For years some people have wanted a way to edit their audio and video in one place as fluidly as writing text. Cinelerra tries to be a single location for all your audio and video editing needs. All the recording, editing, and playback are handled here. It can be used as an audio player. It can be used to record audio or video. It can even be used as a photo retoucher.
There are two types of moviegoers: producers who create new content, going back over their content at future points for further refinement, and consumers who want to acquire the content and watch it. Cinelerra is not intended for consumers. Cinelerra has many features for uncompressed content, high resolution processing, and compositing, with very few shortcuts. Producers need these features because of the need to retouch many generations of footage with alterations to the format, which makes Cinelerra very complex. There are many more standard tools for consumers like MainActor, Kino, or Moxy, which you should consider before using Cinelerra.
Cinelerra is developed "upstream" by an entity we will call HV that is a sharing but not a community sort of entity. HV likes to work on its own copy of cinelerra on its own, releasing code on a periodical basis every 6 months or so. Some developers decided that it would be nice to develop in a community fashion but did not really want to fork. Basically we maintain a copy that is fairly similar to the official release. But we apply our bug fixes, compiler compliance fixes, and enhancements to the SVN. We do try to send the patches upstream. Thus Cinelerra CV has a number of features that the official version does not have.
In terms of stability, unlike other programs, the release that HV does can not be described as a "stable" release. After HV's Cinelerra is released, there are often issues in the forms of bugs or usability. Also not all of the enhancements of Cinelerra CV make it upstream (e.g. render to YUV pipe). So when there is a new release, one of the members (j6t) merges HV's code with Cinelerra CV code, taking the enhancements from HV and re-arranging the code to be more similar to HV's (white spaces, function naming, directory naming, slight changes in implementations, etc). After the merge, the latest Cinelerra CV release is possibly a little unstable until all the issues with HV's newly added code are fixed, as users find bugs, and as time permits to fix them. Cinelerra CV can be seen as the community's attempt to stabilize HV's release, and also to add enhancement in a community fashion where we can comment on each other's implementation of new plugins. In actual fact, HV does keep track of us and at times say a few words here or there about our implementations.
Given the above discussion, one might say that obtaining the SVN just before a merge is a stabilized version, but then you will likely run into issues of project description files not being forward compatible. Also, HV does find bugs that we did not. And in some cases fix bugs that we point out, and do not get around to fixing. So what is stable is really up for question and for you to decide, but if you go with us and have an issue with the software, you will likely get more communication with us than HV.
This manual edition is 0.82.EN, for Cinelerra CV version 2.1. You may redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License, as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This manual originates from "Secrets of Cinelerra", an excellent manual written by Adam CROSSFIRE from HEROINE VIRTUAL LTD. In 2003 Alex FERRER created a Wiki based on that manual and added a lot of screenshots and other information. At that time, Cinelerra CV still did not have its own manual and information regarding the Community Version of Cinelerra was scattered over the Internet (mailing-list, IRC, websites, wiki, etc). In 2006 Nicolas MAUFRAIS restarted from "Secrets of Cinelerra", reformatted the corresponding texinfo file and added in the contents written in Alex FERRER's Wiki.
Cinelerra-CV documentation maintainers:
English: Nicolas MAUFRAIS (coordinator)
French: Jean-Luc COULON
Other contributors: Alexandre BOURGET, Kevin BROSIUS, Carlos DAVILA, Rafael DINIZ, Pierre DUMUID, Mike EDWARDS, Martin ELLISON, Scott FRASE, Joe FRIEDRICHSEN, Gus Gus, Ben JORDEN, Nathan KIDD, Marcin KOSTUR, Valentina MESSERI, Herman ROBAK, Dana ROGERS, Jim SCOTT, Andraz TORI, Raffaella TRANIELLO.
Thanks to the GNU project team, and particularly to Karl BERRY, maintainer of GNU Texinfo, for the precious help he gave us during the elaboration of this manual.
To fetch the manual sources, install cogito and git-core on your computer and run:
Help can be found at:
Some tutorials are available on the internet: