Inexpensive multiple video track editor?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by DimensionDude, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. DimensionDude macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2012
    Let me preface this post by saying that I'm an amateur video person and I may have overlooked something very obvious. If so, please point it out! :D

    Is there a "middle ground" between iMovie and FCPX?

    I've searched high and low, and one of the very few things that I found was an open source application called kdenlive. The screen shots on the devs website looked good, so for the past 2 hours (not kidding) my 2010 MacBook Pro 15" has been installing MacPorts and kdenlive (along with its mile-long list of dependencies).

    On the Windows side, I can get Sony Vegas for under 50 USD. Isn't there a Mac equivalent of this?

    What I want to do is create a series of videos for my YouTube channel of a rather unique vintage computer. I plan to shoot with two cameras simultaneously, with one shooting the computer and the other shooting just the screen. Can't do a screen capture as the output is CGA/EGA and the Operating System is CP/M 68K.

    I'd like for the videos to concentrate on the screen output with the occasional cutaway to the system for floppy disk changes, disk access lights, reset button pushes, etc. It seems to me that the easiest way to accomplish this would be to have the two video tracks side-by-side so that I don't have to muck around with timing and proper sequence and so on.

    I know that iMovie will do cutaways, but I can't have both complete videos on the timeline at the same time. Final Cut Pro X will do this of course, but the price is a bit steep.

    Is there a way to do this inexpensively on my Mac, or should I just go ahead and buy Vegas and do it on my Windows machine?
  2. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    So if you don't want cutaways you want picture in picture?

    Here is a tutorial for achieving this in iMovie

    Personally I wouldn't do PiP as it looks tacky and instead I would stick to cutaways. There is no issue with syncing the videos as you can sync them at the start and then cut away what you don't need from the top layer.

    For a Sony Vegas equivalent check out Premiere Elements
  3. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I recently went from iMovie to FCPX mostly for the multicam support. I record 3-4 hours of lectures a week and have screen capture and board capture videos to edit together. It's a real pain with iMovie but a piece of cake with FCPX.

    I bought a copy of Sony Vegas Movie Studio for my son last Christmas (he uses windows). I don't recall anything on the box about multicam editing and would be surprised to find it on any consumer grade product since most "consumers" only use one camera!
  4. DimensionDude thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2012

    I *do* want cutaways instead of PIP. I agree that PIP looks less than professional. I had planned on doing just as you said, sync the two videos at the start and then select the portions of the "secondary" video that I want to overwrite the primary video, but apparently iMovie can't do that.

    I typed (and subsequently deleted) a long explanation of what I wanted to accomplish, but then realized that I should probably go find a tutorial instead of asking someone to hold my hand and walk me through it. :)

    Bingo! This is a more accurate description of what I'm trying to do. Thanks for the brain jog! :D

    I may have to give the Elements free trial a whirl and see if I can get my brain around it.

    Thanks to all for replying! Now, just for story completion, the install of kdenlive took approximately 3 hours and seems to work. Well, I fiddled with it for 15 or 20 minutes without any crashes or untoward behavior. Whether or not it'll do what I want remains to be seen.
  5. Richardthe4th macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2008
    Below Sealevel
    How about this? I haven't used it, but it looks promising. And for $4,99 well, what's the risk?

    "VideoCanvas is very flexible and works a lot like a drawing application for video clips. Yet it is easy to get started even for someone who never edited video before.

    VideoCanvas is ideal both for quickly throwing together some video clips to put on YouTube as well as for making an advanced animated multi track movie with precise control over the result"

    Let us know how you liked it (if you used it)
    CP/M, whow, cool. I started on a TRS-80 :)
  6. DimensionDude thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2012

    Well, shoot. I wouldn't hesitate to spend the $5 but the minimum OS requirement is Lion, I'm still using Snow Leopard. :(

    Thanks for the tip, though. Wonder why I didn't find this one in my searches? :confused:
  7. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    I just opened up iMovie for the first time in about 6 years and I was really shocked at how dumbed down it's been made! I was totally under the impression that you could at least layer something above the track even if you couldn't have two separate tracks! Madness!

    Check out premiere elements as that should easily be able to do what you are after.
  8. TheBeastman13 macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2012
    I've been tinkering with Final Cut Express 4 for the last three years on my '08 MacBook. It's a step above iMovie, but seeing as it is an older program, you may be able to find something more recent in terms of software that is in the same price range but more suitable to the tech of the last year or so.


