Ever wish that there was a kind of Instagram for video? Not the sharing part – I still think that’s wrong for video – but the filters part. There are a metric frak-load of photo-processing apps for the iPhone and iPad, but precious few for grungifying your videos. Thankfully, that just changed. With an update and a complete redesign, VideoGrade is now an essential app for iOS videographers.
Pro photographers might generally shy away from excessive processing of their pictures, but in movies, its an art form of its own. It’s called “grading,” and it’s what gives movies their feel and their atmosphere. And VideoGrade 2 will let you do the same on your iPad.
When I tried to buy the app I found it I’d already purchased it long ago, which meant I got it free. The interface has been so revamped that it feels like a new app – fresh, clean and easy to use. It is also surprisingly powerful. Along with the usuals like contrast, exposure, saturation and vibrance, you can tweak brightness (in the shadows, highlights and mid-tones separately), plus recovery, color temperature (white balance) and vignetting.
It’s so good that I wish some of these tools were available for stills.
All of these are great, but the addition of tints (applicable to shadows, highlights and mid-tones again), B&W filters and a proper channel mixer (which lets you adjust the RG&B inputs for each of the color output channels – it’s a pro tool that I don’t understand as well as the others) turn the app into something that will let you fix all kinds of color problems as well as grading your footage. There’s even an on-screen histogram, or highlight-warning overlay, or a before/after split-screen comparison.
It’s so good, in fact, that I wish some of the tools were available for stills (you can export any frame as a still to your camera roll, but it’s hardly the same thing). And – get this – you can save your settings as presets, ready to apply to other clips.
You can also trim clips before export, which cuts down on render time (the previews are instant – -the render takes a while, depending on the age of your iDevice) and also lets you do a quick first pass on your footage, trimming it into editable chunks before moving on to an app like iMovie.
Output data rates, frame rates and resolution can also be chosen on import, and the in-app help is clear and concise. Import is from the camera roll, so if you shot it on your iDevice, or you can get it into your iPad in a playable form (X100S video imported via camera connection kit works just fine) then you’re good to go.
I love it when one app comes along which is so clearly better than the rest that I can delete a whole folder’s worth of nearly-rans from my iPad. VideoGrade is one of those apps. It’s hard to believe it’s just $5, and Universal.