Chapter 4. Video editing

Table of Contents

Getting the files off the video camera
Removing useless files

After my last vacation there were three hours of digital video waiting for cutting and editing. My laptop had no problems connecting the FireWire camcorder, and I used dvgrab to copy the videos to harddisk.

Getting the files off the video camera

Main problem was that the notebook disk is only 30 gigabytes, and there were only 4 of them free. The space was filled up after 15 minutes digital video were transferred... As the desktop pc had about 50 gig free, I tried to mount the free drive via nfs on the laptop and directly grab the files over network. Unfortunately the connection wasn't fast enough (100mbit network), but I had dropped frames every now and then. So I grabbed to the laptop disk and moved the files with another console to the nfs drive. No problems with dropped frames.

I wanted to use the desktop pc for copying the other two tapes to disk, so I bought a FireWire card and compiled the FireWire modules into the kernel. After a restart I could open Kino and control the camcorder - but I didn't see any video. dvgrab didn't give any results either, although gscanbus allowed me to control (play/pause/stop) the camera, too. Searching the net brought up another user with the same problem, but no solution. I subscribed to the FireWire mailing list at and told them my problem. I had an answer in my mailbox the next morning telling that some users got it working if they removed the FireWire ethernet driver eth1394. And after re-compiling the firewire kernel drivers as modules it worked as long as eth1394 was not loaded!

After copying one hour of video (16 gigabytes of disk space used!), I used Kino to arrange the files and cut the scenes down to usable ones. As I used dvgrab --autosplit --timestamp for grabbing the video from the digital camcorder, I had about 200 single files to import into Kino. As Kino doesn't support opening multiple files, dragging them from Konqueror helped to get them at once. Now there was no button to delete scenes, so I used Trim to set the beginning and the end mark to the same position. After doing that for about 100 of the 200 scenes, I noted that one could use the Cut command to get them out. But the program is somewhat slow cutting them (as it recreated the index or somewhat), I closed it and tried to do that by hand: The project files are in SMIL format, an XML dialect for audio and video sceneries. So it's human readable, and I opened it in my favorite editor and cut out all the lines which had the same beginning and ending position. That was done after one minute, compared to the four scenes you can cut with Kino in that time.