Here two works by vimeo user kogonada, the guy probably has the coolest editing job on the planet making these kind of videos for a distinguished DVD etc. label and a UK film magazin. I highly recommend watching all of his online videos! Enjoy:
The Blender VSE was the favourite open-source video editing solution for Linux (while Blender is available for all major platforms) for the author of this blog entry and the story even made it to Slashdot this week.
And here some recent improvements for the Blender Video Sequence Editor (VSE) (or often just called Sequencer) in the latest Blender 2.73a release.
Natron 1.0, an open-source compositing solution, was released at the end of last December, the 1.1 version is already available now!
While unfortunately I just missed the deadline for getting a credit in the movie I still of course pre-ordered my Project Mango DVD, the Blender Institute’s new open-movie project! This one is about upgrading Blender in the visual effects (VFX) department.
I do have a feeling that they could need one or the other new feature for post production/editing on the way and this can only be good for Blender’s VSE (Video Sequence Editor) – my tool of choice for (video) editing, a wonderful minimal style – yet quite powerful – free and open-source solution that works on/across all platforms: share/edit your .blends across Linux, Windows or Mac – this simply just works!
Concept art: CC 3.0, Blender Foundation
From the press release:
The new short film – code named Mango – is a short story about a disastrous break-up that almost leads to the destruction of planet Earth. It will be filmed on several locations in Amsterdam. A team of six artists and three developers will be working for half a year on realising the visual effects for the film. As for previous short films, the online community will be able to assist on tasks as well. Premiere is being targeted at September 2012.
The 3D tool Blender – open source since 2002 – has steadily been growing to become a popular and serious 3D package for artists. This is thanks to the very active participation of its online community; 3D artists, 3D developers, studios and universities all over the world. A recent development is that also renowned Hollywood studios are opening up parts of their technology. Blender will be the first program to bring together work from ILM (OpenEXR, Alembic), Sony Pictures Imageworks (OpenShading, OpenColor, OpenImageIO) and Disney (PTex).
Check out the project’s blog, pre-order your own copy and support open-source VFX/video post production – as recent months have shown it is indeed a very good idea to have (open-source) alternatives ready: the apple that looked so fresh only a while ago now seems more and more rotten down to the core with every day going by…!
From Blender 2.5x to Blender 2.60
Yesterday the Blender Foundation released Blender 2.60:
Download for all platforms.
While the previous Blender 2.5x series was all about making Blender ready for a wider user base (switch to an intuitive User Interface, a new Animation System, Color Management/linear workflow and much more) the Blender 2.60 series now focuses on upgrading Blender in some key areas important for those looking for a free and open-source all in one video post, compositing, special effects/3D package:
VSE Proxy Support now and Motion/Camera Tracking coming soon…
Sequence editor proxy support (missing in 2.5x) is now restored:
“Proxies are lower resolution versions of image or video files, that can be used instead of the full resolution for faster editing. Additionally to the way Blender 2.49 worked where you could make proxies for individual strips, you can now select several strips at once and build proxies in the background.”
Basically this means that Blender 2.60 is not only a platform independent NLE (edit/share your .blends across Linux, Windows or Mac), but Blender 2.60 with Sequence Editor proxy support brings high-end free and open-source video editing to almost any PC you might be using: the Blender VSE (Video Sequence Editor) works quite well even on older hardware recycled with e.g. Linux Mint.
New Blender versions are coming out every two months now and while 2.60 is great news the truth is that there are many now waiting for Blender 2.61 – expected to be released mid-December: Motion/Camera tracking (!) as well as Cycles, the new render engine, will be added.
You can always check out unofficial builds and test/use the new features months ahead of a release via those builds available from GraphicAll.org.
Extend Blender, Mango and links for new users
Blender can be extended via Add-Ons (scripts), either write your own in Python or get those from the Blender 2.5 Scripts Catalog (learn how-to install an Add-On). For new users e.g. the Compositing Presets or for editors the Jump to Cut Add-On may be of interest…
The Blender Foundation’s current open-movie project (previously Elephant’s Dream, Big Buck Bunny, Sintel) is called Mango, a “Sci-fi in Amsterdam” and “with real actors, 3-5 minutes”. Basically this one is about upgrading Blender in the SFX department.
