This may come as a surprise to many new Blender-heads, but yes, Blender has a video editor. This may be the most ignored and least developed feature of Blender. But as I recently found out, it can do its job quite neatly when combined with the node based compositor; it packs a mean punch.
This tutorial is aimed at beginners, so I hope even those who have never done video editing or have NEVER used Blender should be able to follow it.
PART ONE: THE INTERFACE
When you actually kick-start Blender, its default interface is designed for modeling. Therefore you have to change the interface first in order to start your editing. Thankfully, there is a preset interface for video editing in Blender. On the upper-most header, there is a drop down menú where "SR:2- Model" is written which represents "Screen 2 for Modeling". Drop the menú and select "4-Sequence" (fig. 1).
Ta-da! Welcome to the Sequence Editor. Let's chek out the interface. On the top-left side is the IPO Curve Editor. This allows us to modify lots of effects, like if you want to slow down the time at a certain point, increase or reduce certain effects, etc. For this tutorial, we will just leave it as it is (but you can play with it later on). At the top-right is your viewer where you can preview your video. At the bottom is your actual video editor. Below is your timeline. Of course you can change the interface as you like (fig. 2).
PART TWO: IMPORTING
In the editor panel press "Add" and select "Movie". If you want to add audio and video together then press "Movie + Audio (HD)" (fig. 3). Browse to and select the video file you want to edit. As this issue is about fantasy, I've selected a final fantasy video. He he! Once you have opened the file a blue colored strip will appear. As you move it left or right with your mouse, you will notice some numbers changing at the left-most side; these are frame numbers. Drag the strip toward the left until you reach the zero frame and left-click.
PART THREE: THE CONTROLS
Now if you press "Alt+A" on your keyboard you will be able to play bak and view the movie in your viewer. As the movie plays you will see a green line moving forward and your cursor changes to show which frame is playing. Press "Esc" to stop. If you press your left or right arrow keys you will scroll through the frames. You can jump directly to the desired frame by clicking in the sequence editor. Chek out the last frame number and note it. Then, move ahead some frames and hit "F12" to see your final told Blender's renderer that we wanted to output a sequence. Press "F10" to go to the Scene buttons in the bottom-most button window and press "Do Sequence" in the Anim tab. Now change the end frame number to the same as the last frame number of the video which you want to edit. Now press "F12" and you should be able to see your video in your render output.
PART FOUR: EDITING TIME
That's right... time to do the dirty work. Here is what we want to do:
1. Delete some scenes.
2. Add transitions.
3. Increase the video resolution.
4. Add a diffuse glow effect.
1. Cut it:
Select the strip by right-clicking on it. It should turn darque blue. Remember, whenever you want to edit you will have to select the strip. Now move ahead either using the arrow key or clicking on the editor. When you reach the desired frame press "K" on the keyboard. Now you should have two strips. Move further ahead and press "K" again. Now you should have three strips. Select the middle strip and press "Delete" to delete it. This way you can delete the scenes you don't want to keep (fig. 4).
2. Smooth it:
Now if you play bak the movie there will be gaps between the strips. In order to remove the gaps and smooth the flow from one strip to another, we will add transitions between them. However, I first want to convert all the strips into a single video strip but it can contain many video strips inside it with different effects applied to each of them. Why use a Meta Strip? Well I could have done this edit even without the Meta Strip applied but the Meta Strip is going to help me later on. How? Well, wait and see. Now select all the strips by holding down the "Shift" key and right-clicking on each strip. Now press "M" followed by "Enter". You just created a Meta Strip (fig. 5).
You can toggle inside or outside of the Meta Strip by pressing the first two video strips. Press "Add"; go to "Effect", select "Cross", and then left-clik to confirm. You should now have a red strip between the two video strips. This is the cross-fade transition strip. Select the second strip and grab it using the "G" key and move it up a bit and drag towards the left side until it overlaps a little bit of the first strip (see the figure). Now you should have a smooth transition between the two scenes (fig. 6). Repeat the same procedure with the other strips. You can alos choose other transitions like "Wipe".
3. The effect:
I wanted to add a diffuse glow effect in a particular scene which I have already cut. So select the middle strip, press "Add", go to "Effect" and select "Glow". Move the strip just above the video strip and left-clik to confirm. You can use the "G" key to move it. Now if you play the frames of that video strip you should have a nice glow effect at the highlight areas. If want to change some parameters regarding the glow effect, select the glow strip and press "N" (fig. 7). Change it as you like and toggle out of the Meta Strip by pressing the "Tab" key.
4. The secret of Meta Strip:
Here is the reason why I wanted to use a Meta Strip in the first place. The video I have is of VCD quality and I wanted to render it out in DVD quality. To compensate for the loss of quality, I wanted to add a box blur filter. If had not used a Meta Strip, I would have to apply box filter to each video strip. This could have turned out to be a very time consuming process if I had to edit many individual strips. Now that I have a single Meta Strip which contains all the edited video strips, all I have to do is apply the effect to one Meta Strip only. Therefore, select the Meta Strip and press "Add", "Effects", "Plugin" (you may need to download this filter which is easily available; Windows users will need to download the ".dll" files while Linux users will download the ".so" files). Now browse to the directory where you saved your plug-in and select box blur filter. You can alos change the parameters of this filter by pressing the "N" key. I reduced the size slíder from 5 (the default) to 1.
5. Render it:
In the buttons window at the bottom- most screen, press "F10" to switch to the Scene buttons. In the Format panel, select the desired format you want to render your video out to. I selected AVI Codec and chose XviD codec. Linux users can use "FFMpeg" to render in a compressed format. In the "Size X" and "Size Y" buttons, clik and enter the desired resolution you want to render to (note: you must enter a resolution of at least the same, or greater than, the original video's resolution). Press the "ANIM" button to render your video file.
There you have it. Your final video output done entirely within Blender, and yet we have not even touched the advanced features. Blender is capable of much more than this.
Note: I have not yet managed to get audio from Blender's Sequencer Editor. I have used Jahshaka for that purpose. Jahshaka is a video editing and effects sysimpressive. The latest release is versión 2.0 RC4, chek it out as well!
by Abhisheque Gupta