Sometimes taking hours and hours to obsess over small details is what transforms a video from good to great and is the mark of a professional. But quite often, a lot of time is wasted doing tasks that just require more time, not more skill or more artistry.
And, editing video as a profession can be very difficult. Software crashes. External drives pile up in boxes or get borrowed. Files saved on Macs lose their links when opened in Windows. Clients and producers demand miracles (“we’ll fix it in post”), have unrealistic ideas of how long things take (“by Friday, right?”), and how easy or difficult things might be (“can’t we just get a 9:16 cutdown for social?”), are prone to changing things too often (“no actually I prefer the previous version”) and don’t have much patience (“what do you mean it’s still exporting?”)
If you have often thought “I wish there was just some way to automate this,” chances are Kamua is what you need.– Jim Harrison, Pro Video Editor and Kamua Product Specialist
Where professionals get the most benefit out of Kamua is by using our online browser tools that automate some of the most time-consuming parts of production.
The Top 10 Time Savers:
- Automatically Crop into multiple aspect ratios
- Custom Track objects, subject and regions for cropping
- Motion KeyFrame crops
- Automatically find Cut Points in source media
- Automatically Generate Captions/Subtitles
- Automatically Remove Black Bars/Letterboxes from videos
- Changing the Colors of videos
- Fading In and Out from color
- Working in a Browser in the Cloud
1. Automatic Cropping (AutoCrop)
When you are looking to rapidly convert video from the original landscape (16:9) format into a more “social media friendly” format (9:16, 4:5, 1:1), Kamua offers you the fastest possible way to get it done.
AutoCrop is designed from the ground up to generate multiple aspect ratio outputs from the same focal point.
We built our own in-house AI to automatically detect a focal point and to follow that focal point the way that a videographer or DOP would follow it. If you’re making a Hollywood-style movie trailer crop, you may end up liking half of the automated crops and decide to do the rest manually (which you can also do in Kamua). But if you’re making a quick social media cut, you may end up going with 90% or more of the automated crops, because time is a critical resource and you may want to spend more time on skilled and artistic things like animated overlays, sound design and other things you wish you had more time for in a project.
“Being able to not only resize a video on the fly but to have the captions resize at the same time to fit into that aspect ratio is a game changer for editors who repurpose video for social.” – Arthur Sempebwa, Pro Video Editor and Kamua Product SpecialistTweet
To see how it’s done in detail, check out our Knowledge Base article about AutoCrop.
2. CustomTrack Objects, Subjects and Regions
This is pretty simple, right? You have a client who wants you to crop something specific from a video like a TV broadcast, and they want you to track the action and make it “look native” on a mobile. CustomTrack can be really helpful to you. Even if you are just looking to do a quick proof of concept for the client to approve, you can put that together fast in Kamua by clicking and dragging a box around the subject, object or region you want to track.
To see how it’s done in detail, head over to the CustomTrack article in Kamua.
3. Motion KeyFraming Crops
There are many instances where AutoCrop and CustomTrack won’t do everything right, for several possible reasons:
- The video is quite abstract and the AI doesn’t understand what a human might find interesting.
- A conversation is happening in a clip and you want to jump the crop back and forth between the speakers, not focus on one speaker.
- There are original graphics that get in the way of the crop.
With these things in mind, we built a Motion KeyFraming tool that allows you to set coordinates and properties at specific frames in the clip. This means you will be able to move the crop box across the screen at a pace that you control. You can also precisely control the zoom level at each KeyFrame and you can determine the path that the crop box takes as it moves from frame to frame. Is it as powerful as a desktop tool? In most cases, yes. The most important thing is that it’s really fast and easy to do, and you can do from your couch on an old laptop.
You can also set the kind of Easing you want between the Motion KeyFrames. So if you want to pan fast and then slow down, you can automate that by selecting a preset.
One other thing: you can use Motion KeyFraming in combination with AutoCrop, allowing you to tweak the automatic crops rather than start over and do everything manually.
Check out Motion KeyFraming in detail.
See how to use Motion KeyFraming in conjunction with AutoCrop.
4. Automatically Detecting Cut Points
We were recently chatting with a couple of video editors who were describing the process of scrubbing through 20 source videos from their client to find a few clips that the client wanted to use in a new project. It took them an entire day just to locate the clips and trim them.
We built Kamua AutoCut so you don’t have to go through that process.
AutoCut is also powered by AI. It looks for points in a video where the original editor made a cut, inserted a transition, or where there is some kind of change in unedited footage where an editor might insert a cut or transition.
AutoCut works automatically every time you add a video to a project. If you want to override the cuts, you can do that just by merging or splitting Shots.
And, if you use our AutoCaptions tool, you can quickly search a Transcript, click on the word you were looking for, and you navigate directly to the clip in the Timeline.
If you’ve ever worked on video compilations, you will also find AutoCut really helpful. It automatically de-compiles the original video and you can then add or remove or trim clips, then hit the render button to recompile everything.