For documentation see the BlenderWiki.
For community support see the Blender Artists Forums.
For “Fresh Blender News, Every Day” see BlenderNation.
For “Developer musings on Blender” see the Blender developer Blog.
For more about Blender and video post production see the Blender’s VSE blog.
You can also still check out my old Blender 2.4x Presets for editing and 2D titles via my tutorials page. (Learn the basics using the old/classic Blender 2.49b and then switch to Blender 2.60.)
If you want to report a bug here is a good place to start.
Blender is a truly amazing piece of software. Blender means high-end 3D, video editing and compositing for everyone. On every platform. For free.
Blender is Power to the People.
The wait is over – they did it:
Download Blender 2.57
More about this release on Blendernation.
I’ve been using/switching to the Blender 2.5x beta releases since around late last summer (my first test project “space visual – early period” done in 2.5 from last October) and found it more than usable while still being labeled “beta” for a coupe of months already…
Now that the transition from the classic Blender 2.49 with the old loved/feared interface is mostly done (I first feared it, then loved it) expect a quite significant addition of features to Blender for the next couple of releases.
Open-source animation and platform independent video post production have just been upgraded and there is so much more to come now…!
Lightworks is the grandfather of NLEs and went open-source, well at least sort of, a couple of days ago: it currently only works under Windows (so no use for me at this point) and you need to register. There is no source code available yet and Mac and Linux versions are said to be available later in 2011.
So this is basically like an Alpha/Beta test run for getting started with Lightworks if you don’t mind using Windows and know what you are doing.
Having seen Paul give a Lightworks demo at our last final BUG meeting I was still quite impressed. So assuming the source code will be released in 2011 and all remaining issues they might have will be solved I definitely can see the potential here:
* I believe after seeing that 30 min. or so demo I’d feel comfortable enough to start editing/working on a (short test) project without any further manual reading (assuming I’d have a stable version already installed). Lightworks is pretty easy and intuitive to use while also being different to others NLEs:
* Basically there is not much to see at first except for that left hand (floating) side bar with those icons. What you then do is choose the tools you need for the particular task you wish to perform. So at first it’s tabula rasa and not the usual timeline with the player/recorder (or whatever they might be called) windows on top. Experienced Blender (2.49b) users will be familiar with this kind of philosophy…
* It has advanced trimming features some of which not even Avid has. Again these tools are easy to use, also easier compared to what you need to do in Avid and certainly much easier and much more useful than what in comparison seem to be only half hearted trimming features in FCP.
* While the Blender VSE (see my Tutorials page for more) is a wonderful, minimal style NLE that already works on all major platforms and will most probably remain my tool of choice for my own (3D) shorts, Lightworks has the potential of becoming something like the LibreOffice (was OpenOffice) of the NLE world: it’s a specialised tool for (film) editing, it’s very powerful, quite elegant and has a well known track record in the industry.
From the Lightworks website:
“Having cut hundreds of films such as Pulp Fiction, The Departed, Centurion and Shutter Island, it includes a full feature set of editorial tools, from advanced trimming and media management, through to stereoscopic support and realtime effects including multiple secondary colour correctors.”
In any case: competition is always good for the users. :-)
There will be another Lightworks session at the next final BUG meeting, so drop by if you are in Berlin and want to check out what may well turn out to be the (open-source) film and video editing solution in the not so distant future.
So Avid, FCP and all others beware of that shark…!
Und der Haifisch, der hat Zähne
Und die trägt er im Gesicht
Und Macheath, der hat ein Messer
Doch das Messer sieht man nicht
Oh the shark has pretty teeth dear,
And he shows them pearly white
Just a jack-knife has Macheath dear
And he keeps it out of sight
(you may want the VLC for playback)
“Me and h.264” is distributed under this (by-nc-nd) Creative Commons license.
This is now the last video I upload in h.264, it’s also going to be the only one of my online videos left that will be in h.264.
All the others, old and new ones, will be in VP8 and/or Theora and other open-source codecs.
Yet this one just needs to be in h.264: as a reminder for why I have no plans to ever use h.264 again for anything!