All posts in “Video”

Trump’s latest social media video is a terrible masterpiece

It seems every week the White House social team tries out different video transitions … and it always looks terrible. 

Here’s a brief look at this week’s masterpiece, which is 3-plus minutes of photos and videos sliding from the top, bottom, and sides of the screen, accompanied by Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”  It ends with a Looney Tunes effect on a waving American flag. 

Watch the whole thing, if you dare. 

These video skills are out of control, as people noticed on Twitter. 

This hardly the first time a Trump video has gone overboard with the special effects and transitions —  in just the past week. 

They went all in on squares to recap Trump’s FEMA meeting last week.

The page turns were relentless covering Trump’s rally in West Virginia.

Easy on the animations, social team. 

That’s all, folks.

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VSCO launches its first video editing tool


VSCO is a brand well-known among photographers who take advantage of its presets for desktop and its mobile app featuring film-inspired filters and pro image tools. Now the company is moving into video editing, with the launch of its first video editing tool on iOS. The tool will allow users to apply presets and tools to any size video from their smartphone camera, then share the resulting creation across social media.

The new tool takes advantage of SENS, the company’s proprietary real-time image processor, and is compatible with all iOS video formats up to 60 FPS 4K video, with no size or length restrictions, the company tells us.

Its SENS technology platform is being positioned as a differentiator here, in terms of VSCO’s capabilities, as it moves into video editing. Prior to now, the platform is what allowed the company to roll out support for the high-quality RAW file format in iOS, and the addition of short video clips within the app, according to VSCO co-founder and CEO Joel Flory, talking about SENS in an interview with Fast Company this June.

However, the video editing tool won’t be available to everyone who has the VSCO app installed – it’s a feature rolling out to paid “VSCO X” members only.

VSCO X is the company’s annual membership service, which charges users $19.99 per year for those who want access to new features on a monthly basis, including presets, tools, educational offerings and more.

The video editing tool will initially become available to VSCO X members on iOS, ahead of its launch on Android, says VSCO.

To use the feature, members launch the app then tap the banner in their Studio where the video editing tool is being announced.

Videos from your phone’s Camera Roll will then appear here in the Studio, and you can choose the one you want to edit. You can use presets from the VSCO X library to edit the video along with other standard editing tools, like Contrast or Saturation. When your edits are complete, you can save video back your Camera Roll, where you can choose to share it out to other social platforms.

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“VSCO’s mission is to help people become better creators, and video is a creative frontier we’re increasingly passionate about and focused on,” explains Flory, of the new tool’s launch. “Video editing for VSCO X members is a first step into what we see as limitless possibilities for video editing tools on VSCO.”

VSCO today has an active community in its app, which consists primarily of younger people, the company notes. 80 percent of its monthly users are millennials or generation Z, and 70 percent of the community is creating daily. The company reported at the beginning of last year it had passed a key milestone by surpassing 30 million monthly active users in its app.

At the time, VSCO hinted it would expand its product and platform into new areas in the future. It also had then just brought on COO Bryan Mason, who had previously worked at Adobe managing business operations for the launch of Creative Cloud, M&A, and led biz dev.

As for the VSCO app itself, it’s currently a highly-ranked #15 in the competitive “Photo & Video” category on the App Store, behind other big names like Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Google Photo, Musical.ly, Facebook Moments, and Adobe Photoshop.

The iOS version of the app is a free download here on the App Store.

This real-time software transforms regular movies into vibrant HDR

High Dynamic Range, known more colloquially as HDR, promises the best picture quality you’ll ever see on a TV (at least until the next big leap).

It provides higher contrast, wider dynamic range, deeper blacks, and whiter whites, making newer movies and TV shows more immersive. But there are two big caveats to enjoying the glory of HDR at home: Your TV needs to support it and the content needs to be coded for it. 

In other words, watching non-HDR coded video (which is virtually everything), even on a fancy HDR-ready TV, won’t add anything.

But that could all change thanks to newly developed software that can convert non-HDR content (also known as Standard Dynamic Range or SDR for short) into HDR.

Researchers at French research institute, Bcom, have created special software that essentially makes old content HDR-ready in real time for broadcasts, Ars Technica’s Sebastian Anthony reports.

This process is no different from all of the classic movies that were converted into 3D a few years ago when 3D TVs were the hotness. Think of it as a “remastering” for the modern era.

According to Ars, the software intelligently analyzes each SDR video frame-by-frame and then assigns it a “lighting style” an appropriate profile that basically adjusts the picture’s lightness and contrast. A filter is then applied on top of the profile to correct any discolorations.

And if Ars‘s first look at the converted videos are to be believed, they look good. For example, where a video would normally have a single shade of red, it has more shades after the conversion.

Think of it as a “remastering” for the modern era.

“The final mappings do a fine job maintaining the mood and artistic intent of the editor, director, and cinematographer—dark areas remain dark, light areas remain light (without blowing out),” says Anthony. “The HDR images ‘popped,’ just as you’d expect.”

