Since its 2017 debut on the App Store, LumaFusion has gone on to win Apple awards, including app of the year. The app is held in such high esteem primarily because it has an innovative design that's easy to navigate. You can do a lot on this app with just a few taps, which is something you rarely say about video editing.
As great as it is, LumaFusion's makers are taking the app to the next level, offering multi-cam support in an impending update. There's also the promise of iPadOS 16, with its new Stage Manager feature, allowing you to connect your iPad to an external display. Seems like a deal when you consider LumaFusion's price of $29.99 / £25.99 / AU$34.99.
With all this in mind, TechRadar spoke to LumaTouch co-founders Terri Morgan and Chris Demiris about where things presently stand with LumaFusion, and how iPadOS 16 might shake up workflows for the app's users.
Could LumaFusion benefit from Stage Manager?
Bringing an external monitor into the mix, iPadOS 16's Stage Manager will provide users with a new way to multitask on the tablet. We asked Morgan and Demiris if the new feature might also change how LumaFusion can be used.
"Stage Manager will definitely enhance some multi-app workflows. Many of our users go back and forth between apps to create content and bring it into LumaFusion, grabbing text to use in titles, or editing an image in Procreate," Demiris explains.
"LumaFusion can currently display the HDMI output of the preview on an external monitor, but with Stage Manager, there is additional external display support for having a part of the UI on a second monitor, opening up some great new capabilities – for example, having clip editor, keyframing, or info panel shown on the second monitor while still being able to work in the timeline," Morgan says. "But we want to make sure that our design of these features doesn’t take away from the great, simple, single-task focus, and [the] touch interface ... important [parts] of the iPad and LumaFusion."
Since Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference is primarily a software event showcasing updates that might help developers and their apps, we asked Demiris and Morgan if any API updates were a highlight for them.
"We’re definitely excited about the Reference Mode for HDR editing on iPad Pros. In fact, LumaFusion was featured in one of the WWDC videos related to this (at 3:45)," both point out. "As was demonstrated, when using Reference Mode, LumaFusion becomes an even more powerful tool for our users. With Reference Mode activated, HDR video in combination with our upcoming video scopes feature will soon make color-critical workflows even more powerful on iPad Pro and LumaFusion."
WWDC 2022 reactions
Plenty of updates were announced during WWDC 2022, from the lock screen in iOS 16, to Stage Manager in macOS Ventura and iPadOS 16. But we asked Morgan and Demiris what they were looking forward to the most. "I’m personally most excited about the Shared Photo Library. That’s always been a pain point for my family," Demiris says. "Also, the Freeform app should be a great tool for note-taking and quick sketches."
"Looking at the overall announcements from WWDC, we are very pleased to see Apple’s continued push toward more professional capabilities for iPad. The LumaFusion development team is an eager consumer of the technologies they’ve announced," Morgan shares.
"For us, these announcements are validation that we’re on the right track – focusing on the development of more pro-level features in the LumaFusion iOS app, such as Video Scopes (waveform, vectorscope, and histogram), applying multiple LUTs, Multicam syncing and switching, advanced keyframing with temporal and spatial curves, subtitling and more," Morgan exclaims. "We see that our greatest opportunity is to keep pace with iOS as it grows and matures."
LumaFusion on other platforms?
To flip to the other side of the coin, LumaFusion will soon be available on Android. We asked both founders how development was going so far.
"Developing for Android is definitely a challenge, one that requires an entirely separate development team. It’s basically rebuilding LumaFusion from scratch, but on a completely different OS, with different strengths and limitations," Morgan confesses. "But we’re pleased to say that the development team is hitting its internal goals on our roadmap and a shipping date is also coming into clearer view. We're on track for a 2022 release."
With Android apps being made available on Windows 11– thanks to the Amazon App Store – we wondered if we might also see LumaFusion for Windows devices. "It’s certainly possible, and something we will be testing. Because this adds new drivers for hardware and another layer of translation to run Android apps, it will require additional testing and possible changes to support this fully," Morgan says.
Upcoming features are on their way
A big feature that was showcased in 2021 was Multicam, where you could switch between different cameras during an edit more easily than in say, iMovie, or Final Cut. We asked Morgan and Demiris how this feature's development was going, and if we might soon see it in a LumaFusion update.
"The Multicam workflow was originally revealed to the world as a tech demo at the Apple Event in 2021, to demonstrate the power of the new M1 iPads," they both share. "It has been a long journey to get it right, and design and develop the feature to address the number of distinct ways that people want to use Multicam – from syncing a video and audio clip together for basic editing, to switching between interview cameras, to switching full-on music video productions to a separate master music clip."
Multicam is something that Morgan and Demiris are eager to share with their users, and it's a feature they want to get perfectly right before it arrives in a future update.
"LumaFusion Multicam is an entirely new approach; some would say - and have said - it's the way Multicam should be. But it’s always been one of our core values to only deliver a product when we know it’s right and meets our standards," Demiris confesses.
Multicam currently looks as though it has been redesigned in such a way that it will also help those using LumaFusion discover new workflows.
"The good news is, the engineering team recently cleared some major development hurdles, one of which included a significant retooling of the Multicam architecture to meet the new workflows we identified through user testing," Morgan and Demiris explain. "This architecture is basically the platform upon which every workflow feature within Multicam is defined and built, and has a big impact on whether particular workflows we’ve designed are possible."
With the breakthrough in Multicam, we asked Morgan and Demiris when users should expect Multicam to arrive.
"We expect to begin external beta testing after v3.1 and Scopes are released, and we can now see a much clearer path to releasing Multicam."
Finally, with an upcoming update of LumaFusion, we asked Morgan and Demiris whether other features, such as Scope, could be coming soon. "We're putting the finishing touches on a LumaFusion 3.1 update release. This release includes the highly-anticipated Video Scopes feature, which will be included as a free update for current users," Morgan shares.
"There will be a lot more in this 3.1 update, like the ability to add multiple LUTs (Look Up Table) to any clip [and to] reorder audio effects; and many more workflow enhancements – all as a free update," Demiris continues. "We'll be formally announcing version 3.1 and sharing the details on our social media channels soon, so stay tuned for that as well. We’re very excited for what’s coming next!"
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Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.