Videoguys' iPad Wish List for Videographers

Videoguys' iPad Wish List for Videographers

Yesterday Steve Jobs and Apple made official the worst kept secret in the industry – the Apple iPad tablet computer. The reaction was mixed, but with prices starting at $499 it has me very excited. It’s not perfect, but it’s only going to get better, more powerful and more amazing over time. Is it the netbook or Kindle-killer everyone expected? Perhaps, but it’s got some stuff missing. I’m disappointed that it lacks multi-tasking, a built-in camera and support for Flash. That said, this is just the first generation and I think it definitely will create a revolution in media. Check out this video made by Time to demonstrate what the future of magazines could look like on tablets.

This collaboration between The Wonderfactory and Time, Inc. is an excellent example of how tablets will enable the creation of innovative, addictive experiences by publishers, media companies, and advertisers.

I’m on my local Board of Education. I’m the techguy, always talking about how we should use more technology in the classroom. When I first saw this demo a few weeks ago, all I could think of was textbooks. Imagine history lessons filled with photo’s video, audio and images right at your fingertips. Or math lessons that allow you to manipulate objects to better understand multiplication, fractions all the way up to geometry and trig.

As I followed Apples presentation on my favorite tech blogs, while watching folks reactions on Twitter (follow us) and Facebook (become a fan), I started thinking about how the iPad could impact content creation. Sure it’s a great delivery vehicle for video and multimedia, but could it be used to help us make content of the future? I’m 100% certain it could, but it may take a few generations of iPads to get there. So in an attempt to speed up the process, I’m putting out this wish list of applications I would love to see for us – digital video editors and content producers.

Videoguys' iPad application wish list

  1. HD playback from FCP timeline to the Apple iPad
    Imagine the possibilities if you could use the iPad as your playback monitor. Edit on your laptop, watch in full screen on your iPad. Even better, how about your client or producer no longer sitting on top of you, watching over you back, but sitting comfortably in the back of the room (or even better the next room ;-) while you edit.
  2. iPad as control surface.
    This one has so many possibilities. While the processing in the iPAD will not be enough for image or video editing, why couldn’t it harness the power of your MacPro while providing a multi-touch interface. Perhaps via USB at first, but eventually via WiFi or Bluetooth.
  • How about working in Photoshop while interacting directly with the image using the iPad's multi-touch capability. Pan, zoom, rotate, scroll up or down, left or right by touching the image on the iPad. Crop and select specific areas of your image by drawing on the iPad with your finger or a stylus. You're not using the iPad to do the heavy lifting and actual processing (yet), just as a surface for basic image manipulation.
  • Imagine trimming your video clips while watching them on your iPad. Using your fingertips to advance or go back a few frames. Tap the screen and the keyboard pops out for entering metadata. Move multiple layers of video around on the iPad, changing the size and position with your fingers, and then setting your keyframes as needed with a tap on the screen. Wouldn't it be cool to work with Apple Motion or Adobe After Effects on a multi-touch control surface?
  • How about an app to use the iPad as the control surface for Apple Color or Red Giant Magic Bullet? Expensive color grading systems have their own dedicated control surfaces, what a great use for your iPad!

  1. iPad as Field Monitor
    We’ve been playing with the latest Canon 5D and 7D DSLR cameras and writing the Videoguys' Guide to DSLR Video Worklow. How amazing would it be if you could plug your iPad into one of these state-of-the-art cameras and monitor the HD footage on the iPads big, beautiful, 10" LCD screen. But wait, I want more! I would love to be able to access the camera's menus to change settings and control the camera direct from the iPad. And, while we're at it let's get greedy and make our wish the ability to do all this without wires and allow an assistant or me to enter metadata on the fly while shooting and then allow me to sync it all when I import the clips into Apple Final Cut Studio.
  2. Final Cut Pro Proxy Editing App
    What if I could load in low res proxy footage from FCP, then do basic editing and trimming of the clips, storyboarding my clips into sequences and adding in any metadata notes? All from the iPAD while on the plane, or sitting in the airport lounge, or while sitting comfortably in my backyard? Then bring it all back into FCP and replace it with the original HD footage. This is an online/offline workflow that I would LOVE!

Well, there I go. The iPad isn’t even a day old and already I’m dreaming up uses for it that go far beyond its initial intention. I don’t know what if any of these features / applications are even possible. I only know that I would love to have them and, I’m pretty sure, so would most of you. As I said in the beginning, I’m one of those tech geeks who thinks the iPad could end up revolutionizing how we view and interact with media. It’s not going to happen overnight, but the possibilities are exciting. So why not expect that the same device would have just as big an impact on how we make media as how we deliver and use it! Stay tuned, I’m going to be adding more ideas to this wish list as they hit me.

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