Learn about Making Movies at Saturday's Greater Cleveland PC Users Group Meeting

Submitted by Charles on Thu, 05/11/2006 - 23:36.
05/13/2006 - 09:30

Screen capture 

At this meeting, Bob Coppedge will be talking about making movies. We'll be discussing hardware, both on the camera and the PC, as well as demonstrating some of the editing software available to you George Lucas wannabes.

What kind of camera? Tape? Disc? What's the best brand? What about audio? And then once it's recorded, what do you do with it? We will take a look at some of the software available, like Microsoft Movie and others. Are there any websites that help with reviews and/or help?

Then are there any sites you can use to share your masterpiece? Like Google Video, iTunes, Download.Com?

For more information on the meeting or the GCPCUG, visig www.gcpcug.org


Cleveland State University, UC1 Auditorium, University Center
East 22nd Street
Cleveland, OH
United States
google_video.JPG30.6 KB
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What good timing...

Thanks for the info! I am going to start a low budget (read $0) documentory on a very good friend of mine.  I am in the process of looking how to do the best I can with what I have.

I am hoping to use Open Source Software for the Post production and final editing.
The best software so far looks like Cinelerra. While the software does not look too easy to use, it does appear to be the most powerful. We will see...

I checked out Cinelerra - lots interesting

Very interested to get into FOSS video editing and production - Cinelerra makes bold claims but it is hard to tell how active and successful is the project - it also seems to have been forked by the original developer and separately by a development team, which seem to be working together, but I don't know if this is sustainable. SOunds like an interesting group of developers... Worth finding out more - we need this technology... more from the Cinelerra website, Heroinewarrior.com:

Movie studio in a Linux Box

Heroine Virtual Ltd. presents an advanced content creation system for Linux. Cinelerra takes what normally is a boring server operating system - studied in computer science classrooms, hidden in back offices - and turns it into a 50,000 watt flamethrower of multimedia editing power.

That's right kids. Unlike most of the Linux solutions out there, Cinelerra requires no emulation of proprietary operating systems, no commercial add-ons, no banner advertizements, no corporate dependancies, no terrorists, just a boring old Linux box.

Cinelerra does primarily 3 main things: capturing, compositing, and editing audio and video with sample level accuracy. It's a seamless integration of audio, video, and still photos rarely experienced on a web server.

If you want to make movies, you just want to defy the establishment, you want the same kind of compositing and editing suite that the big boys use, on the world's most efficient UNIX operating system, it's time for Cinelerra.

What you'll find here is the heroinewarrior version of Cinelerra. This is the version that supports what we need to do at Heroine Virtual Ltd. and is the same tree that was started in 1997. As time passes and new students come and go from the Linux scene, new forks of Cinelerra emerge that are more suited to the community. Today you'll probably find the cinelerra.org fork more useful.

They moderate what parts of our fork get into their fork while contributing anything they want while we moderate what parts of their fork get into our fork while putting in anything we want, which makes it pretty much even.

In probably the last move by multi billion dollar corporations to open up the best of the best technology to flat broke programmers, H.264 was standardized in Quicktime 7. Now Cinelerra can encode and decode video in razor sharp, ultra low bitrate H.264 with playback on Win and Mac commercial players and your favorite Linux players. This is one of the highest quality video codecs around, making HDTV distribution over the internet almost practical.


Video processing takes too long to do on a single computer. In fact no matter how fast the computer, no matter how much tediously hand optimized assembly language is behind it, it's Gaul awful slow. Every video program has a clustered rendering system of some kind and Cinelerra is no exception.

The biggest difference between this renderfarm and normal renderfarms is you don't need to pay for node licenses. You can keep installing nodes without paying for either the operating system or the application.

Then of course, you don't want to wait for effects to render before finding the result of your tweaking, so now there's background renderfarm. Set a location on the timeline to background render on the renderfarm and watch it play back on your desktop with unseen masses of servers behind it.

Finally, there's batch rendering. Schedule a bunch of edit decision lists to compress. Schedule several different compression formats for the same edit decision list. Let it run over night to keep your apartment warm and in the morning they'll all be finished.

Video rendering is a good way to take advantage of the latest CPU power instead of just running benchmarks. It can take all your terrahertz Opterons for a ride. No terrahertz Opterons? Go to India and get one. Background renderfarm makes Indian technology practical today.


Cinelerra does the ALSA 6 channel audio thing. Combined with unlimited tracks, non destructive editing, realtime effects, it's the ultimate audio experience. Play mp3's, rip CD's, encode MPEG-4. Load audio separately from video or paste it in. Such audio integration with video is really hard to get.

Now in most of the computer world, if the audio goes over the limit you have no option but to attenuate it until it stays under the limit. But sometimes you want it over the limit for extra loudness and that's what Cinelerra's headroom extended meters can do. Never guess how far over the limit you are. Audio can be routed through effects and mixes just as if you had real connectors and cables. Just drag and drop effects and play. Route audio tracks through each other. Mute and solo tracks. A context sensitive menu lets you share effects between tracks.

Now imagine a laptop which didn't need dongles to run anything. Imagine not having to phone in and wait a week to renew licenses every week. If that doesn't make you nihilistic, consider this. Liz Phairoine, the only heroine winning the bread in Illinois, married a film editor.


