At this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, mobile video editing gained even more cohesiveness and traction. In previous years I felt like there was a push to legitimize mobile video editing, but this year it’s not even a question as to whether such workflows make sense for many iPad users.
The central hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center featured the likes of LumaFusion, Filmic Pro, and Gnarbox — companies that are all heavily involved with mobile video editing workflows. In this post we’ll take a look at some of their current and future contributions to this space as highlighted at NAB Show 2019.
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NAB Show 2019 impressions
The first thing that I noticed about this year’s show, is that some of the major players in the mobile video editing space planned their booths to be adjacent to one another. This was a smart move, as it created a stronger presence for mobile video editing than in years before.
I also noticed that there was a significant uptick in foot traffic than in the past. Some of this can be attributed to the way the booths were organized, but I feel like mobile video editing has gained more legitimacy as a whole as people come to grips with how powerful the available apps, tools, and hardware have become.
Luma Touch NAB Show 2019
Luma Touch, the company behind LumaFusion, a ground-breaking mobile video editing app for iOS, has a significant presence at this year’s show. Their booth is largely based around showcasing the upcoming release of LumaFusion 2.0, which will include several notable new enhancements, along with various refinements to the interface.
LumaFusion 2.0 looks good. I didn’t get to play with it extensively, but from what I was able to see, version 2.0 is a meaningful, full-featured upgrade that current LumaFusion users will highly appreciate.
The first thing about LumaFusion 2.0 that stuck out to me was the updated UI, which will be friendlier for smaller devices like the iPhone. Previous versions of the app seemed still in search of a visual style, but version 2.0 is more opinionated, which is a good thing as the app solidifies its identity as a flagship application for iOS users.
New track headers exist for muting, locking, and hiding tracks, and it now includes a timeline overview that lets you jump to any place in your timeline with a touch. The new timeline UI reminds me of the timeline that appears in the Touch Bar on MacBook Pro machines running Final Cut Pro X.
The biggest upgrade to LumaFusion is its ability to accommodate more tracks within the timeline. In LumaFusion 2.0 users now get double the amount of tracks than before, going from just 6 tracks up to 12 (6 audio and 6 video). Users also gain the ability to place both video and audio clips on the anchor track lending even more flexibility to the editing workflow.
External display support is a feature that LumaFusion users have been awaiting for quite some time, but I’m told that it’s finally coming in version 2.0. External display support will allow you to view your in-progress edit on a large display, lending you more room for your timeline and library on your iPhone or iPad.
A new marker toolset comes to LumaFusion 2.0 as well. Markers allow you to notate specific spots on the timeline, perhaps a spot where to need to add or remove an effect, title, etc. Markers can be applied to both your source clips, and the clips within your timeline.
Frame.io support will allow for team collaboration
The final big feature to come to LumaFusion 2.0 is Frame.io integration. Frame.io allows multiple users to collaborate on a project, incorporating the ability to provide feedback on in-progress edits across a team of users.
Future features for LumaFusion
It’s safe to say that LumaFusion is on Apple’s radar — after all, the app was featured in a recent Apple video that discussed the behind the scenes aspects of iPad-based video editing workflows.
With this in mind, LumaTouch is working on a powerful new workflow feature for the Final Cut Pro X community that will enable FCPX-XML export. This means that you’ll be able to start editing on your iPad with LumaFusion, and pick up right where you left off with Final Cut Pro X thanks to a simple XML export. FCPX-XML export will be available via a LumaFusion 2.1 update scheduled to arrive later this summer.
Grammy-award-winning Henny Tha Bizness demos new upcoming features in LumaFusion
Luma Touch is also working on a new video stabilization feature for its flagship app. Although it won’t arrive as a part of the 2.0 update, I’ve been told that the company plans to demonstrate stabilization sometime later this year.
Needless to say, I was extremely impressed by what I saw from Luma Touch at NAB 2019. LumaFusion is an app that I already use regularly as a part of my workflow, but these additional enhancements will make the app more accessible to new users and more powerful for existing users.
The bottom line is that LumaFusion represents one of the defining app experiences for the iPad. If you have even the slightest interest in mobile video editing, it’s worth checking out.
Filmic Inc. NAB Show 2019
Next to the Luma Touch booth is Filmic Inc. The company’s Filmic Pro is another must-have application for mobile video enthusiasts, as it brings professional-grade video capture to iOS, including features that you won’t find in the default camera application on your smartphone.
