Lu­maFu­sion Pro

Video edit­ing on iPad gets an up­grade

Mac|Life - - APP LIFE - Matthew Bolton

$19.99 From Luma Touch,

Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 10 or later

The iPad has become a great de­vice for a lot of cre­ative tasks, but video has al­ways been a bit of a weak area. iMovie is great for sim­ple stuff, but is very lim­ited. Other apps have come and gone that have at­tempted to add the tools peo­ple are used to from desk­top video ed­i­tors, but none has set the world alight. Lu­maFu­sion is the best at­tempt yet at fit­ting a full-on video ed­i­tor on tablet, and though it’s not perfect, it’s pow­er­ful and smartly re­thinks some el­e­ments of edit­ing for a touch-fo­cused world.

If you’ve used iMovie on desk­top, its ba­sic in­ter­face won’t sur­prise you at all. At top left is a clip browser, for choos­ing stored video to im­port (you can also send video to it us­ing iOS’s Open In op­tion from a stor­age app); at the top right is a pre­view win­dow of the cur­rently se­lected video; and at the bot­tom is the time­line for putting to­gether your movie. Dou­ble-tap a clip to open ad­just­ment op­tions, which mostly use slid­ers. The time­line can hold mul­ti­ple video and au­dio tracks, and acts mag­net­i­cally (as in iMovie) by de­fault, but you can switch that op­tion off, which is great for Fi­nal Cut 7 diehards. Drag things around to move them, while dou­ble-tap­ping a clip opens full ad­just­ment op­tions for it. You can de­tach au­dio

from video clips, in­sert or replace clips eas­ily, and add text and tran­si­tions.

Lots of stuff has been rethought for the touch in­ter­face. Pre­cise scrolling is han­dled through the use of vir­tual jog­wheels, and many ad­vanced op­tions are only shown in con­text to avoid clog­ging up the screen – but what’s here still fits neatly in to how you ex­pect a desk­top ed­i­tor to work.

That said, there will be stum­bling blocks: you can keyframe things such as video ef­fects and po­si­tion­ing, or au­dio level, but it took us a lit­tle while to un­der­stand ex­actly how. Once we got it, we were kind of blown away by its ele­gance – though we wish you could smooth the curves.

Ac­cess­ing ad­vanced op­tions such as color tweaks or frame po­si­tion­ing means a lot of fussy bars and but­tons, so Lu­maFu­sion is built heav­ily around sav­ing pre­set styles (and you can copy and paste ef­fects eas­ily), which you can then add di­rectly from a menu on the time­line. It’s very smart for the kind of mid-level-pro stuff at which Lu­maFu­sion seems aimed.

How­ever, there is a fre­quent awk­ward­ness that holds us back from com­pletely wor­ship­ing at Lu­maFu­sion’s feet. We found adding and work­ing with tran­si­tions harder than it needs to be (es­pe­cially on mul­ti­track works), and the time­line snap­ping isn’t al­ways re­li­able. Los­ing the Undo but­ton when work­ing on video im­ports is also frus­trat­ing. And there are key fea­tures we want to see added, in­clud­ing im­age crop­ping, shape draw­ing, a named list view for pick­ing videos, au­dio ef­fects, and chroma key­ing. With these, and a lit­tle more re­fine­ment, this will be truly phe­nom­e­nal.

THE BOT­TOM LINE. The best video ed­i­tor on iPad by far, and worth the money, but not quite a desk­top re­place­ment yet.

Lu­maFu­sion doesn’t feel cramped, even on 10-inch iPads.

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