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Linear Video Editing Software for Mac? 76

Vilorman asks: "Everyone knows that there is tons of linear video editing hardware out for Windows and Mac. There is even quite a bit of stand alone linear editing software for Windows. There are all of these Firewire DV input/output boxes on the market but where is the software for them? We've got Final Cut Pro HD and DVD Studio for the Mac but that's all non-linear. Where's the linear stuff? I want to be able to take live video into my Mac and superimpose text over video or images over video and then send it right back out using the standard Firewire video I/O box that I already have; but I want to do it live on the fly, not in post-production where I have to ingest an hours worth of video and then print it back to tape. I know it can be done but where is the software for making it happen?"
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Linear Video Editing Software for Mac?

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  • first of all... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Scottarius ( 248487 ) * on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @08:30PM (#10184415)
    I think your confused on what linear vs. non-linear editing is.

    read here: http://videomaker.com/scripts/article.cfm?id=2302 [videomaker.com]

    What your asking for is on-the-fly editing.
    • Re:first of all... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jcr ( 53032 ) <.moc.cam. .ta. .rcj.> on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @08:32PM (#10184426) Journal
      Actually, what he's asking for is what I would call real-time special effects generation.

      • Re:first of all... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheWanderingHermit ( 513872 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @09:09PM (#10184756)
        I think that's it -- he definitely has his terms confused. Linear editing is when you have to start with the first scene and add one scene at a time. Non-linear editing is when you can edit the scenes and shots in any order.

        He is looking for a live keyer or character generator (as you say, real-time).

        There are many machines that do that. Basically he wants a switcher, not a computer. But I hear you can still use an old Amiga 2000 like that.

        You know, when people are doing "Ask Slash-Google" it would really help if they reasearch their terms so they know what they're talking about before they ask a question.
        • Ah, Video Toaster. That was a fun toy back in the day.

          Used to work with it on an old Amiga 2000 that would build up enough static electricity in the keyboard to make a loud snap and make your hand go numb when you first touched it.
          • There's an Amiga 2000 Video Toaster in the showroom at WeirdStuff [weirdstuff.com] (Sunnyvale, CA) for, I believe it was, $299. It looked like it was in good or better condition, though honestly I don't know much about it, so I can't really tell anymore about it.
            • Re:first of all... (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Bastian ( 66383 )
              It was a hardware device that allowed you to do realtime video editing. I'm not sure of all the features, but our system allowed you to do realtime fades between two video streams. The software integrated well with Lightwave 3D, so you could also insert 3D objects and animations into a video stream on the fly.

              At the time, an Amiga was the only way to go due to some hardware issue. I think it was that there was some sort of issue with the clocking of a TV signal that was much more difficult to solve on PC
          • Well I was going to use some mod points here, but couldn't resist chiming in on video toaster. I wasn't an amiga user, but I was a RAVER! in the SF bay area in the early 90's (hello sf-raves, brian behlendorf, et al, superhigh comin back atcha). All of the good parties included visual artists, and the predominant medium was a video toaster set up. I remember fondly zoning out on huge projections of trippy graphics, and none of this was "taped" these guys were up there mixing live, and it was way ahead of it
        • "But I can hear you can still use an old Amiga 2000 like that"

          Hell yeah, you can! In fact, our local Community Access center still has an Amiga on standbye in the studio for whenever the P3 box running Windows 2000 craps out (more often than you'd think).
        • We use one of those Amiga 2000. It worked perfect for us in our VBP class.
        • http://www.openvideotoaster.org/

          video toaster is open source and has been for a while - heck it even has a note on the site that they got 'slashdotted' some time ago as well.
      • there is a little known company from Troy, New York (yup, RPI alumni) called Vidvox that makes real-time video software for editing, effects, whatever. Educators are even using it to do presentations over powerpoint, since it does pdfs, pictures, and video all from one simple interface. Traditionally the software has been used, and was originally designed for, video artists or VJ's. Now they have expanded their focus to include video production work so as real time editing, visualization and storyboardi
    • by Hank Reardon ( 534417 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @09:00PM (#10184689) Homepage Journal

      Hrm... Did he want linear non-linear editing, linear linear editing, non-linear linear editing or non-linear non-linear editing?

