February 19, 2018

In the Rain (iPhone Video Production)

In the Rain (iPhone Video Production)

In the Rain (iPhone Video Production)

This is another video in a series of videos I am working on focused around using an iPhone for an entire video production.

This would include the recording of the actual video, inclusion of any audio media such as music, sound effects, graphics and voice over material.

At first the project seems pretty straight forward. I mean, the iPhone basically can record video, take pictures and can produce text and audio recordings, right?

There are also many programs which say they will provide on-board video editing features such as iMovie one of Apple’s primary video editor provided to its iDevice consumers.

Having work with video on the computer, using programs such as Adobe Premiere, and Sony’s Vegas, to include many other external programs to provide little bits and pieces of a video production, I found it interesting to see if accessorized video production on the iPhone could be accomplished.

What I mean by accessorized, is that well, you can slap together a video straight from the iPhone and upload it to FB or YT. However, if your looking to add titles, an alternate audio sound track, or to blend pictures, well now we are talking about accessories to the video package and not just the bare bones package.

At first the idea sounded trivial, but when I looked into trying to find a quality iPhone video editing application, that’s when things got interesting.

iphone Video Series - Image - ScreenCap - App store Video Editor Results_1280xAUTO.JPGNow I didn’t go through the entire swath of the 1250 (one thousand two hundred and fifty) results produced in the Apple application store. The few that I did go through ended up having some useful features, but many of the applications I went through, including iMovie didn’t have the option of working with at least two video tracks to work with.

One program which does provide for two video tracks is Cute Cut. After working with this application for a couple of weeks now, I haven’t found any serious obstacles when reaching for many features I’ve come accustomed to on traditional computer based video editing applications.

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Build 02A 07 08 2014 2150

Starbucks – How Many Coffees? Lenox Mall, Ga.

Starbucks – How Many Coffees

BUCKHEAD, Ga. (July 4th, 2014) – Thought it would be easy to have a video conversation with Starbucks at a busy location. Not so. So when trying to find out how many coffees were made at the Lenox Mall location, I got some interesting results.

A quick video again made on the iPhone. This video incorporates a number of previous features already used in the video editing program Cute Cut. I also experimented with music creation software to create the musical score.

Production Notes:

This video is part of a series of sample video tests produced to explore video editing on the iPhone. The general idea is to leave the computer, laptop, and even the iPad at home and use the small format of the iPhone to generate video productions.

When I started this project the first problem was trying to find an iPhone video application which made the job easier, and not harder. It turned out a lot of the first choices didn’t even offer a two video track solution for editing, except one – Cute cut. Some applications even want to “import” your clips completely into their own directory, doubling the storage space requirements of your system. In addition, some applications didn’t export to the Camera Roll, resulting in an inefficient workflow of sharing, emailing, or accessing using a third party iOS device file access utility to get to the files directory.

Cute cut so far has been able to push out the videos. It has the two video tracks you need to BRoll between segments, and allows plenty of non-video tracks for photos, audio, text, audio, and something they call a “write on” track with is basically like a little photo editor where you create a graphical image using basic drawing tools.

There is a learning curve to figure out how to do things on it, and you will want to use a stylus when editing. Unless you have really small fingers.

As I grow in developing these short video samples, which are hopefully somewhat interesting in themselves, I discuss various issues or techniques I used for that particular video under these Production Notes.

Some of the issues I encountered with this video, was music or score content utilization.

As with any video, your music score plays a lot in setting the mood and overall tone of the video. However, you can’t just work with pre-recorded music in your productions – without running into copyright issues. And rightly so. Many hours are spent by artists developing music, and they should be protected, compensated and given credit for their work. At the very least, they should be contacted first before using their material in a production.

In addition, using pre-recorded video in postings on Youtube, Vimeo and Facebook, copyright issues will arise if permissions were not granted. Ways around this are to use royalty free music, such as those basic audio resources available inside Cute Cut, or to compose and create the music yourself.

In my video, and after realizing the somewhat limited, but at least available built in music and sound effects inside Cute Cut, I chose to create my own music score and effects.

Fortunately I ran into a music artist at the Apple Store, Jerome McKinzie, who was able to point in the the right direction when considering an iPhone application for music generation.

