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Using Kdenlive

Some of you expressed interest in making your own video for your final presentation. As I use Kdenlive I will try to introduce it to you here. There is plenty of online documentation on how to use it, including an excellent manual.

Note that in this tutorial, the background image is from a finished ‘project’ (the Kdenlive name for the video file you are putting together). Look at all the cuts that were made! (The empty spaces.)



You can double click on the ‘project window’, top left, to begin to add the files you will be working with. These will be all the audio, video, and picture files you will be using.



Once you have your material in place, you can drag it down to ‘tracks’. Video tracks are on top, audio below. You might need to insert additional tracks, so right click on the ‘Master’ track you want it above or below, and then choose whether you want it above or below that track.

The play bar is immediately to the right of Master, above the tracks. You can move along this bar by moving your cursor to where you want to being and pressing the ‘p’ key. You can see the start point above: it is the white triangle above the white line: that is the playback point.

As you begin to make cuts by pressing shift + r, if you have a video with audio that goes with it (e.g. you talking), make sure that as you start to move things around that you always keep the audio aligned with the video.



You may want to crop or ‘distort’ (fit to frame) some of the video and images. To do this, click on Effects, then select Transform, and Transform again. You then just adjust the red square that appears by using your cursor to pull it out or push it in.



Below, you can see the window that shows you what your video is looking like as you are working with it. Note that as you work with it and are trying to decide whether or not to cut a track, you can click the eye icon in the ‘Master’ row of the track you want to blind out.

Be careful to save your work periodically as it is possible the program will crash.



When you are done, you will render (this brings the video clips together into a unified file). It can take quite a while, so be prepared.

If the rendered file is too big, you might want to compress it, using a program like HandBrake.



If you make the investment to learn this new tool for expression, do not forget to try to have fun while you learn and work, and to create something beautiful!



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