    • http://www.openvideotoaster.org/

      go grab open video toaster and be done with it
  • Compix Media (Score:3, Informative)

    by ckswift ( 700993 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @08:39PM (#10184488)
    Well it's not Mac and it's not using Firewire, but it is digital.

    Compix Media [compixmedia.com] produces boards and computers that allow real time keying (with alpha) of graphics or text. The software is pretty easy to use and allows crawls, scrolls, and regular animation of pages. The higher end versions use SDI (Serial Digital Interface) for video i/o, while the cheaper versions use s-video and composite video (BNC) connectors.

  • by JeffTL ( 667728 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @08:39PM (#10184491)
    A Chyron [chyron.com] character generator is probably the best way to superimpose text in real time.
    • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @09:36PM (#10184945) Homepage Journal
      If all you want is a stand-alone GC and aren't trying to super graphics, get a Videonics Video TitleMaker (any version). Last I checked, they wre a lot cheaper than a Chyron. Of course, at least in the versions I've used, they didn't do graphics, and they do the keying themselves, while a Chyron has a separate key mask to drive an outside keyer built into a switcher, so if that's the desired use, go with the Chyron, or maybe a higher-end Videonics. I'm not sure about their current offerings, since I haven't bought video hardware since about 1995, give or take.... :-)

    • by eht ( 8912 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @10:12PM (#10185233)
      Or a Pinnacle Systems Deko product, or a Vizrt box. If you're looking at a Mac for video editing for religious or political reasons, be aware that both Dekos and Duets (Chyron's CG product) run on Windows, thou8gh older Chyrons ran on a proprietary OS, not sure what Vizrt's systems run on.

      Pinnacle has much more market share, Chyron used to be huge, but now Pinnacle runs 45% of the CG market, Chyron, Vizrt, and a few smaller players split the other 55%, so that may also be taken into consideration.

      Also these systems run in to the easily multi thousands of dollars, $45k+.

      Other than price though, what it sounds like he wants is definitely a CG.

      Guess what my day job is :-)
    • I work in a studio and we have two Chyron Duet LEX's. They are great, amazingly fast. - Meaning I can build a quick animation with multiple layers and hit play - no waiting / rendering / building / whatever. They can also play back video / audio with an internal clip player. The down side is the price. A new Duet LEX with 1 graphic channel (as opposed to 3 or 4) will run 60k ish.
  • Video Toaster (Score:4, Informative)

    by Hungus ( 585181 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @08:45PM (#10184546) Journal
    Snag an amiga video toaster / flyer or try open video toaster.
    • Yes, with a 68040 proc. My high school had a toaster and it even could run Mac OS in a windows. I think at one point they were working on a PowerPC version, this could potentially run OS X.
      • Nothing wrong with the 040 it was a pretty nice Proc for its time ... (but don't get me started on the 603 series) As for running OS X the PPC revisions would require some mods to run it, but then we have seen OS X run on intel with emu so who knows.
  • by jeffehobbs ( 419930 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @09:02PM (#10184704) Homepage

    Version [garagecube.com] Tracker [lividinstruments.com] is your [pol-online.net] friend [vidvox.net].

  • VDMX and VideoScript (Score:5, Informative)

    by RobTerrell ( 139316 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @09:02PM (#10184710) Homepage
    First, you need to realize what you're looking for is not an editing tool, but a live production tool. Once you know this... well, insert the standard ask-google-not-slashdot comment here.

    The best Mac live-video-switching-with-effects product I've heard of is VDMX [vidvox.net].

    You want this [newtek.com] although you're probably not willing to pay for it.

    I'm not sure if VideoScript [videoscript.com] will generate NTSC output to DV. Probably not, but if so, it's a cheap alternative.

    If you're ultra-low budget, dig into the QuickTime docs. It's not tremendously hard to write a C app that pulls a live DV stream and adds some QT text or effect tracks.

    • by ckswift ( 700993 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @09:18PM (#10184820)
      I searched the web and was able to find a company called Black Magic Design [blackmagic-design.com] that sells video capture cards for both Mac and pc that allow real time keying of graphics. At $300 USD for an SDI board and software it's not that expensive.

