Loading Files

All data that you work with in CINELERRA-GG is acquired either by loading from disk or recording from a device. This section describes loading. To bring up the Load window go to the File pulldown and choose Load Files (figure 4.2). Next Select files to load, and click ok (the green checkmark) or Apply. When you use the Apply button, the Load window remains active for easily loading more files later. Depending on the setting of the Insertion Strategy list box, your file will be either loaded directly on the Program window or in the Resources Media window. If the file is a still image, the project's attributes are not changed and the first frame of the track becomes the image. CINELERRA-GG usually builds an index file if one does not already exist, in order to speed up drawing. You can edit and play the file while the index is being built.

Figure 4.2: Load file menu. Note the green checkmark for OK and the middle Apply option
Image load

To load a file, you will need to:

  1. set a directory path in the Directory input box
  2. choose a file or set of files by highlighting your selection
  3. select an insertion strategy for loading the file

Once you have completed making your choices and clicking OK or Apply, by default three things occur:

NOTE: CINELERRA-GG supports paths of up to 255 characters, which is sufficient for most situations. In the case of long folders, subfolders and filenames, be careful not to exceed this limit to avoid errors.

Let's now see in detail the options of loading files.

Insertion Strategy
CINELERRA-GG lets you change what happens when you load a file. In the Load dialog window go to the Insertion strategy box and select one of the options in the drop down menu. Each of these options loads the file a different way.

Replace current project:
all tracks in the current project are deleted and a set of new tracks are created to match the source file. Project attributes are only changed when loading XML. If multiple files are selected for loading, CINELERRA-GG adds a set of new tracks for each file. New resources are created in the Resources Window, replacing the current ones.
Replace current project and concatenate tracks:
same as replace current project, except that if multiple files are selected, CINELERRA-GG will concatenate the tracks of each file, inserting different source files in the same set of tracks, one after another, in alphanumeric order, starting at 0. New resources are created in the Resources Window, replacing the current ones. Files go across the timeline.
For ffmpeg and mpeg files, when the Insertion strategy methodology in the File Load files pulldown is chosen to be either Replace current project or Replace current project and concatenate tracks, the basic session format parameters are reinitialized to match new media. This selects the default asset and determines its width, height, and video length, frame rate, calculates the colormodel, and assumes square pixels to make an intelligent guess about aspect ratio for video. For audio, the sample rate, audio length, and channel count (mono, stereo, or 5.1) are reinitialized. In addition the Track Size will be computed and is reinitialized to match the new loaded media. When using replace type insertion strategy, the new asset list is the only media in use so that this update saves the user from immediately needing to change the session format to match the only possibility.
Append in new tracks:
the current project is not deleted and new tracks are created for the source, one set of tracks for each file. New resources are created in the Resources Window. Files go down tracks.
Concatenate to existing tracks:
the current project is not deleted and new files are concatenated to the existing armed tracks, inserted in the same set of tracks of the current project, one after another, in alphanumeric order, starting at the end of the tracks. If the current project has more tracks than the source, the source file will be inserted in the first set of armed tracks. If no tracks are armed, no files will be inserted. New resources are created in the Resources Window.
Paste at insertion point:
the file is pasted into the timeline at the insertion point, on the first set of armed tracks. If multiple files are selected for loading, they will be inserted on the same set of tracks, one after the other. New resources are created in the Resources Window.
Create new resources only:
the timeline is unchanged and new resources are created in the Resources Window only. This is default.
Nest sequence:
nested assets are added to the timeline by using the Nest sequence insertion strategy. The file will be pasted into the timeline over the current selection or at the insertion point. A nested sequence is media that had already been saved as an EDL earlier. Nesting is described more fully in section 6.6.
The insertion strategy is a recurring option in many of CINELERRA-GG's functions. In each place the options do the same thing. If you load files by passing command line arguments to CINELERRA-GG, the files are loaded with Replace current project by default.
Loading Multiple Files
In the Load dialog go to the list of files. Selecting files utilizes the motif style selection method.
  1. Select a single file by highlighting.
  2. Select multiple files by moving to another file and select it while holding down Ctrl. This selects one additional file.
  3. Or move to another file and select it while holding down Shift. This selects every intervening file.
This behavior is available in most listboxes. It is an especially useful method when used with Concatenate to existing tracks insertion strategy to create an images slideshow or a song playlist.
Loading files from the command prompt
Another way to load files is to pass the filenames as arguments on the command line. This starts the program with all the arguments loaded and creates new tracks for every file. For example:

{your_cinelerra_program_path} video1.mp4 video2.mp4

Finding Files by Extension, Sub-list, or with Search
If there are too many files in your media directory, it can be difficult to find the file you want. For this reason, the Load window allows you to filter which files are displayed in the list box by extension name. Click the dropdown box on the right side of the Specify filter list box below the file name text box, and select the file extension of your media (for example: mp4, mov, mp3, avi, jpg, etc). The file list now shows only files with the selected extension. Perhaps even easier is to use the Search box on the top underneath the Select files to load listbox. Here you can keyin a character or string to look for.
You can also get a sub-list of potential files to choose from. For example, you know that the file you are looking for begins with the capital letter "C". If you keyin "C" into the selection box immediately below the list of files, and then click the left mouse button, a sub-list of files beginning with the "C" shows up under the selection box. Clicking the right mouse button cancels this sub-list.
Loading the backup
There is one special XML file on disk at all times.

After every editing operation, CINELERRA-GG saves the current project to a backup in $HOME/.bcast/backup.xml. In the event of a crash, the first thing you should do after restarting CINELERRA-GG is select File Load backup in order to load the backup. This will start CINELERRA-GG at the point in your editing operations directly before the program crashed. It is important after a crash to restart CINELERRA-GG without performing any editing operations as you will overwrite the backup. Note that the backup.xml file is always a single file which means that when you are working with two instances of CINELERRA-GG open at the same time, they use the same backup file. In this case, the last operation made in whatever instance will overwrite the backup.

The CINELERRA-GG Community, 2021