Rendering properly on cinelerra (III)

Visit: http://www.g-raffa.eu/Cinelerra/HOWTO/rendering.html#_how_to_render_you_project_to_ogg_format

How to use the Render dialog

  • Open the Render dialog by going to File → Render…
  • In the first text box enter the Filename of the file you are going to create. Don’t worry about the extension: it’s written automatically. The arrow on the right opens a dropdown menu with recently used files. The magnifier on the right opens a dialog that can help you finding the location for your file. If no path is specified, the file will be stored in your home directory.
  • The Fileformat box let you choose the container format for your video. Note that the formats listed in the drop down menu are not ordered alphabetically.
  • Audio and Video checkboxes determine if audio or video or both are to be rendered. By default they are both unchecked.
  • The wrench icons next to the checkboxes go easily unnoticed but are very important because they let you set the compression, that is the codec for the stream. Tooltips sayConfigure audio compression and Configure video compression.
  • The checkbox Create new file at each label enables the rendering splitting the project in many separated files. It assumes you have set labels in the Program window to define the starting point of every file.
  • Render range lets you define which portion of the project you want to render. The default setting is Project: the whole project is rendered. By checking Selection only the highlighted area will be rendered. Check In/Out Points if you want to render the area defined by In/Out Points.
  • Tell Cinelerra what to do with the rendered file by selecting the Insertion strategy. Very likely you don’t want the rendered file to go back into the project. Insert nothing is the most commonly used option.
  • The Render profile box is there for your convenience. It helps you by keeping note of your favourite rendering settings. You can use it, for instance, for memorizing the rendering of the video stream when you render for DVD. Let’s try it. Select YUV4MPEG Stream as File Format. Click on the Render video tracks checkbox. Select Insert nothing as insertion strategy. Type DVD video stream in the Render profile box. Click on the Save Profile button. Now, change some rendering settings, just to mess things up. Open the Render profiledrop down menu by clicking on the arrow on the right side of the Render profile box. Select the DVD video stream option you have just created and… voillà! You get all your settings back!

How to stop rendering

To interrupt a rendering operation in progress click on the cancel operation cross-shaped button on the bottom right of the program window.

How to choose the format for rendering

The list of formats you can choose for rendering is overwhelming. In fact you can do all your tasks with just a few formats, to be chosen depending on your target.

Unlike image formats, a video format is just a container. It contains a few streams, usually the audio stream and the video stream. Audio and video streams are encoded using different and various methods. Any specific method is called codec. A video format can contain different codec types. So when you choose the format for your video, you must choose also the codecs for the streams.

Here is a list of the recommended formats (and video codec/audio codec) for the most common uses:

  • To be viewed on computers with non-free operating systems:
    • For Windows: DVD-compliant MPEG-PS (MPEG2/AC3) or OGG (Theora/Vorbis) or AVI
    • For Mac: DVD-compliant MPEG-PS (MPEG2/AC3) or OGG (Theora/Vorbis) or MOV
  • To be burned on a DVD-Video: DVD-compliant MPEG-PS (MPEG2/AC3)
  • To be uploaded on the Internet:
    • For Internet Archive: DVD-compliant MPEG-PS (MPEG2/AC3) or OGG (Theora/Vorbis)
    • For Vimeo: DVD-compliant MPEG-PS (MPEG2/AC3) or MPEG4 (h264/ACC)
  • To be put back on a MiniDV tape: DV (RawDV/PCM)

When choosing the format also take in account that:

  • OGG (Theora/Vorbis) is an Open and Royalty-free Format, developed by xiph.org. It has an excellent ratio quality/size and it is very good for streaming. It’s free and open source software.
  • DVD-compliant MPEG-PS (MPEG2/AC3) is a proprietary format. It’s your chioce for DVD-Video.
  • MPEG4 (h264/ACC) is a proprietary format. It’s your choice for streaming videos from websites that doesn’t fully support OGG.

How to render you project to OGG format

Open the Render dialog and choose OGG Theora/Vorbis as File Format.

You can improve the video quality clicking on the Configure video compression wrench icon and moving the Quality slider, but remember that you are increasing the file size as well. As a guide, I just rendered 30 sec of MiniDV footage for you. Have a look at the file size (the smaller the better) and the bitrate (the higher the better quality) I got for some slider positions:

  • Max quality (63): size: 33.8 MB, bitrate: 9453 kb/s (just the best!)
  • Good quality (40): size: 13.4 MB, bitrate: 3752 kb/s (my favourite chioce for watching on my computer)
  • Good quality (30): size: 8.8 MB, bitrate: 2454 kb/s (my favorite choice for streaming)
  • Min quality (0): size: 2.5 MB, bitrate: 702 kb/s (my favourite choice for preview and testing)

Selecting Fixed quality instead of Fixed bitrate decrease the file size with no quality loss.

How to render you project to DV

DV format needs at least one video track and two audio tracks. If you have no audio tracks or only one, just add empty tracks with the Audio→Add track menu.

Only projects with resolution of 720×576 pixels and a framerate of 25 fps (PAL) can be rendered to Raw DV (or 720×480 pixels at a framerate of 30 fps for NTSC). Open the Formatdialog with Settings→Format and make sure you project has PAL or NTSC settings.

Then:

  • Open the Render dialog and choose the Fileformat by clicking on the arrow and selecting Raw DV.
  • Change the Insertion strategy to Insert nothing. The other settings are the right ones by default.
  • Click on the green tick to start the rendering process. Cin should give you a file ending with a .dv extension.

How to put you movie back to MiniDV tape

This is a very easy thing to do thanks to that nice application called Kino. You can install it with Synaptic.

  • Turn your camera on, in playback mode. Make sure you have a recordable tape inserted.
  • Connect the camera to the computer with the Firewire cable
  • Restart your computer
  • Open your file in Kino or open Kino and load your file. If it is in DV format it will be loaded directly. If it is in other formats, Kino will kindly transcode it for you.
  • Click on the Export tab on you right.
  • Select IEEE1394 (that is the firewire). Check the bottom left of the Kino main window for errors about raw1394. In case, see the Troubles capturing from camera section of the Troubleshooting page.
  • Press the Export button at the bottom of the Export window to start writing to tape. You should see (and hear) your video on the screen of your camera during exporting.

How to render your project to DVD-compliant format

If you want to make a DVD of your movies, you need them in VOB format that is very much like standard MPEG-2. Cinelerra can’t render your project directly into VOB format. She need the help of other program-friends. Here are two possible ways of getting a DVD-compliant file. As often happens, working with the GUI might seems friendlier, but using the command line ensures better results.

Using the Graphical User Interface – Kino

  1. Render your project to DV format.
  2. Install Kino. In Ubuntu you can easily do that using Synaptic package manager.
  3. Start Kino. To load your file in Kino go to File → Open to open the dialog box. Browse your files and double click on mymovie.dv.
  4. Click on the Export tab on your right. The window you just opened has six tabs at the top (to view all maximize Kino window).
    • Click on the MPEG tab.
    • Enter the filename for the final file.
    • Select 8 – DVD as File format. Leave all the other settings as they are.
    • Press the Export button to start the conversion. Kino will create two temporary files, an audio file with .mp2 extension an a video file ending with .mpv. At the end of the conversion they will be replaced by a single .mpeg file.

This final file mymovie.mpeg is a VOB-like file that can be used for DVDs.

Using the Command Line – ffmpeg

You have to render audio and video in Cin separately and then use ffmpeg to unite (mux) the two streams and produce a single DVD-compliant file. ffmpeg is a command line application that you use by typing in the terminal instead of clicking on icons. It’s much easier than it looks and is very flexible (e.g. you can change standard).

  1. Render you project to get the audio stream.
    • Open the Render dialog
    • Click on the arrow by the Render profile textbox and select audio stream for DVD from the drop-down menu. If you can find the audio stream for DVD entry, see the note below.
    • Enter the filename for your file mymovie before the .wav extension, at the top of the window.
    • Click on the green tick to start the rendering process. Cin should give you an audio-only file called mymovie.wav, saved in your home folder.
  2. Render you project to get the video stream. Just follow the above procedure with only small changes:
    • Select video stream for DVD from the drop-down menu of the Render profiles.
    • Enter the filename for your file mymovie before the .m2v extension, at the top of the window.
    • Rendering should give you a video-only file called mymovie.m2v, saved in your home folder.
  3. Install ffmpeg. In Ubuntu, just open a terminal and type:
    sudo apt-get install ffmpeg
  4. It’s now time to mux the two streams into a single file.
    Copy and paste in the terminal one the following commands, depending on your standard. Replace mymovie with your filename. Press ENTER to start the encoding.