      From their website:
      All SD DeckLink models now support internal keying allowing you to key graphics over live video in real time. This is perfect for adding logos and "bugs" to live video when doing dubs of your show reel; or adding copyright and not for broadcast notices to client dubs.

      Key features are controlled by an application called Blackmagic LiveKey that enables keying. This is just like switching your video capture card into a keying card; DeckLink works very differently when keying is tuned on. Graphics with alpha channel displayed on the RGB video output will now be keyed live over any video that's connected to the DeckLink video input and then sent to the DeckLink video output.

      You can choose "internal key" on all DeckLink models where keying is done inside the card and you don't need to use any external keyer equipment. You can also quick key a graphic in LiveKey as well as set key levels; and allow keys to animate on and off using independently set time values.

      For external keying, DeckLink Pro features 2 independent SDI outputs and genlock allowing image and key video output from the separate SDI outputs. This lets you key in outboard equipment such as production switchers etc.

  • Genloc (Score:4, Insightful)

    by psyconaut ( 228947 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @09:03PM (#10184716)
    You're looking to genloc stuff, not editing!!

    An old Video Toaster from eBay ;-)

  • by RatPh!nk ( 216977 ) <ratpH1nk@gMail . c om> on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @09:50PM (#10185055)

    .....though, you would have to record the video to disk. Vara Software [varasoftware.com] offers this pretty neat application for OS X called WireCast [varasoftware.com]. Giving it a brief once over, it appears that you can do exactly what you are asking and perhaps some extra eye-candy for your users. Check it out and see what you think.

  • by HotNeedleOfInquiry ( 598897 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @09:55PM (#10185095)
    With on-the-fly genlocked effects. Two completely different things.

    Linear editing is post-production editing, without the ability to randomly access a shot. In other words, you must hand cue up each shot then do an assemble edit. Non-linear editing is where the machine is smart enough to find your edit point from an edit list. Both terms come from tape editing, which is pretty much obsolete.
  • ... I believe, is what you're looking for.

    http://www.digitalstage.net/en/ [digitalstage.net]

    From the website:

    " This software gives you a major function that mixes the 2 visuals into 1 visual for your live visual performance. You can add visual effetcs and texts as you need. Also, you can easily organize the video files and send the video source diretcly from your computer."

    BTW this has nothing to do with linear editing (which is what iMovie does, and is basically a fancy way of editing by hooking two VCRs together and
  • Avid [avid.com] provide a good solution but it's not free software...
    It do all the real time stuff and more...
    I ordered the demo cd for my bro (who is filmmaker) and it seems to be a pretty good software.
    You will need probably some extra hardware and the price for avid xpress pro [avid.com] is ~1700$
  • how about jitter? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    if you're not scared of a little programming (shouldn't be if you're posting on /. ) you should check out Jitter (need Max/MSP too) from Cycling 74 [cycling74.com]. that can do just about anything you can imagine in realtime to video. you already have a dv box, so you're halfway there.

    what you requested, real time text overlay, would be especially easy.

    if you're into effects and whatnot as well maybe try out Auvi [auv-i.de] as an addition to Jitter. good luck!

  • Video Mixer (Score:3, Informative)

    by schmaltz ( 70977 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2004 @11:14PM (#10185709)
    What you're looking for is variously called "video mixer," "live switcher," and "video switcher."

    These are hardware devices, although it can be done in software. At the bottom-end they start around $500 [com.com]-$1000 [camcorderinfo.com] and work on up to however much yo' mamma's house is worth, and much more.

    B+H Photo [bhphotovideo.com] is one place to start looking.
  • by SnowDog74 ( 745848 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @01:12AM (#10186348)
    He basically sounds like he's asking for a keyer, switcher and old school CG (character generator). Well, in that event, there's no logic behind using the firewire interface or a computer in the mix for that matter. It's entirely impractical to the cause. However, given the fact that these other systems are so outdated, finding one might prove far more costly (not to mention technically cumbersome) than even the cheapest, most basic NLE software packages today.

    If what you want is on the fly keying of text, and switching to do dissolves, cuts, inserts, basic composites, etc. then look for an analog keyer/switcher and a character generator to interface with the keyer.

