Kamua boasts an arsenal of game-changing online tools for automated video editing, built to save creators time and money.
☕️ TL;DR: we have lots of awesome tools and you should be A/B testing your social cut-downs. If you already knew that, skip to the list of tools. Or, read on. 🤩
Let’s face it, video is through the roof. Brands are in a relentless battle to get thumbs to stop and eyeballs to engage. With that comes the challenge of keeping up with the competition, and finding alternatives to Adobe and other established video apps, whose workflows aren’t really designed for repurposing, remixing, and resizing videos. One way to keep the content flowing is to repurpose existing content that you already uploaded to YouTube, and create cut-downs (shorter versions) to fit today’s mobile vertical formats.
If you’re not A/B Testing Video, you’re missing out
At Kamua we want to equip content creators, brands, and marketers with the latest in AI-powered video tools, that will reduce costs and create efficient workflows to handle the high volume of videos required to not only stay ahead of the game, but to A/B test multiple versions of social cut-downs to see which ones work the best on which platforms. Our base tier is free (watermarks) and our intro package is $1.99/mo for 10 watermark removals each month.
Our promise: No heavy software. No powerful computers required. No prior mastery. Kamua is all about Friendly AI automation tools to help you do tedious, difficult and time-consuming edits up to 10x faster than with other editing apps, and to get more out of your existing content.
Below, we break down all the tools you need to change your game!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just released! 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.
Here is a quick preview:
You need to render the project to see the transitions in effect. We will be adding a more detailed tutorial soon!
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!
According to a recent article by Axios, Instagram is fast becoming a major distribution channel for news and, more generally, information. IG is not alone in that regard. Social and sharing-oriented apps have been platforms for informational content for a long time. However, most younger consumers watch mobile videos holding the phone vertically, and some social video apps do not support flipping the phone sideways, which means that content that is filmed specifically for a desktop/TV audience must be cropped for a vertical mobile view.
If you are a large company with a lot of resources, you probably have a large full time editing team (hint: you can save money!) But if you are a smaller organization or a freelancer, you either have to edit video yourself or you have to pay someone precious resources to do it for you.
Instagram is in the midst of a transformation — what was once the place to share photos of food and social outings is quickly becoming a hub for information and advocacy.
Kamua helps journalists repurpose existing – and create new – content, for both mobile and desktop audiences, with some simple and powerful AI tools that cut and crop videos to the exact durations and sizes that journalists and bloggers need for different apps and websites.
Here’s an example of how a video made for TV and Desktop can be quickly repurposed for your Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Snap, Facebook, Pinterest and followers from many other social apps:
By using a couple of easy-to-learn features in Kamua, here is what we did just in a web browser:
Linked the original video from YouTube so we can clip it under Fair Use
Enabled AutoCaption to generate the transcript for the video
Used a simple Crop tool to choose the part of the screen that we want to include in our 9:16 portrait story
Note: the author of this article who created this video has no video editing background.
– The Author
And after a couple more simple tweaks, which you can easily learn in our tutorials, here is the resulting Story on the right.
In as little as five minutes we were able to create a story that we can share with our readers and audience about the status of Covid-19 in New Zealand, straight from their leader. It has colorful captions that also let people know what’s happening even if they have the sound turned down or off.
Using Older Footage That’s Still Very Relevant
While Covid, the US Presidential Elections and Big Tech dominate the headlines, stories from the past are very much relevant to what’s happening today.
Using Kamua to repurpose content makes it fast and easy to build up a series of Stories using segments from press conferences and other content that you want to share with your audience.
Using AutoCaption to search for Keywords
Big companies have budgets and armies of interns for searching the transcripts of videos for key words and phrases that are newsworthy. That is both expensive and time consuming, and not really an option for freelancers and smaller organizations.
So, we made AutoCaption searchable. Here’s how it works:
You don’t have to have a video editing or technology background to use something this simple. Once you’ve located the segment you are looking for, you just trim the clip to the duration you need and then you can crop it to resize it or add another clip after it.
What if I Shoot Videos Myself?
A lot of journalists shoot videos of themselves at home, either for the outlet they work for, as a contributor, for syndication, or for their own distribution.
You can use Kamua to edit and also repurpose this content, even if it has some graphics burned into the screen.
All we did in this edit was use the Kamua AutoCrop feature and set the zoom level to be just enough to avoid clipping the burned-in graphics on the screen.
We trimmed off a short segment at the beginning and we still have a lot of the video left to produce at least another 10 stories.
Breaking longer videos up into chapters is a great way to get the most out of different mobile social apps, which all have different maximum video lengths and different algorithms that determine which content to recommend to which users at any given time on various devices.
And, even though this video was filmed horizontally, it feels like a personal video call, and that’s a great way to connect with audiences without having to film and edit all over again.
We also offer tools that you can use to manually override or fine tune the choices that our automated AI makes, and you can even copy and paste in text if you want to put something different over the top of the video.
What about Videos where the Subjects are Moving around Outdoors?
Kamua loves movement and action! Whether you’re a sports reporter or a tech journalist who covers electric cars, Kamua’s AI can help you create and repurpose video content really easily.
The result looks like it was filmed by a mobile videographer, rather than a robotic cut-down of a YouTube video, right?
