Video Automations from Templates, Mail Merge Style

Hey everyone! I have an idea for a feature: automatically generating numerous videos with data (images, videos, text, etc.) applied to a template.

Cloudinary has recently launched a similar tool which uses templates made from After Effects and data provided by spreadsheets:

You can view a demo video here.

The idea would be to add variables in a .kdenlive file which can be swapped out with data in a spreadsheet, and then multiple .kdenlive files can be generated and then previewed + edited (in Kdenlive) or rendered, similar to how we can create a single Title template to produce multiple titles.

This concept exists in other formats:

  • Word processors and email apps have mail merge.
  • Inkscape has plugins for generating graphics from a template and spreadsheet data (see this amazing tutorial by Máirín Duffy of Fedora Design)
  • PlainMerge is an open-source tool to generate multiple PDFs using a template and variable data
  • csv to md generates Markdown files from csv files using Python

csv 2 md in action:

I like the idea and believe it has some merit. It would certainly put Kdenlive apart from the other FOSS video editors.

BUT - and this is a very big but - I strongly advocate for improvements in stability and performance before adding new features. I know that .2 and .3 releases will contain bug fixes and performance improvements but again I recommend to not distract the devs or take precious time away for new features.
Besides, there are other feature requests in line for consideration before this one should be even thought about.

Just my 2c

Thank you for your concern and feedback, berndmj.

I’ve followed this project since they published their Windows port (2016-ish), and they’ve since released an incredible amount of new features in tandem with bug fixes – some that certain users found unnecessary.

I trust that the Kdenlive devs know what to prioritize, and wouldn’t be sidetracked by one random forum post amongst the many ideas shared throughout Kdenlive’s many channels (if they happen to see this at all).

This post is to share and brainstorm ideas with the community on a possible feature. Maybe someone outside of the dev team will take interest in the concept and create a demo, as we’ve seen with the typewriter effect and easing python plugin. It’s a side-project I would work on if I had advanced development expertise.

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I certainly hope that indeed someone out there with programming skills is intrigued enough to start helping out with Kdenlive development.

Good discussion, @candidexmedia