    It makes no sense to want these things in a post-production environment over a digital non-linear editing system with a software based titler (like Livetype)... unless your interest is exclusively in live broadcasts.

    The reason is quite simple.. whereas the keyer/switcher provides immediate response, the NLE provides unmatched flexibility, scalability and allows you to plan, storyboard, execute and correct your edits. Trying to do live keying/switching for what will ultimately be a taped program or go to DVD doesn't make much sense, IMO.

    Why? Because whatever time you gain in immediacy, you lose in accuracy of your timing. Then you have to go back and correct, over and over again... and it's not easy unless you're a keying/switching expert... and even then, if you've mastered a keying/switching system, most NLEs do so much realtime rendering these days that you should be equally capable of quickly adapting to and using such systems.

    If you aren't proficient in using NLEs for keying, switching and compositing, then you are presumably a hobbyist... or an editor without marketable skills. The time you spend trying to sharpen your live keying/switching abilities, you could be mastering the NLEs that are cheaper, actually easier to use, more agile and (if you're semi-pro or professional) will keep you employed.

    Furthermore, it still takes an enormous amount of time to output to tape when doing linear editing. You forget that you still have to manually scrub, and dub in realtime... In non-linear editing systems, you won't be waiting for the VTR to physically reach each clip you're searching/scrubbing in your raw footage any time after the initial full-res capture. In linear systems, you'll have to deal with this every single time you scrub and execute an edit.

    Every time you redo an edit in a linear system, you have to redub the entire edit, all the keying, switching and compositing in that edit playing back all sources in real-time in order to re-record the cahnges... rather than making a few corrections and re-rendering in a fraction of the time.

    Add it all up, and a proficient NLE editor can do a Non-linear edit in a fraction of the time... and Non-linear edits are non-destructive.

    Lastly, you can speed up the process even more by doing off-line non-linear editing. By using off-line, low-res thumbnails, or the default off-line inserts from batch logging (e.g. in Final Cut Pro), you are working all your edits, transitions, composites, keys, titles, etc. first in either low-res or with totally off-line clips.

    Once all your edit decisions are finished, the computer only needs to batch capture the clips you've logged ONCE rather than repeatedly switching tapes, scrubbing and playing back through the loads of raw footage, to execute every single edit (especially nightmarish if you're going to break up and frequently insert pieces of or entire clips repeatedly in various places throughout the video). Screw up an edit on an NLE, and all you have to do is nudge your captured clip... rather than re-record.

    It takes most people a few minutes to figure out how to maximize their work productivity from the benefit of logging and batch capturing in an NLE. The time you spend striping, indexing tapes and logging, and capturing, will be well-invested... instead of spending ten tim

  • You can use a Matrox RTMac [matrox.com] PCI card, and output it to whatever you want. But as has been mentioned elsewhere, you are really looking for something else, you just don't know it.
  • I suggest that you look into Live Channel Pro from Channel Storm: http://www.channelstorm.com/ [channelstorm.com].
    • Heh - beat me to it.

      Yup - Looked at it and it's probably exactly what you're looking for, a chryon in software, with a dv switcher and a streaming component, all designed to run from a Powerbook (or better).

      It's $1K, but it's extrodinarily cheap for what it can do. You can download the demo and play a bit or check out the demos online at

      [ I'm not related to the company other than someone who's tried desperately to get our company to buy it instead of a 60K "solution" from KPN. I lost & we're broke.
  • Motion (Score:3, Interesting)

    by trans_err ( 606306 ) <ebenoist.gmail@com> on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @01:39AM (#10186474) Homepage
    Doesn't apple's motion [apple.com] fill this niche? It allows you to add text and graphics to real time video IIRC- it's not free, but it's great obviously apple friendly software.
    • Re:Motion (Score:4, Informative)

      by afidel ( 530433 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @02:05AM (#10186600)
      Nope, but it looks damn cool. Motion is basically a realtime effects plugin which means it shows changes to the effect in realtime instead of needing to render and blend it with the source on disk. What the poster is looking for is realtime keying as many people have pointed out.
  • Linear video editing works only in hardware:

    2+ decks and a bunch of cables (and a lot of patience).
  • on-line editing (live tv shows etc) compared to off-line editing (editing movies etc)


    PS Oh, I have no idea but with Tiger and CoreVideo coming soon-ish it should be fun

    • on-line editing (live tv shows etc) compared to off-line editing (editing movies etc) Ummm...no. "Offline editing" refers to the "rough edit" stage of the editing process, where major story, pacing and rough graphic decisions are made, oftentimes with low-resolution compressed footage, so the offline editor can have as much of the source material available as possible, since this is where most of the important edit decisions are made.

