I have known about WeVideo for a couple weeks now and have been bursting to tell you all about it. I mean really, when something this cool comes along, embargoes get in the way of my enthusiasm. I did mention a brief bullet point or two to a couple people and now I can let the whole herd of cats out of the proverbial bags because WeVideo is ready to explode your video editing workflow, and you should let it!
I travel for GDN and I often find myself with gigabytes of video that I can't do anything with because I generally travel as light as possible, which usually means just an Acer Aspire One netbook. Not exactly a video editing powerhouse, but extremely portable, so I had been doing all my work in a delayed fashion. Which is terrible, since it lowers the traffic potential when I am at a show like CES or E3.
WeVideo is the solution to my problems because it gives me cloud-powered, collaborative video editing on almost anything with a web browser and Flash.
Here are some devices I've tested it on:
- Large gaming desktop PC (duh)
- Acer Aspire One netbook
Since it's Flash based it won't work on all platforms like the iPad, iPhone and some lower level Android devices. But almost all other tablets should manage it, along with netbooks.
Cloud-Powered Video Creation
WeVideo is a commercial version of Creaza Education, which is presently in use by some 200,000 European K-12 students. It makes me sad that until very recently, they had access to better, cooler online video editing than I did. But hey, that's the forward-thinking nature of Europe, and they take their education seriously to the point of making sure this sort of tool is available in some parts.
Meanwhile, I had been slaving away with local applications and doing completely without video editing capabilities when on the road. No longer! Though, I do have to make sure my videos don't climb past 500MB or else I can't upload them. That's my current filesize limit, 500MB. It means a couple shorter videos of higher quality instead of one big, long video file. Nothing too troublesome, there are other limitations that sort of take this out of the equation anyway on my part.
Since this is all web-based, cloud-powered, the limit to uploading is pretty much based on the connection stability. Now lucky me, I had a chance to chat with Jostein Svendsen the serial entrepreneur and CEO of WeVideo to talk all about the service.
Since everything is in the cloud, he told me there was no longer the need to wait on rendering times that could stretch into hours per video file (something I just ran into with some 750MB videos I needed to transcode for GDN). In fact, 5 minutes of HD video can be rendered in one minute and the speed is basically limited by available server power.
Since it was made for children originally, it's all very drag-and-drop WYSIWYG, and it runs on anything that is Flash-capable.
Four years of development have culminated in one of the coolest tools ever for online video. The key, they say, is that even though you upload HD files and edit HD files and can even export HD files, when you're working, it's all lower res, smaller file sizes which keeps things quick. I mean, impressively quick. Much of the system was built with–and I love this–open source components. You can even do real-time video edits like skews, spins and distortions and this is definitely going to be an enterprise-level quality service. I wouldn't be surprised if it gets snapped up by Google and rolled into YouTube. In fact, they might want to consider doing that soon because I can imagine a lot of suitors knocking on WeVideo doors and soon.
Here's a quick video I made:
As you can see some transitions and standard video editing was done to this. It was made from several clips that were then all pieced together with a couple images for bumpers and it was all edited and assembled through WeVideo.
Part of the quality issue is that my account is limited to 852×480 and my input was screen capturing a Facebook game on this. I have a Plus account ($6.99/mnth), but with Ultra ($39.99/mnth) you get 720p output and 50GB of storage, no watermarks, and 1080p is an add-on option. With the Commercial level ($79.99/mnth) you get some extra support options as well. At any level above Plus, you also get priority processing. Right now, my videos were ready in just a few minutes because they're probably geared up for far more people.
A free account is all but useless there as it gives 1GB of storage and export is limited to 360p and only to online accounts like Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and Twitter. I mean, 360p, really? When my camera is doing full 1920×1080 how could I ever use that? Even 480p is hard to accept and the price per month jumps severely after that. Of course, this level of account is made for novices and people who just want to get some videos up on YouTube, etc. Not for more power users like myself. I should probably have at the least an Ultra account for my needs.
WeVideo Technical Specs
Input file formats accepted:
Image: bmp, gif, jpeg, png, tiff, swf
Video: 3gp, 3gpp, avi, divx, dv, flv, mov, mpeg, wmv, mod, mts, mp4
Audio: mp3, wav
WeVideo also supports transparent PNG, animated GIF images and Flash (swf) animations.
It only outputs in .mp4 from what I can tell, but can export directly to your YouTube and Vimeo as well as WeVideo's YouTube channel. If you have the proper account level you can also download your finished files. They all must be H.264 since they are viewable on iOS.
WeVideo currently support the following browsers:
- Firefox 3.5+
- Google Chrome
- Safari 5+
- Internet Explorer 8+
WeVideo Overall Impressions
It's definitely something, that's for sure. There's a lot of potential there, especially if you've got a team of people that are not in the same physical location who are putting video together for you. In fact, because my account was a Plus account I was able to extend an invitation to another me (another email account) who could then also login and work on the projects that I share with them from my main account. So that means I can not only be in the office, I could have someone out in the field making the video and uploading the files (up to 500MB per file), and then another person in the office who is doing some editing and organization, and finally a third person who does all the final tweaks and approvals before we export to our various outlets. The only thing that they are really missing is delivery to an FTP server because then it would be near perfect. As it is, you have to download and then upload.
Admittedly, GDN doesn't have a large budget but I would definitely use this tool at a higher subscription levels in those months when I've got traveling to do that will generate a lot of video. It's not really all that expensive and many creative agencies, advertisers, and marketers could probably find loads of reasons to use it and pop for the Commercial level. Imagine you've got a creative lead in New York, production crew in LA, voice actor in Seattle and project manager in Europe, no problem with WeVideo. That's the real power of it all right there. No more massive FTP servers and all that.
WeVideo's Future is VeWe Bright
Holy Elmer Fudd moment there. Anyway, in talking with Jostein I got some hints into what the future could hold. Some of it stemmed from some questions I had like user access levels (could be a future implementation), an online marketplace of royalty free and paid content in both audio and video. There may even be a marketplace where you could create and sell or search and buy all manner of content from transitions to sound effects and more. Hopefully, they'll also read this article and consider FTP or server-to-server transfers because that would be of massive use to many of us in the future.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to hunt wabbits…ehehehehee, no I mean, edit up some other videos.