Cinelerra 2019 notes

This post was written by eli on January 8, 2019
Posted Under: Linux,Software

Cinelerra is alive and kicking. I’ve recently downloaded the “goodguy” revision of Cinelerra, Nov 29 2018 build (called “cin” for some reason), which is significantly smoother than the tool I’m used to.


  • There are now two ways to set the effects’ attributes. With the good-old magnifying glass (“Controls”) in with the gear (“Presets”), which gives a textual interface
  • Unlike what I’m used to, the Controls only set the global parameters, even with “Genererate keyframes while tweeking” on (spelling as used in Cinelerra).
  • In order to create keyframes, enable “Generate keyframes” and go for the “gear” tool. That isn’t much fun, because the settings are manual.
  • If the Controls are used, all keyframes get the value.
  • When rendering, there are presets. For a decent MP4 output, go for FFMPEG / mp4 fileformat, then the h264.mp4 preset for audio (Bitrate = 0, Quality = -1, Samples fltp) and same for video (Bitrate = 0, Quality = -1, Pixels = yuv420p and video options keyint_min=25 and x264opts keyint=25).
  • Motion correction (anti-camera-shake). When used properly, really smooth output is obtained. Use the “Motion” effect (not one of the variants, just “Motion”). Enable “Track translation” (and possibly also rotation, haven’t tried it). Enable “Play every frame” on Settings > Playback A, or testing the smoothing by playing the video will result in plain junk. Be sure “Draw vectors” is enabled for the experimentation stage, but turn it off for rendering or it will appear in the rendered video. The inner box shows which region is sampled for motion detection, and the outer box shows how far it looks for motion. It’s controlled by “Translation search radius / block size” as well as Block X/Y. Select “Track previous frame”, action is “Stabilize Subpixel” and calculation to Recalculate (or completely unrelated things may happen).  Play with “Maximum absolute offset” and “Motion settling speed” to get things smooth (the latter determines how quickly the frame is forced back towards zero correction, lower gives smoother output, try 4).

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