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Cinelerra in 30'
Preparing media
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This glossary contains:

  • Terms with a specific meaning in Cinelerra CV

  • Technical terms (digital audio/video and computing) used in the Cinelerra CV Manual

  • Terms used in Cinelerra’s utilities.

  • Terms used in the Cinelerra CV Manual that may be not immediately understandable by non-native English speakers.

  • Terms used by Cinelerra users or developers on ML and IRC.

Definitions are very essential. If you are looking for more in-depth explanations Wikipedia is the first place to go.

Please, report any inaccuracy you may find.

Terms and definitions


a (hidden) directory in your home directory that contains configuration and index files. It’s named after Broadcast2000, the ancestor of Cinelerra. If you delete or rename the ~/.bcast folder Cinelerra will recreate it with default settings.


a filename extension for index files


a filename extension for ISO images. See ISO IMAGE.


a filename extension for configuration files, abbreviating "run commands". It is used for any file that contains startup information for a command.


a filename extension for table of content files, that are a particular kind of index file.


an extra channel in colour models for storing informations about transparency. If a pixel has a value of 0% in its alpha channel, it is fully transparent (and, thus, invisible), whereas a value of 100% in the alpha channel gives a fully opaque pixel.


the conceptual design and the operational structure of a computer system. It can be seen as a series of layers::hardware, firmware, assembler, kernel, operating system and applications. The most popular architecture is x86 with 32-bit CPU. 64-bit CPUs are gaining popularity, especially for video editing.

to ARM

referred to a track, to enable it to be affected by editing operations. Disarming a track protect it from any change. Tracks are armed with an "Arm Track" button, sometimes improperly called "Record" button. In Cinelerra GUI "Record patch" means "Arm track".


referred to an image, is the ratio of its width to its height measure. The aspect ratio of a PAL video is 720x576, that is 5:4 or 1.25:1. The aspect ratio of a NTSC video is 720x480, that is 3:2 or 1.5:1. The the screen shape of a PAL television is 4:3 (around 1.33:1). The the screen shape of a NTSC television is 16:9 (1.77:1).


the representation of a media, loaded on Cinelerra in the Resources Window and on the timeline. Assets are the objects of the editing.


a measure of time. It represents the delay (caused by LATENCY) between the video playback and the audio playback when they don’t play at the same time or the difference of the time the audio actually plays from the time it is expected to play. Cinelerra can automatically correct the offset and restore synchrony.


(referred to DVD), to build the DVD-Video structure to be burned to a DVD disk. This structure is composed at least of two directories AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS that contain respectively audio files and all the data for the movie. The video folder contains 3 kinds of files .VOB, .IFO and .BUP.


a measure of frequency range, measured in hertz (spectroscopy, signal processing, information theory and radio communications). Also the maximum rate of information transfer (measured in bits/second) that can be carried by a communication channel; the size of a signal.


represents the amount of information, or detail, that is stored per unit of time of a recording. The higher the bitrate, the higher the quality. Bitrate can be fixed (with variable quality) or variable (with fixed quality). See VBR.


The human perception of the amount of light emitted by a source. Called also lightness. In video signals it is represented by luma. The measure of brightness is value. See LUMINANCE.


a region of RAM memory used to temporarily hold output or input data, used when there is a difference between the rate at which data is received and the rate at which it can be processed, or in the case that these rates are variable. Buffers are allocated by various processes to use as input queues, etc. A simplistic explanation of buffers is that they allow processes to temporarily store input in memory until the process can deal with it.


a state occurring when a buffer used to communicate between two devices or processes is fed with data at a lower speed than the data is being read from it. This requires the program or device reading from the buffer to pause its processing while the buffer refills.


a defect in the program that causes malfunctioning. Users reports of bug are collected in a bugtracker to help developers fix them. CinelerraCV bugtracker is Bugzilla


(Back UP) a DVD-Video file. It’s a backup file of the IFO file, used in the event that the corresponding IFO file is unreadable.