    That's probably what Apple wants you to think so when making the comparison to FCPX, the upgrade is seemingly more substantial so that people will pony up the $300+(?) for FCPX to get the more robust prosumer editing software without having to drop massive amounts for the pro softwares like Adobe's CS suites.
  9. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    I still mainly stick to FCP 7 for most of my work but Premiere and Avid are getting more use. Without iMovie 6 HD I would have never been able to learn a NLE and I think there is something really important about learning the basics before jumping to one of the bigger programs. Perhaps I am old fashioned in that way as I learnt photography through film and found it a much more useful experience than just blasting through as many shots as possible.
  10. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    I think with all these software we are talking about. Good or Bad one point we are all overlooking?. How easy is it to work with and too learn. Some editing software has improved to a level of making your work easy.
    If you are happy with the software you are using fine.
    iMovie 11 and FCP-X are a new revolution regards editing. First it looked very alien and now way was i going to change from FCP7 to FCP-X. But believe me FCP-X those most things what are being talked about on these threads.
    FCP-X has the power to cater for multiple video track editing.
    I think no editing software is rubbish as one has to also include people who are:apple: just happy to edit home videos with minimal effort.
  11. floh macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Let's come back from the FCPX vs. CS6 vs. Avid discussion to the OP's question:

    Well, if you take it literally, not anymore. The middle ground between iMovie and Final Cut Pro used to be Final Cut Express. But it has been discontinued and you can now get FCPX for very little extra money (I paid 200 euros for Final Cut Express and 240 for FCPX). If you are planning to go into editing further, I can wholeheartedly recommend to spring the money for FCPX, but it's totally understandable if you don't want to for just a hobby.

    Then I have three options for you:

    1. Go with a free software. kdenlive (and cinelerra) are open source and quite usable on Linux systems, but when I last tried them on Mac OS, they were a real pain. Still, things might have improved. I've heard good things about the new Lightworks software. It's free and apparently works nicely, although with a slightly uncommon interface. But hey, for free... you can try it, can't you?

    2. Spend a little less on editing software. I can recommend these two stopped down versions that would be middle ground between iMovie and FCPX:
    - Adobe Premiere Elements ($100)
    - HitFilm Express ($150) (which also includes basic visual effects)

    3. If you're German (probably not a chance), you can gladly have my copy of Final Cut Express, since I don't use it anymore. It's the German version though, and I also wouldn't wanna send it around the world. :)
  12. matteusclement macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
  13. DimensionDude thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2012
    Hi all,

    Here is a test video that I made with kdenlive, the open source editor. Kind of a pain to install (approximately 3 hours), but it seems to do what I want.

    The video is more or less a proof of concept, so it's a bit rough and has no narration.
  14. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Thank you for your post. Its a bit like watching paint dry and your computer equipment looks very outdated. I think with todays technology having to spent 3 hours for a software to load is a bit to long.
    Would have been nice if you could have talked us through regards to what you are doing. But you did make us aware of what it is.:eek:
  15. floh macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Well... kdenlive is a Linux software, and not programmed for Mac. He installed it via Macports (I don't know if there's a downloadable pre-compiled binary), and Macports will not only have to install a huge amount of Linux libraries and software first that kdenlive depends on if you have never used it, but it will also have to actually compile the less common software. So it will take a long time.

    As he said, it's just a proof of concept to try out the software and that he'll add a narration to it. Read the first and last post of the OP and it will become clear. :)
  16. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    That's not bad. Glad you got something working.

    iMovie's cutaway feature will do the same, and it is very easy to use--but as you've said, you'd have to pay attention to timing in order to sync clips up.

    Another option is an older version of Final Cut Express or Adobe Premiere from eBay.

  17. arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
  18. DimensionDude thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2012
    Hi Mac people, :)

    I have completed a project using Kdenlive, the results are here.

    It took a few hours to learn how to accomplish what I wanted as I have very little experience with NLE's.

    There were a few odd quirks and a crash or two, but nothing that I couldn't handle.

    The video turned out pretty much as I had envisioned it, so I'm happy with the results.

    Would I have been better off with a commercial product? Perhaps, but since my needs are rather limited I'll probably stick with Kdenlive as long as it continues to perform.

Share This Page