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I am making videos with puppets where I first record and cut sound, then shoot the puppets talking over the sound and replace the sound track, and now I would like to add some emotion with visual effects: blinking an eye, a lightbulb idea moment, or stroke lines vibrating around a puppet when they are dancing.

I have been using software made for podcasts to do the audio and Final Cut Pro for the video. I cannot adjust the audio after import because Final Cut Pro seems to fail when replacing media (see thread). Also, I don't think it does animation.

The Adobe suit seems to work well, Audition integrate with Premiere, and this type of animations seems easy in Adobe After Effects. After Effects is not compatible with my hardware (16 GB RAM minimum, I only have 8 GB); furthermore, it only works on my hardware with 13.1.5, which may soon become obsolete (see this thread where I posted my issue).

Here are the ideal requirements:

  • audio Non-linear editor saving to XML files and with integrated loudness meter in Loudness Units Full Scale
  • video Non-linear editor with an option to link media files (instead of importing and copying) with color correction
  • visual effects editor with basic animation, such as blinking

What software stack would you recommend for creating this type of videos?

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Personally I would suggest the following combination:

  1. Audacity for the sound editing

  2. Python + Moviepy as a front end for:

    1. FFMPEG which does the heavy lifting on the video processing.
    2. ImageMagick for titles & captions
    3. The other optional dependencies
  3. GIMP for image editting

  4. VLC for previews

The really good news with the above is the total price, ($0.00), and that it is cross all platform so you could possibly move your hardware over to running Linux to get a speed increase on your existing hardware.

Alternatively you may wish to explorer the possibility of using Blender which can let you do full 3-D modelling and animation but does have a steep learning curve.

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