the space of the compositor where the final video is displayed. It can be imagined as the canvas of a painter or as the screen of a theatre. The standard canvas sizes are 720x576 (PAL) and 720x480 (NTSC).


the computer processor, the device for executing computer programs. The most popular are 32-bit CPUs but 64-bit CPUs are gaining popularity, especially among video editors.


short for chrominance. See CHROMINANCE.


the encoding of images by implementing more resolution for luma than for chroma information. It is based on the fact that the human eye is less sensitive to chroma than to luma. Sampling the chroma detail at a lower rate than the luma detail can optimize bandwidth with no perceivable loss of quality. The signal is divided into a luma (Y') component and two chroma (color difference) components. The notation of the subsampling ratio is a triplet of numbers referring to luma (reference), Colour channels horizontal subsampling, Colour channels vertical subsampling. 4:2:0 is used for PAL DV and DVD. For every 4 samples of luma it has 2 horizontal samples of the two chroma components and no samples vertically. 4:1:1 is used for NTSC DV. For every 4 samples of luma there is one pixel for each chroma component both horizontally and vertically.


the signal used in many video systems to carry the color information of the picture separately from the accompanying luma signal. Luma represents the achromatic image without any color (like a black and white picture), while the chroma components represent the color information.


Cinelerra’s lovely nick.


the early name of the Lumiera project. No real NLE programs ever had that name. Cinelerra’s release after 2.1. has been called Cinelerra4 by Heroine Virtual.


Command Line Interface. A method of interacting with an operating system using a text shell.


generic term for a short segment of media either an audio clip or a video clip. In Cinelerra it has also a specific meaning::a section of project, of any length, defined, named and memorized as such in the Clip folder of the Resources Window.


a compression algorithm, used to reduce the size of a data stream; a compression format. There are audio codecs and video codecs. MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Vorbis, DivX, … are codecs. Note that MPEG is also a container format.


the process of digitally altering and enhancing the color of a film or a video. To see a practical example watch this video (Adobe Flash Player required).


the process adjusting colour balance making it consistent in every scene. Often used just as synonymous for COLOR CORRECTION.


an abstract mathematical model describing the way colours can be represented as an ordered list of numbers, typically as three values or color components (e.g. RGB).


in Cinelerra odd language to concatenate tracks means to load from disk or copy from the timeline edits belonging to different disarmed tracks onto the same set of armed tracks, one after the other, in alphanumeric order.


in Cinelerra’s dialogs means compression format. See CODEC.


a “wrapper” format that contains one or several streams already encoded by codecs. The streams contained can be encoded using different codecs. Very often, there is an audio stream and a video one. AVI, Ogg, MOV (Quicktime) , ASF, MPEG … are container formats. Note that MPEG is also a codec. It can be called also "Encapsulation Format" (VLC).


see POP-UP MENU. Called also Context Sensitive Menu.




the RAW image format of Canon’s digital cameras. Cinelerra can import this file format (still pictures).


to remove portions of an image to eliminate unwanted areas or to give it another aspect ratio.


the text cursor. Since more generally it defines any movable mark that indicates the position that will respond to input, in the Cinelerra Community occasionally it is used referring to the insertion point. In the source code Main Cursor is the Insertion Point. In Cinelerra GUI refers to the Insertion Point. It can refer also to the mouse pointer.


Community Version.


Concurrent Versions System, a revision control software that keeps track of all work, changes and implementations in the set of files of a software project, and allows several (potentially widely-separated) developers to collaborate. It has been used by the Cinelerra CV project up to November 2005.


