Tim: Your company WeVideo is doing something I wouldn’t have thought possible a few years ago, which is you are editing video on the web. Can you explain how that could work?
Jostein: Exactly. So the interesting thing you are completely right - this wasn’t possible a few years ago because the bandwidth wasn’t there, and also the cloud computing wasn’t mature as a technology. But now with the latest web technologies and so on, we have been able to build a very powerful video editing platform which is in the cloud - it is easier to use, and it is even faster and more powerful than many of the desktop counterparts.
So to give you a quick demo here: Just like if you have done any video editing before you are used to seeing the content of what you want to edit, you have a preview window, and down here we have a storyboard. This is a simple editor we are showing right here. So it means that anybody who maybe have never done a video before, they can very quickly get started with this. You see here a sequence of some video clips. I can rearrange them.
I can even shorten them, just like changing where the start and the finish is of the video, and so on. It is also very easy to add on audio to this, if you want to add music, we have a music library with more than 400 songs, so you go and select which music you want for this, and this is now attached to the video. Then you set play and then you can actually have a look at the video that you have been putting together.
We also have what we call themes. And this is great for beginners who have never done video before. Because you don’t need to worry about color corrections, about transitions and effects. So to some extent, we are doing for video exactly the same Instagram did for photos.
So here, if you want to have a like film noir, or a vintage film, you are just going to say which theme you want to have. And you just hit play and you’ll see automatically that it will transform the look and feel of the video to look like a vintage video. And the same with the music. The music is now also fitting with the style of the video.
Then when you finish the project you just go and give it a title: ‘We Are at Google IO’. And then you can publish it, you can select which resolution you want to publish it in; we support both DVD quality, high definition all the way to 1080p high definition or full HD as some people call it. And you can export out to the WeVideo platform, YouTube, Vimeo, and also save down to Dropbox and Google Drive.
Tim: Now speaking of Dropbox and Google Drive, video takes a lot of space. How do you deal with the transfer of files, and the storage of files?
Jostein: Yes. So that’s the beautiful part of it. That is if you first have stored your videos up in the cloud already, like for instance Dropbox they have a feature to automatically take all of your photos and videos from your cameras and push it up to the cloud. If it is already there, you don’t need to transfer them again.
You will see here, we a direct connection between WeVideo and your cloud storage, Google Drive, Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, Dropbox, Picasa and Box. And so you can retrieve it cloud to cloud. And that happens in a matter of seconds. So you don’t need to spend a lot of time waiting for it to upload. And it is the same when you are exporting out, and saving out to YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox and Google Drive.
It is so much faster, you could publish from our service which is set on Amazon Cloud, than it would be to publish from your own computer. So this is a simple UI, but then what’s interesting is that as you become more advanced, if you want more advanced features, we have two other user interfaces - so we have what we call as simple timeline interface and an advanced timeline interface.
And when you switch to the advanced timeline you get unlimited layers of video, and unlimited layers of audio, and then you can start to create very sophisticated video projects. So let’s say, I want to go and grab another video, I want to put it on another layer, on top of the other, I can even change the transparency, so it will blend the two videos together, I can go and change the size of the video, and I can move where the video is on the screen –this video was actually a little bit dark, a bit difficult to see.
But you will see now, when they start playing you will see the videos are blending into each other. And it is all rendered in real time. So there is no waiting time that you normally would experience on a desktop video editor.
Tim: Now in storing all these files elsewhere, either Dropbox or another online storage system, what does the user actually manipulate? That is, the files are big, but you don’t want to send that over network all the time?
Jostein: No. Exactly. So the secret of the performance of our system, and the reason why it works so well even on a Chromebook even on a $250 Chromebook is that the [fonts] you are working with here, is in a preview format. It is low resolution proxy files. So that means the high definition files stay up in the cloud, while it only takes 2 percent of the original size on to your computer. So it means that you can have very good performance in your editing on the tablet, on the $250 Chromebook, or even on your mobile phone.
Tim: What does it cost to use the server?
Jostein: So it is starting from free; we have a freemium service for free; you get 5 gigabits of storage, you get 15 minutes of video, and 480p DVD quality resolution. If you want to upgrade to high definition, longer videos and so on, it starts at $5 a month.
Tim: Now this is a Flash application?
Jostein: This one is Flash, but what we are now showing here at Google IO is the new generation of our software which is all going to run in open standards HTML5 and WebGL. We are just in the middle of that development project right now but we are just showcasing here, you will see that we have a touchscreen interface, it is very easy to use, and you can move things around just as I showed you before, but all of this is actually in HTML5 so it runs across many different devices, more than we had before in Flash.
Tim: One other question. What sort of output format can you export once you are finished and you are happy with the video? Can you export to a number of different kinds of final output?
Jostein: You can. So our system is taking almost any format in, but specifically, what happens is that when you say you want to publish it, we are publishing out to the YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox and Google Drive, you are typically using H264.
Tim: Anything else people should know about this?
Jostein: It is available. Go and start using it. And it is across mobile phones, Chromebooks, Macs, PC and it is good to get started and having fun with it.
Jostein: Thank you.