Splice and edit videos with Flowblade

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Blending between two clips in Flowblade is done via compositors and can be a bit awkward; however, the technique provides quite a bit of flexibility. With some practice, you can even create picture-in-picture effects.

To blend one clip effectively into another, both clips must be repositioned as shown in Figure 8, on two separate tracks. Where the tracks overlap is where the blending happens.

Figure 8: Although it looks like the Dissolve applies to the entire upper clip, after some fine tuning it limits itself to the overlapping parts of the clips only.

To move the second clip, simply drag and drop it to the track just above it. Unfortunately, in its keenness to allow no gaps, Flowblade positions the second clip at the leftmost position on the track. To prevent this, click the first button on the left (Overwrite Move ) above the timeline. In this mode, Flowblade now tolerates gaps, and you can easily slide the clip along the track as in Figure 8 in a slight offset to the track below it. If you play the arrangement in the preview pane, you'll see how the upper clip covers the lower one in the overlapping area.

The current Overwrite Move mode enables not only gaps but also lets you position clips exactly as you want on the timeline, without regard for any other clip.

If you insert the first few minutes of a family celebration on track V1 right on top of a beaming member of the family, then that family member is history. You should therefore always revert to the usual (Insert Move ) mode by clicking the second button from the left.

To complete the blending, you can right-click the clip in the upper track. From the menu, choose Add Compositor  | Dissolve to activate a compositor that makes the video transparent. Flowblade adds the transparent black Dissolve bar shown in Figure 8 to mark it.

The settings for the blending are on the Compositors tab, which should have opened automatically (Figure 9). Select the track you want to blend into as the Destination Track , which is V1 in this case. A destination track must be lower in number than the source track.

Figure 9: Settings for the compositor Dissolve allow for control of the blending effect.

Key Points

Next, you can move the vertical timeline to the place where you want the blending to occur – that is, at the end of the bottom clip. Note the grey bar that represents the timeline and the red line indicating the position of the timeline marker. Once you've found the proper location, drag the Opacity ) slider to 0 . Click the plus sign to activate the change, and that's it.

When you look at the video in the preview pane, the program should fade smoothly from one clip to the next. In Ubuntu 12.10, however, the application refused to apply the effect and it was missing in the final video. The reason could not be determined at press time.

Take another look at the compositor settings on the grey bar. You can see two diamond-shaped markers. Each of these so-called keyframes marks where the settings for the dissolve function change. You can jump from marker to marker via the two buttons to the right of the plus and minus buttons. The minus button serves to remove the keyframe just under the red line. Use the same method to apply other compositors. Create wipes by using Add Compositor | Region . The Wipe Type settings include a variety of effects.

A problem occurs when you move the upper clip on its track: The compositor doesn't move with it. To remedy this, right-click the compositor and choose Sync with Origin Clip . You can get rid of an unnecessary compositor with the Delete button.

To output the final video to a file, go to the Render tab and set the folder in which you want Flowblade to save the file and set the name. Unmark the check box next to Use Project Profile and select the resolution you want the completed video to have.

To create a DVD, choose DV/DVD PAL and an Encoding Format , which should be MPEG2/.mpg . Once you click Render , Flowblade creates the video. Depending on its length and your computer's processing power, this process can take up to a few hours.

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