      "On-line" editing refers to the "finishing" stage of the editing proce

      • Correctamundo!

        This practice was developed because the equipment used for the online was incredible expensive, while the equipment for offline editing was relatively cheap. You don't want to do your creative decision making on a $2 Million machine (with corresponding high rental rates) when you can accomplish the same on $10,000 - 20,000 system, and spit out an EDL.

        When the Avid first came along, it went against this model, as it was more expensive then linear offline systems. However, it made editors much

  • There are cute little hacks that allow you to display fun things like caller id and weather on your tivo. Why not hack up the scripts (tcl, I think) to display whatever it is you are looking for. Then you can just broadcast/record from the tivo's video out ports.

    Disclaimer: I've never done this.

  • you want Vj software. Others have suggested VDMX, but also have a look at www.vjcentral.com. They have reviews of a ton of
    other VJ tools. Most of them can superimpose text or any arbitary clip over a live feed.

    I do this kind of thing all the time at my VJ gigs performing live with a Tibook.
    • VDMX will do text in real time, and let you save to the harddisk or send it back out through s-video, a firewire box, whatever.

      however, Vidvox's new software, Grid2, is much more in line with the ideas the orignal question posed, even if the question was a bit off. So far, however, it won't do the text, but it does a ton of other stuff related to the concept I think the question was getting at.

      I think a window's version is supposed to be coming out soon, but right now it's mac only.

      Of course, if you rea
  • Keep your eye on EvoCam and their web cam tool. It can do quite a bit of on the fly rendering and can do Alpha channels.Graphics and text are easy to configure If you are creating output for the web, this can't be beat http://www.evological.com/evocam.html
  • by Twid ( 67847 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @09:31PM (#10196815) Homepage
    http://www.apple.com/quicktime/tools_tips/broadcas ting.html


    MegaSeg is a live audio and video automation system created to mix your QuickTime or MP3 media in a manner similar to radio and TV stations. Set custom cue-in and end times for media, perform a segue between the media preventing "dead air."


    Live Channel
    Live Channel transforms the Mac into a production and broadcasting TV studio. You can process video and audio in real-time and produce live programs and broadcast them on any network. Includes support for multiple live video and audio sources, recorded clips, still images, graphics and text.

  • You should be able to do what you want with various VJ soft.

    This guy did a cool survey recently, it's not only mac but it's rather complete and clear:
    http://www.octapod.org/jeanpoole/archives/000821.h tml [octapod.org]
  • What about Media 100i ?

    http://www.media100.com/Media100i.asp [media100.com]
  • have a look at max msp jitter, it is realtime if you want... dont know if thats what you are looking for.
  • I'm going to jump on this thread with a question that I've yet to answer.

    Are there any programs, prefereably for free, that will allow you to overlay live video on previously recorded video?

    Essentially I'm recording an actors movement on one side of the screen. I'll then capture that video on to the computer. I would then like to playback that captured video with a live video overlay. I'll then have the actor move accordingly as to not block his previous self.

    I'm not looking for real time green scr

    • Sure, most of the software described in the survey I gave will do this

      Under the VJ Bonnet ( Vid Software Round-Up) [octapod.org]

      Most of those have trial version on their web site.
      Max/MSP Jitter is a very powerfull environment but the learning curve is big.
      Most of the VJ applications have a very simple interface to layer real-time video streams with video loops stored on your harddrive.
      Some do support triggering the layers via MIDI, that can be handy if you are working with musicians or need to synchronize t
  • Just get a chroma/blue-screen analog device, and use powerpoint on a mac with two monitors.

    One monitor to show the powerpoint application, the other to show the slide output. Now make the background pure blue, and insert text. Split the output from the slide-show screen so you have a composite output, and a vga output. Take the composite output into an analog chroma-key device, and you're set.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern