Cinelerra workflow – making Cinelerra work despite the bugs

I’ve been using Cinelerra quite a bit lately since acquiring a GoPro. Following are some tips for smooth workflow that minimises pulling out your hair over Cinelerra’s bugs.

  1. Set the project to YUV-8 bit for the fastest renders. If using multiple video tracks, though, you must use YUVA-8bit which will be slower.
  2. Use viewer and clips to plan out your production
    • You’ll have far greater success if you minimise the editing that you have to do on the timeline. I’ve found a good technique to be setting up your project format first in Cinelerra, then loading all the videos you will be using in your project using the “create new resources” load option. This will leave you with an empty timeline and a bunch of videos in the “Media” section of the resources window. Right-click on each video and select “view”; then open the viewer and drag the slider to find start and finish points of clips you want in your final production. Place start and finish markers around each clip, then click the “To clip” button (above the “stop” button in the viewer). If you already know how your are going to order your video, use an alphabetical/numerical clip-naming scheme so you can simply sort your clips later.
    • Once you have all your clips created, add them to the timeline in REVERSE order. Press the rewind button on the timeline window to go to the start of the production and place a start marker. Right click on the LAST clip in your production and choose “paste”; then right click the second-last clip and paste and so-on until the first clip.
  3. Apply all effects across the entire timeline
    • I have found that unpredictable things happen when you apply multiple effects that cover only part of the timeline. Instead, once you have pasted your entire project to the timeline, place start and finish markers that will cover more than the full length of your final project and drag all the effects onto the timeline. In most cases it is probably easiest if ReframeRT is the last effect if you are using it.
    • Use keyframes to control when the applied effects will be on or off.
    • Set keyframes for your “defaults” for each effect in the first frame of your project
    • Remember to place a keyframe at the start AND end of tho section you want the effect to apply to, and place another keyframe one frame before and after to set the effect for the remainder of the timeline. For example, if you crank up brightness for a 20 second section in the middle of a one minute timeline the brightness will gradually climb to your setting and then gradually go back to normal if you don’t place a keyframe at the start AND end of the clip with brightness turned up and one frame before/after with brightness normal.
    • To turn off a mask, add keyfriames changing the opacity/transparency instead of trying to delete the mask
  4. Become clear about the order in which effects and camera/projecter keyframes get applied. Play around until you understand this or you WILL send yourself mad.
  5. For changing frame rates, don’t use the technique described in my earlier post of pasting silences on the timeline. Instead, use keyframes to change frame rates on a continuous timeline
  6. To synchronise sound when adding slow-motion effects, paste an AUDIO silence with a length x-x/y where x is the length of the section in slow-motion and y is the factor you have slowed by. So if you are running a clip 5 times slower and the slow motion lasts for 10 seconds you would paste a 10-10/5 second silence (8 seconds). Often, if you past the silence at the start of the slow-motion your audio will actually seem to synchronise nicely. Below are two videos using this technique:
  7. For multi-track videos, mute video tracks in sections where they aren’t doing anything. It seems to speed up the render.
  • Set your project up to the framerate of your source and render using YUV4MPEG stream option with “Use pipe” selected.
    • This ffmpeg command for your pipe works great for 120FPS source footage with 24/FPS slow-motion section but 48FPS output for smooth motion of high-speed action: ffmpeg -threads 0 -f yuv4mpegpipe -i - -vcodec libx264 -crf 26 -f avi -r 48 %
    • threads 0
      Use all available processors/cores
      crf 26
      Quality of compression – lower is better; 28 is default
      -f avi
      Output an avi file
      -r 48
      Frame rate of output file
  • About shortfriction

    Clinical Psychologist
    This entry was posted in Digital video, Linux and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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