GoPro has announced today that it is bringing much easier, almost fully automated video editing to its Hero 5 users. QuikStories downloads video from a camera to a connected phone, and cuts it together into an edited video, in time with music and with effects added automatically.
One barrier to entry in to the world of video editing for many regular consumers is how overwhelming the process can be for a first timer. With the rise of action cameras, GoPro has long been in the forefront of mobile apps designed to take the work out of editing. Apps like Quik and Splice make the process very simple and obstacle free.
With QuikStories, the process is made even simpler.
How QuikStories works
We were able to test the new version of GoPro's primary mobile app, which includes the QuikStories function built in and replaces the traditional Capture app for iPhone and Android users. The premise is simple: you go, shoot whatever you want to shoot with your GoPro camera, and the app will take care of the editing. It can also use footage from your phone's camera.
Each part of the process of creating QuikStories is automated. You can set the app to automatically pull in content from a connected camera, and as the content is being pulled, the app starts to create a cut video.
Like the current Quik app, it'll sync the cuts and transitions to music and even automatically adds in speed ramps to speed up and slow down footage.
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If there's any criticism, it's that the app doesn't always choose the best places to cut or choose the best footage. For instance, we captured multiple dogs running and jumping in to a pool. For a few of those instances, the QuikStories cut would cut right as the dog was about to jump and then cut straight to the dog being in the water, missing the all important jump through mid-air and subsequent splashing in in to the water.
Once or twice it did managed to show the glorious leap through mid-air and crashing into the pool, and even turned it into a slow motion scene. Which was awesome.
We can't help but feel with something like this, implementing machine learning tools into the software would help kick it up a notch. Using something like Google or Microsoft's systems that can recognise objects, and understanding what's happening in the video footage and then being able to perform an action based on that.
For instance, seeing a dog leaping through the air, and being able to know to cut right before the jump, and cut after the action has finished. In 2017, this isn't a pipe dream request, it's something that is technically possible and would make QuikStories even better.
While it would be nice to have an automated system that was smarter and more able to choose the best bits consistently, it is possible to fix the edits.
By tapping the pencil icon on any part of the simple timeline you can choose which parts of the clip you want shown, and if you want the clip to be cut in to several cuts or not. You'll likely want to use this function anyway, since it lets you rename the video, and choose its style of music and editing to match, if its first attempt isn't to your test.
Regardless off whether you leave the first edit alone and use that, or decide to edit, the process is still simpler and less time consuming than virtually every other video editor out there.
One trick for making the automated edit better is by only shooting very short bursts of video. That way, when it automatically chooses all of your clips, it doesn't have as much video to cut. So, shoot only what you want in the edit, and your first QuikStory will likely come out looking fantastic.
For professional video editors who like to have fine tuned control, and prefer to use a more traditional desktop program, QuikStories might not be ideal. But for the average consumer who sweats in terror at the thought of cutting clips together using Premiere Pro or Final Cut, QuikStories is fantastic. It can make you a complete video without you having to lift a finger.
It's worth reiterating, unlike Quik, all of this happens in the background, automatically. So you can go check in on the app, see what stories have been created for you and then choose to edit them, save them or delete them. Each automatically created QuikStory deletes itself after seven days if you haven't saved it too, so it won't take up all your phone's storage space.
QuikStories is available from today to GoPro Hero 5 Black and Hero 5 Session users, and is available through the GoPro app from both the Google Play Store and iOS App Store.