Filmic focused on two big areas at this year’s NAB Show: integration with the Movi Cinema Robot for its mobile video app, and the upcoming release of a brand new audio-focused app called Filmic Audio.
Movi Cinema Robot x Filmic Pro
Filmic demonstrated compatibility with the Movi Cinema Robot, which is a handheld gimbal designed for mobile phones. This isn’t the first gimbal that Filmic Pro has supported, as it already works with the Zhiyun Smooth 4, and both DJI Osmo Mobile iterations.
What impressed me about the Movi Cinema Robot demo was the amount of integration. The various buttons on the Movi allowing for seamless direct control of the Filmic Pro interface. For instance, a simple button press allows you to quickly progress through various shooting modes, or stop and start recordings, all without touching your iPhone’s display.
Movi gimbal integration now available
Users can also lock and unlock focus, perform focus pulls, toggle between various lenses, manually adjust exposure, and control the gimbal’s response speed, window and motor locks — all directly from the Movi Cinema Robot using its numerous physical hardware buttons.
The integration basically turns the Movi Cinema Robot into an external hardware controller for Filmic Pro. And thanks to the smooth movement made possible by the stabilizer, it will unquestionably make for better-looking iPhone videos.
Filmic Pro version 6.9 with Movi Cinema Robot support is available as of yesterday on the App Store. The Movi Cinema Robot Smartphone Stabilizer is now shipping for $299 directly from Movi, or on Amazon. Expect a full review of the experience in the near future.
Along with the launch of Filmic Pro 6.9, the company took the wraps off of its upcoming standalone audio app. Aptly entitled Filmic Audio, it’s a professional field recorder app that creates an external recording device from a secondary mobile device.
When the Filmic Audio device is linked together with a device running Filmic Pro, users gain access to an additional external microphone that will automatically sync with Filmic Pro. In other words, Filmic Audio turns a second iOS device like an iPhone into a wireless microphone and field recorder.
Filmic Audio standalone app coming soon
I briefly went hands-on with Filmic Audio, and like the company’s video app, it comes with powerful tools hidden behind a beautiful and easy-to-use design. Filmic Audio will be available later this year, and we’ll be sure to have a hands-on review once it launches.
Gnarbox NAB Show 2019
The original Gnarbox was a rugged backup device aimed at mobile content creators, but Gnarbox version 2.0 is faster, much better-looking, features a more robust build, and is considerably easier to use. The unit comes with the ability to back up media from an external device like an external drive or SD Card via a single step with included status and checksum for backup integrity.
One of the notable features of the Gnarbox is its direct integration with LumaFusion, allowing users to preview and access media stored on or connected to the Gnarbox. Version 2.0 of the hardware is easier to use, because it now features a built-in display to manage the device and browse its contents via a menu system. Four strategically placed hardware buttons below the screen make navigating through said menus possible without needing to interface with any external devices.
Gnarbox 2.0 is considerably more powerful than its predecessor
Gnarbox 2.0 also comes with a removable battery. This means that mobile film creators can keep going for hours and hours via swappable batteries.
But perhaps the biggest feature for current-generation iPad Pro users is direct USB-C to USB-C connectivity. This affords faster transfer speeds, making it easier to get media off your Gnarbox and into an editing environment like LumaFusion or Adobe Lightroom CC.
The Gnarbox will come in 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB capacities, and features dual USB-C ports, SD, and Micro HDMI ports. The unit is waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 seconds. Pricing starts at $499 for the 256GB model, and goes up to $899 for the 1TB model. Gnarbox 2.0 will be available later this year, and we’ll of course have a hands-on video walkthrough showcasing its features.
It’s an exciting time for mobile video editors, and NAB continues to be at the forefront when it comes to showcasing all of the latest technologies. Quite a few of the exhibitors on the showroom floor offer some way for mobile video editors to simplify or enhance their workflows. This look from NAB Show 2019 is just a glimpse of some of the excellent tools for mobile content creators. I think we’ll only continue to see a big push towards mobile content creation and editing in the months and years ahead.
Another takeaway is that Apple is keenly aware of what’s going on in the mobile video editing space. It’ll be very interesting to see how iOS 13 enhances the iPad Pro and iOS in general to be more user-friendly to the workflows of creative professionals who prefer using an iPad not just for occasions while on the go, but as their main work device.
What do you think about the mobile video editing landscape thus far? Would you consider moving more of your workload to the iPad? Sound off in the comments down below with your thoughts.