Archive for the ‘Linux Power Tools (LPT)’ Category

To edit videos in Linux based systems there are a lot of available choices, lets talk about a specific software that I have used for edit and export raw videos: Kino.

Kino is a video editor software which has options for cut scenes, apply some special effects, export video to a different formats and some other features. The help manual is short but a lot clear and you can see example images.

For apply special effects for example you can just click on FX Icon (ubicated in the right side panel) and specify the time that the effect should start and finish:


and apply either Audio or Video filters that you prefer:

Example of Soft Focus Video Filter

Example of Soft Focus Video Filter

The list of Audio effects includes: Dub, Fade In, Fade Out, Gain, Mix and Silence.

Options for Video filters include: Blur, Charcoal, Colour Average, Colour Hold, Flip, Jerky, Kaleidoscope, Levels, Mirror, Pan and Zoom, Pixelate, Soft Focus, Superimpose, Titler and some others…

Video with Pixelate and Titler effects...

Video with Pixelate and Titler effects...

I used Pixelate and Titler video filters, and fade out and silence audio filters for the closing part of my video; I cut just a small piece from the video where the effects can be appreciated, so if you want to take a look and see how this effects look like click here.

Also this software is capable to export video to different formats such as: DVD, Flash, H.264 MP4, MP3, MPEG-4 3GPP, MPEG-4 AVI, OGG, VCD and some others… (the videos in the link are in OGG and Flash formats).

Kino works good with videos not too big, and editing is relatively easy, it has a very simple graphic interface and exporting files to other formats is fast and works very well.


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In the next lines I will describe how to use the program dvd-slideshow which is command line based and is used to create slideshow videos (that later on can be burned in a DVD)…

So let’s start getting the software by the command line typping:
# yum install dvd-slideshow

Next, put all the pictures or images that you want to include in the video, together in a directory (I called mine “Flowers”)

One important thing that I noticed when I used this program is that the name of each image should not have spaces… so for example if you have names like this: “My parents anniversary”, you should change it for “MyParentsAnniversary”, “My_parents_anniversary”… or any other way but with no spaces.

Just for more comfort work in the same path that is your picture directory, and type these commands:
# dir2slideshow -n “Flowers” -t 3 Flowers/

It will create an input file, with information about the pictures and -sometimes depends what you add- some values for parameters like crossfade, fadein, fadeout, title, background, etc… you can modify this command maybe like this:
# dir2slideshow -t 3 -c 2 -b /home/Paty/Pictures/Seneca.jpg -n “Flowers” Flowers/
-t -> seconds that each picture is showed.
-c -> is the number of seconds to crossfade between images.
-b -> this option is for specify a image background.
-n -> name for the slideshow.
(check man page for more options)

Next step is create the video file:
# dvd-slideshow -n “Flowers” -f Flowers.txt
In the same way you can play with options like adding music for example, up to you.

It may get you some error message, telling you that mjpegtools are missed, if that is the case install them like this:
# yum install mjpegtools

Another important thing is, if you get this message:
[dvd-slideshow] Creating ac3 audio…
[dvd-slideshow] ERROR during ffmpeg execution!

Then is necessary to edit the file /usr/bin/dvd-slideshow and change the line 661 like this:

To see the video, you can install Mplayer for example (#yum install mplayer) and after just type this:
# mplayer Flowers.vob


Have fun!

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Many people believes that is not possible do a lost of things in Linux based OS’s, I discovered that is totally false, we will see two good examples now.


Removing Red Eyes in pictures using GIMP.

I have installed Fedora 9 in my computer and one of the applications included by default is the image editor GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program).


GIMP is a treasure, it has a lot of very useful functions and work very well,we will use it for remove red eyes in pictures, here the steps:

To open GIMP, go to the menu Applications -> Graphics -> GNU Image Manipulation Program and launch your picture in the same way that you open a file in any software (menu File -> Open…).

