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Linux Format - - CONTENTS -

Alexan­der Tol­stoy isn’t de­tain­ing any po­lit­i­cal ac­tivists, he’s far too busy de­tain­ing the best FLOSS he can round up off the in­ter­net: Flow blade, K mail, Screen cloud, AN­GRY search, V itunes, Min, Curlew, Konv, Feed reader, Speed Laz er, Ex­tremeTuxRacer.

Even in the post-cam­corder era, peo­ple still gen­er­ate count­less gi­ga­bytes of video con­tent. Most of it comes from their smart­phones and re­mains, for the most part, unedited and unloved. The Linux Format team be­lieves that th­ese files shouldn’t be for­got­ten or stored as a dead weight on a hard drive, so let’s make bet­ter use of them by pro­duc­ing some cool home videos. When placed along­side the most well-es­tab­lished non-lin­ear video ed­i­tors in Linux, such as Kden­live and OpenShot, Flow­blade is a lesser-known ri­val. Don’t let its ob­scu­rity put you off, though. The pro­gram is just the kind of video edi­tor that you’ll want to get to know, and you were prob­a­bly bliss­fully ig­no­rant of its ex­is­tence un­til you turned to this page (un­less you’ve read up on it back in LXF175). Flow­blade’s key ben­e­fits are a friendly and log­i­cal GUI lay­out, cou­pled with its smooth over­all per­for­mance. The time­line is in the lower part of the win­dow, while the pre­view zone with play­back con­trols

“It’s just the kind of video edi­tor that you’ll want to get to know.”

are at the top-right cor­ner. If you’ve ever mas­tered some footage in any other video edi­tor, it won’t take long to be­come fa­mil­iar with Flow­blade thanks to its tra­di­tional in­ter­face de­sign.

You can start with im­port­ing source clips by press­ing the Add but­ton, or just drag­ging files over the top-left part of the win­dow. Then you can drag clips to the time­line and spice them up with var­i­ous ef­fects and tran­si­tions. The time­line has sev­eral tracks (by de­fault, the ac­tive track is set to Track 1, the low­er­most one) that en­ables you to stack sev­eral clips and play with su­per­im­pos­ing ef­fects. The top-left area has tabs below it for switch­ing to dif­fer­ent views, ex­plor­ing fil­ters and com­pos­i­tors, man­ag­ing projects and ren­der­ing your work to the tar­get file.

Flow­blade uses the same MLT/ FFm­peg en­gine as most other non­lin­ear ed­i­tors. The ap­pli­ca­tion re­quires a long list of Python mod­ules to be in­stalled be­fore­hand, but doesn’t need any build­ing from source. Once you sat­isfy all its re­quire­ments, sim­ply run the ./flow­blade script to get started. If you’re not miss­ing any­thing in your sys­tem, Flow­blade should prove it­self to be sta­ble and fully func­tional.

Flow­blade show­cases a good bal­ance be­tween fea­tures and sim­plic­ity for edit­ing your video clips.

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