Saturday, April 16, 2011

iPad does video

I've always fancied producing videos, in fact, the only thing that has really held me back is the lack of ability in creating said media. Now, at school we use Windows Movie Maker a lot for producing videos, or more accurately, slideshows with music, and to be honest, it doesn't do a bad job. However, I have always thought that the iPad would be an ideal tool for making videos, the interface lends itself well to moving things around on screen (like moving clips along a timeline) and the screen is ideal for viewing finished videos. Alas, I have an iPad 1 and it doesn't have any cameras. Also, as we all know, iPad is only good for consumption of media, not for creation.

I had a meeting with a colleague last week who is also looking to use iPads in an educational setting and was a little concerned that all the advice they had been given indicated that iPads where only of use for consumption and that they couldn't be used for any kind of productivity. Luckily, they had read my blog and weren't convinced that the iPad was totally useless. This got me thinking, I wonder if I could create a video on an iPad?

Earlier in the week I bought a new digital camera and a camera connection kit. I had been meaning to do this for a while, I wanted a cheap, point and shot camera that I could carry in my pocket, just in case. Handily, Jessops (a UK camera shop) had a rather nice Fuji AV 180 for sale for £49 so one was purchased. All I needed now was something to photograph/film and an app. The subject was easy enough, Saturday was the day of the Italian Car Show in the centre of Bristol. A little reading around on the Internet saw me purchase Reel Director (£1.49) and we where ready to go.

Photo's where taken, video shot, camera connection kit plugged in, media uploaded and video production commenced. I won't bore you with the details but the finished article was uploaded to YouTube (direct from the app) and the results can be seen below:

OK, not the greatest video but it does give you an idea of what you can produce. Reel Director certainly gives Movie Maker a good run for the money. It might not be as fully featured (although it's not far off) but what it lacks in features, it makes up for in ease of use. It is a little flaky and prone to crashing (just like MM!) but unlike Movie Maker, if it does crash, you don't lose all your work. Rendering can take a while but it will render in the background.

Most of this is academic as if you have an iPad 2, you can purchase iMovie however it is useful to know that the camera connection kit works well and that movies for digital camera's can be loaded onto the iPad (into the Photo's app) and accessed by other apps such as Reel Director. Reel Director is easy to use, allows for titles, transitions, text, and pan and zoom effects as well as trimming and cropping video. It will export to the camera roll or upload straight up to YouTube.

All in all, iPad and Reel Director make a very usable combination and prove once again that iPad is so much more than just a media consumption device. If only Apple had fitted a Floppy Disc Drive!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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