Luma Fusion iOS App


Every now and then, an app comes along that changes your workflow.

For years, the easiest way to create movies was to use iMovie for Mac.  Sorry, Windows users (I was one), but Windows Movie Maker didn’t cut it.  Chromebook friends, WeVideo is NOT in the same league.

A lot of my energy has been put into making ukulele play along videos over the last month.  I owe a lot to the ukulele–it has reignited my passion for and interest in music.  It has allowed me to tweak my choir program at school to make the program slightly more interesting to more students.  And it has given me the opportunity to flex my musical brain, from creating arrangements to analyzing audio tracks for chord progressions, to modulating keys of audio files, to creating play along videos.

In the midst of some very dark years of teaching, the ukulele has truly been a ray of sunshine in my world.  (And yes, I’ll point you to this fun play along video that I put together: https://youtu.be/tZOzIAn2FAo).

The process of making these videos has been in a state of flux for me.  As of late, I create lyric and chord slides in Keynote, time them to the audio, export that as a movie, bring the movie into iMovie where I then re-sync audio and add a transparent PNG for a “bouncing ball.”  I had to do almost all of this work on my Mac, as iOS apps wouldn’t allow it…and iMovie on iOS is crippled versus its desktop version.

[Incidentally, Apple has made movie making even simpler and less complex with Clips…whereas I would want to see iMovie add more functionality.]

Last night, 9 to 5 Mac had a feature on Luma Fusion, which brings nearly the full spectrum of video editing to iOS.  The video capability that I wanted to use is to be able to add a transparent PNG file to a video, and then position that PNG file anywhere on the screen.  It wasn’t straightforward in the app’s listed capabilities, but spending a little time on their forum showed that the app could do that.  It was a $20 app…but I had a gift card, so I bought it.

While I did play around with the app a little last night, I went to work this morning.  I understand that I’m a little faster with technology than the average bear–so when I use a new software package, the amount of time that I have to spend to learn it–or the amount of time that I find myself frustrated–yields itself three or four times for the average user.  

What I found out was that I could make an entire ukulele play along video on my iPad.  In some ways, with better results than my previous videos.  Check it out: https://youtu.be/AM__0nYC_n4

Some general observations:

1) If you know how to edit a movie in iMovie, editing in Luma Fusion is very similar.

2) I was amazed to be able to make multiple font text overlays, and then to be able to make a template of that overlay…saving me a lot of time making slides

3) Cut and paste (lyrics) is still a mess on the iPad (not Luma Fusion‘s fault).  Maybe iOS 11 will fix this.

4) There are some things missing in Luma Fusion that will make my life easier in the future.  I couldn’t copy and paste a series of existing PNG images…meaning that every one had to be cloned and dragged.  This will change in the future.  I also missed iMovie’s default behavior of placing a transition on every PIP (picture in picture) image…and had to apply those manually.  This will also be addressed in the future by Luma Fusion.  There are currently no alignment guides.  They are coming in the future.  There is no iCloud Drive integration…and this, too, will come in the future.  I can work without any of these.  It will be nice to have all of them.

5) I had a couple of questions and feature requests for the developer.  They responded very quickly.

6) The iPad makes working with transparent PNG files a bit of a challenge…it can be done.

Overall, I am shocked right now…I have one less reason to use my MacBook…and once again, a small development team creates a program that large companies cannot.  I love that aspect of the App Store.

Do you do any video editing?  Or do you have any interest in making a ukulele play along video?  If so, check out Luma Fusion for $20.  It is an incredible app.  I did not receive a trial version of this software, and hours after starting to work with the app, I am pleased with the purchase.

P.S.  The company’s name is Luma Touch…the app is called Luma Fusion.

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