User manual?!

I'm new to kdenlive and have been desperately trying to learn or create even simple effects on my videos to no real success.

I've been looking to find an instruction manual for just simple kdenlive usage.

Most instructions are out of date and vague with no real practical examples.

For example; Luma (or was it Lumina?) is now Dissolve.

The youtube videos, well, the creators of most of them just babel on and on about the effects they're trying to create and then they don't show much of what they've done. Speaking of which- if you're trying to teach someone something this is how it's done;

1- This is exactly what I'm going to teach you. (show an example)
2- Here's precisely how to do it. (step by step process)
3- This is the result. (here, again, is what it looks like)
4- Here are the written steps for how to do what I just showed you.

To put it mildly- kdenlive has been an extremely difficult experience.

I'm running Platform Version 4.8.5 (4.8.5) on Ubuntu 12.04

Did you try a search on this site for "user manual" and did you find a page linking you to the manual at ?

Did you find the quick start section in that manual? Because that is pretty good for basic kdenlive usage.

When you learn't to use a whole new complex bit of software last time - was it easy?

Did you try a search on this site for "user manual" and did you find a page linking you to the manual at ?

Yes. Look up the Transitions--->Automatic Transitions---->Dissolve and see the results you get. Nothing.

Did you find the quick start section in that manual? Because that is pretty good for basic kdenlive usage.

"basic" is all it is. I'm a little bit beyond the "file" open stuff. Also, in the quick start section there's mention of changing the color of the piano via the Effect RGB Adjustment. In my version of Kdenlive there is no such effect. There is something called "RGB Parade" but whenever that effect is select the program crashes (shuts down).

When you learn't to use a whole new complex bit of software last time - was it easy?

No, it certainly wasn't but the documentation provided with the software made the process much easier.

The problem with Kdenlive is incomplete, and wrong instruction and that certainly doesn't engender confidence.

I wish there was some way I could help but without knowing how the program works it's simply impossible.

SIA, I wonder what your goal of this thread might be... If you want to point out, that the documentation is lacking details and whole chapters, you do well. If you want to get some help to get your non working stuff done, you could do better.

The documentation is still growing and thanks to some big effords of a few volunteers in the past weeks, it is growing faster than ever before. Most of the common problems have been discussed here in this forum: Working with the timeline, trimming, color grading and correction, picture in picture, lots of effects and transitions, rendering, file sizes, quality issues and everything else.

As you did put well, how to teach something to somebody, why not try out some things with Kdenlive and then make a understandable and up to date tutorial? Your help is highly appreciated.

If you are in trouble and can not achieve some special effect, search the forum and the last way is to ask how you could do it - the documentation is not that far and may be will never be far enough: Most effects you see (and maybe need), are a combination of several other basic effects. And that is pretty much trial and error - also for the guys who are using Kdenlive since version 0.5, like me. And that is why you will find rarely step by step instructions here.

Google is your best friend. Lots of tutorials both text and video.

> Transitions--->---->Dissolve and see the results you get. Nothing.

Yes but does not explain in a fair bit of detail how to add a transition in the generic sense. And is the Kdenlive interface so poor that you can not figure out how to use the Disolve transition - with a bit of trial and error in cobmination with the info supplied in the page?

And does the page not only cover "file open" but also have a section on transitions? And didn't your original post mention that kdenlive needs doco on "basic stuff" ?

And are there not 31 transitions for the manual to cover. And is this not free and open source software with documentation contributed by volenteers?

And the program you mention that had wonderfull documentation - was it free ?

You could create a youtube video on how to use the Disolve transition and contribute it to the manual. :-)

In short RTFM and contribute to TFM

Google is the government's best friend....not mine.

I would love to help with documentation and examples!!

I'm simply just trying to learn how to make titles fade in and out with or without a background image (or video) or a blue colored background.

As I've said before...I love Kdenlive for simple, really simple, video processing.

Take a look at the example found at the bottom of the page under

Here's the text;

Q: How to add a cross fading effect?

A: Make clips on two tracks overlap in time, then pull the green dot popping-up in the corner of the bottom clip (see Transition).

1- There is no effect called "cross fading"

2- The "pull the green dot" doesn't work to create anything other than "fade in".

Like I said below- I'll help with documentation...I'd LOVE to. To that end I'll work on the Clip Title stuff I'm trying to create ONCE I've learned how to do it.

