatly useful, are also free! I'd to keep them
    legal too.

    Anyway thanks for any help you can send my way
    - Michael

    PS Cinelerra looks interesting, but will it run ok 'offline' if i
    haven't got a dual 2gig system and can i get stills into it...? I assume
    thats the 'render farm' mode...??

    PPS Yes, I realise i can eliminate step 3 by taking the photos properly
    in the first place - but still need good quality image manipulation for
    mattes and titles, and the renaming is good too.
    Michael, Dec 20, 2004
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  2. Michael

    Liam Slider Guest

    On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 02:38:48 +0000, Michael wrote:

    Yes, some people use it to edit home videos. For best performance with
    projects like full length motion pictures you'd want a renderfarm of

    As for stills, yes, Cinelerra supports still images.

    If you're doing high end video work, you might want to look into
    CinePaint, it's a high end graphics editing app used for still images and
    video images by the movie industry. It's also Open Source.
    Liam Slider, Dec 20, 2004
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  3. Michael

    flatfish+++ Guest

    And every single camera comes with software that blows the Linux versions
    out of the water.

    Your point?
    flatfish+++, Dec 20, 2004
  4. Michael

    Liam Slider Guest

    Oh yes flatfish, every camera comes with Windows software that handles
    better than 16-bit color per channel like CinePaint, or is 64-bit capable
    (but will still run on 32 bit) video editing software capable of editing
    HD video for full length motion pictures like Cinelerra...And when it's
    done, it jumps out of the CD-ROM drive, dances a jig, and gives you a
    blowjob before wisking you away to a magical land made of chocolate.
    Liam Slider, Dec 20, 2004
  5. Michael

    Liam Slider Guest

    Oh, you might also want to try MotionMage if you think Cinelerra is still
    too heavy of an app. It's a dedicated stop motion animation app. It's not
    OSS, but there is a freeware version, and the pay versions are inexpensive.
    Liam Slider, Dec 20, 2004
  6. Michael

    Tim Haynes Guest

    That would be a bit pointless, since I don't know of a digicam that uses
    any more than 14-bit, nor an affordable one that uses more than 12-bit, at
    least in the compact / dSLR markets...
    Well, I've used gimp and cinepaint on MacOS X for the last year for still
    photographical work. It takes a heck of a lot of work to get a consistent
    rapid workflow together, including a few shell-scripts to loop over source
    images converting them to 16-bit tiff, to do poor-man's colour-management
    with lcms, then loop again to run cinepaint to correct images, then
    imagemagick to rescale down to final web size and embed display profile and
    copyright info, and then jpeg utils to generate thumbnails (because
    imagemagick generates 50k jpegs when <1K would suffice).

    Photoshop blows the pants off all this screwing around, with camera
    raw, healing brush (no gimp or cinepaint equivalent), colour variations,
    ability to batch-convert down to web-sized jpegs embedding copyright text
    as you go, having the whole concept of adjustment layers, etc, all in one
    handy application.
    When I upgrade to photoshop CS, I'll gain even greater control of the raw
    conversion, better automation / scriptability.

    Goodness knows why the Gimp doesn't fold-back the 16-bit mods from
    cinepaint; that would be a vast improvement as it is, although I'm still
    far from convinced it would make any serious rival except on cost grounds.

    My planet isn't covered in chocolate so much as frost...

    Tim Haynes, Dec 20, 2004
  7. Michael

    Michael Guest

    The problem I see with animation apps, those i've looked at on old Mac's
    and PC's (I haven't looked in a while) is they focused on aquiring the
    image as appossed to manipulating or editing them. As I'm shooting with
    a stills camera anyway, and doing so outdoors (when the weather picks
    up) i'm not sure it would be very useful.

    Sounds like I won't be moving over to Linux in a great hurry, but i'll
    read up on cinepaint and cinelerra...
    Michael, Dec 20, 2004
  8. Michael

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    A quick Google search on "video editing Linux" turned up the following
    sites - and there are several more still that I didn't list here.

    Mike Kujbida, Dec 20, 2004
  9. Michael

    Liam Slider Guest

    Well, as I said in another reply, Cinelerra can still import still images
    just fine. It works with them just as any film frame, so it should work
    just fine for stop motion animation. And since Cinelerra is an editing
    app, you should be able to do some damn fine editing. With CinePaint (or
    even some other image editing application if you aren't picky, just
    pointing to what Hollywood uses) to edit the images themselves as well,
    you should be able to have a damn decent suite.

    Also, you should consider other advantages Linux has over Windows for this
    sort of work. You do not see too many high end animation, editing, or
    special effect studios in Hollywood using Windows. They are all running
    some form of *nix, often Linux. The reason being that Linux is simply far
    more powerful, flexable, stable, and inexpensive. It's certainly worth
    learning what's avaliable for Linux.
    Liam Slider, Dec 20, 2004
  10. Michael

    Liam Slider Guest

    On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 09:21:08 +0000, Tim Haynes wrote:

    <snip goalpost moving>
    Liam Slider, Dec 20, 2004
  11. Michael

    thad01 Guest

    I'm doing similar video animation work, and I've been able to
    autmomate much of this process and greatly improve my work flow
    by moving to linux. It means becoming familiar with a few
    command line tools, writing a few simple scripts, and doing some
    other work up front, but it paid big dividends in the long run.
    Now, with the single click of a key, I download images from the
    camera, resize and perform other transformations on each of the
    images (using ImageMagik), and glue the images together into an
    AVI video file ready for importing into Cinelerra (using
    mencoder). I've even used ImageMagik to take frames grabbed
    from an OpenGL program and make them look like a hand drawn
    animation. Again, this was all 'automated' and required no
    direct frame editing on my part.

