Developing Blender's NLE

General discussion about the development of the open source Blender

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Developing Blender's NLE

Post by CJM »

I am a Video Editor/Producer in San Diego, and I love Blender. I do think the NLE system could definitely use some changes, though. Unfortunately, I do not know programming, but if anyone wants to collaborate with an Editor for ideas, I would GLADLY donate any time necessary. Blender is an amazing piece of software, and the addition of a stronger video editing system could only add to it's charm.

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Post by Money_YaY! »

Just curious on this... Being in teh field in avid and Final cut.. what kind of tools could open source do to make warent the feature stack of blender or some such to compete ??

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Post by CJM »

I am personally familiar with Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro, and I know Blender will not ever reach their caliber for high end production. On the other hand, there is something to be said for doing everything in one piece of software. Blender's NLE is functional, yes, but I think it might benefit from some small changes. At the moment, it is very counter-intuitive for anyone coming from an editing background. I think an "asset" panel of some sort and a more logical layer system would be a good start, not to mention a tools palette or screen. I understand that Blender is being developed on donated time, and I know that the NLE is not a primary focus. I am just saying that if anyone is working on that part of development, I would love to help in any way I can. Blender has become an invaluable tool to me, and not being a programmer, I thought at least I might be able to help with any suggestions or questions.

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Post by joeri »

"a tools palette or screen" is of value truw all of blender.
Personal shelfs would be a big step forward.
Although I know that the editors that I know never use the toolshelfs and know all the shortcuts by hart, I understand that for learning these tools is visual feedback on possible tools is far better.

In the Orange blog I read that some important changes have been made to memory management (max mem set). Blender keeps all images in memory for fast playback, but that is impossible for productions longer than 30 seconds. Some pre-render fase could be introduced ( I think blender already has this btw. I know we used to let blender render crossfades and blender would replace the correct clips in the EDL ).

It also depends on how you use the sequence editor. It's always been some sort of "AfterEffects", not a "Premiere/FCP".

I'm all for a good NLE in blender, but I tend to think it would be best to start one from ground up. Specialy with (1.0, 2.0, 5.1, 7.1) audio tracks and HD avi files.

I'm pretty sure blender can get "as good" as premiere. Even as good as premiere 2.0 with build-in after effects. All the scaling, warping, moving is there, only the interface needs a good tune-up.
It might also be worth while to see if a generic clips editor could fit the needs of creating a visual front-end to dvd-author.

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Post by osxrules »

CJM wrote:I think an "asset" panel of some sort and a more logical layer system would be a good start, not to mention a tools palette or screen.
I agree. I don't have a recent CVS build but if the compositor has fileinput nodes like Shake then that would make taking passes from external renderers or sources much easier and having an assets panel would allow easy access to those sources.

I think a better layer system will be easier once the nodes are finalized and the grouping mechanism is in place but I don't see why it wasn't done ages ago. Objects could have just had a string id to say what the layer they belong to is. As for having fast access to layer switching, I don't think it would be more difficult to have a window below the outliner listing layers like Photoshop with little tickboxes to enable/disable. The move to layer option could pop up a menu with the layer names.

I think the tools palette would be good if it acted like the n-key in the 3D window. Just press a key and the tools palette would appear at your mouse cursor and have tools that applied to the current window. The 3D window tools palette could look like the Photoshop tools palette.

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Post by anders_gud »

Great that people are getting in to the sequence editor:-)
I don't know if it's necessarily a good idea to emulate After Effects or FCP... The Blender UI has it's good sides too.
An asset manager is in the works - Andrea Weikert is rewriting the infamous ImageBrowse window.
Of course the UI could use a good work over, but I think the major priority is getting the internals of the sequence editor stable. (performance, memory handling, disk caching, plugin API)
Some of the TODO's for the sequence editor can be found at: ... 9&atid=127
(Bottom of page)

An important thing:
We need FEEDBACK on the sequence editor!
Grab a FFMPEG enabled testbuild or build it from CVS. Test thoroughly:
-Audio handling (different formats, samplerates, multiplexing, mixdowns, volume IPO's)
-Video (formats, effects and plugins - performance in long clips, croma/luma plugins/previews)
-Rendering (output quality audio/video). (Scene strip render is not in yet but expected soon..)
- file Bugs you find in the tracker!

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Post by snovak »

I have a lot of experience with Final Cut, Premiere, Shake, Fusion, and Maya. Premiere is terrible (just needed to get that off my chest,, thank you). I think a feature that would blow most of these packages out of the water is the integration of all of tools built into Blender. Lets put this into perspective,,, You have the NLE, the node compositor, and a 3d modelling and animation program.

Let me get to the point here. I would love for the 3d scene and the Sequence editor to come together in the compositing nodes. This is a feature that exists in Fusion, BUT the 3d and rendering capability in Fusion is limited. I would say Blender is a better 3d and rendering package current day (over Fusion). But, that's not it's focus.

#workflow example
I would love to be able to use all of Blender's features simultaniously! For instance, I have a 3d Scene, which correlates to a Render Layer Node in the node editor (exists). I would like to see a couple of new nodes in the Node Editor. An input, which uses the output of the NLE. And an output, which uses the output of the NLE, which could be piped into yet another node that outputs to a usable texture image OR be used as a 3d scene background for tracking/rotoscoping/etc. Pushing everything through the compositor allows for a lot of flexibility (fixing lighting and texturing, Even visualizing composites while tweaking a 3d scene. The advantages don't exist in another package as far as I know. And, Most of the work is already done. If this perks someone's interest,, I'm happy to draw a scematic of the possibilities/workflow and how things my come together.

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Post by LetterRip »


there is a patch in the tracker for some of what you want (sequencer better integrated with compositor).

if you do a good proposal I'm sure some of our devs will have a look.


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