the kdenlive non-linear video editor

Kdenlive is one of the most popular open-source video editors around, and its latest update, which arrived late last week, will do much to enthuse its ardent fanbase. 

Take the addition of three-point editing, which is new in Kdenlive 16.08.0. This commonly used editing method by digital videographers has a rep for being confusing.

But in practice it speeds up inserts or replacing a timeline/clip section with a specific clip you want exactly where you want it, as Webopedia’s definition explains:

“Three-point editing allows you to insert a clip from the source media into a destination track, which is done by setting three edit points: 

The first two set points define the in and out points of the clip (or the in and out points in the timeline that the clip will fit into).

The third point indicates either the In or Out point for the clip (if the other tow points are in the timeline), or the in and out points in the timeline (if the other two points are in the clip).”

Making 3-point editing possible in Kdenlive is a fully-functioning ‘insert mode’. This feature lets you drag and drop clips onto the timeline and have existing clips automatically move to make room for it.

Another big boon in this release is support for effect rendering in the timeline.

New Kdenlive App Logo
The new Kdenlive App Logo

This is super-duper useful if you make a video with a bunch of effects and transitions that you want to play back in real time. Much like Apple’s Final Cut, Kdenlive lets you pre-render parts of the timeline so that it can be played back in real time (vital for spotting those slightly mis-timed transitions to cuts).

Better still, Kdenlive pre-renders in the background, leaving you able to work on other parts of the timeline.

One of the oft-criticised areas of all Linux video editors is a lack of stability. Kdenlive 16.08.0 features 370 bug fixes and code commits with regards to crashes, bugs and other various improvements to the title tool, DVD wizard, and audio mixing.

Other notable changes in this release:

  • Copy and paste sequences between different projects
  • Control width of the track header (drag the right border left or right)
  • Switch compositing preview from toolbar (high quality, preview, none)
  • Startup wizard only appears when config problem detected
  • Cached Data Manager
  • New timeline icons
  • New app logo

A Windows port of Kdenlive is underway, and a MacPorts team is working hard to get the app up and running on macOS.

Install Latest Kdenlive on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

If you’re running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS you can install Kdenlive 16.08.0 via the project’s official stable release PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kdenlive/kdenlive-stable
sudo apt update && sudo apt install kdenlive

Once installed launch from the Unity Dash (or equivalent app menu).

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