See how AutoCut works in detail in this article.
5. AutoCaptions and Subtitles: Saving You Time
Writing out captions and subtitles is pretty tedious work for any editor. There are tools out there that automate some of that for you, but they require you to download an SRT file and then you have to get to work tweaking and resizing in your desktop NLE software.
Kamua’s AutoCaptions are also word-timed, meaning there is a timestamp behind every word in the transcript, so the words appear on the screen as they are spoken. If words are missing or misunderstood by the AI, you can manually insert, split or correct words, and you can then set the timing at which those words will appear on the screen.
At the moment, we don’t support Netflix-style blocks of subtitles, but we are working on bringing that to Kamua in the near future. That being said, you can download an SRT file that does have the subtitles in blocks, so you can pull them into an existing Project.
What is most useful for editors is the ability to have the captions automatically resize as the video is resized. So when you’re producing multiple aspect ratios, you just need to click one button to create each version.
Want to see more? Check out our AutoCaptions article in Kamua’s Help Center.
6. Removing Black Bars / Letterbox
Sometimes your clients commission videos and films that are shot in wide “cinematic” aspect ratios like 2.35:1. These look great on big screens, but cropping the content can be tedious, especially when you are required to mix the widescreen content with other video formats.
Removing black bars is an essential step if you are going to get the image to fit full-screen on a mobile phone or if you have to crop the image to fit into an ad that has dimension constraints.
Kamua’s AI scans each clip for the presence of black bars and then automatically crops those black bars out, saving you the time of having to do it yourself.
To see how to automatically remove the black bars letterbox from videos your videos today, check out this article in our Kamua Help Center.
7. Changing Colors on the Fly
As of right now, there are some pretty standard color options that you can experiment with:
We will be adding more presets and tuning them so you can quickly apply specific looks that you want to achieve in your videos, such as black and white, film noir, and so on.
We know that changing colors is nothing new, but this is just the beginning of our color tools. We plan to offer everything from rapid color grading and correction to style transfer using AI.
Perhaps the most important thing to you is that you won’t have to open up another piece of software to work with colors. We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences with us and let us know what you would like to see implemented next.
Visit our article about colors on the Kamua Knowledge Base.
8. Fading In and Out From and To Colors
Fading in from, and fading out to, solid colors are standard video editing techniques, but they can still be pretty time consuming to do, not to mention the rendering/exporting time they require to process on your local machine.
So, we made it easy to apply fades to each individual clip, set the exact colors, and the duration of each fade, to help you get your projects done faster.
You can read about fades in our Knowledge Base.
Coming soon! Powerful crossfading tools all rendered in our cloud so you can add use transitions that you’re used to seeing in the best desktop software, but all done online so you don’t tie up your workstation with rendering and exporting.
Stay tuned. Here is a preview:
10. The Benefits of Working in a Web Browser in the Cloud
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “if only I had a second computer right now I could get to work on something else while this project is rendering and exporting” leave us a comment below and let us know about things that you want to see in Kamua!
Because Kamua is browser based, you can work on multiple projects and multiple edits all in parallel. For example:
- You just hit Render and it will take 10 minutes to complete: you open a new tab in your browser and start work on another project while the previous one is rendering in the other tab;
- You want to try multiple edits of a project and be able to switch back and forth between tabs to see how different effects, crops and clip choices work for you;
- You’re waiting on a client to get back to you, so you can keep their project open in one tab, ready to discuss their feedback, and you can start a different project in a new tab.
- You want to upload multiple source files into a project, but you don’t want to wait for them to complete their processing, so you open a new tab and work on something else while keeping an eye on the progress in the other tab.
In addition to being able to work in multiple tabs, you can also take advantage of other cloud possibilities with Kamua:
- You can send direct Output links (.mp4) to clients so they can view drafts or finished videos directly in their mobile phone. This is really powerful for when you need them to see the cropped video in portrait mode asap.
- You can import Outputs straight into your Library in Kamua, instead of having to export, download and re-upload.
- You can share your login with a colleague so they can pick up where you left off, even though they may be on the other side of the world (yes we know it’s always a security risk to share your logins with colleagues, but we’re also pragmatic and until we enable team logins, we’re not going to tell you to not share your login with people you work with every day and trust. Like with anything else, using common sense is a pre-requisite).
Think about how much of a hassle it is to pack up files and upload them, and hope that the other person has the same version as you, that nothing breaks or corrupts, and that their settings don’t mess up the final result. Time is the one thing that is really difficult and expensive to buy more of on this planet. Saving it is just as effective and a lot cheaper. We hope that you become a customer of Kamua so we can help you save time as soon as possible.
We hope you found these 10 feature sets useful and interesting and we look forward to hearing how you use them in your projects. If you have any questions for us, you can ask in the comments section here, or you can head over to our homepage and click the chat button to talk to one of our people.
Most of our support staff are also video editors, and you will find helpful articles on our Blog that are written by some of them. Check them out as well and let us know what you think!