Digital Audio Workstation, a system designed to record, edit and play back digital audio. It’s a combination of audio multitrack software and high-quality audio hardware. A key feature of DAWs is the ability to freely manipulate recorded sounds, much like a word processor manipulates typed words.


the process of converting interlaced video (a sequence of fields) into a non-interlaced form (a sequence of frames). This is a fundamentally lossy process that always produces some image degradation, since it requires "temporal interpolation" which involves guessing the movement of every object in the image and applying motion correction to every object. Cinelerra Deinterlace effect has various methods to deinterlace video. To know more see or watch this video (Adobe Flash Player required).


a device that performs a process where one signal is separated in multiple digital data streams.


short for DEMULTIPLEXER. Also the process of reading the container format and separating the streams (audio, video, subtitles…).


the process of digitizing a film, manipulating color and other image characteristics and recording it back to film. It is also used to describe colour grading and final mastering even when the image source is a digital camera and/or when the final movie is not output to film.


see to ARM.


to move the mouse pointer holding down the left button to move or copy the picon or the text representing the asset from the Resources window to the Viewer window or to the Tineline or also within the timeline in order to change the location of an edit in time. Also transitions and effects are draggable. The action of dragging edit boundaries is properly called TRIMMING. Many other widget require dragging (faders, keyframes, camera and projector…).


an unprocessed signal, opposed to a WET SIGNAL, that is a processed signal. Very often in Cinelerra effects you have wet/dry sliders or knobs, that would determine how much of the original "dry" signal gets mixed in with the processed "wet" signal. For instance, in the Cinelerra parametric equalizer (EQ Parametric audio effect) you have a knob for Wetness.


the digital video format of MiniDV tapes. It uses lossy compression. In Cinelerra DV data are often used packed inside a Quicktime 4 Linux container format (.mov) or used directly as RawDV without a container.


(Digital Video Disc) a popular optical disc used for data storage. Primarily uses are for movies, software, and data backup purposes. Single-layer single-sided DVDs allow for 8 times the data storage capacity of compact discs (CDs). They can have specifically formatted and structured audio, video or data content.


a standard for storing digital video content on DVD discs. It is usually encoded using a combination of MPEG-2 compressed video and Dolby Digital (AC-3) audio. Its structure is composed at least of two directories AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS that contain respectively audio files and all the data for the movie. The video folder contains 3 kinds of files .VOB, .IFO and .BUP.


the representation of a media, loaded on the timeline and edited.


a XML text file that contains all the project settings and locations of every edit. Instead of media, it contains pointers to the original media files on disk. If you open your .xml project file with a text editor, you’ll understand better. In Cinelerra "EDL" means "Project", since both terms indicate the .xml text file.






in INTERLACE the scan of every second line.


a sequence of characters that is used to identify a file. It can’t contain the character / . Spaces are best avoided because they are incompatible with command line software you use for managing media.


a program to process a data stream. In the Cinelerra Community occasionally it is used referring to effects. In Cinelerra is a tool for filtering list boxes files by extension name.


in Cinelerra dialogs means CONTAINER FORMAT.


(FOUR Character Code) is a sequence of 4 bytes used to uniquely identify data formats. One of the most well-known uses of FourCCs is to identify the video codecs used in AVI files. Common identifiers include DIVX, XVID and H264. For audio codecs, AVI and WAV files use a two-byte identifier, usually written in hexadecimals (such as 0055 for MPE). In QuickTime files, these two-byte identifiers are prefixed with the letters ms to form a four-character code. Another file format that makes important use of the four-byte ID concept is the PNG image file format.


one of the many still images which compose the complete video. The term can refers also to video compression techniques (I- P- B- D- frames)


the largest and popular IRC network used to discuss free open source software peer-directed projects. Channels #cinelerra and #openvideo are on freenode.


short for effect.


(short for gamma encoding/decoding or gamma compression/expansion) a nonlinear operation used to code and decode luminance or RGB values in video or still image systems. A gamma value is sometimes used to quantify contrast.


(Gnu DeBugger), a Linux program for testing and finding the defects of another program.


a distributed revision control software for collaboration among several developers on the same software project. It’s quick and very distributed. Some Cinelerra developers work on git repositories.




Graphical User Interface. It allows people to interact with the computer by manipulating graphical icons, visual indicators or widgets, along with text labels or text navigation to represent the information and actions available to a user. In contrast mainly to Command Line Interface (CLI).


Cinelerra’s GUI library, made from scratch by Heroine Virtual Ltd.


term occasionally used in the GUI (e.g. in undo/redo menu) referring to an edit boundary.


