Initial Video Production Testing

A project log for Raspberry Pi 400 Daily Driver

Learning to use a Raspberry Pi 400 laptop as an everyday computer and sharing the results.

DustinDustin 11/23/2021 at 13:060 Comments

One of my favorite hobbies is video production. I feel I currently suck at it, and am still learning the workflow and deciding on tools, but I enjoy it all the same. I have an MSI GE60 from 2013 that I've been using, but wanted to get away from that giant old power hog and try out the Pi 400 as a video editing system. I've got all my project files from an unfinished video project loaded onto the Pi, and have decided on a few software tools already. I will be using kdenlive for the video editing, Audacity for audio editing, and Inkscape for image editing. kdenlive is set up to create proxy clips for any video file over 480 pixels. This will allow me to play back and scrub through the files at a decent speed on this Pi. I will be working with 4K video files shot with a GoPro Hero 7 Silver, and audio files recorded on a Zoom H5 audio recorder.

I'm using a Pi 400 overclocked to 2GHz, running Pop!_OS 21.10 from a 32GB Samsung Bar flash drive on the USB 3.0 port. The project files reside on that boot drive. Read and write speeds are acceptable, and far better than running from micro SD. I'll be using the display on the Vilros Pidock 400 for the video monitor, and either my MEE Audio M6 Pro in ear monitors(fancy headphones), or my Creative Stage Air Bluetooth sound bar for audio monitoring. I'll likely edit with the monitors and check the final result on the sound bar.

Between the 4K video files, high bit rate audio files, limited power of the Pi 400, heat issues caused by the Pidock 400, and untested GPU hardware acceleration, this should be a great test of what the Pi is really capable of. I know there are a few videos out there where kdenlive is used to make videos n the Pi 400, but I want to know what it would be like to learn the entire process on a Pi and use only the Pi for video production. In the future I will add active cooling to the Pidock and overclock the Pi even further for better performance. When I get around to verifying GPU hardware acceleration for FFMPEG, I will turn it on in kdenlive and test performance on various file types and resolutions.

For now, I am going with a fairly stock Pi set up running under Pop!_OS using the software available from the PopShop. This is a setup attainable for the average person who just needs something super cheap and simple to get started. Results of the next test in the next log entry.