Last week I had a quick look at V.I.K.T.O.R, the anthropomorphized automated editing app that lives on your iPhone, and today it's time to put it to work.
There's a powerful idea at the center of V.I.K.T.O.R. Our mobile devices make it absurdly easy to shoot high quality video whenever we want, and folks seem to be shooting a lot. After all, once the device is purchased there are no additional costs to digital capture. So we have a lot of video piling up. What are we going to do with it? Most people have neither the time nor inclination to edit video, and since most folks aren't professional shooters it's not always that exciting to watch the raw material, the dailies as it were.
That's when you activate V.I.K.T.O.R. Like Magisto, the browser-based automatic video editor, which I reviewed earlier, this app aims to turn your raw footage into something people would actually want to watch.
As always the first question is, does this thing work? To test V.I.K.T.O.R. I selected the same footage used in my Magisto review, namely, my dog Nora prancing around the streets of LA and all-around interfering with my attempt to smoke a cigar while using Zite on my iPad. To see what V.I.K.T.OR. made of these almost random clips, watch the video below.
There is an initial choice you have to make when creating a movie with V.I.K.T.O.R., do you go Basic, or Pro? I'll discuss the Pro aspects of the Pro version in an upcoming post, but today let's start with Basic.
With Basic you have four options, dependent on the Category option you choose. Here's what you've got to decide:
- The Category of movie you want to make, such as Sports, Events, Travels etc. For the Nora video, I selected Moods as the Category.
- The Moods category populates the Theme area with a variety of choices. I could have gone with Miss You or Kiss of Life but went with Wanderlust. Without knowing how this is going to turn out this theme seems about right for a video with a dog. Nora's desire to go walkabout is unmatched by anyone I know.
- The next option is Duration. You've got options of 20 seconds and one or two minutes. I selected one minute.
- Next you pick the videos you want the movie to be assembled with, (I'll point out here that the process is non-linear, you can change any option at anytime, I'm just moving from left to right in the user-interface). As mentioned above, I selected the same videos used in my Magisto review, (you can also select Random thereby telling V.I.K.T.O.R. to pick the video clips for you). In the video picker menu, you have the option to play and trim your clips as well as crop the ones whose aspect ratio is vertical rather than horizontal. This whole process is very slick, though an option to rotate video clips would be much appreciated.
- Next you add Titles. An important option of course—how you name the video is going to set the context for what people will watch. I'll use the same title as I did for Magisto, Nora – Dog of Much Action.
- At any point you can use the Magic Up button to watch a preview of your movie. It takes only a few seconds to render a preview. If you're satisfied you click on Render to have the film created as a separate file.
- Once the preview has been rendered you can also select Color Correction picker if you want. I decided to go with 'Warm Tones'.
- You have three options with Render: Web Quality, Standard Quality or HD Quality, (no specifics are given as to file size or resolutions, but my one minute video ended up with a 21.9 mb file size). A nice touch is that while V.I.K.T.OR. is rendering, it, (he?), gives you hints and tips on how to shoot your videos in such a way as to make them work better with the app. In addition, there's a render bar with countdown timer telling you how long you've got to wait before your movie is ready to go.
- Once the video is rendered you have the option to email it, send it to YouTube or Facebook.
The process of making a video in the Basic setup of V.I.K.T.O.R. is genuinely fun and easy. How are the results? Well, they're fun, but it doesn't quite hold together. I wanted a 'dog's life' kind of feel and it doesn't capture that. Compare to the video below created by Magisto, with absolutely no input from me other than selecting the clips, audio track and title. It feels far stronger to me, (of course the fact that Magisto licensed pro-tracks like the Mission: Impossible theme doesn't hurt).
- Fun, polished interface that makes you want to use the app
- More functionality than a browser-based app such as Magisto
- Wide range of different themes
- Previews are near instant so you don't have to waste time re-rendering if something's not quite right
- Didn't capture the essence of what I was trying to do like Magisto did
- Can't rotate video, which is a bummer if you start recording one orientation and then switch to another by mistake
- Would prefer not to have a mandatory 'presents' title
Freemium, with additional Themes priced at 99 cents.
V.I.K.T.O.R. is an extremely polished, fun and easy to use app that shows promise. I'm looking forward to trying out the Pro settings in a couple of weeks. While my initial test produced video that wasn't as strong as competitor Magisto, the app is free and I'd suggest you go over to the iTunes App Store and try it for yourself.
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