Software Development investigate

Video editors in Windows RT: Cinelab and Movie Edit Touch

Windows Movie Maker is available for free for Windows 8, but not for Windows RT. A search for 'video editor' in the Windows Store came up with two examples to look at.

One of the posters on a previous column on shooting video enquired as to whether there are any simple video editors for Windows RT.

Cinelab

This app is a touch-based video editor that allows you to order clips, set in and out points, review your edited video, and export it at various resolutions and quality.


(Image: Tony McSherry/TechRepublic)

The app starts with some helpful screens to explain the process, and then lets you start adding your clips.

Selecting clips and choosing start and end points is easy, and you can drag clips into a different sequence. Selecting the review button lets you view your edited video full screen. I was sceptical about creating specific edits with my fat fingers when selecting start and end points, but moving your finger vertically away from the trim bar slows down the movement, so you can select individual frames.

If you have clips where you need to select multiple sequences, you can clone any clip and select different start and end points. The free version will only allow you to use seven clips, and you won't be able to rotate or resize your movie. I put together three clips I'd taken with the tablet for around 45 seconds of video. Selecting Make Movie resulted in around 4 minutes of rendering the video to the default 1280x720 pixels.

(Image: Tony McSherry/TechRepublic)

You may upgrade the tool with two packages. Package 1 gives you unlimited clips and rotate and resize for around AU$3, and Package 2 gives you just rotate and resize for around AU$1.50. While I didn't test other video file types, the company website said it supports a wide variety of formats and resolutions, including 1080p.

There are no special effects, just clean edits, and apart from turning off the audio while rendering, there seems to be no method to add a voice-over or include multiple audio tracks, but the app does succeed in giving you a touch-based video editor for simple projects. The company does say that it is interested in adding features for the paid version, so new functionality may appear in the future.

Movie Edit Touch

Another free video editor with more functionality, but more severe restrictions (no project save, and it only exports 10-second videos) is Movie Edit Touch. This uses a more traditional approach with a timeline at the bottom containing your clips, under a video window.

I immediately tried to move the yellow line indicating the selected video frame with no success, until I realised you slide the timeline underneath it. The small, white arrows to either side of the line allow for smooth frame-by-frame movement, and you may use the scissors icon to cut any clip into two clips.

(Image: Tony McSherry/TechRepublic)

Unlike Cinelab, this app offers transitions, titles, and some volume control over the audio track.

There are around 15 transitions available and it's easy to apply them and change the transition length. Transitions are represented in the time line by small square icons.

Titling is also very touch friendly, with easy selection of font, duration, colour, and size. You can move your title around the screen, and edit it by double tapping.

You may also optimise clips changing brightness, contrast, and colour, as well as 90-degree rotation. The ability to pan across still images is also a welcome feature. Audio control allows you to adjust the volume, but I saw no way to add another audio track, so it appears there's no voice-over recording, at least in the free version.

You may export videos in different formats and resolutions, and stabilisation is also available. To remove the restrictions, you'll need to pay around AU$6. The publisher also sells a full PC version of the product that it says lets you edit your video in greater detail.

This app is comparable to Windows Movie Maker in features, and is a good example of a touch-based video editor.

About

Tony is the owner and managing director of Microcraft eLearning and is one of the creators of the AUTHOR eLearning Development System.

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