music video: frozen summer

I recently upgraded my DSLR camera to a Canon 550D, which shoots beautiful 1080p video, and after shooting some test footage of my drinking bird, I decided to have some fun with it. “frozen summer” seemed like a good fit — it’s also a bit whimsical, and (mercifully) it’s quite short, too.

UPDATE: I’ve also uploaded a copy of the video in WebM format for download.

Most of the video is 25FPS 1080p, though the slow-motion bit in the middle was 60FPS footage shot at 720p. Naturally, it was all edited under Linux, using Kdenlive, the same editor I used for my tutorials. I had to play with the speed of the footage quite a bit to keep the bird swinging in time with the music, and Kdenlive does support this using its “speed” effect, but it was a little cumbersome — being able to simply stretch a clip to a specific length would’ve been much easier.

I also experienced two more specific issues. Kdenlive had some trouble with the 1080p footage from the 550D, since it actually has 1088 lines rather than 1080; the discrepancy is meant to be handled automatically, but it came back when I applied the “speed” affect, so clips with that effect applied all shrank slightly and grew black borders on the sides. I fixed this by transcoding the videos using Kdenlive’s “Transcode” menu option and then replacing the original clips with their transcoded versions. This also made preview playback much more responsive, too, so I think it’s something I’ll do as a matter of course when I start video edits in the future.

The other problem was with the 60FPS footage — even though Kdenlive had plenty of frames to play with, slowing it down with the “speed” effect made it jerky, so I assume that it applies the speed effect after reducing the clip to the project’s frame rate. I had better luck after slowing the clip down with MEncoder, using its “-speed” option, and then re-importing it.

This is the first time I’ve done really edit-heavy video work in Kdenlive, and despite those issues, and some general issues with performance and stability, it handled it fairly well. I’m certainly pretty happy with the results, and I think I’ll have less trouble next time, but I’ll definitely be watching Kdenlive closely for improvements.

One thought on “music video: frozen summer

  1. Pingback: melted crayon art: a music video for “texel” | woo, tangent

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