Video Editing Tools: An Introduction to Cinelerra

One of the major video editing tools, Cinelerra, is the most complete non-linear editing tools available for compositioning in the Linux Operating System. Two versions of Cinelerra exist and they are very different from each other. One is from and the other from Many users decide to download both and decide later which one suits them best.


The possibilities for users of Cinelerra are far reaching. Cinelerra is essentially for editing film with sound. It can be used to make alterations to color and VFX effects and for this reason it is up with some very well-known commercial packages, such as Final Cut, Adobe Premier Pro, Avid, Vegas and others.


A prosumer non-linear editing tool for video, Cinelerra was designed for Linux. It was first released on August 1st, 2002 and was originally based on Broadcast 2000, an earlier product. 

Heroine Virtual produces it. It is distributed as free software according to GNU General Public License.


The process of making a film involves video and audio materials, reviewing and creating a storyboard, preparing and cutting audio and visual materials for editing later, producing a rough project copy and editing the final film. All primary elements for processing, assembling and preparing can be accomplished using Cinelerra. Applying raster editors such as CinePaint and GIMP can extend the potential benefits of Cinelerra.

Noteworthy Features

Cinelerra is a high quality product in that it supports high fidelity of an ultra high quality. Cinelerra processes high quality audio to a precision level of 64 bits. It works effectively in both YUVA and RGBA color spaces, making use of 16 point integer representations and floating point. Cinelerra acts independently of frame rate and resolution quality, which means that it is able to support video of any size and speed.


Cinelerra's interface is similar to that of other video editing systems that are non-linear, in that a compositing engine is present. This is a feature of other well-known software such as Adobe Premier Pro, Adobe After Effects and Shake. The user sees four screens, each of which has a basic and important function. There is the timeline screen that gives you a view of all the audio and video tracks in the project you're working on, as well as important data regarding camera movement, opacity and effects. The viewer screen gives you a way of "scrubbing" footage. Third is the resource window that allows you to see all of the audio and video resources for your project, as well as any audio and visual effects that are in process. Finally, there is the compositor screen, which gives you an important view of what the final post-rendering version of the project will look like. This final screen will change according to what you as a user input.

Cinelerra is popular among Linux enthusiasts who wish to use only Linux editing systems. In professional terms, Linux Media Arts endorse Cinelerra and market both software packages and integrated hardware for it. A high quality product, Cinelerra allows for attention to detail and a truly professional end product.