Open-source video editing for everyone: Blender VSE Quick Start updated (v0.1.1)!

What is new…?

Click the image to see a larger version.


The Quick Start guide (inside the .blend) now with “More” for “moving beyond the basics”. (Note that the layout has been arranged for this screenshot…)

Video Editing Preset (v0.1.1):

Download the .blend

*Update* This preset is meant to be used with the old/classic stable Blender 2.49b: get it here!

(Or get a recent version of Blender here.)

Next to the new selected shortcuts and tips that you can find under “More” a series of smaller additions has been made throughout the text (e.g. to “Snapping”, “Add Media” or the “Questions/Answers”) to further make sure that everything you need to get started with free and open-source video editing using Blender is there. The file now also works better as a preset as such: e.g. Scrub audio is now on but the text still shows you where to turn it on and off…


Blender works on all major platforms and you can share .blends between e.g. Ubuntu, OS X and Windows. At the same time Blender is free and open-source and the Blender VSE also works on older hardware – e.g. recycled with Ubuntu (or the lightweight Xubuntu): if no other solution happens to be available you could still get some work done or discuss a project using an old PC…!

Whether you are a video artist and always curious about new tools, a production company specialised in (3D) short format video (even if you don’t do your 3D work with Blender) or a (non-profit) organisation with a tight budget: the Blender VSE brings high-end video post to virtually any PC at no cost. (See the official Blender Wiki for more (“Using VSE”) including current limitations and workarounds.)


Change the size of the tutorial text with one click (see image…) or add Blender’s actual Timeline (e.g. under the Preview window, see tutorial for details) that offers more features for Markers.

Missing features…?

Blender is very flexible and can be customised in ways that commercial and closed source NLEs simply can’t: e.g. you could add smaller features like (a currently missing) Time code display via Python script (or simply use the built in Stamp option (Render buttons) for overlaying time information…).

The Blender VSE is not Final Cut Pro or Avid, but in the long run you might find that Blender (which is a 3D programme after all) allows you to realise projects that you previously simply could not do without an extra investment in yet more proprietary (and possibly limiting) commercial solutions (see all the new VSE feature (“Sequencer changes”) since Blender 2.46).

Suggestions and feedback

…for improving the tutorial/preset welcome!

And special thanks

…for hosting the .blend to Paul from the final BUG blog!

*02.01.09* Ubuntu (8.04, 8.10) users who experience problems with sound playback in Blender, are looking for solutions for FireWire related issues or have problems with the windowed (= not fullscreen) Blender version see the second comment!  (And feel free to post solutions to other related problems as a comment…)

6 Responses to Open-source video editing for everyone: Blender VSE Quick Start updated (v0.1.1)!

  1. Hans says:

    Sweet, that cleared up so much! It’s the best NLE in Linux, IMO, but not for the easily frustrated!

  2. vsworks says:

    From what I know there will be another Blender Foundation project in 2009 focusing on video post/SFX…!

    Since so far I am a bit disappointed by Kino (where is the timeline…?!) I am looking into Kdenlive for (offline) video editing (features I still miss in the Blender VSE: JKL, jump to previous/next cut and bins). Unfortunately the Kdenlive version via the Synaptic Package Manger in Ubuntu (8.10) is outdated and not usable at all. If you are brave, have the time and some frustration tolerance left you could try installing the latest Kdenlive version (0.7x) using the instructions on this page:

    Another project that could be interesting, though still in early development, is Lumiera, which started as a rewrite of Cinelerra.

    The Blender VSE, while a bit different than what one might expect or sometimes wishes (it’s an NLE inside a 3D app after all…) is still the one NLE that in the end always worked whenever I tried using it, be it under Linux, on the Mac or – if I could not avoid it and had to – under Windows…!

    For those using (the latest) Ubuntu (8.10) and Blender 2.48a: sound unfortunately is still problematic in Ubuntu, if you can’t hear your audio in Blender try this:

    * first open Rhythmbox Music Player and play a song
    * while the song is playing – and *only then* – open Blender
    * play back some audio in Blender – sound should work now…!
    * you can close Rhythmbox now
    * if you close/open Blender you have to do the above again…

    (Update 25.01.08) Ubuntu 8.04, Blender 2.48a and no sound in Blender: one simple solution that works for me is to close all apps that need sound (like Rhythmbox and Blender) and then to only open Blender…

    (Update 25.01.08) For a permanent (and more complex solution) to have sound in more than one app (in 8.04) and other solutions for 8.10 see the Ubuntu forums (one simple solution that previously worked for me in 8.04 was to completely remove Pulse Audio via a Terminal command…). (I’m currently back to 8.04 since the proprietary graphics card driver would not install any more after a fresh 8.10 install – 8.04 seems more stable…!)

    The other very unfortunate thing under Ubuntu (at least in 8.04, not sure yet about 8.10) is that

    * digitising via FireWire and
    * copying to an external FireWire drive

    do not work out of the box.

    For digitising:

    * you first have to get the right permissions for your FireWire port (e.g. if using Kino google the error message that comes up, there is an Ubuntu forum discussion that mentions the code that you have to copy/paste in the Terminal)

    For copying to an external FireWire drive:

    * you have to start Nautilus as root…! (just be careful…)

    The other thing that you might need to do under Ubuntu is to:

    * disable the desktop effects, they cause problems if you want to have Blender not in fullscreen mode: System > Preferences > Appearance > Visual Effects > None

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