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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GIMP is an excellent Open Source paint package. Many studios actually use it because it can do 16 bit color. Not quite in that category, but another GREAT software tool people should know about is SceenCast-O-Matic ( This is great for capturing video from your screen, making voiceover demonstrations, or talking about your work.
I looked at GIMP and found it to be great for painting -- but it is me - or does it not support layer mixing? I found layers, but I could not find anything comparable to "blending mode". Maybe this all has to be done with alpha channels?
In your version of Gimp does the Layers dialog have a "Mode" selector? Mine shows ~15 different ways to blend one layer into another: dissolve, dodge, burn, difference, darken only, hue, etc. As you'll learn, GImp does a lot of what Photoshop does, just differently, so it takes some getting used to.
Thanks Mark - it took awhile to find this because it is under "dialogue" not under layers (actually, that is similar to Photoshop where it is under "window".

I am still having issues with pressure sensitivity - it just plain does not work - but I will try later with "bamboo" (maybe it does not like "intuos").

A really great feature is selection by hue and by RGB color -- old Studio/8 and Studio/32 had this, but Photoshop only gives us value selection.
You obviously do more with your imaging programs than I do. I wasn't even considering actually *drawing* anything.
There are a couple of settings to your brush which you can select to operate with the pressure input. You can vary the opacity of your stroke, the width of your stroke or both. I recall it being somewhere on the tool pallet. This requires a working Wacom tablet.. I know it works in Linux. Never tried it elsewhere.
You've already found The Gimp for image manipulation, but since it doesn't contain full support for 16-bit images, I also use Cinepaint. Cinepaint is very Gimp-like, and supports 16-bit integer, 16-bit half-float, and 32-bit floating point pixel depths. Plus, it can open, manipulate, and save high-dynamic-range image file formats EXR and Radiance .pic.

For 3D modeling, the primary software is called Blender. It can call any number of high-quality open-source external renderers.

There is a human modeling software called MakeHuman, which has a very pretty GUI, but (as of two years ago) was hard to install. It should be easier now.

I do not know of any high-quality open-source video editing systems, though. I would be eager to try one.
Well, Gimp certainly sets a high standard for still imaging software. There are various video utilities--ffmpeg and all the user interfaces built out from it--for translating formats, but I don't know about full blown video editing applications. I feel there has to something out there...Jahshaka come up on a search, but I don't know if it's any good.

I've heard that Inkscape is a really good vector graphics application. I've been meaning to try it. Blender for 3D animation, modeling and gaming is very powerful--but has an interface that harks back to its origins as an in-house UNIX-based tool.

-- Paul
Anything similar to "imovie" for video? Just cut, arrange, and transition? (with simple transitions - no swirls!)
I recall using "kino" for simple stuff, and it worked. I was unhappy with the quality of the "Ken Burns" pans, so I wrote my own code to do that. But that was last year.

I am installing the new "kino" along with "avidemux," "gnonlin," and "pitivi," and I'll tell you how it goes. I've only used iMovie once, and that was 5 years ago, so I can't really provide a useful comparison. I can only tell you which seem easiest to use on Fedora with the Livna repositories.
Okay, Avidemux cannot handle movies that are not all the same pixel size. It seems a little slow, and I cannot figure out how to place multiple video files in a sequence. It can open a variety of files.

PiTiVi can't seem to open anything (.mov, .mpg, .avi, .dv), but it shows a timeline on the bottom, and appears to be a relatively easy-to-use tool. What files *does* it open? PiTiVi's web site says that it does not support using still frames. [OK, it does open MPEGs, but you need to install gstreamer-plugins-bad and -ugly.]

Kino keeps crashing on me, but was able to open more than one video file, of different pixel sizes, and align them sequentially in time. It converts each file to DV format upon opening it. It can open still frames and do transitions, but it's not quite as easy as I remember iMovie being.

Summary: Open Source (Linux) software for video editing is not nearly as advanced as 2D still image processing software.
An important thing to consider is the nascent support for color profiles in Linux/OpenSource software. I have had little luck using ICC profiles in my work, and I consider myself something of a Linux "power user."

The Wikipedia page on Linux color management seems particularly useful, and it appears that I should give it all another try.


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