Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 11th Jan 2010 08:10 UTC
Multimedia, AV I followed the hype: Reddit, Slashdot's front page, months of thumbs up on my blog and various video forums by Linux users for OpenShot. Given that I'm longing for a usable Linux video editor since 2003, and given that OpenShot version 1.0 had just been released, I naturally gave it a go, by also downloading its provided dependencies on my Ubuntu Linux 9.10.
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RE: A common problem
by tupp on Tue 12th Jan 2010 01:25 UTC in reply to "A common problem"
tupp
Member since:
2006-11-12

It is really painful to honestly describe the state of multimedia procuction applications on Linux (and thus pretty much all Unices) today.

The big studios predominantly use Linux and OSS programs in post production imaging.

For example, the open source nature of Cinepaint is the main reason why the major film studios and major animation houses use it, and not Photoshop. Not only is the development a lot faster (having 32-bit color depth years before Photoshop), but they can (and do) accelerate the app's development if they need a feature.

Post production techniques are constantly developing at a rapid pace, and every minute of the average theatrical feature film costs about one million dollars to make. With that kind of money involved in every detail and with competitors writing their own image manipulation code, do you think that the studios are going to settle for the stock features of off-the-shelf proprietary programs like Photoshop? They need an image editor that they can develop in-house to their advantage. This advantage is why Cinepaint is so much more attractive to the studios than Photoshop.

Here's the NLE/compostitor, Piranha: http://www.ifx.com/products/piranha
Piranha has been around forever on Linux. Scroll down the Piranha web page and note some of the features. One could say that Piranha is slightly more sophisticated than Final Cut Pro!

Same goes for Piranha's little brother, Ant: http://www.ifx.com/ant

Another big advantage of Linux NLEs over FCP: one can change to a darker theme so that the OS's window elements aren't glaring into one's eyeballs in a dark edit bay.


The ugly thing is the people who always say that there is no problem on Linux with availability of good multimedia production apps. As soon as you say 'music', somebody will come along and say Ardour or Rosegarden. In 3D it's Blender, in image editing it's GIMP

What's wrong with Ardour? ... Blender? Both are incredibly powerful programs.

GIMP is better than Photoshop in many ways. First of all, it's easier to use. I have been able to accomplish a lot of things in GIMP, that my professional photographer friends couldn't do in Photoshop, with years of Photoshop experience. Recently, a friend of mine (who is a pro with probably eight years Photoshop experience) could not figure out how to separately extract the images in an animated gif, so he emailed it to me. I had never done it before, but, using GIMP, I was emailing him the separate images within ten minutes of when I received the gif.

The open source nature of the GIMP is an advantage. One can fork it off into new editor if one desires -- such as Cinepaint!

I can use the latest version of GIMP/Cinepaint compiled for 64-bit. Try that on a Mac with Photoshop! ;-)

Furthermore, I can put GIMP/Cinepaint on a small Linux distro on a live CD (or live USB stick) and it will boot on almost any X86 PC, so I can travel with my photo editor and I don't have to worry whether it will be comptible with the OS on the machine that I encounter.

If I use Tiny Core Linux, both the OS and GIMP combined on the live CD/USB come to only 17Mb! Try that with your proprietary software!

I can do the same with Ardour, Blender and probably with Ant and Piranha.

By the way, Photoshop relies on the open source dcraw for its Adobe Camera Raw plugin to import raw camera files (an essential function for pro photographers). Read the second sentence: http://wiki.panotools.org/Dcraw

I hear a lot of vague criticism of OSS and Linux, but when it gets down to the details, I find that it is often superior to the alternatives.

Also, give the OpenShot guy a break. He's probably been coding his NLE for less than a year, and he's accomplished a lot it that short time. No one should expect it to be perfect right now.

Edited 2010-01-12 01:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: A common problem
by DerGenosse on Tue 12th Jan 2010 07:52 in reply to "RE: A common problem"
DerGenosse Member since:
2010-01-11

The big studios predominantly use Linux and OSS programs in post production imaging.

Yes, many studios do. ILM runs almost exclusively on Linux. So what?
For example, the open source nature of Cinepaint is the main reason why the major film studios and major animation houses use it, and not Photoshop. Not only is the development a lot faster (having 32-bit color depth years before Photoshop), but they can (and do) accelerate the app's development if they need a feature.

No! Just, no. If something is open source or not is not important. It's important if it gets the job done. CinePaint obviously does, because it was developed with the VFX industry in mind by someone associated with that industry. But the job was done by someone first. Then the studios decided to use it, and, in some cases, contribute to it. But it didn't originate at a studio.

Your whole post is full of "moving the goalposts." Yes, the majority of the VFX industry has capitalized on Linux. Nearly every VFX software is available for Linux. But that is totally unrelated to the sorry state of consumer-grade multimedia software. Do I as a user care that ILM runs Linux? No, but I do care if the video editors available to me suck.

Edited 2010-01-12 08:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: A common problem
by tupp on Tue 12th Jan 2010 09:29 in reply to "RE[2]: A common problem"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

The big studios predominantly use Linux and OSS programs in post production imaging.
Yes, many studios do. ILM runs almost exclusively on Linux.

So what?

So, the OP of this sub-thread suggests that Linux multimedia programs cannot compete with the entry level apps in the non-Linux/Unix world. If the "big boys" are using Linux instead of Windows/Mac, obviously, the OP is incorrect.

Did I really have to explain that point?


No! Just, no. If something is open source or not is not important. It's important if it gets the job done. CinePaint obviously does, because it was developed with the VFX industry in mind by someone associated with that industry. But the job was done by someone first. Then the studios decided to use it, and, in some cases, contribute to it. But it didn't originate at a studio.

I don't think that we disagree that much in our points, but we seem to have very different attitudes.

Cinepaint's origins are irrelevant. The studios wouldn't have started using Cinepaint if it couldn't get the job done. It could, and it is open source, which is why they don't switch to something else proprietary that could now possibly get the job done (like 32-bit depth Photoshop).

You said yourself that the studios have contributed to Cinepaint, so we agree that they have a motivation to mess with the code. However, it is most likely that a lot of their Cinepaint development stays in-house, so that that they keep an edge over their competitors. They can't get that edge with Photoshop.


Your whole post is full of "moving the goalposts."

I'm not sure what the hell your quoted phrase means, but I am not very pleased that you are making personal comments.


Yes, the majority of the VFX industry has capitalized on Linux. Nearly every VFX software is available for Linux. But that is totally unrelated to the sorry state of consumer-grade multimedia software.

First of all, anyone can obtain for free all of the open source software that the "big boys" are using. So there is no barrier there.

Secondly, I wholeheartedly disagree that the Linux "consumer-grade" software is in a "sorry" state. Exactly what are the problems that you have encountered? Please give specific examples.

I hope that you are not complaining about something as trivial as an unfamiliar GUI. Keep in mind that the folks using a high-end Linux NLE running 20 hyper-HD threads don't care that the look of its window widgets is not visually consistent with the window buttons on Itunes!


Do I as a user care that ILM runs Linux? No, but I do care if the video editors available to me suck.

You want a Linux NLE that will knock the pants off of FCP and standard-issue Avid? -- get Ant!

Edited 2010-01-12 09:45 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: A common problem
by spiderman on Tue 12th Jan 2010 10:05 in reply to "RE[2]: A common problem"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23


No! Just, no. If something is open source or not is not important.

It's not important for YOU. Being Open Source is a FEATURE. It means you can MODIFY the software to SUIT YOUR NEEDS. And don't tell me no consumer does it, THEY DO.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: A common problem
by strcpy on Tue 12th Jan 2010 07:55 in reply to "RE: A common problem"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20


The big studios predominantly use Linux and OSS programs in post production imaging.


Oh, yeah! This is a true classic in Linux advocacy.

Maybe you should bolster up your argument by saying also that, you know, Linux runs on supercomputers?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: A common problem
by tupp on Tue 12th Jan 2010 09:32 in reply to "RE[2]: A common problem"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Oh, yeah! This is a true classic in Linux advocacy.
Maybe you should bolster up your argument by saying also that, you know, Linux runs on supercomputers?

Maybe you should do some research, and, then, actually make a decent point.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: A common problem
by wargum on Tue 12th Jan 2010 09:46 in reply to "RE: A common problem"
wargum Member since:
2006-12-15

The big studios predominantly use Linux and OSS programs in post production imaging.


And it is used in supercomputers, render farms, I know! You are talking about the super high end here that has soooo little volume.

For example, the open source nature of Cinepaint is the main reason why the major film studios and major animation houses use it, and not Photoshop. Not only is the development a lot faster (having 32-bit color depth years before Photoshop), but they can (and do) accelerate the app's development if they need a feature.


If Cinepaint is so great, why isn't it bundled in most distributions?

