Category: Blender's VSE

VSE: DIY wipes

Blender has a couple basic wipes to transition between shots. But with the addition of the new Mask based Strip Modifier, you can define a transition using any shape you want! Create a black and white gradient image (or high contrast if you prefer) and use that as a mask source (or matte if you’re old like me). Then change the ‘blend’ type of the B strip (incoming strip) to alpha over and apply a Mask Modifier that uses the imported artwork.

You can animate the contrast of the source art (matte) to alter over time, or you could create an actual animation to use instead.

Here is a tutorial describing the workflow.
DIY wipe tutorial

VSE: Add titles, a quick tutorial

Blender’s VSE doesn’t have a titling tool! I know that may come as a shock, some suggest that it is a core feature for an editing application. But the Blender foundation would remind you that Blender’s VSE is really just a clip sequencing tool, that is a device that allows you to shuffle rendered media and trim as required. In recent times you have been able to perform simple audio effects and enhance your images with robust color correction tools. You can even stabilise video now! (ignore the lack of simple keying effects).

Given these restrictions Blender does allow some quite advanced titling effects. Of course this is achieved via the 3D suite of tools. Basically what I outline in this video is the merging of a 3D scene with video in a master edit scene. I have suggested that you split off a new floating window and demonstrate the ease with which you can key and animate some basic text overlay.

Further to this tutorial, I have created an example of adding a drop shadow and outline to the text scene. I have used the compositor in that source scene. I found that the rendered scene played at almost realtime in the VSE master sequence.

Compositor frame grab, showing a drop shadow and outline on one layer.

Compositor frame grab, showing a drop shadow and outline on one layer.

You can get the .blend file here (on the original BA forum post).

VSE: Get Audacity, add meters!

Ok so I don’t use Linux or run Jack in Blender (for syncing a DAW), and Blender doesn’t have the most basic sound feature (unless you count waveforms). Blender doesn’t show audio metering! Which is odd given how great the vision metering is!

Recently I knocked up an example of sound editing in the VSE, you can see it here:

But I wondered how you could I mix a variety of sounds together so that they all balanced out against each other while not exceeding the top most limit for digital audio, ie. 0db
Well I have a portable version of Audacity from here and I wondered if I could just pass my Blender mix through? Well it turns out that you can, you just need to check that your levels match between the 2 apps.

Play 0db media from Blender and line up the input value in Audacity to peak.

Play 0db media from Blender and line up the input value in Audacity to peak.


In this example I have Audacity running in the background with the mic button active for loop through. In the preferences I turned off overdub and loop through but checked that the input was from Stereo Mix not Mic. Then I dragged the meter bar out of the main window and resized it down the side. I shrank Blender up a bit I guess I could also overlap the Audacity output meter as it is inactive, we only want to see the input meter here. Once your mix is done, export it as a Blender Mixdown (see tutorial above) and import it into Audacity for a bit of compression, that is lifting the silent parts and squashing the lound parts automatically. This makes podcast conversation easier to listen to ;)

Have you ever wanted to edit some video in the VSE and send some of it to the Node Compositor? I have, and I thought you could make a script to do it, someone else thought that too and now you can.

Find the script in this BA thread (version 3 is best):

At the moment it is not an addon, grab a recent version of the script and place it in the Blender Addons folder. Then open User Prefs and activate it. Remember the strip you send must have a short name too. Like “shot-1″ for example. You run the script, select the strip (or strips if it is a key effect) to send and press the Send to Composite button in the strip properties panel. You can even send stacked strips or a series (end to end) strips! And a new feature lets you setup the shots with a predefined Node Group!

The script will generate a new scene and open a compositor with the right media linked using the correct start frames too! Back in the VSE scene your edit will get a new Scene Strip above the old media strip.  Check the tutorial for the right setup so that you can scrub the composite in the VSE (very slowly).

Here is the version that I used for the tutorial:

This time Imade the tutorial with a voice over!

Jump to video tutorial


VSE: Improve playback performance!

A quick tip: really improve playback performance in the VSE by simply matching your scene’s dimensions to the media’s size. (this is more of a reminder than anything).

As pointed out by “blendervse” here ages ago - – Canon DSLRs actually record a HD video at 1088 pixels (not 1080 as expected). Blender of course spends computer cycles resizing every frame. So try giving your playback a boost by removing all resizing! I saw dramatic improvements even playing files from a slow old USB memeory stick.

Or if you are feeling like playing with each strip more, you can set the scene resolution to 1080, then go to each strip and change the Strip Input/Image Crop values. That is, you change the Bottom Crop value from 0 to 8. Thereby removing 8 pixels or restoring the aspect of the original media! Then you could use the script Extra Sequencer Actions to provide a copy function (strip menu/copy properties/input-image crop) for all successive strips. Just remember to select the altered strip last, then apply the copy function.

While I’m talking about matching scene sizes, don’t forget to match your frame rate too. If you see the audio strip (light blue strip) running longer or shorter than the video strip (dark blue) then you have to change the scene frame rate (*advanced tip* or add a pitch change to the audio strip).

That is check your media’s frame rate eg. 29.97fps and make sure you set the Blender scene frame rate to the same value. This makes sure that the audio length stays in sync with the video.

Video editing in Blender should go much more smoothly then ;)

A small update, I notice that Peter Schlaile has recently introduced a patch to correct the 1088 pixel height issue. Check it out at you will have to grab a build after this version 56046

VSE: Blender Addon video editing

Jump to the video tutorial

Ever wished that the VSE had a  better system for editing, thanks to Sunboy and his new script there is a new easier way!

Check out the script at

The script adds a shot, selected in the file browser, to a new scene. Then you change the Start and End frame of that scene (named like the shot filename) and the script then copies a trimmed version of the strip back into your master scene.

Here I demonstrate how easy it is to use.

VSE Navigating your Clips

This week I have a quick tip illustrating a way of working with the VSE. This time we learn how to interact with larger groups of clips in the VSE timeline.

Recently I have edited a short film and as it is very dynamic, I found it awkward to move around the VSE. Windows can resize to easily and mouse dragging can be frustrating!

So I set up a bunch of strips (color effect strips) that are placed at the very bottom layer. Each strip is color coded and labeled for the region that the encompass. In this example there are 2 master edit strips (story and credits) as well as 2 lots of wild footage, split into seperate locations.

In addtion I show how to split an audio window from a video window so that you can scrub both in sync (showing you where the strips are in relation to each other).

Jump to the tutorial video

VSE rendering tip – memory handling

If you find Blender crashing when rendering out to an animation codec, it may be caused by diminished memory. I tend to set Sequencer Memory Cache Limit quite high in User Preferences (at 512mb on my meagre 2gb PC) while working on an edit. This makes the pictures more responsive while you scrub.


But before rendering out set it really low, I had it down at just 64mb! This kept the usage of system rescources within my limited available memory.

VSE Speed effect

Due to popular request I have knocked out a mini-tutorial, for the use of speed effect strips in Blender’s VSE.

The Speed Effect strip can be used to re-time video or animations to a new length, or you can reverse the direction of play. Also you can make freeze frames. But best of all you can do speed ramps, that is speed up or slow down the playback of a video strip.

In this example I have not touched on audio speed effects, although you can achieve it with the pitch change value (have a go it’s fun).

While it seems that there is a bug in the speed effect, like it forgets to update when you are keyframing the Speed Factor value or the Frame Number value, you must press the “Refresh Sequencer” button. That forces Blender to check all f-curves etc.


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