New take on editing system interfaces

marks27 wrote on 7/8/2009, 11:49 PM
Apologies is this has been posted before, but just came across a different take on editing interfaces.

click here

Not sure exactly how practical it is at this point, but worth a look.

It has long been held that software and interface development has not kept up with the pace of hardware development. This does show a definite alternative approach and way of thinking.


ushere wrote on 7/9/2009, 2:57 AM
reminds me of the first time i sat down with dynatech's e=mc2. wow!

i somehow think there's a fair degree of smoke (literally) and mirrors to the demo. though.

what happens when you give it the finger? it self-destructs? it destructs you?

actually, with the films hollywood's producing in general, it could probably do a better job of them on it's own.....

Jay Gladwell wrote on 7/9/2009, 4:12 AM

First things first...

I always enjoy seeing one of my favorite character actors, Jack Elam.

"Not sure exactly how practical it is at this point..."

I'd have to agree. Granted, early technology is quite often questionable, but that went far beyond "editing software." Can you do what he did with just a cursor and any NLE?

Can you imagine a flip-flop? What if their approach had been first--what if their approach was what we were using today? Then someone comes along and presents a "new" concept saying: "We've taken a room-full of gear--multiple lasers, bulky projectors, mirrored tables--even the room itself, and reduced it all down to fit on your desk! No more gloves, no more flailing your hands and dancing about. Now you can sit comfortably in your chair and, with one hand, move about the interface using a mouse and a cursor."

Another than the "cool factor" (coming from its being so "different"), I really don't find it that interesting or even "practical." I'm confident such a set up would be incredibly expensive, even once it was in mass production.

Alternative approach? Yes! Better approach? I'm not convinced, not yet.

MPM wrote on 7/9/2009, 7:21 AM

It's always been a widespread goal to reduce, & as much as possible eliminate the technical aspects of artistry & creativity, so everyone could contribute. It's also always been opposed by those who have mastered the current way of doing things -- perhaps too bluntly, it makes them less special. From a marketing standpoint it boils down to increasing potential customer base, as with Microsoft Publisher, vs. inflating prices to your shrinking base, who obligingly thought of it as keeping out the riff raff, as with most things Adobe, i.e. Pagemaker when Publisher came out [till they realized to survive they needed the Elements versions].

It's in essence blogging versus developing a career after a degree in journalism.

It's Youtube vs. Sundance.

At any rate, we'll all get a hint of whether our mice & tablets & controls really are necessary soon enough with the new Xbox, where you won't need the gloves, or some wii-type controller -- you don't use them with your iPhones. 1st Nintendo & now Microsoft -- you best believe Sony's watching.
Former user wrote on 7/9/2009, 7:25 AM
Sheesh, I didn't go into TV to exercise. I got into because there was no physical labor involved. :)

Dave T2
Editguy43 wrote on 7/9/2009, 8:26 AM
I can hear it now " I just edited a movie and MAN are my arms tired"
Looks kinda cool but impractical way to much physical movement my hand and arms get tired just using a mouse and keyboard and they dont move much..
If that is the future I wil stay a OLD time editor.

Paul B
rs170a wrote on 7/9/2009, 8:51 AM
What got me was his line (about the 51 sec. mark) that means that everyone is almost instantly an expert.
With all these experts, I guess we should forget about editing as a career :-)

Jay Gladwell wrote on 7/9/2009, 8:59 AM

"What got me was his line (about the 51 sec. mark) that means that everyone is almost instantly an expert."

Yes, I heard, too--struck me as odd. Didn't quite catch what he meant by it, but since when has a "system" made anyone an "expert"?

rs170a wrote on 7/9/2009, 9:06 AM
...since when has a "system" made anyone an "expert"?

Remember when desktop publishing made everyone a printing expert?

Jay Gladwell wrote on 7/9/2009, 9:07 AM

Right, Mike. There are those few who are a legend in their own mind.

rs170a wrote on 7/9/2009, 9:38 AM
Those that can, DO.
Those that can't, ____________
You fill in the blank :-)

Former user wrote on 7/9/2009, 9:59 AM
"Those that can't , buy more toys.

Dave T2
MPM wrote on 7/9/2009, 10:18 AM
"With all these experts, I guess we should forget about editing as a career :-)"

Well, there are quite a few journalists today still wondering what happened. ;?P

IMHO quality will always win out, BUT, the trick is selling the person signing the check.
"since when has a "system" made anyone an "expert"?"

Playing Devil's Advocate for a second, flip that: since when has access & mastery of a system made someone talented &/or creative?
"Remember when desktop publishing made everyone a printing expert?"

True, but... DTP took quite a bit of work from then pros, then turned around & got trumped by DIY...
I remember when Vegas 1st came out, IT lowered barriers to pro video editing significantly. ;-)

Gesture based control might still turn out to be something best left to iPhones... Wacom for years thought their holy grail was development of tech that finally resulted in tablet PCs -- despite an awful lot of adverts, most of the world could still care less. Gestures might become the norm for working with PCs, or like voice recognition, which should have meant everyone can use a PC out of the box, not.