Post production techniques are constantly developing at a rapid pace, and every minute of the average theatrical feature film costs about one million dollars to make. With that kind of money involved in every detail and with competitors writing their own image manipulation code, do you think that the studios are going to settle for the stock features of off-the-shelf proprietary programs like Photoshop? They need an image editor that they can develop in-house to their advantage. This advantage is why Cinepaint is so much more attractive to the studios than Photoshop.


Again, you are talking about some people in the high end here.

Here's the NLE/compostitor, Piranha:


Man, this is so bad. Did you try to get it? For Germany they only mentioned a swiss distributor that has prices well hidden somewhere. I couldn't find it. This is a lot like when trying to buy other super high end and super expensive software like Maya.

Another big advantage of Linux NLEs over FCP: one can change to a darker theme so that the OS's window elements aren't glaring into one's eyeballs in a dark edit bay.


Yeah, whatever...

What's wrong with Ardour? ... Blender? Both are incredibly powerful programs.


Ardour is NOT a fully featured DAW like Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase etc. It has nothing to offer for MIDI.

Blender's UI is very very difficult to learn. I tried it myself, now I use Cinema 4D. I bought it and never regretted! Blender was originally proprietary commercial software. If it were better, they wouldn't be out of business by now.

GIMP is better than Photoshop in many ways. First of all, it's easier to use.

It's hard to find people like you these days. GIMP's GUI is awkward, that's common sense.

... Try that with your proprietary software!

Why would anybody do that? You travel with your laptop which contains all the software you need. Period.

I can do the same with Ardour, Blender and probably with Ant and Piranha.

The question is just: Is time worth anything to you? I mean if mentioned OSS would be all that great, why would anybody still buy software? The answer is: You glorify OSS like there is no tomorrow. But as I said, when you look a little deeper, you find problems in the OSS 'alternatives'.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: A common problem
by spiderman on Tue 12th Jan 2010 10:08 in reply to "RE[2]: A common problem"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23


Blender's UI is very very difficult to learn. I tried it myself, now I use Cinema 4D. I bought it and never regretted!

Blender's UI is the most productive interface on the market. It's not difficult to learn but it takes time, yes. When you master it, you can be more productive than on any other 3D modeling software. Put one hand on the keyboard and one hand on the mouse and learn the shortcuts.

Edited 2010-01-12 10:12 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: A common problem
by tupp on Tue 12th Jan 2010 11:23 in reply to "RE[2]: A common problem"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

You are talking about the super high end here that has soooo little volume.

The OP of this sub-thread was trying to suggest that Linux media software is inferior. Of course, as you admit, Linux software is quite the opposite -- high end. The OP didn't make any assertions regarding the volume of users.


If Cinepaint is so great, why isn't it bundled in most distributions?

It is bundled with a many of them, and it is certainly in all of the major repositories.


This advantage is why Cinepaint is so much more attractive to the studios than Photoshop.
Again, you are talking about some people in the high end here.

Exactly. Linux software is much better!


Man, this is so bad. Did you try to get it? For Germany they only mentioned a swiss distributor that has prices well hidden somewhere. I couldn't find it. This is a lot like when trying to buy other super high end and super expensive software like Maya.

No... This is very, very good. Yes, Piranha is super high end -- $200,000+. Ant is probably less expensive, maybe $10,000-$15,000.


one can change to a darker theme so that the OS's window elements aren't glaring into one's eyeballs in a dark edit bay.
Yeah, whatever...

I guess some of us haven't been in very many edit bays.


Ardour is NOT a fully featured DAW like Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase etc. It has nothing to offer for MIDI.

Actually, I appears that it already has some MIDI functionality and in that regard is developing fast. Is that all?


Blender's UI is very very difficult to learn... I tried it myself, now I use Cinema 4D. I bought it and never regretted! Blender was originally proprietary commercial software. If it were better, they wouldn't be out of business by now.

I have used Blender a little and had no problem with the UI.

A lot of things can force a company out of business, even if the company has a great product. It happens all the time.


It's hard to find people like you these days.

On the other hand, it's very easy to find people like you, but perhaps we should refrain from personal remarks.


GIMP's GUI is awkward, that's common sense.

That is not common sense -- that is a common myth.

Specific examples, please.


Why would anybody do that? You travel with your laptop which contains all the software you need. Period.

Ummm, maybe they don't have a laptop. Or maybe, they don't want to carry a laptop. Or perhaps they are traveling to a location where there is a computer which is more powerful than one's laptop, so it would be easier/faster to use the live CD/USB, etc.

There many reasons why people currently use live CD/USBs. Period.


The question is just: Is time worth anything to you? I mean if mentioned OSS would be all that great, why would anybody still buy software? The answer is: You glorify OSS like there is no tomorrow. But as I said, when you look a little deeper, you find problems in the OSS 'alternatives'.

Again, with the personal remarks!

Time is worth much to me, and I save a lot of it by using Linux/OSS and by not having to constantly endure ignoramuses who pose questions and then follow-up with feeble and unrelated insults.

If your time is so important, why are you wasting it on inferior software, such as FCP? -- spend the money and get Ant!

You have only named one concrete OSS problem -- Ardour's temporary lack of MIDI functionality. You are going to have to come up with more examples than that one, if you expect to characterize Linux and OSS as "problematic."

By the way, there is no 64-bit Photoshop functionality on the Mac platform, so that cancels out your point about Ardour and MIDI.

Edited 2010-01-12 11:26 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: A common problem
by sorpigal on Fri 15th Jan 2010 23:41 in reply to "RE[2]: A common problem"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

"GIMP is better than Photoshop in many ways. First of all, it's easier to use.

It's hard to find people like you these days. GIMP's GUI is awkward, that's common sense.
"

No, it isn't. GIMP's UI is extremely, let me emphasize, extremely good. It was generally well thought out, it has been extensively tested and it is structured such that the user can work quickly and productively. Compared to the total junk that is photoshop... there is just no comparison.

The problem the GIMP has is that it is *unusual* and most people don't care for that. The people who stand the most to benefit from the great GIMP UI are the people least likely to use the GIMP: professionals. I say they are least likely to use it not because it's a bad UI, but primarily because professionals normally learn Photoshop *first*. Once you are used to that it is very hard to unlearn and relearn. Sit a pro-Photoshop guy down in front of the GIMP and he will be begging to go back to Photoshop within hours simply because it doesn't work as he expects it to, because it is not Photoshop and that is all he knows.

The second reason professionals, those who stick it out and learn how to use the GIMPs UI to their advantage, don't use the GIMP is an example of the same sad story we find in a lot of F/OSS projects: features. Photoshop has a lot of things it supports or can do that the GIMP can't (yet) do. For most users these specific features don't matter at all, but for the professional who needs them they are essential.

Criticisms of the GIMP which complain of lacking features or slow development are often legitimate. Sometimes a complaint of a lack of feature is invalid because the feature is there but it simply is called something else and was not discovered by the one who complained. Otherwise, such complaints are fine.

The people who primarily complain about the GIMP are Joe-Average-Amateur-Nobody who has his warzed copy of Photoshop, or bought it to fix red eye or add lens flare effects. These people complain about the UI, because it's different and not familiar. They don't use Photoshop (or the GIMP) enough to appreciate what they have.

This is you. Congratulations.

Sadly, the GIMP developers are gradually cracking under the pressure from the vocal majority of idiots who don't know what they're talking about. They have slowly introduced UI changes which make the GIMP more like Photoshop, sometimes at the expense of usability. If only there were another GTK image editor which would serve the needs of this class of loser! The GIMP would soldier on without such harmful interference.

The day the GIMP starts defaulting to one-big-window will be a sad day indeed.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: A common problem
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 12th Jan 2010 23:33 in reply to "RE: A common problem"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14


For example, the open source nature of Cinepaint is the main reason why the major film studios and major animation houses use it, and not Photoshop.


Do they really use it *still*? The list of major movies its been used on is a bit dated, there hasn't been a release in some time. Its interface is gimp 1.0. The "next generation" rewrite glasgow is the most absurdly unstable piece of software I've ever attempted to use. It is *not* getting much development from major ,movie companies. If its being updated, those changes aren't making their way back into the trunk.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: A common problem
by tupp on Wed 13th Jan 2010 08:25 in reply to "RE[2]: A common problem"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Do they really use it *still*?

Yes. They do.

As I mentioned previously in this thread, a lot of the development probably stays in-house to give a "proprietary edge."

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: A common problem
by ageitgey on Wed 13th Jan 2010 04:07 in reply to "RE: A common problem"
ageitgey Member since:
2009-11-10

GIMP is better than Photoshop in many ways. First of all, it's easier to use. I have been able to accomplish a lot of things in GIMP, that my professional photographer friends couldn't do in Photoshop, with years of Photoshop experience.


I've developed extensively for GIMP and I've used Photoshop for 15+ years. I very pro open source where it makes sense, but I also understand both applications very deeply. Claiming that GIMP is better than Photoshop is utterly silly.

Yes, there are things here and there that GIMP does better than Photoshop. Working with Animated GIFs is a good example. But those strengths are much fewer than the massive holes it has compared to Photoshop CS4.

GIMP is missing vital tools that are the bread and butter of a working photographer. This includes things like the healing brush, the patch tool, perspective image stamping, real support for actions, the quick select tool, a real brush engine, etc. The list is miles long. Trying to work as a real photographer without these tools greatly increases the amount of time spent editing.

This whole argument between GIMP and PS is out of date anyway. Most of the stuff that GIMP can handle well (color correction, cropping, basic touch ups, etc) are things that modern photographers no longer do in Photoshop. That work has all migrated to apps like Lightroom and Aperture. In fact, Photoshop is quickly becoming just a utility to photographers instead of the "main tool." There's nothing open source that is comparable to Lightroom at the moment.

GIMP is a great application to have around. It fits the needs of many amateurs and is a great utility for professionals as well. It's also a great base to build your own custom image processing tools. But saying that any real professional photographer (who gets paid for their time) could use it daily INSTEAD of Photoshop is silly. It's just not true.

By the way, Photoshop relies on the open source dcraw for its Adobe Camera Raw plugin to import raw camera files (an essential function for pro photographers).


That's misleading at best. ACR uses *pieces* of dcraw. But Adobe has added thousands of hours of their own development tweaking the raw conversion algorithms. ACR is way, way better than dcraw alone.

In any case, this is where open source really excels - producing great reusable libraries of common core functions like dcraw. Where it tends to fail is producing polished, high-end applications for niche audiences. That's no ones fault. It's just economics.

I hear a lot of vague criticism of OSS and Linux, but when it gets down to the details, I find that it is often superior to the alternatives.


I think it's impossible to say OSS is "better" or "worse" than alternatives. OSS kicks ass for low level libraries and applications that apply to a wide user base. That's why Firefox is so great. It attracts a huge number of developers to keep improving it. But that's also why OpenShot is struggling. There just aren't that many people in the world who want to develop a free high-end video editor with a pro-level feature set.

I wrote an article on this phenomenon for this very site half a decade ago: http://www.osnews.com/story/8146

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: A common problem
by tupp on Wed 13th Jan 2010 09:16 in reply to "RE[2]: A common problem"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

I've developed extensively for GIMP and I've used Photoshop for 15+ years. I very pro open source where it makes sense, but I also understand both applications very deeply. Claiming that GIMP is better than Photoshop is utterly silly... GIMP is missing vital tools that are the bread and butter of a working photographer. This includes things like the healing brush, the patch tool, perspective image stamping, real support for actions, the quick select tool, a real brush engine, etc. The list is miles long. Trying to work as a real photographer without these tools greatly increases the amount of time spent editing.

It is interesting that, one who has extensively developed for GIMP, who is very pro open source, who understands Gimp very deeply, would claim that GIMP is missing a healing brush: http://docs.gimp.org/en/gimp-tool-heal.html

GIMP has had this function since at least version 2.4.

In regards to the other features, the patch tool is not yet included in GIMP, but the heal tool can yield the exact same results.

Also, GIMP has the Resynthesizer plug-in (which is actually more sophisticated than the Patch tool): "resyn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liE_sYVGFYU&feature=related From what I've read, GIMP had this function prior to Photoshop.

Perspective image stamping? Do you mean "perspective clone?": http://docs.gimp.org/en/gimp-tool-perspective-clone.html Or perhaps you meant the "perspective" tool: http://docs.gimp.org/en/gimp-tool-perspective.html

In regards to the other features you mentioned, I think that most good photographers can do without them. Do you think that if Richard Avedon's work of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s would be greater if he had had "real support for actions," "the quick select tool" and a "real brush engine?"

What else is on the "list."


But saying that any real professional photographer (who gets paid for their time) could use it daily INSTEAD of Photoshop is silly. It's just not true.

Again, most of the greatest photographers never used Photoshop. I would put my money with Richard Avedon using GIMP against most others using Photoshop.


ACR uses *pieces* of dcraw. But Adobe has added thousands of hours of their own development tweaking the raw conversion algorithms.

How do you know?

Reply Parent Score: 3