With that said, he was also quick to remind us that he looked at mostly demo footage, and not the newly minted HDR TV shows or movies, which could look worse if not done carefully to preserve the original “feel” of the show.

It all sounds great, but there’s another bit of potentially bad news. Broadcasters need to buy a “FPGA-based device” and invest in a PC with a “beefy GPU,” which would total up to several thousand British pounds, in order to run the real-time HDR converting software. Bcom’s reportedly working on mainstreaming the conversion technology for regular computer CPUs and is also working on a cloud-based solution.

Plus, you still need to own an HDR TV, which means you’ll have to upgrade if you haven’t already done so.

As impressive as Bcom’s technology sounds, we’re still skeptical of its mainstream applications. Conversions just never compare to native content. If the failed converted 3D and upscaled 4K content are any indicators, converted HDR videos will never take off. We’d love to be proven wrong, but history’s not on conversion’s side.

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researchers are using an algorithm to increase the luminance of the picture quality, therefore boosting dynamic range,

Shopping for a new TV is harder than it’s ever been, mostly because of all the jargon that’s hard to decode.

Quantum dots, motion blur, OLED, 4K, UHD… the list goes on and on. The new hot feature companies want you to get excited about is 

Twitter inks live stream deals for Wimbledon, Comic-Con coverage, and more


Twitter is continuing to grow its live streaming business, with a series of new deals announced over the past week or so, including a partnership that will bring live streams from the floor of the San Diego Comic-Con in July, as well as behind-the-scenes action and news from Wimbledon, among several other efforts.

You may recall that Wimbledon was the first live-streamed sport to pop up on Twitter’s network last year, after the company had announced its $10 million deal to stream the NFL’s Thursday Night Football games. The Wimbledon coverage wasn’t then heavily promoted by Twitter, and was instead seen as more of a test of how live streaming would work across Twitter’s platforms.

How times have changed. In the year since, Twitter has delivered a slew of live streamed sports, sports-related programming, news, concerts, and other events to its service, including streams from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NLLcollege sports, even esports, and many more.

This time around, Twitter’s Wimbledon deal is with the The All England Club, not ESPN, which is partnering with Twitter to live stream The Wimbledon Channel during the event. This coverage will include daily content, like news and interviews, behind the scenes footage, and “selected action” from the matches. (In other words, you can’t watch the matches in full, live).

The addition is one of several deals Twitter has announced over the past couple of weeks. Another notable partnership is with IGN, which will live stream from the huge entertainment event, San Diego Comic-Con 2017, via comiccon.twitter.com. The media company will broadcast up to 13 hours of live coverage from the show floor from July 19 through July 22, Twitter says.

This will include interviews from ABC, AMC, DC, Lionsgate, Marvel, Netflix, Starz, TBS and others, including live pre- and post show commentary from IGN hosts and special guests. The coverage will also be augmented with trailers, behind the scenes footage, interviews with actors and producers, cosplay worn by attendees, and more.

The deal represents an expanded relationship between Twitter and IGN, which most recently used the social network to broadcast coverage from the esports-focused event, the 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in L.A.

Other recent deals will bring more sports to Twitter as well, as the company is snapping up access to more niche programming, like that from the Canadian Football League (CFL), the Arab world’s inter-club football, and the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL).

And previously this summer, Twitter live streamed other events of significance, like James Comey’s Congressional Testimony via Bloomberg and Ariana Grande’s One Love Manchester benefit concert, for example.

Though a continued focus on live streaming is helping Twitter to better deliver on its mission to be the network where you go to find out what’s happening now, it’s also facing heavy competition from live streaming rivals and other major tech companies when it comes to scoring the sort of flagship coverage people actually want to watch. (Canadian football is not it.)

For instance, earlier this year, Twitter lost the NFL deal to Amazon, which reportedly paid $50 million for the rights, or five times more than what Twitter had paid last year. That’s led to some criticism of Twitter’s efforts in the live streaming space, with pundits saying that it just won’t have the funds to keep up with today’s major players – it will be outbid on the better live stream deals, that is, and left to pick up scraps.

In response to the loss to Amazon, however, Twitter partnered with the NFL on its own live video deal that includes news and highlights, but not games. This may not be the best NFL content, but it does fit in with Twitter’s news-focused reputation. It is, after all, where news breaks, is discussed, and where a large number of journalists generally hang out.

Still, some of Twitter’s recent announcements do make it appear that it’s doubling down on sports’ long tail and other smaller events that lack mainstream appeal. The company said in May it has 200 premium live video partnerships, which seems to back up the assumption that it’s doing a ton of “small potatoes” deal.

But while you can dismiss the individual deals as being non-consequential, the cumulative effect – or, at least Twitter hopes – is that people will begin to think to check Twitter to see if something is being live streamed. And if Twitter can gain mindshare around live video even without deals as big as NFL games, that could long-term help boost its other metrics – like signed-in users, ad dollars, and more.

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