Rendering on a server: Manual generation of proxy clips and transferring project to other computer


I’m looking into editing a large amount of talk recordings footage using the following workflow:

I have:

  • Many gigabytes of recordings from multiple cameras on a server
  • A mediocre laptop with the clips mounted over sshfs (slow but at least they are available)
  • A mediocre internet connection between the two

I want to:

  • Generate proxy clips on the server
  • Download them to my laptop
  • Edit the clips in kdenlive
  • Generate scripts
  • Send scripts to server
  • Render scripts on server with original clips

Is this in any way possible? My current alternative is installing kdenlive on the server and x-forwarding, which I’d like to avoid, because it would be very painfully slow.

Thank you for any advice,


I am afraid this is not yet possible because Kdenlive is designed and so far developed to be used in a standalone and local environment.

There is, however, development underway to introduce CLI capabilities that would allow for scripted rendering and other things. That may help you.

Please note that Kdenlive is a very sophisticated and powerful front-end for melt and ffmpeg (I know this sounds like I don’t give the dev team enough credit for all the hard work they are putting into this which is not my intention) when it comes to exporting video. I am pretty sure - but haven’t tried myself - that you could spoon-feed melt the .kdenlive project files and have ffmpeg encode it based on what I understood from the documentation. So, depending on your technical skills and knowledge you could set something up where melt and ffmpeg would reside on the server while you edit with Kdenlive on the client.

Thank you for the advice. I’ve had something like that in mind already, but the thing that I’m mainly struggling with now is the beginning, generating the proxy clips so I can prepare the cut on smaller clips that fit on my laptop’s small SSD.

Nice, for future reference, I found the External proxy clips option in Proxy settings and managed to hack around it to create my own proxies, nice!

I’d trust Bernd on this kind of thing more than me - but for the (remote) rendering side of it, shouldn’t it be possible to “export script” from the render dialog and then with minimal (or no?) massaging (if you have mirrored the filesystem paths suitably), run that as a batch job on the server?

I thought I’d seen somewhere previously that it was possible to just pass those (and kdenlive project files) directly to melt on the command line - but if that’s not (or no longer) true, and you can forward X from the server, then worst case you can start kdenlive remotely and only need to interact with it enough to click through to the render dialog …

(there’s a few times and situations when being able to do this sort of thing trivially would be interesting to me too …)

And this is what I thought should be possible, you put it into context much better. So I’d trust myself more if I were you … :wink:

Thank you! That sounds good, I’ll try it and then let you know if I encounter any issues.