    • for PAL DVDs:
      ffmpeg -i mymovie.wav -i mymovie.m2v -target pal-dvd -r pal mymovie.mpg
    • for NTSC DVDs:
      ffmpeg -i mymovie.wav -i mymovie.m2v -target ntsc-dvd -r ntsc mymovie.mpg

You final file mymovie.mpg is a VOB-like file that can be used for DVDs.

Note The audio stream for DVD and the video stream for DVD render profile are not part of the official CinelerraCV. I made them available for Grandmas that downloaded the Grandma settings file. To know more see the settings page.

How to mux audio and video stream changing standard

When muxing audio and video streams for DVD, you can also change standard in the same pass using one of the following commands:

  • From PAL to NTSC:
    ffmpeg -i mymovie.ac3 -i mymovie.m2v -target ntsc-dvd -r ntsc -s 600x480 -padleft 60 -padright 60 mymovie.mpg
  • From NTSC to PAL:
    ffmpeg -i mymovie.ac3 -i mymovie.m2v -target pal-dvd -r pal -s 720x480 -padtop 48 -padbottom 48 mymovie.mpg

How to join (concatenate) several files into a single one

For a better Cinelerra workflow, it is recommended to keep your projects as small as possible, splitting it in several separated scenes, edited and rendered separately. Scenes can be joined afterwards.

Since formats are technically different, every format has its own concatenation method. Concatenating is always much quicker than rendering, since it is just a particular kind of copying.

RawDV files

The DV format compresses the frames individually and the concatenation is very straightforward.

Using Cinelerra

You can load in Cinelerra all your just rendered .dv scenes in one single move. Just select all your files and use the Replace current project and concatenate tracks insertion method from the Load dialog. Your files will be loaded in alphanumeric order.

Render this temporary project to RawDV. This will be no real rendering, with no preview in the Compositor.

Using the Command Line – cat

As usual, the command line is the quickest way to go.

cat is a command for conCATenating files. For other uses of cat see the Linux Information Project.

Here is a terminal command you can use. Replace the filenames with the names of your video files.

cat myfile1.dv myfile2.dv myfile3.dv > mytotalfile.dv

The quickest way of writing the list of files to be joined is:

  • Highlight the list of files on the File Browser window
  • Drag the selected list and drop it anywhere inside the terminal.

If a file exists with the same name of the destination file, that file will be mercilessly overwritten with no warning.

OGG Theora/Vorbis files

Ogg Theora video files have timestamps in them, on which some players rely. If you join the files using cat the timestamps are not correctly altered and the players may throw errors.

Compiling and using Ogg Video Tools

To properly join OGG files you need a little utility Ogg Video Tools. Unfortunately you can’t install it with Synaptic. Actually you have to compile it yourself. Don’t panic: it will be painless and quick.

  • First, get the source code from the Sourceforge page. Click on the link ending in .tar.gz (called something like oggvideotools-0.7b.tar.gz). Save the archive file in your home folder.
  • Right click on the oggvideotools-0.7b.tar.gz archive icon and select Extract here. This will create a folder called oggvideotools-0.7b.
  • Enter the source folder, that is open a terminal and type cd oggvideotools-0.7b and press ENTER.
  • Give the command
    ./configure
  • Now give
    make
  • Finally give the command
    sudo make install

Congratulations! You have now Ogg Video Tools installed.

To join your OGG files, simply use the following command:

oggCat completefilm.ogv 'scene1.ogg' 'scene2.ogg' 'scene3.ogg'

Note:

  1. replace completefilm.ogv with your target filename and scene1.ogg with your scenes filenames
  2. .ogv is the recommended extension for OGG Theora/Vorbis files. Cinelerra is not up to date on that.

DVD-compliant .mpg video files

If you are going to put your video on a DVD be aware that:

  • you can keep the scenes separated and author them as chapters of the same title. To make DVDs from chapters I recommend the CL program dvdauthor or the GUI program Qdvdauthor.
  • Since MPEG-2 compression uses keyframes, .mpg files have headers that contains supplemental data. Thus concatenating files with cat is not enough to produce correct DVD compliant MPEG-2 video streams. .mpg files joined by cat can be played back by most players but can’t be used for DVD authoring.

Using the Graphical User Interface – Avidemux

Avidemux can be easily installed using Synaptic Package Manager. It will be listed under Applications → Sound & Video menu.

