The future of editing?
If you really think about it, we only use a mouse and keyboard to edit with because the computer happens to be the technology of the day, and video editing has found itself a home in this technology. Therefore editing itself has had to adapt to this temporary home with these input devices that were never designed with film and video editing in mind.
So, what would be the perfect way to edit motion pictures?
Personally, I like this: You have the ergonomics and physical attributes of a flatbed editor, with the efficiency of a computer. I won't hold my breath though.
something along the lines of the computer Tom Cruise had in Minority Report.
Just what I was thinking. But in the meantime, I should be able to see all of my footage running in little windows on a huge monitor (think 100" wrap-around with huge pixel count). All done by waving my hands and fingers with additional voice commands acting as modifiers.
Well, if we look to platforms like iQ and Smoke, we already see systems that make serious use of gestural editing via tablets... I'm thinking that Minority Report style interfaces have some issues... Repetitive motion injuries being one. We have to make the jump beyond our entrenched thought that we have to use our hands with our eyes to initiate actions. What about neural interfaces and controls ? This might seem far fetched, but the fact is that there already exists technologies that are using it.
I'm reading a fabulous book (mentioned in other places in the pasture) called Droidmaker. It's about the fantastic technological/brainpower push that surrounded Lucas and Coppola as they tried to push editorial and effects tools into the digital realm. While things may not be perfect now, they are a whole lot more accessible than what they were.
As always, I can't wait to see what's next...
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Ooooohhh, pretty! Looks like fun.
Although I didn't see any of the demo people actually doing anything with it. I'm picturing my worst producer standing behind me saying "Quit monkeying with the friggin' images..."
If that is the future of editing, most editors would probably turn off the animated functions anyway. "Dude, I'm .08 seconds faster than you now!"
A picture says 1000 words. Editors give them meaning.
The video would not open for me, but I imagine it is the same light-table looking thing I saw in a clip from the TED conference. In that one, besides making interactive lava-lamp "art", and creating interactive stick-man animations with hand-drawn parameters, the inventor showed how you could work with photos in photoshop or a similar setup, quickly scaling and positioning many photos, to thunderous applause from the crowd.
You know, had I knowsn how much of it I would eb doing in adult life, I would have concentrated WAY more on coloring inside the lines and finger painting in kindergarten!:-)
Cool Factor - High. But I would be editing standing up and swinging my whole arm to drag a clip from the browser to the timeline instead of pressing a finger and flicking a wrist.
I think Lightworks was the closest thing to that. It was designed with film editors in mind.
Producers don't necessarily just come to editors for the button-pushin'. Many, if not most, are looking for some colaberaton in the process. This means when voice activation takes the place ofakeyboard and a mouse, one oftwo tings will happen. The editor will be exluded completely, having no need for a media processor anymore, or the editor will double his or her rate as the co-producer he or she is.
As you can imagine, at first, editors will most likely be scrapped and then reintroduced once the requirement is rediscovered.
As for ergonomics, I'd say a couch and a big screen. Little ned for a console as a work station, I'd think. Just a place for paperwork, notes, ect and pety of room or the snackage.
My belief is that we won't be replaced completely by voice activation but significantly enough the role of editor as we know it will go away foever. Those who wait on timcodes and direcion while editing will be forced into other fields and those who create more than button-push will wind up with the entire post-production budget.
I would think that this would only be one portion of the overall future of editing. You're still thinking in terms of editing flat 2 dimensional pieces of footage together, strung along in a linear fashion.
Most of the uses of this kind of data manipulation and visualization I have seen have been in the manipulation of multi faceted/"multi dimensional" types of data....visualizing complex molecular structures and being able to rotate, zoom/magnify the data to be able to study it more.
What if the future of video acquisition was more multidimensional...I watched the behind the scenes featurette on the cg animated film "Monster House" they actually had the actors in motion capture suits act out each scene. A series of cameras and tracking gear was positioned around the set to be able to capture every angle. This tracking data was then tied to cg characters and enabled the animators to set "cameras" in practically any location and piece together the story anyway they wanted. Fascinating concept...imagine having similiar multi-plexed HD (of some other form of video) video capturing a live action scene from a variety of angles (perhaps similar to the Matrix effect), then the editor being able to manipulate this data in a editing system such as this being able to choose a variety of angles, shots and movement from one piece of video....