Stats today say a whole lot of people would rather watch poorly done, but creative video on YouTube, than extremely well done, but uninteresting productions. Cost & distro are not the barriers they once were, & if something like this, packaged with the right software cuts the learning curve so more folks are willing to give it a shot, well... they will. If it makes it more fun, maybe just for the WOW factor, more people will try editing. And if it reaches some sort of critical mass, might even be looking eventually at something like what happened with web developers... You can still do well, & you certainly can still make a living, but you need more than a biz card to be successful. And those successfully doing web design &/or development have had to up their game.

When/If that happens, having to raise one's game is not entirely a bad thing.
rmack350 wrote on 7/9/2009, 11:33 AM

If you boil it down to accessibility to the masses then maybe your point is appealing. What people often yearn for is a way to do complicated things without having to have skill, knowledge, or talent. They want magic wands and psychic powers.

Unfortunately, that's not really the way it ever works. We get better tools and better technologies that make life easier and extend our capabilities, but sometimes some of the new tools aren't better at all.

Take voice recognition as an example. Sounds great and who wouldn't want to be able to just tell their computer what to do verbally? Except when you walk into an office building or library or classroom and imagine every one of those people having to talk to their computer, every one of them getting frustrated and talking louder, and pretty soon every one of them is shouting at their computer and maybe shaking it too. There are times when voice recognition is appropriate and times when it's not.

The fact that most people know how to wave their arms around doesn't mean that an arm-waving interface is democratizing. Arm-waving won't help you write a script, draw up a crew list, meet payroll, etc. Chances are pretty high that it also won't help you log a thousand clips.

Nevertheless, it's worth trying to develop these things. Voice recognition will never take off in computerized accounting but it's great as an interface to a cell phone or a call center. You don't develop those new applications without trying and sometimes failing. Wasted effort is sometimes good.

Rob Mack
je@on wrote on 7/9/2009, 1:38 PM
There's a big difference between knowing how to run a system and knowing how to edit a film.
Former user wrote on 7/9/2009, 2:37 PM
He talks about introducing physicality into video and film production. That's a nice idea, and certainly some good spin considering the "Wii generation."

That said, I've always thought of a video before I ever see it. It's so much more about the vision. The whole touch/drag thing is interesting, but I'll take this opportunity to paraphrase the great Oscar Petersen, who was a brilliant musician and composer. When he got his first Synclavier he was thrilled with everything it could do, but it turned him into a producer, and that's NOT what he wanted. So while he used it, he said it changed his approach to music - and the loss of that creative purity is not to be taken lightly.

Would this kind of technology make a difference? I dunno, by the time this is practical, retinal scan technology with speech commands might be just as practical; "move the second guy on the left to the collage" etc. How awkward would it be to have a "touch edit suite" when others are already migrating to "speech and eye scan" edit suites.

What's new now could easily be superceded by something coming slightly behind and in parallel.

In the end, it's a neat idea (and again, with the popularity of the Wii and Microsoft's touch platform) but at this point I'd call it a conjectural interface. Besides, you still have to do all the ugly colour touch up work, and audio work. Eyes and ears are still necessary...doesn't matter how much of anything you touch or wave your arms in the air.

Besides, with all that hand movement, I could knock over my beer. And THAT gives one serious pause for thought.
marks27 wrote on 7/9/2009, 5:37 PM
Indeed, for NLE I think the interface is impractical, at least at the moment.

But somewhere that I could see this as being cool might be in the world of the VJ. Being able to mix video like a DJ mixes music at a rave, at think the idea has some real potential there.

>>>Besides, with all that hand movement, I could knock over my beer. And THAT gives one serious pause for thought. <<<

That's why I always place my beer on that nifty little cup holder that pops out of the front of my computer case.

rmack350 wrote on 7/9/2009, 6:09 PM
Mark, have you ever looked at the CreateDigitalMotion site?

It's a great site for VJ stuff. I totally agree that this sort of interface would lend itself to performances. I was mainly thinking "dance" while I was dissing it.


Chienworks wrote on 7/9/2009, 6:48 PM
I saw two completely different things being demonstrated, and i found it a bit misleading that they were presented together with no distinction made.

1) the hand motion interface

2) the nifty new video masking and compositing effects

I think they did a disservice to themselves by not distinguishing between them. For one thing, they made it look like a toy rather than a tool. They didn't show us something practical and useful being solved. They also didn't show us more than a very tiny range of uses for the technology.

For another, the masking & compositing effects really could stand out on their own and receive a huge WOW!!! even when used with a mouse and keyboard. But, it didn't really show us anything about putting together useful video.
ushere wrote on 7/9/2009, 7:13 PM

that's what i was getting at with my 'smoke' and mirrors line....

to simply point at an object in a video and pluck it out from it's background..... yeah, dream on. what would all those chineses and indian clipping agencies do then!

Jay Gladwell wrote on 7/10/2009, 7:01 AM

Kelly, you hit the nail on the head with your observations. That's why I was left with the "ho-hum" feeling... "Just another toy that will come and go."