Frequently Asked Questions
Novacut should work fairly well with any video format that GStreamer supports, which includes AVCHD. However, we're only "officially" supporting Canon HDSLR cameras at the moment. Doesn't mean you can't try other cameras, but experience might not be great yet. Over time, more and more cameras will be officially supported.Last updated:
Ubuntu is our primary platform. We feel our primary platform must offer low risk. Ubuntu has an open development process that we can participate in, and is backed by commercial company (Canonical). Ubuntu has also raised the bar on design in open-source, and honestly inspired us to put on our big-boy design pants.
Ubuntu was also an obvious choice because we need to run dmedia and the render server on cloud infrastructure, ideally on the same environment that they run on your own computer. And one thing you sure can't do with OSX is spin it up on an EC2 VM.
However, we will port Novacut to other platforms based on demand. Based on feedback thus far, OSX seems the likely first port.
Even before we port Novacut to OSX, we'd like to port dmedia to OSX and (if feasible) create a FCP plugin so FCP can use dmedia.Last updated:
OpenCL is strong possibility, although it would probably be at least a year before we put resources into that.
The way for Novacut to get GPU/APU support is to get support in GStreamer. We plan to do all our multimedia backend work upstream in GStreamer... a strong foundation that's already getting serious industry investment.
We wont use CUDA as we're not keen on locking artists into a single hardware vendor.Last updated:
Novacut will always be completely open-source, and we have no interest in any "open-core" business model. The Novacut "cloud" is the exact same Novacut backend components that run locally on your own computer, except running on our hosted infrastructure. A very important use case for us is running your own local, private cloud... and to enable this use case well, everything must be open source.
For those interested, here are some geeky details on Novacut software architecture: http://cdn.novacut.com/couchone-guest.htmlLast updated:
Novacut works with local files. Once your teammates have the needed media files locally, only changes in the metadata describing the edit must be synced between you, and this is tiny data, takes very little bandwidth.
Getting the files in the first place can be bandwidth intensive, but there are options. First, Novacut can work with lower resolution proxy version of the videos, which are considerably smaller than HDSLR video straight from the camera. Second, sometimes shipping a hard drive to someone is the most practical, and dmedia has been designed with this use case in mind. And third, dmedia will soon be able to do a distributed upload (multiple people uploading files at same time) as a way to work around relatively slow upload speeds.Last updated:
Although we're using web technologies, Novacut is a native app, and the "server" components all run locally on your own computer.
However, because we're primarily using HTML5 for the user interface, we'll be able to make your edit available online through a browser. We don't anticipate this will be a practical way to do serious editing, but in a pinch it's better than nothing.
Imagine being able to give a client a peak at what you're working on using your phone. Or imagine a director or DP using a tablet on-set to review rough on-set edits (where tablet is talking to on-set workstation or server). Lots of cool possibilities.Last updated:
Yes, Novacut will support XML early on. We are highly committed to integrating with industry standard workflow.
As you might expect, at first some features wont be expressible in Novacut, but our JSON based edit description is designed to losslessly round-trip information not understood by Novacut itself.Last updated:
It has come to our attention that Novacut could become the cutting solution used by Hollywood, so in addition to XML support, DPX and EXR support are now also high priorities.
Although Hollywood is not our target user, we think fitting Novacut (even just parts of it) into a larger ecosystem will be a great strength.Last updated:
Initially we're only "officially" supporting Canon HDSLR, meaning we have full metadata support and have extensively tested with these cameras. Canon HDSLR were chosen as our initial target because that's what the majority of current low-budget, high-quality, direct-to-fan productions are using (a wide majority, easily 75%). We're careful about tuning Novacut to reality, about helping as many storytellers as possible.
However, Novacut will support any video format supported by GStreamer, which is a lot. So from day one you'll likely have a great experience with other video formats from others cameras too (YMMV). But initially only Canon HDSLR cameras will be under our official quality assurance umbrella. With time, the list will expand, likely fairly quickly.Last updated:
All our development is done in the open. There is a handy directory of our software components here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Novacut
Where it makes sense, Novacut is being split into components that can be reused by other applications. Most all the coding thus far been in dmedia (the Distributed Media Library), which is the hardest part of our collaborative architecture (the rest we basically get for free because of how we're leveraging CouchDB).Last updated:
The majority of the project is licensed AGPLv3 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/agpl-3.0.html), while the filestore and microfiber components are licensed LGPLv3 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.html).
For further detail, refer to the the directory of software components: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NovacutLast updated:
Yes, Novacut runs locally and works without net access. Novacut is "cloud-enabled", not "cloud-based". The cloud component is a practical and cost-effective way to make collaborative editing more useful, but it's not a requirement.
As all the Novacut components will be open-source, you can run your own cloud on, say, a local cluster or Amazon or Rackspace.Last updated:
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