High Dynamic Range. A set of digital imaging techniques that allow a far greater dynamic range of exposures than normal techniques (LDR). The intention of HDR Imaging is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes ranging from direct sunlight to the deepest shadows. The term "HDR" is now popularly used to refer to the process of tone mapping together bracketed exposures of normal digital images (LDR), giving the end result a high, often exaggerated dynamic range.


High Definition Video. A video format designed to record compressed HDTV video on standard DV media (DV or MiniDV cassette tape).


(Hue Saturation Value) a colour space. Also a triplet of parameters tha can represent a digital colour.


that aspect of a color described with names such as yellow, red…


(InFOrmation) a DVD-Video file that contains the information about the organization of tracks, menus, chapters, subtitles on the disc.


a text file with a specific format containing a list of absolute paths for the still images of a sequence plus additional information like fileformat, framerate and image resolution. Image lists are human readable and editable. Once loaded in the timeline, image lists behave like a video clip. They are used mainly by animators for loading in Cinelerra multiple images belonging to the same scene as a single video asset. Cinelerra can render video clips to image lists (a text file + multiple still images). In the Manual, Image Lists are called Tables of Content (TOC). In Cinelerra GUI they are called Sequences.


a number of ordered still pictures, usually meant to be the frames of an animated video scene. They can be represented by a single text file. See IMAGE LIST.


an .idx or .toc file built by Cinelerra in the .bcast directory of you home folder in order to quicker and cheaper seek into big media files for skipping, fast playing back and drawing waveforms and picons. Index files are not human readable. Loading an .mov file in Cinelerra creates an .idx index file in the $HOME/.bcast/ directory. Loading an .mpg file in Cinelerra creates two index files::a .toc file and an .idx file. If and index file for an asset is already built, it is not recreated. The number of index files to keep can be set by the user.


a flashing hairline mark that vertically spans the timeline. It marks the starting place of the coming activity. In the source code is called Main Cursor. In Cinelerra GUI is called Insertion Point and Cursor. Users sometimes call it Playback Locator or often just Cursor.


a technique of improving the picture quality of a video signal without consuming any extra bandwidth. In contrast to the PROGRESSIVE SCAN, in the interlaced scan pattern the lines of each frame are drawn from top to bottom but only for every second line. This is carried out from the top left corner to the bottom right corner of a cathode ray tube (CRT) display. This process is repeated again, only this time starting at the second row, in order to fill in those particular gaps left behind while performing the first progressive scan on alternate rows only. Such scan of every second line is called a FIELD. The afterglow of the phosphor of CRT tubes, in combination with the persistence of vision results in two fields being perceived as a continuous image.To know more see or watch this video (Adobe Flash Player required).


a method of using known data to estimate values at unknown points. In animation programs interpolation is the automatic generation of extra frames ("inbetweens") between the key frames to get smooth animation without the user having to draw every frame. In Cinelerra interpolation is the process that insert many new values in between the user defined keyframes to give a smoother result.


Internet Relay Chat. It is a form of real-time Internet chat mainly designed for group communication in discussion forums called channels, but also allows one-to-one and data transfers via private message. An IRC client software is required. The Cinelerra Community of developers and users meets, discusses and offers help on channel #cinelerra on the IRC network FreeNode. The channel #openvideo is for any free open source video tools discussion.


a single file that contains all the data files plus filesystem metadata. It is useful to store all the information of a DVD-Video in a single file to ease the burning of multiple copies of the same DVD-Video structure.


the unwanted small rapid variation in the smoothness of frame delivery over time. It can refer also to the unwanted variation of other signal characteristics.


(animation) in a sequence of frames, a drawing that is essential (key) to define a starting or an ending point of a smooth transition and is thus drawn directly by the animator. It is in contrast to the "inbetweens", the frames that fill the gap between keyframes and are drawn by the animator’s assistants or interpolated by a program.