Once you have done that, click on rectangle select tool:


…(or go to the menu Tools -> Selection Tools -> Rectangle Select) and draw a rectangle around the eye area like this: selecting

then go to Filters –> Enhance –> Red Eye Removal. A small screen will appear, use the Threshold scroll bar to adjust the eyes colour… 3

… click Ok when you finish, save your file and it’s done, now you have a very nice picture with no red eyes.


Creating a photographic mosaic.

You can create photographic mosaics made of other pictures or images, using a command-line program called Metapixel, which is a “photomosaic generator”.  In my opinion this is very cool stuff (you can impress your friends with this work).

Here the steps…

Installing the program:
Open a windows shell (Applications -> System Tools -> Terminal) and login like root, as follow:
# su –
# (type root password)

then run this command:
# yum install metapixel.

Now for this, you must have a picture that you want to have in mosaics and also a directory with lots of images (if you don’t have any or not enough then you can do what I did, I googled flower images and I copied around 120), the most you have, the best.

After that, you need create one more directory and leave it empty. Let’s call this last directory as “Tiles”.

Now again in the shell terminal:
# metapixel-prepare Directory-with-the-images/ Tiles/
That will index the images and convert them to a .png format, that makes them ready for perform the next command:
# metapixel –metapixel -w 6 -h 6 –library Tiles/ YourPicture.jpg AnyName.png
(The values after the arguments -w and -h indicate the width and heigh of each tile, so you can change these to see what happens)

It will take a bit (time depends how many images you are using for compose your mosaic).

The next line is for display the created image, (if you prefer go by the File Browser, up to you)
# display AnyName.png

At the end you will have something like this:

Image Resulted
(Click in the image to enlarge)

If you have a bigger picture then you may be able to appreciate better every tile that compose the result, you can experiment as much as you want, be creative and have fun…

For more information, visit this link: http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/schani/metapixel/

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Lab 07 – First part…
Torrent files and Magnet Links (advantages and disadvantages)

To share files over Internet is very common the use of “peer to peer” applications, Bit Torrent and Magnet Links are two of that kind.

Bit Torrent seems to be more popular or more used, and is always a advantage since generally whatever is frequented is also well-attended, and this let find more updated resources on BitTorrent than Magnet Links.

BitTorrent itself does not offer a search facility to find files by name. A user must find the initial torrent file by other means, such as a web search; with Magnet links you are able to perform a search trough the client application and maybe the main advantage of Magnet links is that it allows resources to be referenced without the need for a continuously available host, while Bit Torrent works with a Internet hosting service system, which provide better performance whereby is faster, but you need to have an available “tracker” which is a computer that has the function to help the peers to communicate, peers that want to download the file must first obtain a torrent file for it, and connect to the specified tracker, which tells them from which other peers to download the pieces of the file [1] [1 – Wikipedia]

In other respects Bit Torrent could be securer, it doesn’t let to share entire directories, is necessary mark the files that the user wants to have in common with others, Magnet links allows shared a entire folder and this can cause some vulnerability.


Lab 07 – Second part…
Task: Create a BASH shell script called backup. This script will backup all files in user’s home directory that were created or changed within the current day as a single compressed tar file in a ~/.backup/ directory. Each backup file name will be the current date. If a backup file exists already it will be overwritten without prompting.


echo “Backing up the files of the day in $USERHOMEPATH…”

#make a directory for the backup files if is not created yet…

if [ ! -e $BACKUPDIR ]
chmod 744 $BACKUPDIR

#find $USERHOMEPATH -name ‘.*’ -prune -o -mtime 0 -print
#find $USERHOMEPATH -name ‘.*’ -prune -o -mtime 0 -print0 -exec tar cvf CHECKTHISOUT.tar {} +;
#find $USERHOMEPATH -name ‘.*’ -prune -o -mtime 0 -fprint0 | xargs -0 tar cvf IHATETHIS.tar

find $USERHOMEPATH -name ‘.*’ -prune -o -mtime 0 -print | tar cvf $BACKUPDIR/$(date “+20%y-%m-%d”).tar –no-recursion -T –

# -name ‘.*’ prune <— if a name of directory is found that starts with dot, then is pruned (ignored)
# -o <— “or” (otherwise)

echo “Backup finished…”

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