Monday, January 7, 2013

Creating Word Drift Trailler #2: Import and cutting raw video in Kdenlive

This is a post about how I created the video trailer for my word puzzle game, Word Drift.

Continue from Creating Word Drift Trailler #1: Capture Android screen to create a promotional clip

Once I transferred the video clip from my Sony NEX 3 to my PC, it is time to cut it down.  The raw clip is about 25-minute long, and I need to cut it down to about 1 minute to fit the music that I planed to use for this clip (more about music in future post).

Kdenlive is an excellent video editor running on *NIX machines, including Linux, Mac,and FreeBSD.   I'm running it on Fedora.  While official Fedora repository do not have Kdenlive, it is easy enough to install it from rpmfusion.  See the Edenlive download page for details.

Open Kdenlive and it looks like this

Just below the menu and tool bar, there are 3 boxes that are empty now.  The one on the left is where you drag and drop your raw video clip (and still images, sound file, etc) in.  It acts as, say, resource holder so Kdenlive knows what clips, images, etc you want to use in your project.

The one on the right is the preview screen.  It is capable of showing almost real-time rendering of your final video clip so you now what it would look like at the end.  You will need it to synchronize things in your clip.

The middle is the configuration box for the transition or effect that you use in your clip.  For Word Drift trailer, I only use the transition called Composite.  If you see the trailer, there is a little hand moving around.  It is all done by compose the hand over the raw video clip, which I will write about later.

Below, we have the timeline.  This is where you put your raw clip in.  So let's do just that.

First, you need to drag and drop your raw clip to the left box, then drag that clip from that box to the timeline.   It should end up looking like this

Notice the little triangle pointer on top of the timeline (just under the number 00:00:00.00)?  If you move it, the preview screen will be updated to where that pointer is pointing.

The raw clip is way too long and in most part are boring.  To cut it down to 1 minute, I select the cutting tool at the bottom toolbar.

Now slide the pointer to the beginning of the section of clip that you want to cut out, and click it there.  Then slide the pointer to the end of the section, the make another cut.  The clip should now be separated into 3 sections.  Switch back from the cutting tool to selection tool (the one left of cutting tool), the select the section that you just cut.  It should look like this.

Press delete button on your keyboard, that section is gone.  Note that your original raw clip is not affected.  This is how it should look now.

The final step is to remove that gab between remaining section. This is easy, just click and drag the second section to the left.

And that's all.  In my case, I had to scan for interesting bits in my clip the cut the boring part out.  It took some planing, and still I made lots of bad cut, so save often.

By the way, this is also a good time to separate the sound from your clip.  Right click on your clip and select "Split Audio" from the popup menu.  The sound clip will now be in its own track.  Right click the sound clip and select "Ungroup clips" because when you split the sound, Kdenlive will group the video clip and sound clip together.  Once the sound clip is ungrouped, delete the track the sound clip is in.

In the next post, I will write about the composition and how to make the hand moves.

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