(non-linear digital video editing and video compositing software) term borrowed from the animation language. In Cinelerra can be misleading::it doesn’t refer to a frame, but to a point between two frames. It represents a certain value set by the user at a certain point in the timeline to manipulate changes made to the signal. A keyframe is a control point for the user that can set the beginning and the end of a change for fades, effects and compositing parameters. Cinelerra interpolates the intermediate values making the change smooth and gradual. A keyframe can be represented on the timeline as a little square on a curve (e.g. fade) or as a symbol (e.g. mask).


(video compression) a picture encoded without reference to any images in another frame, to any pictures except itself. It contains the entire image as it appears on that frame. Called also intra frame or I-frame. In some video compression formats, keyframes are used as references for the encoding of other pictures::they are followed by one or more inter frames which are calculated from the preceding key frame (e.g. when only the differences between pictures is encoded).


a very convenient technique for creating smooth dynamic changes by assigning values to parameters at specific moments in time and letting Cinelerra interpolate the inbetween values.


the time taken in digital audio systems to convert the signal from analog to digital, process it and then convert it back to analog. RAM latency is the amount of time a computer needs to wait to get data from RAM.


Low Dynamic Range. Traditional digital images, opposite to HDR.




a set of parameters that defines your language, country and other location related preferences that you want to see in your GUI. Usually a locale identifier consists of at least a language identifier and a region identifier. Example: [language[_territory][.codeset][@modifier]]. It affects the language Cinelerra will display menus and messages. To check your locale type locale in your terminal. To see the available locales type locale -a.


term describing a commpression method that allows the exact original data to be reconstructed from the compressed data, without any loss of quality. Lossless compression is used for text and data files but also for multimedia when quality is more important than file size.


term describing a commpression method where compressing and then decompressing retrieves data that may well be different from the original, but is close enough to be useful in some way. Lossy compression is most commonly used to compress multimedia (audio, video, still images), especially for streaming. Repeatedly compressing and decompressing the file will cause (for most lossy compression formats) to progressively lose quality. See MP3 for an example.


short for luminance. See LUMINANCE.


the part of a video signal that includes information about it’s brightness. It can be thought as the "black and white" or achromatic portion of the image. Luma is typically paired with chroma. Luma represents the achromatic image without any color, while the chroma components represent the color information. Luma is represented with the letter Y.


(MP3 URL) a file format that stores audio playlists. It is a plain text file, readable with a text editor, that contains a list of the locations of the media files that the mediaplayer should play, with each item on a new line. The locations can be either absolute or relative local pathnames or they can be URLs. It is often used for creating a playlist file that contains a single entry pointing to a stream on the Internet. To download the media, in this case, you must provide your browser with the link to the MP3 file, as written in the playlist text file.


generic term for sounds, videos and images.




Mailing List


(MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3) a lossy audio codec supported in Cinelerra. MP3 audio compression greatly reduces the amount of data required to represent the audio recording, yet the file still sounds like a faithful reproduction of the original uncompressed audio to most listeners, this by removing certain parts of sound that are outside the hearing range of most people.


a multimedia format. MPEG-2 TS (Transport Stream) is used for digital video and audio for broadcasting. MPEG-2 PS (Program Stream) is the container format used for DVDs.

MPEG-1 Audio

The codec of .mp2 and .mp3 audio files. See MP3.


device that performs the multiplexing.


a process where multiple digital data streams are combined into one signal.


short for MULTIPLEXER. Also the process of reading different streams (audio, video, subtitles…) and wrapping them into a single container format.


(National Association of Broadcasters), the industry group representing the commercial radio and television stations of the USA. It produces the NAB-Electronic Media Show, the world’s largest broadcast media show, held in Las Vegas.


Non Linear Editing. A modern editing method used by Cinelerra that records the decisions of the editor in an edit decision list (EDL) without modifying the original source files.


in Cinelerra a standard that defines a video with canvas size of 720x480 and a framerate of 29.97 fps.


an open standard for a free container format for digital multimedia, unrestricted by software patents. It can multiplex a number of separate independent free and open source codecs for audio, video and text (such as subtitles). Files ending in the .ogg extension may be of any Ogg media filetype. OGG Vorbis is Vorbis-encoded audio in the Ogg container. OGG Theora/Vorbis is an OGG container format containing a Vorbis-encoded audio stream and a Theora-encoded video stream.


a method of writing removable media (e.g. DVD or CD-ROM) directly, without first saving the source on an intermediate medium (i.e. a hard disk). (k3b)


in Cinelerra a standard that defines a video with canvas size of 720x576 and a framerate of 25 fps.


