Image Sequences

One of the most powerful features in OpenShot is the ability to import sequences of images.  A sequence of images is really just a folder full of images that are named very similar, and of course named sequentially.  Each image file represents one frame of video.  So for a 30 second long clip, with 30 frames per second, you would have 900 image files.  Although image sequences can be tough to work with (because of the sheer volume of files), it can do just about anything.

To import an image sequence, follow these steps:

Locate an Image Sequence

Many programs can generate an image sequence.  For example, in Blender (a 3D animation package), you can create a great animated title sequence and export it as a series of named .PNG files (with transparency).  It will create a folder on your computer that contains all of the image files.

Import the Image Sequence

Choose the File > Import Image Sequence menu option, and that will launch the Image Sequence dialogue.  

Choose the folder location of your image sequence, and the file naming pattern.  Not all image sequences are named the same way.  For example, Movie_0001.JPG is different from Movie_1.JPG.  Once you enter the correct filename pattern, click Import Image Sequence.

Drag and Drop Image Sequences

The easiest way to import an image sequence, is to drag and drop just a single image from the sequence into the “Project Files”, or use the Import Files screen and import just a single image.  It will then prompt you to import the entire image sequence.  Using this method will automatically determine the file name pattern, and set all the correct settings for the sequence.

Add to Timeline

Drop your new image sequence on the timeline.  It is represented by a single clip, just like a regular video clip.

Create an Image Sequence

If you do not already have an image sequence, it is easy to create one.  Just right-click on any video file in your Project Files and choose Convert to Image Sequence.  It will create a new folder, and export every frame as a .PNG image file.  It will also add a reference to your new image sequence in the Project Files section automatically.

Edit an Image Sequence

If you want to edit a sequence of images, we recommend using The Gimp (an open-source image editor).  It has plug-ins to assist in editing large sequences of images, and can simplify the process of editing, saving, and opening the next image in a sequence.  You can then touch up each frame, remove red-eye, add glowing effects to light sabers, erase wires, etc...  There is really nothing you can not do with a frame by frame editing approach, but it does take a lot of effort.

Gimp Animation Package (GAP)

GAP is a plug-in for The Gimp, which assists in editing image sequences.  It can quickly save the current image and load the next image in a sequence.  It can also use key-frames to apply effects across many frames, or even create animations.  If you need to edit an image sequence, you should definitely take a look at GAP.

Screenshot of Gimp Animation Package