Sunday, October 14, 2007

getting started with Cinelerra

A couple of friends asked me about how to get started with Cinelerra. Here are a few techniques that have helped me:

Download and install the CV version of Cinelerra
As it is actively updated, the community version of Cinelerra is a good starting point:

Run Cinelerra from a Terminal
Once you install it, run Cinelerra in a terminal, so you can see the error output. It will look like this:
[mule@ogre ~]# cinelerra
Cinelerra 2.1CV (C) 2006 Heroine Virtual Ltd.
Compiled on Mon Oct 8 23:47:21 EDT 2007

Cinelerra is free software, covered by the GNU General Public License,
and you are welcome to change it and/or distribute copies of it under
certain conditions. There is absolutely no warranty for Cinelerra.
Render::run 1
Render::run 2
Render::run 3
Render::run 4
Render::run 5
Render::run 6
Render::run 7
Render::run 8
Render::run 8.1
Render::run 8.2
Render::run 8.3
Render::run 9
Render::run 10
x264 [info]: using cpu capabilities MMX MMXEXT SSE SSE2
x264 [info]: slice I:71 Avg QP: 2.00 size:199495 PSNR Mean Y:64.88 U:65.58 V:65.60 Avg:65.10 Global:65.06
x264 [info]: slice P:17600 Avg QP: 5.00 size: 3153 PSNR Mean Y:62.18 U:62.58 V:62.57 Avg:62.30 Global:62.12
x264 [info]: mb I I16..4: 41.8% 0.0% 58.2%
x264 [info]: mb P I16..4: 1.0% 0.0% 0.2% P16..4: 9.6% 0.2% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% skip:89.0%
x264 [info]: SSIM Mean Y:0.9999576
x264 [info]: PSNR Mean Y:62.192 U:62.595 V:62.579 Avg:62.308 Global:62.131 kb/s:945.04

Read the Doc!
The most important step! As Cinelerra is a very powerful program, its functionality is very deep. Therefore, there is a lot to know about it. Read the documentation! If you don't read documentation, this program is not for you.

A very nice beginner's guide written by Raffaella Traniello:
Cinelerra for Grandma

If Cinelerra Crashes
1) restart and select File -> Load from Backup
- This allows you to start where you left off
2) Check the buglist:

Try Alternatives
If something doesn't work in the expected fashion:
1) Read the documentation (as above)
2) Try alternatives
For instance, if a file does not import in Cinelerra, convert it to a format that will! You can use ffmpeg to convert from any format to almost any format. Here is a sample ffmpeg command line to do this:
ffmpeg -i inputFile.containerFormat outputFile.containerFormat

For example
ffmpeg -i inputDvd.mpg

FFMPEG References
Nice howto:
FFMPEG documentation: http://http//

Don't forget to read my Beginner's Guide to Exporting Video from Cinelerra!

I hope this helps,
the mule

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