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Video on Ubuntu

This page provides a brief overview of my January 2006 Multi-media/Digital Video editing experience on Ubuntu.

After a trip, I had hundreds of Digital Photos and 12 miniDV tapes of Video. My first task was to structure all the photos and memories into CDROM of webpages. However, Webpages are a personal interactive medium which do not work as performance art. So a continuous slide show of the Photos only was set up at the welcome back drinks.

Most of the photos had been edited and categorised onto a CDROM, on other people's MSWindows computers while I was away. I now produced v14 on Linux. However, the directory and some of the photo names were a problem on MSWindows/XP. I have tried changing everything to lowercase (MSWindows/XP seems to view everything as uppercase and some it says it can't find. The other problem is the directory slash in MSWindows ("\"), which goes the opposite way to the WWW and Linux ("/").

On Linux, I use the Gimp to edit the photos. The support for downloading the photos is built into Breezy Badger and loaded when I connected the camera via a USB port.

Now to the task of editing the video. Breezy Badger provides optional support for Kino, ffmpeg, Kinoplus and DVTitler. This means you can download and install these via the Synaptic Package Manager interface on the System/Administration menu and the packages are downloaded from the Ubuntu archive.

Kino is the basic editing package that lets you capture the raw digital video, over firewire (IEEE1394) to the computer for editing. Note, capture needs to be done running Kino as root or else appropriate access to the firewire port needs to be assigned to the user. Kino can be run as root, via the menu option to run a program as a different user). It provides conversion directly or via plugins to various audio and video formats. Basic Kino allows for exporting a wav audio file that can then be used, for example, to dub over edited footage. Kino also allows export of raw Digital Video back to the camera over the firewire.

Once the DVTitler plugin has been downloaded and installed, you can add titles to your video using the FX/Video Filter option. The Kinoplus also provides various additional fx options.

The ffmpeg uses the dvpipe option under export in Kino, to export the file into MPEG formats including VCD. Though the high definition format did not seem to work - the medium, medium for broadband and low resolution were fine.

In a terminal, I was also able to convert the AVI footage taken with a digital camera to raw DV. This is useful for including the footage in your video.

Command to convert a MS avi (created on card) to raw DV
$ffmpeg -i test.avi -target pal-dv test.dv

The ffmpeg package also includes a player - which can be run at the terminal prompt using:
eg. ffplay test.mpeg

Marghanita da Cruz

Email comments and questions to © Ramin Communications 2007. Last modified 17 September 2008.

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