As for this kind of thing eliminating the need for editors like ourselves...perhaps...it's our responsibility to recognize emerging trends and get on the train before it leaves the station. For example, I worked for a small city newspaper in the early 90's doing advertising design. The ad design department had already been using Mac's for a while to do ad creation pulling from digital scans, clip art libraries and digital type libraries. Paste-up was still done manually the old fashion way. We would print out our ads on high rez printers and paper, hand it over to a guy who waxed the back of it and mechanically stuck it on a big paper paste up board. When everything on the page was in place, he'd send it to another department who photographed it on a very large format camera and made the printing plates. This guy had been doing this for probably 30 years.
As I moved on to other things, they were already starting to transition everything to a digital process, doing all the layout for smaller weekly newspapers and seasonal inserts in a computer and printing directly to film. This old paste up guy instead of spending the time to learn the new technology so as to operate the new system, just grumbled about his job being replaced by a computer and retired.
So what's stopping us from using touch screens? While it might not be exactly the same as the video presentation in the first post, it would, in a sense, give you the same feeling, would it not?
My problem? Being able to do really fine adjustments. A mouse pointer generally works on a pixel by pixel reading, whereas screens tend to capture an area of pixels when you use your finger. And if I'm going to be using a stylus, I may as well grab the mouse.
One of the middle schools here in the district has Whiteboards in the class rooms, which are an awesome tool to use. The kids can simply touch the board to use the computer. They don't need to use the mouse. But the problem is always what the kids refer to as "fat fingers", there simply isn't a whole lot in fine control with it.
I find it odd that an Applebee's waitress has been touch screening for 5 years but video editors still don't. I even have clients try to touch icons. I think thats just to smudge my screen tho.
to me, the keyboard, monotor and mousing contraption of any sort otta be one big unit.
Bottom line, you still need to know how to cut to make one of those things work...
It's not so much the tools, as the artist behind them.
I like to work with a Wacom tablet, I hate the mouse....would I like a touch screen ??? Possibly, it would at least give me some exercise rather than sitting on my whilst editing. When I used to edit on tape, people used to laugh because I used to edit standing up. I was way more comfortable. Because I share this room with other editors I have a plain edit desk, but I would love to have everything set up on a drafting table so that I could edit standing up. A flat panel touch screen would enable me to do this.
The next question is size and cost. Flatpanels themselves aren't as expensive anymore, however touch screens aren't your every day purchase and their prices are, in my opinion, still a bit high. At least one of usable size, not some little 14" they use in retail stores. EloTouch (http://www.elotouch.com) makes some nice, large ones. Unfortunately they don't list prices for stuff over 17" (which is listed at $829). MagicTouch (http://www.magictouch.com) also makes a variety of (IR) products that might work. I just don't see any of these systems as a viable solution for your every day road warrior editor, but more for a large outfit that can afford the high cost of one of these setups.
The best interface is, of course, the human brain. I can close my eyes and envision my movie playing out in my head, often before I even shoot it.
Once in the editing mode, I know I have a shot of a particular action from a particular actor from floor level, but I did not log the footage so I need to manually scan the bins to visually find the clip. What if the computer was smart enough to hear me say "find a clip of Bob throwing a pencil from table level...etc" and the computer knows which character is Bob, knows what a pencil is, and has a basic understanding of camera angles, and it presents me with my clip, or a few options.
Supposedly the government has face recognition technology, so I think the future will be computers identifying the contents of the video, so we can interact verbally, like you would with a film assistant back in the moviola days.
As for a visual interface, it should take the customizable interfaces of Premiere Pro and FCP and let you make any kind of window configuration you want, that is, make any kind of interface you want. Why conform to a standard designed by AVID, when you can create something which works the way you work.
Mouse, pen, touch screen? Every few years a new device is invented. Some are great, some are silly. The hand-computer interface will change over time. An eye-tracking screen might work.
Droidmakers was a great book. Everyone should read it!