Proponents of Linux often tend to misrepresent Linux as a leader in video editing. Whether this is intentional or just due to being misinformed, nothing could be further from the truth, with Linux potentially being one of the worst platforms for video editing. There are no decent software packages for editing video on Linux and it is one of many prime examples of why Linux is not anywhere ready to be a replacement for OS X or Windows on a large scale. The idea that Linux is the most popular platform for video editing seems to come from the fact that it is used on server farms to do 3D rendering. However, this is not video editing. For actually editing film, doing post-processing such as adding in sound, visual effects or even just playing with scenes there is no software on Linux that can do this reliably.
Often you’ll see people quoting statistics such as 95% of the computers in Hollywood are running linux or some crap. Even if that’s true, it doesn’t mean Linux is being used as the platform that film is edited on. As it stands there are no decent video editing tools for Linux, or for any OSS platform. Kdenlive, PiTiVi, OpenShot, lives, Cinelerra and Kino have all been in development for many years ever languishing or forking. Either way at the moment there is not a single OSS video editor that provides anywhere near the functionality of say Final Cut Pro. Not only are all the available video editors lacking in basic functionality, many of them have horrendous stability issues, segfaulting when trying to import video for example.
Many people of bring up stuff like Maya or Pixar’s RenderMan, but ultimately this is 3D development software that’s use is not limited to film, at all. The fact that films can be made with such software is incidental and does nothing to detract from the point that there is no quality video editing software for Linux. This shouldn’t be surprising, as it is the nature of the beast. The way OSS works is that people develop out of personal motivation or because they are paid to. There are very few people working in video editing who are also programmers, so there is a lack of quality video editing OSS available. Until more people contribute or a company funds development, that’s how it will stay.
Hopefully this will help to dispel the propaganda that Linux is prominent in the film industry. It certainly is as far as CPU hours goes, since it is ideal for rendering. If you expect to see it being used by the people actually editing the films on desktops, then think again. Perhaps one day….probably before Linux gets decent audio applications at least. Also, this isn’t an anti_Linux article. It’s an anti-bullshit-propaganda article. Linux is great, no need to misrepresent what it is capable of or how it is used.