It’s important for mobile viewers that the content looks authentically produced for a mobile audience.
If you would like to know more about Kamua and read up on the specifics of our features, head on over to our Knowledge Base and take a look.
These articles in particular may be a good starting point for you:
High-speed, browser accessible tools with smart automation for intelligently reframing video.
One of the biggest challenges that video storytellers face in 2020 is taking video filmed for desktop and converting or “reframing” it for mobile portrait apps such as TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram. Spending countless hours dragging boxes around in buggy desktop software packages and waiting for projects to render is the usual grind that creators tell us about. That’s why we built Kamua.
Kamua is designed from the ground up to operate 100% in the cloud using the fastest GPUs available and uses no local computing resources. This results in huge reductions in manual workflows, saving countless hours for creative people. We have users who have cut manual workflows from 16 hours to 15 minutes by embracing the automation we have built over the past three years.
“Kamua has transformed our team’s ability to quickly produce social videos for our clients based on their broadcast TV ads. We cut our end to end production time by over 90% and we now produce multiple variants to A/B test, something we did not have the time to do before.”
– Kamua trial user
Kamua offers a wide range of features focused on time savings and ease of use. Cloud-based computing renders video outputs in minutes instead of hours; gone are the 200-hour learning curves that traditional editing software apps often require users to go through to become proficient in the kinds of editing techniques needed for professional social video creation. This approach empowers content marketers to produce professional grade results themselves and frees up video editors to focus on the nuances of storytelling.
How Does Kamua compare to Google AI’s AutoFlip?
Last week, Google AI released something they have been working on for some time: a machine learning based video reframing technology called AutoFlip. When we saw that blog post, we were pretty shocked to see that Google has been working on almost exactly the same approach to reframing and shot detection that we had developed — and they had decided to open source their framework.
“As an early-stage startup, you would never assume your AI video tech is better than Google’s stealth tech; all you really know is how hard it has been to build your tech.”
We installed AutoFlip and ran it on a set of videos, multiple times. It’s not easy to write a blog post with a section about how your own startup is better than Google without seeming like braggarts…but Kamua is not just a bit better than AutoFlip, it’s much better. Possibly an order of magnitude better and faster. And it’s already deployed and accessible in a browser. As an early-stage startup, you would never assume your AI video tech is better than Google’s stealth tech; all you really know is how hard it has been to build your tech and, now, you also know that it’s market ready.
We detect and track objects in video better, we have multiple neural networks that collaborate to determine what the focal points of videos likely are, not just object detection, and we have better camera smoothing and pathing, to name a few.
We are sure that by open-sourcing their code, Google will see improvements to AutoFlip, but they are not open-sourcing some critical technologies that are in their (paid) Google Video Intelligence API. That makes it more likely that Google is using AutoFlip to generate use cases and data for Mediapipe, rather than trying to make AutoFlip part of a cloud product suite, but we don’t know and time will tell. What we can be 100% sure of is that Google recognises the huge demand for this kind of technology, has worked very hard, and if they are saying it’s important, we’re probably ready to launch at exactly the right time.
So, this week we decided that it’s time to let everyone know that they can access Machine Learning based video editing technology right now in a browser.
How Kamua Works
We built and trained several different neural networks to replace the most monotonous and low added value tasks that video editors begrudgingly carry out every day.
Finding Cut Points in videos
Cropping videos from Landscape format to Portrait and Square
Re-arranging the order of scenes or shots in a video
The user has the option of fully automating each process or manually intervening to override the decisions of the AI on a shot-by-shot basis. An example of this is the ability to instruct the AI to choose different objects, people or elements to focus on for the crop.
Bleeding Edge Browser Tech
All a user needs is Google Chrome or Firefox (full Safari support coming soon) on a laptop and a wi-fi connection. Videos can be linked directly from a hosting source (such as YouTube or Vimeo) as long as the user has the rights to use the source videos, or uploaded by the user. It takes 20 minutes or less to learn how to use Kamua’s core features, whether a user has previous editing experience or none at all. Kamua pushes the limits of browser video seeking, playback and audio file management and we are excited to see how powerful they are becoming. We also plan to release mobile apps in the coming months.
Future & Experimental Features
Deep Learning gives us incredible opportunities to offer game-changing technology to video marketers. In this rather impractical demonstration, we show how this technology can perform complex tasks such as removing the bicycle, the rider and (most of the) shadow from the scene. As the machine learning improves, it will be able to more accurately re-paint the areas that were previously obscured by the removed object.
This technology does become practical for the removal of hard-baked subtitles, graphics and other items that do not fit within a cropped video on a mobile screen, or that need to be removed or replaced.
We are also working on a variety of additional features, such as automated upscaling (480p to 4K), colorization, and color matching. Subscribe to our blog here to stay up to date.
We will be publishing more posts in the coming weeks and months that go into our tech and product in greater detail, and our YouTube channel already has some informative tutorials and demos on it. We hope you will subscribe and look forward to your feedback in the comments.
Full disclosure: Google nominated Kamua to its Google Cloud for Startups program, allowing us to operate class-leading GPU servers and deliver Kamua’s AI to our Beta testers since August 2019.
About Us: Kamua is a technology startup headquartered in London with engineering operations in Bucharest. We are hiring. Follow us on LinkedIn and check out our job postings there.