In the video spectrum, technology has always reigned supreme. Video is going where early adopters probably never envisioned,into the clouds.
Whether it's a XOOM, an Android, an iPad or an iPhone, with the explosion of high-quality video cameras in tablets and smartphones, video producers are using their mobile devices to create and distribute content once restricted to land-locked editing software. And as the capability becomes more accessible, more users will embrace this 'video in the sky' way of thinking.
Major players in the video production world are already embracing cloud-based editing options. For instance, YouTube's Video Editor function allows you mash up all of your existing video assets into one timeline. YouTube's program has the potential to revolutionize online video distribution. With the option to trim clips, embed Creative Commons video and royalty free music, and the option to apply transitions, this free offering gives budding video producers tools that could have cost them several hundred dollars. Once you're done editing, simply hit the "publish" button and your video will be available to share with your throngs of adoring fans on YouTube or other video-sharing sites.
On the tablet front, several programs - like Google's Android Movie Studio for Honeycomb - allow users to capture and edit footage all in one place. While basic in function, the technology for tablet-based editing will continue to grow as more users adopt the practice. A timeline allows you to edit video clips, add pictures, create titles and apply transitions and effects to individual clips with a few swipes of the finger. One downside to editing on a tablet is the render time. The processors for these tablets were not necessarily designed to handle multiple channel, high-definition video edits, but given the parameters of this production option, it's pretty impressive.
Virtual video producers can download several apps to their phones or tablets that offer basic editing programs. At the most basic end of the spectrum are trimming apps, which allow you to trim your video, but not too much more. VidTrim, by Goseet, is a free Android-based app that allows users to take video clips recorded on their phones and shorten the clip to their liking, then rename and share the clips. VidTrim Pro ($2.57) gives users a few more options - like Frame Grabber, which allows you to create images from your video, as well as a sharing feature with other VidTrim users.
These programs are memory intensive, so users are encouraged to change the settings to allow video files to be stored on an SD card in the phone. And while many of us have become accustomed to lightning-fast render times and infinite post-production features with our desktop editing systems, keep in mind the limitations of cloud-based editing on tablets.
Will cloud-based, mobile editing replace land-based editing systems? It's too early to tell at this point, but the key features needed to create quality video without expensive hardware are there. As demand for mobile editing solutions increase, software designers will deliver products that continue to outshine early online pioneers.
YouTube Refines Memories
If you have a cell phone, a Google account and a little technological wizardry, you can produce polished videos and publish them with YouTube - the world's second largest search engine. The popular video site recently launched YouTube Editor, an easy to use cloud-based platform that allows anyone - skilled editor or savvy six-year old - to execute basic editing functions, then deliver them to your viewers.
Recently, I jumped into YouTube Editor to see how this feature performed. My initial reaction: uh-oh...this could make guys like me (professional video producers) obsolete. In all seriousness, Editor offers a great resource to anyone looking to put a little pizzazz into their productions. Editor's best feature? It's free! You won't need to download an app, pay a subscription fee or worry about trial periods. What you see is what you get. To test this out, I uploaded a few videos of my baby daughter from my smartphone to my YouTube channel. Check out the final no frills, quick-and-easy edit for demonstration purposes.
I've outlined the process of creating an edited video using this program, below. With a little practice, you'll be on your way to contributing compelling content to video-hungry viewers around the world. Enjoy!
1: Open Your Editor Page
Log into your YouTube account. If you don't have one, sign up for one. This way, you'll automatically have access to all of your video content already online. If you don't have any video to upload, but want to create videos, the Creative Commons bin offers a bounty of video from other producers who have given permission for others to reuse their content.
2: Drag Clips Into the Timeline
Like most standard video editing software systems, YouTube Editor features a very user-friendly timeline to layout your clips. In my example, I used four videos of my daughter doing things that babies do. Trim each clip by clicking on the individual videos and using the sliders to establish the in and out points. When you're happy with the trimmed clip, click save and continue on to the next file.
3: Sounds of Music
The YouTube Editor offers producers so many great choices when it comes to music, you're sure to find something just right for your video. The slider on the right side of the screen allows you to mix between music and audio from your video. Adjust until you get the right mix.
4: Transition To Greatness
With more than a dozen transitions to choose from, your videos don't have to settle for straight cuts or standard dissolves. In my example video, I used a couple of different transitions to showcase the variety of effects you can apply to your work.
5: Point. Click. Publish
When your video is looking like you want it to, simply click the "Publish" button to share your final opus with the world.
Video editing and sharing just got a whole lot easier, and no, this won't replace professional editors just like point-n-shoot hi-res cameras haven't replaced pro still shooters, so we can all just relax and enjoy the ride!
Click here to download a PDF of Videomaker's Smartphones and Tablets Editing Apps Listing
Dave Sniadak is a video production consultant, servicing clients that include broadcast stations, corporations and non-profit organizations.