A small piece of anything used to repair a breach. In computing, a fix for a software program where the actual binary executable and related files are modified, often to repair a bug. In Cinelerra, any TOGGLE of the PATCHBAY.


the area on the left of the Timeline that contains the controls to enable features specific to each track.


(ProGram Chain) defines the order in which cells, tiles (video, menus, etc.) are played back on a DVD.


miniature images (thumbnails) of the video. In the Resources Window they represent the first frame of the asset. When drawn on the Timeline they imitate a physical film. Since they are derived from the video data in the media file and their rendering is not timing-critical, they are not affected by latency issues.


(picture cell or pic-cell) the smallest independent part or the unit of a digital image.


a list of songs. In media player software it is a single file that points to several media. It has specific formats (i.e. M3U) and has the purpose to control and organize the media of the list.


a program that has a separate code but interacts with a main application to provide a certain, very specific function on demand. In Cinelerra it means effect.


the mouse pointer.


(programming language) a type of data whose value refers directly to (or “points to”) another value stored elsewhere in the computer memory using its address. Pointers are used in Cinelerra EDLs::the project XML file doesn’t contain media but only the paths of the original media files on disk.


a menu that pops up by clicking the right mouse button.


any set of colours that can be combined to make a useful range of colors. For additive combination of colors, as in overlapping projected lights, the primary colors normally used are red, green and blue. Additive colour systems start with no light (black). Light sources add wavelengths to make a color. Combining one of these additive primary colours with another in equal amounts produces the additive secondary colours cyan, magenta and yellow. Combining all three primary lights (colours) in equal intensities produces white. See this impressive picture. We are accustomed to the more everyday substractive combination of colors, as in mixing of pigments, dyes or inks and other substances which present color to the eye by reflection rather than emission. The substractive primary colours normally used are magenta, cyan and yellow. Subtractive color systems start with white light. Colored inks, paints or films placed between the viewer and the light source or reflective surface (such as white paper) subtract wavelengths from this white, and make a color.




a method for capturing, storing, displaying or transmitting moving images in which the lines of each frame are drawn in sequence, in a path similar to text on a page::line by line, from top to bottom. It is in contrast to the INTERLACE used in traditional television systems.


the EDL as it appears on the GUI. That is the list of your editing decisions as they are represented by Cinelerra on the timeline or showed in the Compositor. Occasionally called also PROGRAM. To refer to the EDL as text file it is common to use the terms Project file, EDL or XML file.


a copy of an original HDV media file but with low resolution or quality, used as a transitory one for editing with lower CPU load or I/O. Rendering is then done with the high quality HDV original.


an image file containing the unprocessed data from the image sensor of a digital camera or a scanner. Raw images from Canon cameras can be loaded in Cinelerra. Normally a raw image must be processed and converted to an RGB format such as TIFF or JPEG before it can be manipulated with GIMP or printed. There is a variety of RAW formats.


a data stream file where DV Audio/Video data are stored, with .dv extension. It is often confused for a container format, but it is rather a raw format. In Cinelerra DV data can be imported directly as RawDV without a container. Raw DV accepts only PAL or NTSC resolution and framerate. To avoid this limitation DV is often used packed inside a Quicktime 4 Linux container format (.mov). DV uses a (slightly) lossy compression. It’s good for editing because it compresses video frames individually.


to acquire media from a device. It is done through a Recording dialog box. This graphical interface contains a "Record" button, shaped like a red dot. Sometimes the "Arm track" button of the Patchbay is improperly called "Record Button" because of the grafical resemblance. For this meaning see to ARM.


a group of tightly coupled computers that work together closely for rendering.


