Blender is a free and open-source 3D computer graphics software product used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D printed models, interactive 3D applications and video games.The company I work for (Manta Test Systems) needed some YouTube videos for marketing and training purposes, and I stepped up to the plate. I grabbed a copy of Blender because I wanted to see if I could render some 3D graphics to use in those videos.
That worked great, using existing logo graphics and exports from SolidWorks CAD models as a starting point.
In the process, however, I discovered that Blender makes a pretty darned good video editor, especially if you need to switch between cameras during a single shot. It has a nifty multi-camera selector effect, which you can add on top of the clips in your timeline, then adjust to your heart's content.
I plan to post some specifics here once I figure out the best workflow, but meanwhile, here are just a few tips:
- Bigger is better when it comes to computing hardware. Blender will use all the cores you can throw at it.
- Join blenderartists.org, so when you're stuck you can access a lot of experts. Here's a link to one of my questions there, and you can see that I got plenty of good input from people who've been using Blender for video editing.
- RTFM: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual
- Dive into this very helpful blog: http://blendervse.wordpress.com/
- Grab the plugins suggested on that blog
And here's one of the videos from the Manta Test Systems YouTube channel, which I edited exclusively using Blender. It's my first-ever professional on-screen appearance!
The live stuff was shot with my Pentax K-3, and it's mixed with video captured using ffmpeg/x11grab as well as 3D animations done directly in Blender. Audio is a cheap shotgun mic (Takstar SGC-598) plugged into a Tascam DR-05 recorder. The audio was cleaned up a bit in Audacity before importing into Blender.
I'm having fun! More to come.