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Avid Packs a Prosumer Video Editor Into an iPad

Avid Packs a Prosumer Video Editor Into an iPad

Avid has swung into the iOS App Store with Avid Studio, a new iPad app for editing video. Features include storyboard arrangements, a bevy of effects, motion titles, picture-in-picture effects, and multi-layer 3D animations. The app will work with any media stored on an iPad -- photos, video and audio.

By John P. Mello Jr. MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
02/03/12 5:00 AM PT

Avid is well-known for its chops as a maker of professional video editing suites, but on Thursday it grabbed some notice in consumer circles with a new offering for Apple's iPad 2.

Avid Studio
Avid Studio

Avid Studio, available from Apple's App Store for a limited time at US$4.99, brings a solid set of video editing tools to the iPad.

For instance, clips can be quickly arranged along a storyboard. Frames can be precisely trimmed in the app's timeline. Cuts can be made on the fly with the software's razor tool.

Projects can be given a professional look and feel with high quality transitions, such as fades and dissolves. Pan and zoom Ken Burn effects can be used to add interest to projects using still photos.

Lots of Effects

In addition, the user can create motion titles and graphics with full control over text, font, color, size, position and rotation.

Picture-in-picture effects, multi-layer 3D animations and creation of composite video tracks are also part of the software's repertoire.

The app will work with any media stored on an iPad -- photos, video and audio -- and it can use the cameras in the iPad to bring in photos and video directly without the user having to close the application.

It also allows the user to organize clips on the iPad in a number of familiar ways -- albums, events, faces and others.

What's more, audio can be trimmed to fit clips, its volume levels controlled and sound faded in or out of a clip. Better yet, multiple audio tracks can be laid down to create a layered soundtrack of music, audio and sound effects.

Easy Sharing

Sharing is made easy by the app, too, with quick uploads to YouTube, Facebook and other sharing options.

Projects created in the app can also be exported to Avid's Windows desktop app for more heavy-duty editing. That elegant workflow conduit isn't available from the app to iMovie, but you can convert a project to a video file and import it into iMovie that way.

"We're trying to take the power and richness of the Avid Studio Line for consumers and prosumers and bring it to mobile," Lee Whitmore, Avid's segment marketing director, told MacNewsWorld.

"It's all about empowering that creative person who wants to get right to making some terrific video and sharing it," he added.

Better Than iMovie?

While Avid's iPad app is powerful, it doesn't have the muscle of Avid's desktop app.

"You can finish a fantastic work product in the iPad app," Whitmore noted, "but that connection of Avid Studio for the PC is super important because there are more things that folks are going to want to do."

The iPad 2 doesn't have a native video editor, but there is a version of iMovie for it. That means Avid will be competing with Apple's app on the slate, which may not be a problem for some iPad users, especially those who yearn to work in the old Storyboard/Timeline interface that was an integral part of older versions of iMovie.

The ability to perform precise edits, a "super intuitive" user interface and easy sharing are features that stack up favorably against iMovie, according to Whitmore.

Editing on mobile devices is an expanding area for video buffs, according to Jennifer O'Rourke, managing editor of Videomaker magazine. "But I don't ever see it replacing the desktop because of all the things you need for high-end editing," she told MacNewsWorld.

As a preview tool in the field, though, a tablet could be a valuable asset, she observed.

"For doing a quick base edit on location, it would be a great plus," she said.

"You can get things down, take a look at it and see the order that you want them to have before you strike a set and realize you have to reshoot something," she explained.

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