the process of applying the instructions contained in the edit decision list (EDL) to produce an audio and/or video file. Also any processing of video (e.g. rendering effects to the compositor).


to reduce, enlarge or reshape the outline of an image preserving the absolute measures of the distances inside it. Part of the image can be cropped or blank bands can result.


the size of a digital image (width and height) measured in pixels. Temporal resolution is the frequency of frames (framerate) or fields.


the “ingredients”, the resorts available for your projects (assets, clips, transitions and effects)


(Red, Green, Blue) a colour model in which red, green and blue lights are added together in various combinations to reproduce all the colours. It is used in computer graphics hardware. RGBA is the same colour model with extra information for transparency (in the Alpha channel). See also PRIMARY COLOURS. Also a triplet of parameters tha can represent a colour in a digital system.




the directory that contains all other directories and files on the system and which is designated by a forward slash ( / ).


a very simple form of data compression in which runs of data (that is, sequences in which the same data value occurs in many consecutive data elements) are stored as a single data value and count. This is most useful on data that contains many such runs::for example, simple graphic images such as icons and line drawings.


the intensity of a specific colour. It measures the distance of a colour from a neutral gray.


to reduce or enlarge an image proportionally, preserving the ratio of the distances inside it. The image is modified whole; no parts of the image are cropped, even if they may be not displayed when beyond the canvas size. Blank bands can result.


to move quickly backwards and forwards in time across the video. It is usually made by dragging the mouse pointer over the timebar of by dragging the knob of the Compositor or Viewer timebars.


short for SEGMENTATION FAULT. It can be used as a verb.


a particular error condition that occurs when a program attempts to access a memory location that it is not allowed to access, or attempts to access a memory location in a way that is not allowed (for example, attempting to write to a read-only location, or to overwrite part of the operating system).




an efficeint means of passing data between programs. One program will create a memory portion which other processes can access. The amount of memory allowed for sharing is configurable in the kernel parameter shmmax.


a piece of software that provides an interface for users. It is mainly a Command Line shell or a Graphical shell. In everyday use it indicates the Command Line.


(SHared Memory MAXimum) a configurable kernel parameter that defines the system-wide maximum allowable shared memory.


(Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) an international association of engineers working in the motion imaging industries. It develops and publishes internationally-recognized Standards for television, motion pictures, digital cinema and audio.


a media loaded on disc, which Cinelerra refers to.


to unite edits by lapping the two ends together or by inserting an edit between two edits or in the middle of an edit.


to divide or break up an edit into two parts.


a source of data that can be read or written only sequentially (e.g. audio, video, subtitles).


a method of receiving media (audio or video) while they are still being delivered, so that it is possible to watch video or listen to audio without waiting for an entire file to download. Streaming can be live or on-demand.




the text of a video displayed on the bottom of the screen, often used for language translations. Subtitles are also the graphics displayed on top of video content, stored in a separate stream (e.g. on a multilingual DVD or in DVD menus).


a revision control software which allows software projects to be developed in an incremental and controlled fashion by a distributed group of programmers. Designed specifically to be a modern replacement for CVS. In use in the Cinelerra CV Project since November 2005.




a list of topics in a book, showing their order and the place where they may be found. In Cinelerra, an index file with .toc extension. Loading an .mpg file in Cinelerra creates two different index files in the $HOME/.bcast/ directory::a .toc file and an .idx file. See INDEX FILE. The term Table of Content refers also to the text file that represents an image sequence. See IMAGE LIST.


