Kdenlive tips and tricks #1

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Kdenlive tips and tricks #1 (transcript)
Welcome to another video, this time focused on Kdenlive, one of the most advanced open source alternatives for video editing.
In this tips and tricks video I’ll be talking about five crucial Kdenlive tools: how to use keyframes, select part of a source file and insert it on the timeline, speed up or slow down a video clip and how to use the audio gain function.
Select part of a source file and insert it on the timeline This first tip on how to select part of file and insert it directly into the timeline is my favourite way of single out what I want. By selecting the exact video or audio segment on the clip monitor, a lot of time will be saved, which means the whole process will be done much quicker.
Using this kdenlive function is easy. Just select start and end points moving the small triangle and clicking on the square brackets, the left one for start and the right one for end. Then, pressing the left mouse button, drag the selected segment to the desire point on the timeline and release it. Rewind, play and forward buttons can be used instead of the triangle.
As you can see, this is a simple, quick and efficient way of editing, that will save you precious time.

How to use keyframes
Keyframes are another crucial tool for video editing. Thanks to them we can make changes with frame precision and save the evolution of those changes. Basically that means we can modify values of elements in the timeline and save its progression to be shown in the clip itself. Confused? Here’s an example…
Let’s say I want to adjust parts of this clip’s volume. First, select the clip to be corrected and search for volume on the effect list, which, as you can see, is keyframable. Clicking twice on the effect, having the clip selected, will apply it. You can also drag it into the clip or use the menu options by right clicking on the mouse, add effect > audio correction > volume. Then, just click on the clock icon to enable keyframes and add or remove them using the + and – signs.

How to use the audio gain function
Keyframes can be adjusted in the timeline itself and using the position bar or manually. To do it manually set the desired value on the second column (“gain”).
The yellow arrow sets the default gain value and the “seek to active keyframe” button automatically moves the timeline cursor from one keyframe to the next by clicking either on the first or on the second column. Disabling this option blocks that easy navigation.
However, if you have keyframes enabled, I would recommend you to avoid fade in and fade out effects because, as you can see, that will remove their visual representation.
You can add fade in and fade out effects if no more keyframes are needed or, preferably, add fade in and fade out using keyframes, like I’m doing right now.
Keyframes can be applied to most of the effects and transitions including ‘composite’, an advanced and essential function that I’ll extensively explain in another video.

Speed up or slow down a video clip
‘Motion’ is one of the many keyframable effects. Applying ‘motion’ to a clip allows you to to speed it up or slow it down. If you want slow motion on a clip you decrease the speed value from 100% And this is the end result: simulated slow motion.
To speed up the clip just set a value greater than 100. And there it is… a 4×4 faster than a jet. The stroboscope defines the the number of frames skipped on playback. If I set the value to 20, the effect will be applied every 20 frames but will extend the clip duration by 20 times, although the frame skipping will shorten it. Simplifying… this effect is an illusion of movement created by the overlap of the images in a logical sequence as demonstrated by the image on the ‘clip monitor’.

What about you…
Is there some aspect of Kdenlive you’d like me to talk about?
Let me know in the comments below or on YouTube. While you’re at it, what should I look at next?
If this post and video helped you out feel free to share them.


Text: video transcription
Production and subtitles: Mário J.R. Matos
Music: Kevin MacLeod (Incompetech)
Technical details – gear: lapel mic and portable audio recorder, Asus P9X79 WS and i7-3930k workstation (EVGA Geforce GTX 680 Classified 4GB, 2×256 GB Corsair Performance Pro SSD, 3x3TB Seagate Constellation ES ST1000, 64GB G.Skill RipjawsZ F3 DDR3-2133) and LG monitors (2×21′ and 1×17′) | software: Kdenlive, Audacity, Ardour, GIMP, Vokoscreen, Aegisub, LibreOffice, gedit, Ubuntu (13.10)
Copyright: the video can be shared through YouTube sharing options; images can be used when author attribution is given and a link to this post is provided; terms of image use are applied in the same way to the textual content.