  • Launch Avidemux, click on Open to browse your video files.
  • Select the first .mpg file of your list. Click on Open. You’ll be asked:
    • This looks like mpeg. Do you want to index it? Answer: Yes!
      Indexing will take few minutes, depending on the file size.
    • There is several mpeg file, append them? Answer: Yes!
      This option is useful only when the .mpg files to be joined are in ordered sequence inside the same folder. Otherwise, you’d better use the Append command available in theFile menu. This way you can manually append every single file.
  • Once the indexing and the appending are done, you can preview the video with the transport controls at the bottom left.
  • Choose the format of your destination file, using the controls on your left.
    • Video: Copy
    • Audio: Copy
    • Format: MPEG PS A+V
  • Click on Save to actually save the single, joined file. Select the destination Name and click on Save.

Check that during encoding the streams are just copied (and not re-encoded) and the Container is MPEG DVD. The operation is usually pretty quick. If the encoding seems stuck it is possible that you have not enough space left on disk.

Always check that all the files are appended.

The resulting .mpg file is a DVD compliant MPEG-2 video streams and can be used for DVD authoring.

How to render your project for Vimeo (MPEG4 h264/ACC)

Files encoded with h264 video codec and ACC audio codec, wrapped in a MPEG4 container format have very small size and very good quality.

Unfortunately Cinelerra rendering to h264 is broken. Waiting for this bug to be fixed, here is a workaround: you can render to DVD-compliant MPEG-PS (MPEG2/AC3) and then convert the resulting file.

For the conversion, you can use both Handbrake or Avidemux.

The converted file will be ready to be uploaded to Vimeo. Linux users are recommended to use the basic uploader, to avoid many Adobe Flash bugs. You may want to add it to theCinelerra Vimeo Group.

Handbrake

To install Handbrake, copy and paste the following terminal commands, one at the time:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install handbrake-gtk

Handbrake will be available from the Applications → Sound & Video menu.

You can convert your file in 10 steps:

  1. Load your .mpg file from the File→Source menu.
  2. Make sure the Destination folder is the correct one.
  3. On the right panel, select the Regular→Normal preset.
  4. In the bottom panel, in the Video tab you have two optios:
    • if your video is shorter than 15 minutes and you want the best quality: Enable Bitrate (kbps) and type 2500
    • if the size of your file risks to pass the 500MB limit of the free Vimeo account: Enable Target size (MB) and type 480
  5. Enable 2-Pass encoding
  6. Move to the Audio tab
  7. Select the AAC (Faac) codec
  8. Select 44.1 as Sample rate
  9. Go to File→Preferences and disable the Use iPod/iTunes friendly (.m4v) file extension for MP4 option.
  10. Start the encoding clicking on the green square button at the top.
  11. Have a coffee and be patient!

While you wait for the conversion to finish you you can save for future use the parameters you’ve just set.

  • Click on the floppy disk symbol below the Presets panel.
  • Enter Vimeo as Preset name and some clever words in the description field.
  • Press OK. You have now a new preset Vimeo listed in the Presets panel.

Avidemux

Avidemux can be easily installed using Synaptic Package Manager. It will be listed under Applications → Sound & Video menu.

  1. Launch Avidemux.
  2. Click on Open to browse your video files.
  3. Select your .mpg file. Click on Open. You’ll be asked: This look like mpeg. Do you want to index it? Answer: Yes!
    Indexing will take few minutes, depending on the file siz. It will create a text file in the same folder of the .mpg file.
  4. Now look at the command buttons in the column on the left and set the parameters as follow:
Video:
  • Click on the arrows and open the dropdown menu. Change codec from Copy to MPEG4-AVC (x264) (sometimes called just MPEG4-AVC)
  • Click on Configure and choose one of the following options in the Bitrate tab:
    1. if your video is up to 15 minutes and you want the best quality: Select Encoding mode: Two pass – Average bitrate and type `2500 as Average bitrate: (if you want a smaller file you can decrease it down to 1800 with not too noticeable loss of quality)
    2. if the size of your file risks to pass the 500MB limit of the free Vimeo account: Select Encoding mode: Two pass – Video size and type 480 as Target video size (MB).
      • In case of anamorphic video go to the Motion & Misc tab and select Sample Aspect Ratio as input.
      • Press OK to close the x264 Configuration window.
  • Click on Filters:
    If your video is interlaced you must now deinterlace it.

    • Click on the Interlace tab on your left.
    • Select one of the deinterlace filters and press the + button at the bottom right. The filter will move to the Active Filter panel.
    • Click on the Preview button. Drag the slider of the preview player to check the deinterlace is done properly. If you are not happy with the results, click on Configure and try different settings or try another deinterlace filter.
    • Have a look at the other filters available: you might discover some interesting ones.
    • When you are done, click on Close to leave the Video Filter Manager window.
Audio:
  • Click on the arrows and open the dropdown menu. Change codec from Copy to AAC (FAAC).
  • Click on Configure and set the Bitrate to 128.
  • Click on Filters.
    • Check _Resampling (Hz) and write a value of 44100 in the relative text field.
    • Press OK to close the _ Audio Filters_ window.
Format:
  • Select MP4.

Click on Save and select your output file. Clicking on the Save button at the bottom will start the conversion. This will take sometime, depending on the filesize.

How to render your project for your friend’s Mac computer

To show your masterpiece to your friend you must render your project to a format playable on his/her computer.

Method one: mymasterpiece.mpg

Apple QuickTime Player has no DVD decoder (MPEG-2 decoder) by default. It is an add-on sold separately. However most computers with a DVD player device have also the MPEG-2 decoder installed and are able to play DVD-compliant files. For instructions on rendering your project into DVD-compliant format, see How to render your project to DVD-compliant format. This method ensure a good quality.

Method two: mymasterpiece.mov

You can re-encode your video file into the QuickTime format using ffmpeg, a command line program.

The package available in Synaptic doesn’t support the encoding of AAC audio codec, so you need to compile ffmpeg yourself. For instructions on compiling ffmpeg from source code see this this dedicated page.

To convert your file use the following command.Replace mymasterpiece.ext with the filename and the extension of your video.

ffmpeg -i mymasterpiece.ext -sameq mymasterpieceformac.mov
Method three: mymasterpiece.ogg

Tell your friend to download (here) and install the current stable version of Xiph, the free QuickTime Component that makes any QuickTime-based application be able to play Ogg Theora/Vorbis encoded files. For instructions on rendering your project into OGG Theora/Vorbis format, see How to render your project to OGG format.

Method four: mymasterpiece.ogg

Make your friend happy and tell him/her to download (here) and install VLC, the open source media player that support virtually every video and audio format. S/he will be very grateful. You can then render to any format. DVD-compliant files have a good quality but quite a big size. I recommend OGG: it’s an open format, you still get reasonably good quality but with a smaller file size. For instructions on rendering your project into OGG Theora/Vorbis format, see How to render your project to OGG format.

How to render your project for your friend’s Microsoft Windows computer

To show your masterpiece to your friend you must render your project to a format playable on his/her computer.

Method one: mymasterpiece.mpg

Windows Media player has no DVD decoder (MPEG-2 decoder) by default. It is a plug-in sold separately. However most computers with a DVD player device comes with the MPEG-2 decoder preinstalled and are able to play DVD-compliant files. For instructions on rendering your project to DVD-compliant format, see How to render your project to DVD-compliant format. This method ensures a good quality.

Method two: mymasterpiece.avi

You can re-encode your video file into a format supported by Windows Media Player using ffmpeg, a command line program. This methods will slightly decrease quality and increase size. The resulting file format is not supported in Cinelerra.

Install ffmpeg. In Ubuntu, just open a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

Copy and paste in the terminal the following command. Replace mymasterpiece.ext with the filename and the extension of your video. Press ENTER to start the encoding.

ffmpeg -i mymasterpiece.ext -vcodec msmpeg4v2 -sameq mymasterpieceforwin.avi

Note: If you have compiled ffmpeg and extended the codec support (see this dedicated page), you can use also the following command:

ffmpeg -i mymasterpiece.ext -vcodec msmpeg4v2 -acodec libmp3lame -sameq mymasterpieceforwin.avi
Method three: mymasterpiece.ogg

Tell your friend to download (here) and install the current stable version of Directshow filters, the free plug-in that makes Windows Media Player be able to play Ogg Theora/Vorbis encoded files. For instructions on rendering your project into OGG Theora/Vorbis format, see How to render your project to OGG format.

Method four: mymasterpiece.ogg

Make your friend happy and tell him/her to download (here) and install VLC, the open source media player that support virtually every video and audio format. S/he will be very grateful. You can then render to any format. DVD-compliant format has good quality but quite a big size. I recommend OGG: it’s an open format, you still get reasonably good quality but with a smaller file size. For instructions on rendering your project into OGG Theora/Vorbis format, see How to render your project to OGG format.

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