    And you do not need to abandon your favorite editing system to
    take advantage of Linux in this way; just put it on a network
    and have it output to a shared drive. Let Linux do some of the
    early frame processing and give yourself more time to do the
    real creative editing work in your Avid system or whatever.
    thad01, Dec 20, 2004
  12. That's a bit more encouraging... if you don't mind me asking what spec
    machine are you running Cinelerra on?

    I'm going to put Debian 30r3 on a play machine tonight and start having
    a play. I really don't think it's up to spec obviously, but i can start
    having a tinker at least. I'm not brave enough to touch the work machine
    with this yet... some serious backing up to do first, and as you say -
    it would be good to work in parallel with the machines.
    Michael Hartup, Dec 21, 2004
  13. Yeah, partly why i'm doing this is one day, professionally, i'm sure
    i'll come across a system running on linux. I work in TV, not film - and
    don't know of any Linux systems - but a lot of the Discreet stuff runs
    on Unix. Heavyworks and lightworks run on DOS = as do the EVS multicam
    things i do slowmo replays on...
    Michael Hartup, Dec 21, 2004
  14. Michael

    Liam Slider Guest

    Actually Discreet's Smoke 6.5 runs on Linux as well, as a turn-key system.
    In fact the Linux based system has brought the price down somewhat. I
    expect Linux grow to be far more common in the TV industry because of this.
    Liam Slider, Dec 21, 2004
  15. Hmmm, I didn't realise Smoke was on Linux. We don't have any of those in
    OB's... but ok, it proves the point that one day I'm going to need to
    know this stuff!

    Another question, at risk of sounding stupid...
    Which distribution of Linux would you suggest?

    Personally i'm a rank amateur with the O/S stuff, but i've found
    Mandrake was fairly straight forward to install last time i put my toe
    in the water. (I did suggest i was going to try Debian somewhere in this
    thread, but it was asking me too many questions for 1am).
    Michael Hartup, Dec 22, 2004
  16. Michael

    Liam Slider Guest

    Yeah, Linux has been pushing out Unix in the high end media development
    areas for quite awhile now. And there's a quickly qrowing amateur and
    small level professional capability too.
    Mandrake and Debian are both good, but also both very different distros.
    mandrake is .rpm based, while Debian is...well, Debian, and thus the
    origin of many Debian based distros. If you want Debian, but in an easier
    to set up form, I'd suggest something like Libranet, Mepis, Knoppix, or
    even Xandros.

    Also, on the RPM based distro front, SuSE is also quite good.
    Liam Slider, Dec 22, 2004
  17. Or these days even Debian if you go for Sarge. The installation is
    quite simple now.

    However I'd like to mention my favourite "workstation" Debian -
    Richard Watson, Dec 22, 2004
  18. Have you checked out the boards on ?

    There are a lot of pointers there for doing digital capture on various
    platforms. The C5050 is a good camera for it according to what I've
    seen. Good luck!

    -Samantha, a Mac animator. :)
    Samantha, the Dancing Net-Kook, Dec 22, 2004
  19. Michael

    thad01 Guest

    I'm running on 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 system with Hyperthreading. It has
    1 gig of RAM and 300 gigs of disk (two 150 GB drives) and a DVD burner.
    It has a Creative Labs SB Audigy sound card, an NVidia graphics card
    (I forget what kind), and an integrated IEEE 1394 Firewire controller.
    I bought the system from Penguin Computing. It came with Red Hat Linux
    9 installed on it. I've had no real problems with it except for the
    need to upgrade my kernel from 2.4.8-13 to 2.4.26 in order to get the
    FireWire support working. Kernel compiles and effects rendering both
    fly on this box.
    I've managed to do video editing on a 700 Mhz Celeron box, though the
    risk of dropping frames during DV capture/mastering while compiling
    a kernel is much greater. :)

    Over the Christmas holiday I might install Linux on my Sony vio
    picturbook. It is only 266 Mhz with 64 MB RAM and 4 GB harddrive,
    but it does have an intergrated Firewire port, and I am curious to
    find out if I can capture vid off of my Sony camcorder with it.

    thad01, Dec 23, 2004
  20. Michael

    flatfish+++ Guest

    Ditch the Audigy.
    It's a noise generator.
    Get an Maudio or RME card. If you have the cash RME is better.
    The rest of your system is fine.
    Seriously the difference between a Pro card and a toy is amazing.
    Anyone can hear it with decent montioring system.
    For monitoring I suggest Genelec or Mackie.
    Event is good bang for the buck
    A good NAD or Bryston amplifier will work wonders.
    Good luck.
    flatfish+++, Dec 23, 2004
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