5 fantastic iOS tools for video production
There’s no doubt Apple’s mobile devices are incredibly handy for anyone working in the field: Long battery life, a good-sized display and 3G make Apple’s tablet almost as useful as a laptop — but a great deal cheaper, lighter and easy to lug around, while the iPhone is something you’ll usually carry with you.
We’ve been looking through what’s available to come up with this list of five iOS apps video pros may want to take a look at if they happen to take an Apple device along with them to work.
This app acts as a remote controller for Final Cut Pro 7, allowing you to use your iPad (or iPhone) as a remote to control playback in your timelines. There’s other useful features too: use this app to set ins and outs in your timeline and to adjust the audio volume of playback.
It isn’t just good for Final Cut. Editmote also boasts presets for Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, QuickTime Player and VLC for Mac.
There’s a few caveats, mainly the need to install the Editmote Preference pane on your Mac and that you need both the Mac and your iOS device to be active on the same WiFi network.
When you’re called upon to figure out a time calculation when working on a film project it’s pretty easy to make an error — and even a fraction of a second’s error at one point on your timeline can impact the overall project.
time:calc is a handy little time calculator that works with timecode enabling frame rate calculations. The latest version offers multiple calculator screens, copy and paste, ultra flexible configuration and a completely rewritten time engine.
The app’s really useful when figuring out time code. The display shows the working frame rate in the top right corner, but you can change that frame rate to another, as well as entering in custom frame rates. We think this little tool should be of enormous help to video pros.
Make no mistake, colour grading can be a bit of a chore when working on a film project, and while this little app isn’t going to make the task any less challenging, it does make it a few shades easier.
AirGrade simulates and industry standard physical control surface on your iPhone’s screen, featuting virtual rotary and trackball controls for Lift, Gamma and Gain. The app connects to your Mac over WiFi in order to display the results of the grading on your monitor, and will save full resolution renders of your colour graded images on your Mac.
You can also save your grading decisions in the ASC format, which should make it easier to implement those decisions across your workflow. A reference picture is also be saved in your iPhone photo library.
Producer HD, £13.99
This app has it all: sort out your production projects; sort our your crew, cast and budget; manage you script and shoot lists; keep your production documents and tools for location scouting and management and more. It’s a fully-featured tool to help producers large and small keep tracks on all the many minute details which seemingly exist just to cause terrible problems at the eleventh hour.
The tool isn’t just for film producers — photographers should take a look at it, too. And, as you might expect at the price, the developers are continuously introducing new features and new support materials to help you make the best out of the app. Not only this, but the developer’s blog seems packed with good suggestions and insights into life as an indie film pro.
This might not be for everyone, but we know film directors are already experimenting with use of iPhones to capture whole movies. We can imagine The Blair Witch Project being shot like this. So forgive us for introducing you to CollabraCam, which lets you use multiple iOS devices as multiple cameras for capturing video, using one of the devices as your controller.
As the developers explain it: “CollabraCam links iOS devices running the app over local Wi-Fi to create a video switcher and communication control room with a simple, yet powerful, live video editing workflow.”
You can view, record and edit from up to four live-streaming iOS cameras in real-time. You can also cue the camera operators to perform pan, track, dolly or tilt camera moves or request a high or low angle. The clips are recorded and saved to the cameras. At the end of filming they are automatically transferred across the WiFi network to your control device, where you can choose to do the edit or transfer across to a computer for more advanced work.
We’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s available for film/video using iOS devices. Look deeper and you’ll find apps for prompting (ProPrompter), use of an iOS gadget as a production slate (MovieSlate) and many more. Perhaps you have a favourite you’d like to tell us about in comments below?
This is only the beginning, of course: the iPad has devoured the netbook market and as smartphones and tablets become ever more powerful be in no doubt that almost any video creation task you might do on your Mac/PC today you will eventually be able to engage in using your mobile device and — presumably given the high degree of processing power some operations demand — using hosted applications servers in the cloud.
At Dreamtek we design and develop apps for business one we are particularly proud of is the VF Hub which is our end to end video management and digital asset management tool. Have a look at our demo here.