It all started with a simple single piece plastic wrap around iPhone stand. The stand was available through Kickstarter, making it easy to mount the iPhone to a tripod for those low light or self shots. The mount, The Glif, was created by Studio Neat. Since then, the team has introduced updates to the month, an big hands stylus, and even square ice cubes. Finally, iOS software.
The first app was a stop motion photography app, Frameographer. Today, I received an email to enable more creative movie creation on the iPhone. Slow Fast Slow starts off by recording video at 120 fps on the 5s, and 60 fps on the rest of the newer iOS devices. Playback can be slowed down to 1/8 speed, which is twice as slow as the 5s built in slo-mo.
Well, I know I personally have played with other slow motion apps, so that just slowing down my video isn’t that ‘new’. But, further investigation explains the name, Slow Fast Slow. Which references the apps unique power to have full control of every part of a video’s speed across any portion. When viewing a video (forward or backward), any part of the video can be slowed down a little or a lot. Imagine a video of a car zooming by, normally you have either a car streak by or take forever to get to the closest view in slow motion. Now, just choose the part when the car is closest and show down at an increasing rate till you can see the driver and car details, then speed up to zoom off.
As an added bonus in Slow Fast Slow, the audio of the slowed down portion of the video doesn’t get highly destroyed like found in normal slow motion movies. There is Pitch control to level out the fast and slow bits of the video.
Animated GIFs… I can take em or leave em. When I head the term, I think of the little cute icons on Web pages years ago that where just fluff on the page. More recently, there has been a few services that are encouraging more creative thinking around a few images put together into a story. If the images are thought through a bit, it can be a fun way of sharing a moment. There are two methods that the popular services are using, either it’s a video shot at a very slow speed or a person shoots a series of photos that the app stitches together.
Now, there is Echograph, offering a third way of showing motion in an animated GIF. The movement is set to a particular area of a photo so only the parts needing to move to tell the story are moving, the rest of the image is frozen. This removes a lot of the jerky look found on most multi image GIFs.
The Echograph app is simple to use, but actually pretty powerful. This is a Universal app, so the fun doesn’t have to be limited to the iPhone, editing on the larger iPad screen may have ultimately better results if your looking for maximum impact.
Shoot or import a video. Cut it down to a maximum of 5 seconds long via a slider along the bottom of the screen. Choose the area you want to allow movement to happen by painting over it with your finger or stylus (a person in the shot, a flowing river, etc…), then share or export in low or high resolution. Yup, it’s that easy! Admittedly, this is not the solution for all animated GIF, it is more for those images where only want a particular part to move. Some animated GIFs need the full screen to be changing for the message, but for those shots that you want a still photo and a part of it alive, Echograph has you covered.
It’s a simple request, which I honestly thought was built into iOS5 on my iPhone. The ability to grab a single frame from a video I recorded with my iPhone and save it as a image. While I found the feature wasn’t built in as hoped, it can be done via the free app Photo Extractor.
Sit down, this is going to go fast! Upon launching Photo Extractor, choose a movie from the app’s library or from your iPhone’s ‘photo’ library (the app will only show videos in the library so you don’t have to sort through all the photos).
Slide your way through the video via moving the yellow box in the lower video stream image. The main window shows you what that image will be when extracted. Tap the screen or magnify glass button to have everything else disappear and the image go to full screen to be sure you have what your looking for. Then, just tap Photo Exposure’s lower right ‘Save’ button. The image is saved to your iPhone’s photo library. The screen doesn’t change so you can continue and pull out as many images as you would like without having to start over every export. The video remains intact as it was prior to starting this process.
I used a video I shot by accident (thought I had it in camera mode) in this post. Imagine if you had a party or event that you shot video at, now you can pull out photos from the video to keep. No need to watch the whole video to catch a glimpse of someone or a place. Remember that you are slicing a image out of a video though so it isn’t as high as resolution as if you had take it as a photo with your iPhone. Photo Extractor gives you a 1920 x 1080 image to work with… huge by yesteryear’s limitations.
I have covered ProCamera a few times in the past, running through features and their updates. The app is one of a couple ‘pro’ camera apps I use on my iPhone when shooting around town since it is so quick to adjust the settings to zero in on the shot I’m looking for.
ProCamera lets you fine tune just about every feature: Stability, self timer, expert mode (focus/exposure separate, RapidFire, HighSpeed mode, enhanced photo zoom, Date stamp, Auto Save, Fullscreen Trigger, video focus, video zoom, video preview, use the volume as trigger, geo tagging, system sounds, quick flick album…. wait, there is more… there is ‘Advanced Options’ too!! Green mode, Direct Photo/Video Toggle, Calibrate Virtual Horizon and Copyright exif. ProCamera, it’s all about taking photos with your iPhone your way… and it’s on sale!
Aside from the normal filters group offered by many apps, the app PowerCam offers more than 50 real time effects for a fun twist to your iPhone photography.
As the overview help screen shows below. PowerCam offers video and photo modes, quick access to Adjustable Modes as well a button to open the Effects options to sweep through. All Effects are show in real time when your taking the photo.
Tap the magic wand button to bring up the variety of effects you can apply to the photo. Rather than choosing a filter later, PowerCam shows what your resulting photo will be as your taking it. This is particularly important since most of the options are true effects rather than a tone changing filter.
Some effects require tuning rather than just applying to the whole image. Like in the case of TiltShift shown below, PowerCam has onscreen tools showing in real time to get the effect as you want it to be in real time rather than editing later.
Whether it is a movie or photograph being taken with PowerCam, all of the on screen controls are easy to access when using the iPhone’s camera.
I had fun with the little guy using the PowerCam sketch effect:
TiltShift photography is a great way of taking big pictures that look like little toy villages. One small area in focus with the rest appearing to be at a far different depth. Just like if you where standing over a little model of a big town model.
There are many iPhone apps to help take TiltShift effect images and even more that will let you edit a photo to add the effect later. Lately, there has been a few really fun videos on popular video sharing sites using that same TiltShift effect. The effect is great for a video of a train moving in the distance, or people walking around town. One I really enjoyed was a video from a cliff overlooking the ocean as a ship goes by… give it a try!
If it sound like fun, then you may want to take a look at a free app I found, MiniatureCam. A video app that shows the effect applied as you record. No mystery if your getting the video you where hoping for. For a bit of extra impact, the speed of recording can also be controlled in MiniatureCam. This gives a less smooth movement of characters in your video to add to the ‘toy’ effect.
Funny, I’m involved in the movie making industry, yet I record almost no video with my iPhone. I lean more towards taking photographs and playing with a snapshot of history.
An app I have had on my iPhone for those times I do want to record video is FiLMiC Pro. I bought it the first time I saw one of the team’s creations using it on their older iPhone. It’s list of features is much longer than I will most likely use in the near future. As I keep playing with it around town on photo walks, the features start making more sense to get the movie effect I was hoping for. With FiLMiC Pro being FREE right now, if you have ever thought about doing video with your iPhone, grab it quick. Share directly to YouTube, DropBox, Vimeo, Facebook, Tumblr and even to a FTP Server