OpenShot: Linux in video editing (Day 4 of 20 days of SCALE)

Today I want to talk about a project that really is a quality piece of software that doesn’t get enough attention. The software I’m talking about is a video editing software package called OpenShot.

Let me take you back and tell you why I know about this software. Many years ago I used to have a dual boot system. That means my computer could boot into Microsoft logo.pngWindows and it could also boot into Linux. I was tied to a couple programs in the corporate world that I couldn’t live without. One year I finally said I was going to cut the cord and so I told myself I’d find Linux equivalents of everything I used. This was about 6 years ago and it was hard to do back then. I had my whole life in Outlook and had to get rid of that (Mozilla Thunderbird). I was a Photoshop wiz (now use Gimp). I sometimes had to edit audio with Adobe Audition (now use Audacity). Web design with Dream Weaver (now use Kompozer). The biggest thing I couldn’t settle on though was video editing because I was from a media company before I started consulting so was very used to helping out with my skills in Final Cut Pro on the Mac and Adobe Premiere on Windows. So much so that I was doing videos for weddings, proms and funerals to make some easy cash and threw down $400 on a video card to speed up the render times by like 20x’s. Nothing good seemed to catch my attention. This was a problem because it stopped my total conversion. I had to go over to my Windows login to do video 3 or 4 times a year.

The problem wasn’t that there were no choices in that area. Cinalerra was one program that people on Linux tended to use but I found the interface so extremely difficult that it gallery1.pngstopped me from wanting to learn it. Thus I ended up using another good program called Kino. Now Kino was good for me for a little while until I started having problems with it crashing dead in the middle of a huge project that was always last minute. Then came OpenShot. Very easy to figure out and use. Took so little for me to get adjusted to it I actually had a video to get out in 3 days and learned OpenShot just before kicking this thing out ahead of time. In combination with VLC (refer back to my previous article) to capture video from a video tape and then cut in music, picture montages and transitions similar to what I was used to with Adobe Premiere and I was in business.

Let’s jump forward and tell you how this works for you. My 15 year old son had a project to do last year just before his finals. His teacher wanted them to put something together for a presentation and he (like a lot of kids do) springs this on me at the last possible second. I had him draw out a plan for how a video would go and dream big. Then I gallery3-small.pngfigured I’d teach his 10yr old sister as well since she was getting into software and this was an easy one to learn. He had to stay up till about 1 am that night but the result was a video that absolutely WOW’ed his teacher and got him an A. If those two kids could just pick it up, edit and finish a project like that then most people can with a little bit of effort.

Come out to SCALE Feb. 22-24 and find me giving the SCALE tours (Phillip Banks) or follow me on Twitter and Facebook and I’ll give you a couple other ideas from what you do everyday.

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