LumaFusion is one of the most powerful NLEs for the iPhone and iPad available today. It's packed with well-designed and thoughtful features that can turn your mobile into your editing powerhouse. That being said, it can be pretty overwhelming for new editors because of the high level of functionality. In this tutorial, we'll cover some of the main features to lay the groundwork and get you comfortable editing using this software.
Getting Started With LumaTouch
A nice feature of this mobile NLE is that you can edit in either landscape or portrait mode. I recommend using landscape—you'll get much for screen real estate to use.
Open up LumaTouch and you'll be greeted with a prompt reading, "Press + to create your first project." Go ahead and press the plus button and name your project, as well as selecting the frame rate and frame aspect (the dimensions of your footage).
The LumaTouch interface is broken up into three parts. Starting at the top left, we have the browser, which is where you'll be able to add all your media and files. Moving over to the top right, we have the playback display, where you can monitor your edits. Lastly along the bottom is our timeline, which is where pretty much all your edits will be performed.
Bear in mind that this layout is fully customizable using the design icon along the bottom (third from the right). It's a great feature to have in any NLE, but especially when screen real estate is so valuable. In this tutorial, though, I'll be doing everything in the default view.
As mentioned before, the browser is the window you'll want to use when importing your media. If you've been playing around with different layouts and no longer have access to it, bring back the default layout and you're good to go (the top left option is the design layout menu).
Using the browser, you can find the media you'd like to bring into the timeline. This is organized in a similar way to the Camera/Photo app on your phone. If you don't see the file you need, it could be because you saved it to another location. If that's the case, click on the icon on the top left of the browser, and you'll be able to navigate your files and even access them if they are located within another app.
Once you find your clip, select it and you'll see it appear within the playback viewer. If you're happy with importing the entire clip to your timeline, the next step is to select the third icon from the right, under the playback section, to drop it down into your timeline.
If you'd like to trim your clip, you can do so in a very similar way to the camera app—by moving the yellow bars on either side of the clip until you are happy. Then bring it down into the timeline.
If you can, this is a great time to bring in all the clips you know you'll be using. LumaTouch lets you have six video tracks with connected audio, as well as an additional six audio tracks.
The first thing you'll want do is check your clips to make sure the audio is synced. There's no reason that it shouldn't be, but it's a good thing to check.
Next, we want to decide where our start will be. Try zooming in using your two fingers on the timeline to get a more accurate read of the clip. I find the best way to do this is to tap and gently swipe on the clip to find the position, rather than using the play button. When you find your position, make sure your clip is selected and tap on the scissors icon, which will split the clip. You can delete the unwanted clip by selecting it and tapping the trashcan icon.
There's usually more than one way to do a task in an editor, so if you'd like to try something different, you can hit Undo twice to bring you back to your original clip. Next, you'll see a white arrow at the start of the clip. Tap, hold, and drag it to the desired position. You can continue by using this method on all your clips to start building out your timeline.
Overlaying B-Roll (Punch-ins and Second Camera)
Adding additional footage is a great way to make a video more engaging. For example, a talking head can definitely be good enough for an interview, but let's say the scene is more dynamic and the subject picks up a phone in shot. Having a second clip capturing the action can really make a clip feel more professional.
To do this, go back to your browser, select the clip you'd like to overlay, and trim it if needed before you bring it into the timeline. This time, instead of hitting the import button that we used before, simply drag and drop the clip to the track above your main timeline and adjust the position using the same techniques described before. This creates a new video layer that will automatically be shown as the priority.
To add a title, select the plus icon from below, and select Overlay Title. This will add text to your timeline that you can position and adjust the same as any other media.
To edit your text further, e.g. picking what the words say, you simply double-tap to pull up your editing parameters. Here, you'll find tons of amazing templates and features that you can scroll through and preview by tapping on an option.
Once you've found the style you like, double-tap on the title in the preview to change the text further. Here you can change the words, the font, colour, opacity, size, how the text is justified, and more. Moving the placement of your text is very user-friendly and kind of fun. To adjust the placement, tap and drag the text to the desired position.
Using all the features available really allows you to dial in and choose the exact style you are going for. Now head back by tapping the back button at the top left.
Adding a transition allows you to smooth out a cut by giving it a bit more flair. Remember that odd icon that we used to locate our media and that's part of the browser section? Click that and select Transitions. There are a lot to choose from, and you can preview them by tapping on each one in turn.
Applying a transition is a simple matter of selecting the asset and dragging and dropping it between your chosen clips.
If you're filming talking heads and you'd like to fake having a second camera, you can do that by adjusting the framing of your clip. Double-tap on the clip you'd like to change. This opens up a Video Properties panel. There are a lot of options here, but in this tutorial, all we'll do is adjust the framing. Select Size and Position, and "pinch" the image to zoom in. This might take a few attempts to get it just right, but that's par for the course with most things. Now you can head back to your timeline and preview your changes.
Adding and Adjusting Audio
You can find Music in the same menu where we found the transitions. From here, you simply navigate to where you store your music on the device. There is a chance you won't see this option. I don't think it is there by default, but adding it is as simple as going to the bottom of the list and selecting Add/Edit Sources. From there, you just have to drag music from Available to In-Use, and you're good to go.
After finding your clip, you can drag and drop to anywhere on the timeline. As with everything else in LumaTouch, you can easily tap and hold to pick it up and move it around, as well as adjusting the length the same way as you would a video clip.
Adjusting the audio's level is the next step. Again, there are a couple of ways to go about this. The most direct way is to select the white line that runs through all your clips and use that method to lower or increase the volume. Another method is to open up the meters by selecting the icon along the bottom and adjusting the individual audio levels from here. There is one other method, and it's my least favourite: You can double-tap on your track and select the Frame and Fit icon, and from there you can adjust the selection's level.
A tip for getting your volume levels right is to adjust your main video's audio first and make your changes in relationship to that. Without a reference, you can easily get a video that sounds very unbalanced. Also, try to avoid your audio peaking by going into the red zone—doing this prevents your tracks from clipping. I like to aim for the middle to high areas of the light green, and you can even allow your clip to get into the yellow area.
Thanks for following along! LumaFusion is a powerful piece of kit to have in your arsenal. In this tutorial, we went over some of the more basic features with the intention of gradually building your skills and understanding of the software. Feel free to follow along as we continue to explore mobile video editing.
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