Has this GoPro App Revealed the Future of AI Video Editing?

QuikStories is a GoPro video-editing app that you can download to your smartphone. It will independently edit together a slick movie from your GoPro’s vacation photos and videos. How quick and useful is it? Here’s my experience…

I recently returned from a wet and sandy family beach vacation to the North Fork of Long Island. Last week, I wrote about how I captured amazing wide angle shots of my son in the ocean using my new GoPro Hero6 Black.

Another benefit of playing in the GoPro universe is the opportunity to use GoPro’s QuikStories app to quickly generate edited videos of your vacation highlights using just a smartphone.

How quick?

A Video a Day
Well, I challenged myself to create a QuikStories video for each day of our vacation and immediately share it with our extended family. One ground rule was not missing any part of the daily fun, because I was too busy editing…

Here’s how I did it…

Every night, I snuck in fifteen minutes of ‘media management’ as our eight-year-old boy was reading before his bedtime… I wirelessly downloaded that day’s photos and videos from my GoPro to my iPhone’s GoPro app. Then, I activated the companion QuikStories app, which immediately began cooking up a little movie all on its own.
(Hello, HAL.)

From there, I began inserting a bit of my own creative direction, which included adding a title at the top, choosing different edit points for the video clips and deleting photos that weren’t necessary.

Editing Videos in the Palm of Your Hand
I found that I was able to quickly rough the videos together in the early evening and then pick up the project the next morning with my cup of Joe and finish tweaking. I easily got these little bursts of video fun out the door before anyone else was up.

My first videos took a little longer to generate, because I was trying to figure out the app’s interface. But once I knew what I was working with, I was able to complete each video in not much more than half an hour…

And that’s me being picky. I’m sure the target audience probably gets it done in 15 minutes or less…

Here are a couple of tips for new users:

  • You only get seven days to finish each project. After that, the GoPro app deletes your unused media to make room for more content on your smartphone. So, you’ve really got to be quick!
    (All of your photos and videos remain on your GoPro’s microSDXC card.)
  • You need to activate 1080p and 60fps in the app’s settings to export your final videos at that quality. Otherwise, it will default to just 720p and 30fps.
  • You can instantly share your new videos with GoPro-hosted video links, which remain active as long as long as you don’t delete your original project.
    (I think it’s also a good idea to also export and save your videos elsewhere for long-term storage.)

Check Out My QuikStory
For the purposes of this post, I quickly whipped up this 22-second video using a bit of my vacation content to show off what a QuikStory looks like…

Nifty… right?

The End of Video Editing as We Know It
Guess what? Through my QuikStories experience, I think I’ve seen the AI future of video editing…

QuikStories can edit photos and video action to a musical beat like magic. It’s pretty amazing.

If you’re just working with twenty or so photos, the app is fully capable of quickly taking an edit to the finish line.

But when you’re adding in videos with ‘sound bites,’ that where the app can hit a brick wall. You’ve got to go in and edit the beginning and ending of a spoken sentence manually. And that’s fine, until you realize you don’t have any of the flexibility of Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro…

Sure, you can easily slide to the beginning of an edit point and watch that, but you’ve got to play it through to hear the ‘out point’ to make sure it’s right.
(Frustrating)

My insistence on perfect audio contrasted with the focus of the QuikStories platform… which is to give you something fun, rough and quick!

Everything was so much easier when I didn’t force the use of ‘nat’ sound.

There are predesigned editing style templates you can choose between. Many of them weren’t so useful.
(Ugly transitions)

But a few of them got the job done for me…. I particularly liked ‘Snappy.’

Quik is Quick… and Pretty Good
As someone who understands how to edit video as a profession, the experience of working with QuikStories was entirely imperfect. At best you’re able to nudge the software to only approximate what you really want to do.

And if you try too hard, you end up defeating the intended simplicity of the entire product.
You’ve really just got to let go…

The fact that one or two taps can get you a finished video (though hardly what you might consider ‘polished’) is pretty incredible…

And so I successfully completed my video-a-day challenge while drinking my cup of coffee and watching the sun come up over the water.

  • It was quick.
  • It was ‘easy.’
  • I wouldn’t say it was exactly ‘good.’
  • But it was fun!

The videos were what they were… and everyone loved them.
(I really had to wrap my head around that reality.)

The Future of the Video Editing Profession
To all of you professional video editors out there… I don’t think your jobs are going to be taken over by computer software anytime soon…

But if you’re just starting your career, I’d pay attention to this particular disruptive piece of digital evolution.

This software can already edit to music. It’s only a matter of time until future upgrades will be able to accurately spot clean in and out points for sound bites.

IBM Watson has already demonstrated the ability to select the scenes for a movie trailer.

If you’re planning out your next few decades, you might want to think about other career options…

GoPro has Ushered in a New Reality
When someone asks me what I did on my summer vacation, I could say that I’ve stumbled upon an impossible future that’s already here.

Being able to capture cool photos and videos…anywhere in the field or underwater with a device that fits in the pocket of your swimsuit…
And then quickly activating an app on your smartphone to create and share a slick video…

To me… that’s crazy.
And so delightful.

Soon enough.. that will just be the norm.

And I know for many of us… it already is.

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