A professional-grade editing app for iOS devices that makes composing visual masterpieces a possibility.
For a number of years, I worked as a professional video editor. I had a particular affinity for creating montages and music videos. I always loved piecing together a symphony from many different elements and seeing the reactions of clients and the audience of the finished product. My dad (also my video editing mentor) lives with the philosophy that just because a video isn’t 2 hours long, doesn’t make it a motion picture. And just with any motion picture of quality, you need the right tools to make it worthwhile. For quite a few years now, I’ve worked almost exclusively worked with Final Cut Pro and I typically detest the ‘lite’ editing software like iMovie. I admit it — I’m a bit of an editing snob. But, I want to make sure that I have the best possible tools at my disposal when creating a video.
When I got my 12-inch iPad Pro a few months ago, I desperately wanted to edit videos on it. I love the idea of being able to interact with editing projects by touching the screen and having everything so portable. But I wasn’t happy with any of the apps I was finding until I downloaded LumaFusion. It’s a multi-track video editor and the ideal solution for the mobile editor. In addition to all the features included in the app, Luma Touch, the developer of LumaFusion, provides video tutorials, free support, and forums for video enthusiasts and professionals to discuss the use of the app.
LumaFusion has layers and layers of valuable features for editors to use — everything from basic editing to advanced sharing options through social media. As I mentioned above, LumaFusion is a multitrack editor. This is kind of a huge deal for editors. There are plenty of software options that don’t let you use more than one track of video. That makes it nearly impossible to create transitions. LumaFusion has three video tracks for use with photos, videos, titles, and graphics. There are three additional audio tracks that can be used for narration, music, and sound effects. Along with that, LumaFusion includes a live audio track mixer that allows you to listen to your mix while adjusting levels and a royalty-free music library is included for use in your videos. You have access to full standard editing features like trimming, clip duplication, clip splitting, etc. I was also impressed to find that dozens of transitions were included along with a full title editor.
As I started working with LumaFusion, I discovered that the features were somewhat endless. Here is just a taste of what’s included.
- 3 video/audio tracks for photos, videos, titles, and graphics; 3 additional audio tracks for narration, music and sound effects
- Insert and overwrite editing and trimming – allows you to add space between clips or maintain clip positions while you edit
- Professional editing features including slip-trim and anchored clips help keep your project in perfect sync and make B-rolls, PIPs and split-screens easier than ever.
- Keyframe audio levels for perfect fades and audio ducking
- Ability to layer multiple styles, blurs, pixel effects, color and distortion effects
- Full-color correction allows you to correct for problems such as fluorescent light
- Fully supports 120 and 240fps slo-mo video files and time lapse video files
- Duplicate, add notes, color-tag, search and sort your projects for easy organization
I’m sad to say that the worst part of the user experience actually happened for me right at the beginning of the process. When it comes to importing footage, I feel that LumaFusion falls a little flat. You can import footage from the Photo Library or from one of four outside cloud sources — Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, or OneDrive. I was really surprised to find that Cloud Drive was not an option considering that it’s an iOS app. If you have footage saved to one of the cloud services, importing that media is not difficult. My issue was that I was dealing with Ultra HD video resolution (3840 X 2160) so the video files were quite large and I only have the beginners level Dropbox volume. My point is that it can be rather difficult to import video files when they are so large. I would love the option to import from Cloud Drive since that would give me the ability to AirDrop footage to my iPad.
Aside from that, starting a project is very easy. You simply select New Project, title it, and select your Frame Rate and Frame Aspect Ratio. From there you are introduced to the editing palette as I like to call it. You can select one of six layouts for the project canvas. I chose to go with a traditional layout where the timeline is at the bottom of the screen. Next, you have to import video to work with and as I already described, that can be a challenge if you are bringing in footage from an outside source. Once you have your footage inside LumaFusion, you can start cutting your piece together.
If you have editing experience, this program will not seem foreign to you. You can preview your media in the viewer window, cut it to length, and then drop it onto your timeline. Adding transitions was actually a little awkward. You highlight the clip you want to have a transition added to and then tap on the “+” button. This will bring up a menu for you to add items such as Voiceover, Transition, Blank Clip, Main Title, or Overlay Title. Once an element is added you can manipulate it as you need to. There are several types of transitions preset and you can modify each one (within certain limits) inside the “Info” menu.
Aside from finding where all the controls were, I think the biggest hurdle I overcame was actually being able to use the touchscreen of my iPad to edit. This was a whole new method of editing for me and it really made me fall in love with video editing all over again. I really loved the ability to use keyboard shortcuts, too. It made using my SmartKeyboard a very useful tool. While I didn’t have all the shortcuts I normally have with Final Cut Pro, I did have some natural shortcuts like Command + X for cut and Command + z for undo. This feature made the transition from desktop editing client to mobile editing app much, much easier for me.
As a video editor, I honestly can’t think of a better tool than LumaFusion for mobile video editing. It’s powerful and its interface is quite familiar to those who are used to the video editing space. There are a lot of features to this app. On the surface, you can get started and create a very nice video within a short period of time. But, if you dig deep, you can really make a full-feature film if you choose to. There are that many tools and layers that make it possible for you to ‘cut the cable’ so to speak from your traditional editing system and be 100% mobile. The only shortcoming that I really found with LumaFusion was the media import function. I believe this could be grossly improved upon and truly hope that developer Luma Touch will release an update in the future with more functionality.
DOWNLOAD – LumaFusion – iOS – Sale $19.99 (Regular Price $39.99)