(also TC) the process of transferring films into digital form, or the machine used in this process. In all forms of telecine, light is projected through the film onto a pick-up device that translates the image into a digital video signal, allowing it to be processed and altered (e.g. color graded).


the frequency of frames (framerate) or fields.


a free and open source video codec. It’s targeted at competing with MPEG-4 video (e.g., H.264, Xvid and DivX), RealVideo and similar lower-bitrate video codecs.


a related sequence of instructions or actions within a program that runs at least in part independent of other actions within the program; executed only in operating systems permitting multitasking. Also a group of messages sent to a mailing list that share the same subject.


a popular term in the professional editing industry. It refers to a editing method where you mark a portion of your source material (in point and out point) and insert or overlay at a specific and marked point in your timeline (insert point). In Cinelerra is called Two Screen editing.




the part of the timeline that marks the time passing in hours, minutes, seconds,…. It’s like a timeruler.


the part of the program window that contains video and audio tracks and displays the edits as they occur in time.


the words put at the beginning of a movie. In Cinelerra Title is a plugin, represented on the timeline as a brown bar. Following Cinelerra style, Title is also the green bar in the upper part of an asset that contains the name of the source file. It can be shown/hidden using the View menu. In the XML project file TITLE is also name of the track (e.g. "Video 1"). In DVD-Video structure, titles are separate parts the video program can be splitted up into. In DVD with menu every title has a menu entry. Titles can be splitted up into chapters. Chapters can have have menu (or submenu) entries.


the Title video effect dialog box.




a switch control, a control with two modes only mainly used to turn a feature on and off.


dragging edit boundaries to lengthen or to to shorten the duration of the edit in the timeline. Over the edit boundariy and during the the trimming operation the mouse pointer changes shape.


Textual User Interface.


a diamond shaped button composed of two arrows::one arrow upward and one arrow downward. It is used to set values in text boxes using the mouse (clicking on the up/down arrows or using the wheel with the pointer over the tumbler).




an external software program that functions for a particular purpose, integrating functionality. Cinelerra utilities can be specific (Seven Gnomes, img2list,…) or made not specifically for Cinelerra (dvgrab, Kino, ffmpeg…).


the measure of the brightness of a colour. In video signals is is represented by luma. See LUMINANCE.


Variable Bit Rate. The bitrate used in sound or video encoding that is not held constant. The idea is to use more or less compression according to the complexity of the picture.


(Video OBject) a DVD-Video file. It contains the actual video, audio, subtitles and menu in stream form. VOB files are encoded very much like standard MPEG-2 files. If the extension is changed from .vob to .mpg or .mpeg, the file is still readable and continues to hold all information, although most MPEG-2-capable players don’t support subtitle tracks. To burn the VOB files to a DVD disc, also other standard DVD-Video files are needed (IFO and BUP files).


a free and open source, lossy audio codec. It’s intended to serve as a replacement for MP3. It is most commonly used in conjunction with the Ogg container and is then called Ogg Vorbis.


the visual image of the form of the audio signal. Since it is derived from the sound data in the media file and its rendering is not timing-critical, it is not affected by latency issues.


(mathematics) the representation of a signal in terms of scaled and translated copies ("daughter wavelets") of a finite length or fast decaying oscillating waveform ("mother wavelet").


a processed signal, opposed to a DRY SIGNAL, the original and unprocessed signal. Very often in Cinelerra effects you have wet/dry sliders or knobs, that would determine how much of the original "dry" signal gets mixed in with the processed "wet" signal. For instance, in the Cinelerra parametric equalizer (EQ Parametric audio effect) you have a knob for Wetness.




a virtual control, an element of the GUI that the computer user interacts with, such as a button, a window, a text box.


the action of a counter that starts over at zero after its maximum value has been reached, and continues incrementing, either because it is programmed to do so or because of an overflow.




the language Cinelerra EDLs are written in. Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a general-purpose language that combines text and extra information about the text and allows users to modify or enrich its syntax. It is designed to be relatively human-legible. It is a fee-free open standard.


the color model used by PAL and NTSC standards. Y stands for the luma component and U and V are the chroma components. U and V are actually colour-difference components (respectively R-Y and B-Y). In fact YUV signals are created from an original RGB source. The weighted values of R, G, and B are added together to produce a single Y signal, representing the overall luma. The U signal is then created by subtracting the Y from the blue signal of the original RGB, and then scaling; V is created by subtracting the Y from the red, and then scaling by a different factor. Previous black-and-white systems used only luma (Y) information and color information (U and V) was added so that a black-and-white receiver would still be able to display a color picture as a normal black and white picture.