Selasa, 26 April 2011

Making Movies on iPad, iPhone

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The iPad is a content-consumption device. The Macintosh, in all its variations - tower, desktop or notebook - is for content creation. We know that because Steve Jobs said so.

Either he has changed his thinking or iPads 1 and 2 have developed minds of their own and want to be creation devices. And, indeed, they are.

The iPad's mind, in this sense, is the army of developers who have crammed the iTunes App Store with apps of a creative nature. And Apple has been doing it, too.

Last week we talked about GarageBand, a creative application on the iPad; it's great for making music to use for almost anything, from backgrounding an iMovie to keeping neighbours awake.

Thus we come to the mobile version of iMovie, which first appeared on the iPhone 4 and the latest iPod Touch. Small though those screens are, some remarkable work is being done on them, not only shooting movie footage but also editing it on a timeline only a fraction of the width of a finger.

YouTube has heaps of little amateur movies made on iPhone 4s, some of really nice quality. See examples at, tinyurl

.com/3s7fz6l and (high-def views from the London Eye Ferris wheel).

But Park Chan-Wook, one of South Korea's most famous movie directors, gets the gong for shooting a commercial movie, Night Fishing, on an iPhone 4. A mysterious trailer for this chilling 30-minute horror production is at

Park used two iPhone 4s as his main cameras but used some accessory lenses placed over the phone's cameras. The shoot took 10 days, had 80 people in the crew and cost $130,000 and presumably was not edited on the phone. How it fared in the cinemas we have yet to discover but it could have recouped its cost simply on curiosity value.

Another HD movie made and this time edited in iMovie HD on an iPhone 4 is Rideshare, made by American Donovan Cook. It hasn't made the mainstream but it got a go in the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival this month. See it on YouTube.

Now, had these people used iMovie on the iPad 2, things could have been even better. As apps go, iMovie is a real stunner. If you have iMovie ($5.99 from iTunes) on your iPhone 4, the upgrade to the iPad 2 version is free.

Given the iPad 2's bigger screen, Apple's engineers were able to develop a new and better interface that, while not a match for iMovie on the Mac, is notably better than the iPhone 4.

Editing by tapping and stroking the screen with one's finger is surprisingly accurate and easy; very intuitive. Tap a frame in the browser under the edit screen, drag to define the clip you want, slide it into the timeline and tap to play it in the review panel. If you don't like it, tap again and drag the clip out of the timeline and either back to the browser or into the trash.

Similar sleight-of-finger gestures are used to add video or still photographs shot on the iPad 2 or imported from iPhoto to the browser, from where they can be added to your movie. Music is available from the iTunes library on the iPad (or make your own in GarageBand) and titles and voice-over commentary are also easy to include.

A basic transition is added automatically between video clips or photos but it can be changed easily via a drop-down menu selected by pinching on the transition.

Video or stills shot on a digital camera or an iPhone may be added by using an Apple iPad camera connection kit ($35).

A good help menu is available from a button on the screen and another button opens a range of sharing options for YouTube, Facebook and other popular "look-at-me" networks.

Overall, iMovie on the iPad 2 is great fun, surprisingly powerful and, while there is a learning curve, it is short and smooth; mostly commonsense use of your fingers.

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