McKinzie suggested Garage Band, an iPhone, iPad and iOS application which is free, and can be upgraded to the full version for around $5.00.

Just because I now had a very powerful applicaiton to create music for my video, that doesn’t necessarily mean my production needs were now done. I now had to actually become a music maker as well as learn another software application – Garage Band.

Since I have created music before on electronic keyboards, I was blow out of the water with the performance of Garage Band. It had all the instruments you could need to at least start generating music scores for your production. There were automated sequences of music you can generate using Garage Band, or you can go full manual and create the music yourself picking from a number of instruments ranging from strings to drums.

One particular issue I had to overcome and work through was getting my ultimately generated music prepared using Garage Band into my entirely separate application, Cute Cut production.

On my first shot in producing music with Garage Band, I didn’t see an “Export to Camera Roll” option. I did, however, work my way through the export, and share options to ultimately send the music segment to Cute Cut using the “Open with” option from Garage Band.

I first had to “render” the music score, save it inside Garage Band, and then “share” the clip from there.

I then went back into Cute Cut, opened up a music track, and found the recording in an area called “shared library’ using a button at the bottom of screen.

Outside of the interesting issues encountered in my latest video as far as the Starbucks subject matter is concerned above, this production established some new ground when exploring video editing on the iPhone.

One new feature I used was the video rate or speed feature. Okay, the results were so so, but at least it was available. I believe the video was set to play at 25 percent, or at 1/4 speed. It basically looks like a video going frame to frame. At least the audio kept up with the the slow mo, or rather stutter mode effect. Okay, I’m not going to expect the “Matrix Bullet” but at least it was there to explore and use as appropriate.

The key skills developed from this exercise were the ability to generate music for the Cute Cut video production. Again, all production had to be done using only the iPhone. That being said, even though there was a great application available, Garage Band, to create the music, the challenge of creating the music on the small iPhone platform was the next hurdle to jump over.

One thing that is becoming more apparent, I’m using my stylus more and more while editing on the iPhone. The small adjustments to the timeline, miniature menu items, all take a toll after an hour or so “missing” the button with your figure. Double efforts add up, so lets get it right with the first attempt. The use of a sylus helps with this.

You can even use it for the rest of your swiping and touch pad needs. I even started u sing it on my MacBook’s touch pad. Interesting experience, try it.

To recap, Cute Cut does offer some basic built in music and sound fx material to use in a pinch. But they are ultimately very generic, and may take away from the hard work and effort used in creating a video.

Having the basic music tools inside Cute Cut is ultimately a great feature, however, they are very minimal and serve only aa quick and dirty purposed solution.

To add to the production quality of the video, your really going to have to hunker down and start creating your own music.

Vol: 20140704


Devices used: iPhone 5s
Software: Cute Cut, Garage Band

Upcoming productions:

I have a couple of other projects I’ve already recorded still in the to be processed bin. One issue I look forward to tackling is introducing video files that were created outside of my iPhone. That way, I can fiddle with the material in traffic, while goping up an escalator, or while sipping coffee.

Lastly, I’ll be exploring various apps which will create project files which will exportable to the computer version of the software, if applicable. That way, I can get general work done on the project on either the iPhone or on the clunky laptop.

The Polluting Bus – Courtesy of Cobb Country Transit (CCT)

Another video created using the iPhone.

The goal again is to create a video entirely using the iPhone from the actual photos, video and audio voice over media material, to capturing webpage information, or creating graphics on the iPhone itself for later incorporating into the produced video.

I’ve been working with an iPhone video editor called Cute Cut version 1.5.1, the latest at the time of this article.

In order to make good use of the time I have been applying learning, and then actual time to edit on the iPhone with it’s small screen, I wanted to at least use material that at the end of the day would be meaningful. Or at least in this latest test video involving a government bus that was polluting the environment with its dark exhaust.

In this production, using Cute Cut, I explored using some of its build in sounds and sound effects that came with the program. The program provided two main categories of audio – music and Sound FX.

In the Music category there is one track in action, cheerful, flight and naughty. In the Sound FX category there are 21 effects starting with accordion and ending with transition.

If those two built in audio elements were not enough, you had access to your device’s audio files or to a folder called “File Sharing”.

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