A genuine challenger to iMovie emerges
Serious threats to Apple’s iMovie are hard to come by on an iOS device, but Avid might just have what it takes to grab people’s attention with this mobile version of their very popular video-editing software. Indeed Avid is aware of just how popular the desktop version of this piece of software is, because one of the main sharing options within the app itself (alongside the obligatory social media sharing destinations like Facebook and YouTube), is Avid’s desktop program.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you start using the app is just how responsive it is. Working with a drag and drop system, Avid allows you to pick up and drop any video and audio into your timeline very smoothly. The same goes for any effects you’d like to add to your projects, with a single tap to select them from their menu window to highlight before you can pick it up and drop it into your timeline. Avid also comes with a Storyboard bar, which works as a simplified version of your project timeline, showing you all the separate elements of your current project without the layered audio tracks underneath. When editing you can drop new files into this section or your timeline.
Everything feels very smooth and simple in Avid. What can be awkward processes, like editing clips down, feel surprisingly straightforward on the iPad. Just one tap of the Razor editing icon and a quick pinch zoom and you’re chopping away the unnecessary edges from the clip of your last skiing holiday. This simplicity is aided by the logic of Avid’s dashboard, which is a streamlined version of the desktop software with fewer icons onscreen to stop it becoming cluttered, but still everything you need within quick reach. The main sources for your project are broken down and listed in a side bar, complete with a preview screen from which you can drag and drop; and this is alongside your project window, which shows how your piece currently looks, although you can make this full screen if you wish.
The app offers you not only access to your entire photo and video libraries but also your iTunes music, meaning the days of having no choice other than generic wind instruments accompanying your montage are long gone. These tracks can be edited as you go. Also, you can record footage in-app; with the record icon instantly linking you to your iPad’s camera should you quickly need one last scene for your project.
Arguably, the level of undo could be better, with three steps back being the limit, and there is a lack of depth in the number of transitions available, particularly when you compare it to those on offer in some of Avid’s closest rivals. At the moment there are only two, and no sign of being able to add name or text straps, which is a disappointment. We’re holding out hope for updates in the future. You do have plenty of options when it comes to onscreen text, with standard and animated fonts on offer, but these mainly work for things like credits and titles. Having said that, the responsiveness of the app when you’re altering the angle and size of text on the preview screen is very impressive, and once again emphasises just how well this app has been optimised for the iPad.
Avid Studio then is something that anyone with an interest in video editing should try out, especially if you’ve encountered the desktop version in the past. The mobile incarnation has done a very good job of balancing style and substance, with a responsive interface that is easy to work out, and enough features to allow you to create quality video projects without ever going near your desktop software.
Smooth, smart and easy to work with, Avid will make video editors of us all.
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