Does any one have experience with good Open Source imaging and video editing software?

I have already discovered that the text editor in Open Office offers the versatility of HTML (tables for placement and colored backgrounds) and it can export pdfs.

Paint programs, video editing, modeling, anything else that you actually have tried would be great to know about.

My interest is in supporting the faculty and students of the Non-Stop Institute in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This is the home Antioch College, which is currently arranging its new status as an independent College, after years of affiliation with Antioch University, and the faculty of Non-Stop is primarily the Antioch College faculty of last year. A wonderful coalition of faculty, students, Antioch alumni, and other supporters are working together to create a new model of teaching and creative exchange based entirely on Open Source.

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I tried to put in a color profile into an image using the "preferences" section of GIMP, loading Adobe RGB and saving as a tif, but it did not come in as embedded when I opened the file in Photoshop - so I assume that this only works for direct printing. Is this right?

Has anyone had success with embedding profiles in any OpenSource?
From what I can tell, the Preferences section is where you tell Gimp what color profile to use to display images. It shouldn't attach anything to an image. For that, you'll need to go to Image->Mode->AssignColorProfile. I can assign sRGB, but not having Photoshop, I can't tell if it works.
Sorry, Cynthia, I don't have experience with open source.

I love Blender, I use it when ever it's capable of completing a job. And realistically, it's nearly capable of finishing anything that a commercial program can. Just, the tools are a little different, and in some cases, unfinished.

Given a few more years, Blender may be the goto app for many things. It's sort of the swiss army knife of CG. There is a non-linear editor in Blender, which I've used. But, I might count that as one of the unfinished features. Last I used it,, it's great for arranging and cutting clips. But, still inferior to iMovie. Again, Blender is first and foremost a Linux App. Unless you're exporting frames, the video export is a little iffy. It uses ffmpeg to do video export, so you might run into some issues on a mac or win machine.

Aside the non-linear editor, there's node-based compositing (needs work), a game engine (), and what it does best is 3D modeling/animation/rendering. There are a couple of nice 3rd party open source ray-trace renderers that plug in also (yafray, indigo....). But, the native renderer keeps getting better.

I've done a few lectures on Blender at my local SIGGRAPH Chapter and Linux Users Group. So, I have a lot to say about it. If you want to Skype in sometime, I can fill you in on things that I may have missed, or questions you'd like answered. "seannovak" is my Skype screen name.

Hmm let's see,, I've installed and played with Cinelerra a while back.. The project fell silent for a while, but now looks like it's being picked back up!

As mentioned before, the Gimp is the go to app for still frame editing. I believe Gimp is a descendant of Cinepaint ( It is more for editing frame sequences. For example, painting out cables, dust, scratches, otherwise fixing frames.

For a renderfarm, I use DrQueue ( If you have a Linux guru at your disposal, you'll need him/her. I have a work through on my website.

Hey Jacki, ever find anything good for CG asset management?!
Thanks for the tip on Cinelerra. It definitely seems like the most-developed of the Linux video editors: drag-and-drop clip placement, many rendering options, many audio and video formats. It's not as intuitive as I'd hoped, but then I've never really used a non-linear video editor before.
Here's a nice "Blender" animation
OOps! I wrote the following before I had realized there were other responses already - so - sorry for any repetition!

I have had some great experiences with open source software, including the Ubuntu flavor of the Linux OS. I can highly recommend the following three open packages- (with an Ubuntu note afterwards :)

-- Blender (3d) : extremely capable 3d software package, which is happy and quite complete running on many different platforms (Linux, OsX, Windows, etc..), and offers at least modest video editing capabilities from within the package. Blender has particle systems within the program, offering hair/fur, grass etc., and even an amazing "bullet" physics engine, and soft-body (like fabric, etc.) support . Blender also has a built-in game engine, and offers some advanced lighting solutions through third party programs/plug-ins, like Indigo and YafRay. The Blender institute has produced 2 short movies over the years, which showcase capabilities (and have been used as a platform to push r&d through project-based needs). The Blender interface has a definite learning curve, but very much makes sense and is part of the reason for the fierce devotion and evangelism of it's rapidly expanding user base. To see a gorgeous little demo of what can be done with it, take a little jaunt to and check out the 10-minute short anim-movie they recently produced, "Big Buck Bunny", entirely with Blender.

-- GIMP (2d raster- similiar to photoshop) - also extremely capable, at least in the digital world. Difficult or impossible to use in the past for commercial pre-press work, but I don't think most people need that! And it's at least moderately possible it's been advanced in that arena since last I investigated it. GIMP is fast, robust, and allows with quite a bit of interoperability with other formats, such as layered (RGB) photoshop files, clipping paths, web-optimized graphics and the like. Gimp also has it's own layered file format, and has a multiple undo / edits history type thing, which is extremely handy for complex and/or creative projects.

-- Inkscape (2d vector - similar to illustrator) - this one is probably not as strong as the last two, but throws a good punch in it's own right. Again, doesn't seem to be geared for commercial print production use, but otherwise swift and fun, allowing with great SVG-native files and support. Seems to deal really well with transparency effects (i.e. drop shadows, glows etc. which aren't really vector in nature), and moderate-to-ok external file support. Does usually produce acceptable PDFs, and there are plenty of settings to tinker with to get things right. Somewhat different treatment/approach with strokes and fills, but not bad, and it really just takes a few hours to feel pretty good at the basic toolset if one is already illustrator-savvy.

-- Last, but certainly not least - all three above have performed fabulously for me in both the 32 and 64-bit versions of the Ubuntu Linux OS. (also open source) Ubuntu can be challenging at the very beginning, in my experiece, to get the 3d graphics (openGL) working natively, but there are is a lot of information out there, and newbies shouldn't be frightened - just ready to spend some time getting final kinks worked out. For non-3d use, Ubuntu should install with little guidance, and has a great package manager, allowing users to search for, and install, from the vast opensource library of software. (for instance, all three of the above can be rapidly found through that, and installed, without ever using a command line interface) Care should be taken when installing Ubuntu on a drive with another OS on it already - at least, if that's a crucial 2nd system.

A very promising initiative was Jahshaka which will be a full fledged editor / compositor. Unfortunately the project was stalled. However, it seems to have been revived.

Personally I'd love to use open source software for my classes, but students seem to want to learn "industry standard" applications.

At the Education Committee site we have been setting up a page on Open Source software, but I just noticed it has not been published yet. I see if I can get it public.
I just published a page with links to open source software, should update it with all the good suggestions from this thread!
InkScape is a free vector drawing program.

Thanks Rick - will try this -
the link is
Hi all! So, I realize this thread's been a wee bit dead for almost a year, but I thought I'd ask - any of you have any experience or etc. with "Open Framework" ? It seems like an interesting possibility in the in the realm of interactive art and design.



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