What’s new in Cinelerra 4?

About a year since its release, I finally managed to get Cinelerra 4 running on my system! Applause!! Thanks, thanks.

Cinelerra 4444444444444!

Cinelerra 4444444444444!

one TRY IT!

I finally figured out that the binary packages on heroinewarrior website were not .deb archives for ubuntu distro.

To get Cinelerra 4 no need to compile it. Just download the tar.bz2 archive of your architecture and untar it. Once done, run ./cinelerra in a terminal in the folder that appeared.

After a symlink ln -s /lib/libbz2.so.1 /usr/lib/libbz2.so.1.0 to get rid of an error, I was able to test the beast on my Fedora 10 system.

Get it running and follow me.


There are numerous new features in Cinelerra4 but not enough to alert the media.

Let’s see.

Masks are keyframable in real time

This is one of the best new features. With Cinelerra4 masks attributes changes are now recorded in real time. This means you will be able to blur somebody’s face and follow it by moving the mask in real time. Moreover it is now possible to change values for several keyframes at the same time by selecting them.

It can be an arduous exercise but masking a detail in real time can be very useful.

It can be an arduous exercise but masking a detail in real time can be very useful.

Two new effects and other nice things

  • Swap Frames effect (New): it gives sort of trembling effect to your video. It doesn’t have many options.
swap frames

swap frames

  • Lens aberration effect (New): No need to describe it. It is another really nice feature.
Two lens effects applied on this video.

Two lens effects applied on this video.

  • Ruler and Angle tool (New): Maybe useful when using with the perspective effect for example.

ruler and angle tool

ruler and angle tool

  • 2 Points motion tracking tool (New): Well I still have to figure out how to use the first one.

2 point motion tracking for faster rotation tracking.

"2 point motion tracking for faster rotation tracking."

  • Musical notes in the synthesizer (New):  Well … don’t know if it can be interesting. I’m not a musical guy.
Im sure it will make you want to play piano.

I'm sure it will make you want to play piano.

New audio file format

FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) from Xiph.org. Cinelerra4 can import/export flac files. Not really the big feature (imo) but it’s a good thing to have the choice.

flac flac flac flac

flac flac flac flac

Pretty icons to select Insertion strategy

Once you got their meaning these icons simplify your life.

pretty and useful

pretty and useful

Other good news

  • Cinelerra can read .wma, .wmv, and .flv files. Seeking in these files formats works half the time, though.
  • Attach effects to multiple tracks simultaneously from the Audio & Video menus.
  • Better asynchronous frame decoding.
  • ID3 tags handled by mp3 parser.
  • Spectrogram horizontal zoom & colour.


These are not that numerous.

Let’s see.

No compatibility with Cinelerra2.1!

You will not be able to open your old .xml projects created with Cinelerra2.1 in Cin4. I tried and either I couldn’t find my keyframes (camera, masks, overlay) or Cinelerra crashed (or hung) instantly. Too Bad!

Cinelerra still can’t capture from firewire

Unless you are a lucky guy (like SimAV), you still will need kinodv or dvgrab to record your video from firewire.

Bezier mode for curves?

is this bezier curves?

is this bezier curves?

Some useful options disappeared

  • Where is my manual goto tool ? Gone.
  • Can’t import still pictures with a longer duration. The option is not in Settings -> Preferences -> Recording -> Video In.


An article on Cinelerra4 on LWN.net by Forrest Cook.

– A test of the Cinelerra4 OpenGL engine from Marmottux.