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LFOM
 LFOM
(@lfom)
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07/06/2020 12:21 am  

I have searched the forum and the manual but I didn't find a way to generate a solid color background for the video track. I know I could import an image, but I think that maybe this could be included to improve even more Cinelerra. I only see Effects and Transitions for Videos, my suggestion is to add a Generator section that could include solid colors and those color bars that were used for TV some time ago (to check the colors, etc). In the future, it could also hold other things, like geometric shapes for animations and more complicated color generators, like gradients. These would not work as filters, meaning that a generator would fill the whole video track, more or less like what happens to images (PNG, JPG, etc). These generators are very useful, for example when using titles or some transitions, if they were available inside the app (and it is not very complicated, at least for solid colors) it would saves lots of time and make things simpler too.

 

Also, as I side note, maybe I missed something in the manual but I could not find a way to "snap" things when editing. For instance, I have a single picture and I want to make it last the full length of an audio track... I know I can expand the picture in the video track, but I didn't find a way to make it "snap" automatically yo the end or beginning of the audio track (the same happens between two video tracks as well), I have to zoom in and do this manually. 

 

Regards,

LFOM


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PhyllisSmith
(@phyllissmith)
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07/06/2020 1:38 am  

A couple of non-expert responses here.

The Gradient plugin is generally used to create a solid or non-solid background by adding it to a video track, usually right underneath the current video track.  For the background to show through, change the current video track to a smaller format so that the background of the Gradient shows around the edge. You just select an area on the empty video track and drag the Gradient plugin over, then you can click on the controls to bring up the menu and change the Inner and Outer colors to be the same if you want a solid color.  Of course, bringing up the Title plugin on that track makes for a pretty picture. 

 

F_pal100bars or F_pal75bars plugins provide the TV color bars.  Again, just swipe in cut and paste mode an area and drag the plugin there.

 

Around page 141, 5.7.9 Snapping while Cutting and Dragging, is described.  Because this was a late addition, it may not be obvious how to use it but the shortcuts make it easy to use.  Also, if you use Drag and Drop editing mode, there are color cues to show when you are dropping immediately next to the another edit.  In addition (and I have never really figured this out) 2 yellow bowtie arrows show up if you drag a clip or piece of media to the timeline to indicate that if you drop it there, it will be immediately next to the other media.


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PhyllisSmith
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07/06/2020 10:21 pm  

Foreground plugin is another recent plugin that I had forgotten about.  It makes a solid color that you can vary the alpha on so that the track below shines through.  Also, in the Settings-> Preferences, Appearance tab, there is "Composer BG Color" in the Color section that you can set to any solid color you want.


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LFOM
 LFOM
(@lfom)
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08/06/2020 10:32 pm  

@phyllissmith Thanks again for your replies, I do appreciate your help. Your suggestion about the gradient filter somehow worked, but it is more like a workaround than actually related to the feature I have suggested. First, after many tries, I only could get a solid color after using the two sliders: simply making both colors the same didn't result in a solid color. Then it is still a "filter" (I am not sure about the name used in Cinelerra for those shorter blue tracks in the bottom of a video track, plugin maybe?), so to get a simple text over a solid color I would have to add two tracks, change to cut&paste mode (only Cin uses this AFAIK), add the gradient plugin to one track and then a title to the other one, then configure it accordingly (once you know how it works). With generators, you could simply add the solid color, then the title plugin, in a single track and still using drag&drop mode (that most people are used to). Did I explain it more clearly now? It is something that is used a lot in video editing, if there was a simpler way to do it I think it would be much better (similarly, the Compose BG Color is more like a workaround, and far from ideal).

And the bars plugins didn't work here, I only get a black background if I simply add any of them to an empty video track, I tried both you suggested.

Finally, regarding snapping, it seems to work only and using drag&drop to clips in the same video track. I could not align clips from different video tracks, or change the length of anything to "snap" to something in a different track. Even when I move or change the length of a plugin I cannot "snap" it to a clip edge. Is it available to anything else besides clips in the same track?

 

Best regards,

LFOM


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PhyllisSmith
(@phyllissmith)
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08/06/2020 11:32 pm  

@LFOM

Yes, you explained exactly what you think would be an improvment -- which is Generators and it certainly would be a very good addition.  I just have to be practical and realize that this feature will not be available any time soon.

About "simply add the solid color, then the title plugin, in a single track and still using drag&drop mode":    I believe that you can do almost what you want using the Foreground plugin with the Title plugin in Drag & Drop mode in a single track.  Here is a demo:

    https://streamable.com/tykw9c

The reason a lot of people really like the Gradient plugin is because you can get a realistic blue sky picture and even have it switch to green or something.

 

I will have to re-read you Snap issue (or maybe Andrea or Igor will have a more expert response).  BTW: I guess most users do use Drag & Drop mode, but I never do except for testing -- it may be because that is more computer/programmer oriented than artist/NLE oriented.

 

The color bars have to be used the same way as shown in the demo -- that is you have to designate an area of the track of where you want them to exist by using the left and right brackets and then dragging them over (Drag & Drop mode).

This post was modified 4 months ago by PhyllisSmith

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LFOM
 LFOM
(@lfom)
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09/06/2020 12:15 am  
@phyllissmith

Thanks again. Yeah, after I posted the reply I realized it could be done using a single track, but still I think it is very "awkward" to work with plugins that way, while the video track is empty. Both Foreground and Title should be "generators", so it would be possible to use them like an image or video (thumbnails, move around more easily, etc). Sure, no problem if the feature won't be added anytime soon, I just wanted to make it clear what I meant and how it would be useful in general.

I think maybe I could explain better what "snap" means in general: when you move something (the whole thing or its edges) it should automatically snap to any other edges in other tracks. For example, if I want to make a plugin longer, I can expand its right edge, for instance. It even shows the cursor over the timeline while I move the mouse, but it does not snap to anything.

Best regards,

LFOM


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PhyllisSmith
(@phyllissmith)
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09/06/2020 12:57 am  

@LFOM

For snap across tracks, I think that "align edits" under the "Edit" pulldown on the main timeline may be what you are looking for, but not sure.  Here is a demo.

    https://streamable.com/pnm2v8

The first unarmed track is used as the Master for alignment so you have to make sure you set it up right.  It may be explained better in the manual.


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PhyllisSmith
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09/06/2020 1:34 am  

Ctrl-Alt drag will "snap" the plugin (blue bar) to the end of the edit and it does turn color from a green line as you drag to yellow when lined up for the snap to let go.  Drag while holding down the left mouse button on the blue colored plugin bar when you will see the black big arrow.


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LFOM
 LFOM
(@lfom)
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09/06/2020 2:19 am  
Posted by: @phyllissmith

Ctrl-Alt drag will "snap" the plugin (blue bar) to the end of the edit and it does turn color from a green line as you drag to yellow when lined up for the snap to let go.  Drag while holding down the left mouse button on the blue colored plugin bar when you will see the black big arrow.

Thanks for the video and explanations. Above is the behavior I was looking for. Why it isn't enabled as default and then use the key modifiers to disable it? Or, even better, make it a toggle in a menu or button in the toolbar? But it only works when dragging the edges (black arrow as you said), it didn't work when simply moving things around.

The align edits wouldn't be needed anymore if we could move things around like when dragging the arrow keys with Ctrl+Alt. 

 

Best regards

LFOM


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PhyllisSmith
(@phyllissmith)
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09/06/2020 2:35 am  

@LFOM

In the last few years so many things have been added that were not in the original design so it has been difficult to add them in.  Your suggestions for improvements are duly noted and I think some of them could be added to the code (like a menu item or toggle) when working on that specific section of code.  There are too many unknown shortcuts and there should be more buttons with appropriate labels so that no guessing is involved.


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MatN
 MatN
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11/06/2020 11:02 am  

@lfom,

When I made a title-only video, I created (with Gimp) a transparent image of the desired format (HD in my case). This image I used to create a video track, and then put the effects on it. In Settings->Preferences->Interface you can set how many seconds of video one imported image should created, and you can drag it to the correct length afterwards on the timeline. Maybe this is an acceptable workaround instead of a generator?


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LFOM
 LFOM
(@lfom)
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Posts: 35
11/06/2020 7:51 pm  

@MatN

Yes, it is an acceptable workaround, like the ones provided by @PhyllisSmith as well. But wouldn't it be much easier, specially for new users, if text, full color frames and shapes could be added to video tracks as images work now? Then they would show thumbnails, they could be easily identified and moved around, etc.

Again,my suggestions are mostly towards improving CinGG, from a new users's perspective and someone who have used many other NLE programs so far. I know CinGG is very powerful, but the learning curve for anyone who never used any or a few video editors is too steep... If there is a great feature that requires some time learning that is unique to the program, I'd say it is acceptable, like what happens to most complex apps. But for most basic things, it only makes new users go away. I know most Cinelerra long time users and developers only use Cinelerra, and it makes it very unique. My goal here is to suggest features that would improve the user experience, specially for new users. And I am sure that if most features are easily achievable using only drag&drop mode with visual hints, etc, many more people will use CinGG. Again, please, I am not bashing or saying that how it works now is bad, these are just suggestions for improvements.

Best regards

LFOM 


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PhyllisSmith
(@phyllissmith)
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Joined: 2 years ago
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11/06/2020 8:43 pm  

@LFOM

@MatN

I added to the Issue Tracker, a feature request to add Generators.  BT # 449.  Eventually someone will be motivated to do this (or all of the fixes and requests ahead of it will be finished) as it is a good idea.

There are a lot of things that can be done to the code to improve it for the new user but we have to be careful not to delete any capabilities that have others have come to know.  One specific example is "piping video to a command line".  Who uses that, right?  So we deleted it several years ago and one user reported that it was the ONLY thing worth having in Cinelerra, much to our surprise! so we had to rework it to get it back in.


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LFOM
 LFOM
(@lfom)
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Posts: 35
11/06/2020 9:51 pm  

@PhyllisSmith

Thanks a lot. And please do not forget about snapping. 😉

Marking this one solved too, thanks for all the feedback and discussion.

Best regards 


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andreapaz
(@andreapaz)
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Posts: 231
11/06/2020 10:14 pm  

A third workaround is to use shared tracks: a concept similar (but not equal) to Premiere-Pro's "adjustment layer". [Section 9.3 in the manual]
You create a new track above the master; RMB on it, Attach effect and then you choose the master track as the basis for the shared. Now the two tracks are connected. Now we can add the plugins we want (and change the background color; or add images or videos, etc.). The shared track is transparent and therefore a perfect base, without having to modify the underlying master track.
In any case, yours is a good idea and I hope it will be implemented.


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