Store and retrieve images in unprecidented fidelity with new floating point imaging and file formats. Access OpenEXR in floating point, the official file format of Lucasfilm. Access CR2 images from Canon EOS digital cameras in floating point. Adjust color levels without losing information. Never have to guess how far out of range the colors are. Save high dynamic range intermediates for multiple steps without losing data.


The answer is yes. Cinelerra is more stable in a 64 bit operating system than a 32 bit operating system. The reason is intermediate address calculations start screwing up at around 512MB on a 32 bit system. Multiplying and adding small registers can wrap around even 512MB numbers and that's what we're especially seeing with memory intensive floating point images.

Fortunately Cinelerra and Linux are now fully functional on the dew-opp. The dual Opteron, that is. This is improvement you can feel. Floating point image calculations finish in a snap. Never cower in fear over 2 gig virtual set sizes again. Cinelerra's floating point imaging is the application your dew-opp has been looking for.


Now Cinelerra is by no means a lightweight program. You'll need something slightly less sexy than an Ipod to run it most effectively. Running in 32 bit mode is not recommended. We found this dual dual core Opteron with 128 bit, interleaved memory to be years ahead of anything else. It compresses MPEG-4 HDTV in realtime. The key is separate memory busses for each processor. Be aware most cheap motherboards share the memory bus of one processor with both processors.

Dual Opteron 275
4 * 1 Gig Registered PC3200 RAM
500 GB SATA drive
Tyan S2885 motherboard
Gigabit ethernet

Compositing + editing
Still image panning
VU meters
Unlimited tracks
16 bit YUV compositing
floating point compositing
Background rendering on clusters
Free form editing
Firewire, MJPEG, bttv video I/O
Firewire, OSS, Alsa audio I/O
Batch capturing
Batch rendering
SMP utilization
Realtime effects
Quicktime, AVI, MPEG, and image sequence I/O
OpenEXR images
OGG Vorbis audio
64 bit internal audio representation
Headroom monitoring
LADSPA plugins
Bezier masks
Track routing like a real console
Track nudge for audio and video
Reverse audio and video in realtime
Bidirectional, variable speed scrubbing
Different overlay modes
Parametric EQ
Heroine College Concert Hall
Pitch shift
Time based interpolate
LADSPA compatibility
HDTV Standards conversion
Various Effect TV plugins
Chroma Key
Color balance
Difference Key
Inverse Telecine
Linearize raw images
Linear/Radial/Zoom Blur
Motion Tracking
Oil Painting
Shift Interlace
Swap channels
Time Average
Time based interpolate
Unsharp Mask

The sun rising in the west, proper grammar, heroines running for president: when it comes to insanity, they all pale compared to what Cinelerra brings to your web server's hard drive.

Whenever the credit card debt is low enough Cinelerra is shown at trade shows. For the first time in 3 years we showed it in 2004 and decided to collect the memories of the past 7 years. View pictures from all the appearances.

Sig Graph 2004

NAB 2004

NAB 2001

NAB 2000

The package is available from the download page.

Secrets of Cinelerra is the handbook for the Heroinewarrior fork of Cinelerra, containing tricks and tips you probably wouldn't think of.

Cybersquatters have taken cinelerra.org and cinelerra.com proving our ability to devise the most priceless English words out of nothing.

A reformatted version of Secrets of Cinelerra in Wiki format Wiki manual.

How to setup Cinelerra renderfarm: kerklied.

Cinelerra tutorial in french: funix.

Cinelerra at MIT: blu.

Cinelerra in gentoo: gentoo.

Wikipedia topic: wikipedia

A pro-video reseller who mentions Cinelerra and probably retired from it: lmahd.com.

Cinelerra isn't just for talking about on web pages. It's for making movies. Download some brief movies from the Screening Room..

9/12/05 - Cinelerra 2.0
Experience the power of H.264 encoding and MPEG-4 audio encoding without having to pay for a Quicktime pro license. Import MPEG video directly. Access the high dynamic range of raw digital camera images. Achieve more accurate motion paths with even more curves. Enjoy the dark, manly S.U.V. theme.


Old news


Heroine Virtual is all about giving you the tools you need to turn the impossible into reality. Heroine firefighters, heroine Amazons, heroine football: there are some things you just won't see in theaters no matter how hard you try, so it's time to make your own movies.

Heroine Virtual has produced content creation software for power users since 1996. It all started with one guy sitting behind an early SGI box and being amazed at what something as dull and boring as a UNIX derivative could do. We wanted to take that razzle dazzle moving picture capability to the Linux box.

Heroine Virtual believes in getting amazing things out of one of the most efficient operating systems available. The last seven years have seen a steady increase in size and power of our stuff but it still needs nothing more than a basic Linux box.

Heroine Virtual is not run by heroines but by heroine worshippers: regular, financially challenged guys like you, all with a love of big software and heroines but no cash.

One day we'll be converting simple photographs into complete motion pictures in a matter of minutes. In the mean time, you won't find much convenience or stylishness in our tools but hopefully you'll be able to tweek multimedia in ways you never thought of before.