So far I've spent around 22 hours working on the stuff to no success.

SIA, to address the balance here, I hear you. The other guys have given resources and reasons. I don't generally use the effects in kdenlive, I edit and export to lossless then use other apps to do the rest, I'm not saying that is the answer of coarse but I had exactly the same problem the other day trying to add some animated title and credits, I found the titler unintuitive, uneffective and unstable. After wrestling with it kdenlive crashed and I just went to Blender and did the titles there. Again not an solution.

I do think though that some of the interface is kdenlive specific, but some things are universal across any NLE and really don't require a single additional word written to describe them, certainly if I could face writing documentation fades and transition would be low low down the list for both aesthetic and universal concept reasons.

Also perhaps try to walk before running, build your knowledge of kdenlive project by project, using the resources listed, universal concepts and this forum.

Good Luck.

>changing the color of the piano via the Effect RGB Adjustment.
>In my version of Kdenlive there is no such effect.

>I'm running Platform Version 4.8.5 (4.8.5)

What version???

If there is no RGB adjustment, eiher your version is very old, or you have problems with the installation of frei0r on your system.

The question of how to fade in and out a title on a blue background has been answered in another thread. Maybe this topic might help you, too:

Fading of titles is currently not supported, you will have to work around with a composite transition. Or you create the titles in your favourite graphic program and add them as clips - the background of the image should be transparent, if you want the underlying clip to be visible. Then you can use the picture on some upper track, with a fade from black and a composite transition to overlay the background in a lower track.

If you complain about the green dot doing something different than a dissolve, you have placed the mouse pointer in the upper left corner of the clip (fade in). If you had tried the lower right corner in the overlapping part, you would have got a dissolve. BTW a dissolve between two clips is widely called a "cross fade".

>I'm running Platform Version 4.8.5 (4.8.5) on Ubuntu 12.04
This is the KDE platform version. We are more interested in the Kdnenliver version - 0.8.2 or 0.9.2 are likely candidates.

> If there is no RGB adjustment, eiher your version is very old, or you have problems with the installation
>of frei0r on your system.
Sia - did you take note of the screen shot in the Quick start which shows this effect in the "color correction group" not in the "color" group where you found RGB parade. I too keep forgeting which effect is in which group. And I forget which is an effect and which is a transition. This is why I created the "Alphabetical List of Effects and Transitions" Look up that to find out where to find it before complaining a effect does not exist

The example found at the bottom of the page on transitions does not claim there is an effect called "cross fading". It describes how to use kdenlive to create a "cross fading effect". The author of the page has assumed that the meaning of these words are obvious. However, the userbase doco is a wiki - so SIA - you should feel free to improve the text there. It is good to have a novice test drive the doco.

Please update when you have any example of your work:)


This user has been blocked and the website in their contact details removed. (yellow)


Will do....once (and if) I can accomplish what I'm seeking to do. So far I've spent another 20 hours of wasted time.

Don't wait until you are finished. What we mean is show us / tell us what you have done so far and what the sticking point is.

We can't help with general whining about how hard "everything" is.

What is it that your are trying to do and where are you stuck?

BTW did you find the RGB adjustment effect?

Here's a specific example of what I'm trying to accomplish at the moment;

Notice how the text lines fade in (my words) with all text staying on the screen.

The "lighten" Transition is used exclusively.

The titles that are added to the video tracks are added as composite, then I delete the composite orange/yellow bar.

No matter how many hours I spend on this particular effect (as you see in the video) I can't reproduce it for other kdenlive projects.

Yes, I've read, re-read...memorized...the "transition" part of the manual. But it doesn't address the problems I'm having.

Do you have any suggestions?

Weird that you can do this for one project but not others. But I have had stranger things.

Try this method instead

I am uploading the results to - Due to complete upload in 36 mins

I use the affine transition and keyframes with different opacity to make the titles fade in.

I have a 5th video track which is empty and each of the transitions are "with track 5".

And that is it.

PS did you find the RGB adjustment effect?

Finally I figured it out....partly thanks to your help.

I've spent over 35 hours working on this and suddenly I figured it out last night!

Composite transitions were added to all text titles.
Keyframes were then added to each title.
Keyframe opacity was changed from 0 to 100% depending upon the location of the time line sequence.

The major background that I use was placed on video track 5.

Here's an example of the results;

Here's a screen shot;