Video Editing On Google’s Cloud

I wrote about the possibilities of doing video editing in the cloud a few months ago on this post.  Jaycut has folded and started work on projects for the Blackberry platform.  Creaza is still around and offers many tools for people to collaborate on creative projects.


Google Drive

Google hosts a terrific array of cloud-computing applications.  It has all the tools needed to create a successful production from start to finish.  Google Drive replaced Google Docs, a web-based office application suite.  It’s great for writing scripts and ideas for pre-production.  Other production members are allowed to access all the documents and edit them at their convenience.

WeVideo epitomizes my dream of video editing the cloud.  It recently merged with Google Drive and has all the features to create a successful video project.  You can shoot your project, upload the files to Google Drive, and edit it on the WeVideo cloud platform.  Google Drive acts as the scratch disk that stores all your media.

Looking on the bright side 

  • Eliminating the need for hard drives.  Hard drives can fail.  People tend to misplace them.  It’s better to have video files in the cloud rather than on a physical object that’s prone to breakage.
  • No need for high-end editing computers.  Video editing demands a computer that can handle HD footage.  Expect to spend a few thousand dollars on a good laptop or desktop computer if you want to edit smoothly.
  • It takes a good team of production experts to deliver professional videos.  Working in the cloud allows for collaboration without the need to actually meet face-to-face.
  • The full-feature video editor looks organized.  WeVideo boasts that rendering times are faster than any desktop computer.
  • WeVideo takes it one step further with animations, transitions, effects, filters, color correction, and royalty-free music.  It can save you hundreds of dollars on third-party software such as Red Giant and other paid plugins for Final Cut and Adobe Premiere.
  • Support for all file formats.  Since the video footage is in the cloud, there is no need for specific file formats.  WeVideo converts it to their own codecs.
  • Sharing on social media outlets.  WeVideo allows you to export your video directly to social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitter.  It can be compressed for the web, or exported to HD 1080p.
  • WeVideo’s mobile feature allows you to add media to your account.
All the features mentioned above sound great, bu can it work perfectly in the real world?  I’ve tested out WeVideo, and I think it’s still a long ways away from being professional-grade software.  WeVideo would be a great product for someone who’s starting out, or for people who can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on editing software.

The reality of editing in the cloud

  • It’s slow.  The first thing I did was import media into the video editor.  I’m on a broadband connection, but uploading 27 MB of footage took about ten minutes…  This first hiccup is a reason I won’t switch over to WeVideo just yet.  Importing footage into FCP or Adobe takes less than a minute.  I know I’ll spend a lot of time rendering when the project’s finished, but I don’t want to spend any time importing video before I even start editing.
  • The canvas.  Again, it’s slow.  Viewing the video in the canvas makes me wait a few minutes.  In FCP/Adobe, it’s instantaneous.
  • It lags often.  Dropping and dragging media slows down the computer.
  • WeVideo’s filters and color correction tools are no where near as great as the ones you find in FCP, Adobe, and Red Giant.  You can’t create flying particles or dramatic titles without them.
  • No third party plugin support.  One of the great features about professional editing software is that you can buy more filters, generators, and plugins that allow for more creativity.
  • It’s not intuitive.  It took me a while to get used to the interface, and then I gave up after ten minutes of trying.  The interface is too simple, reminding me of amateur editing software such as iMovie.
  • It’s 100 percent dependent on Internet connection.  If the Internet connection goes down, there goes your project.  You won’t be able to access your project if you can’t get to the Internet.

The dream has yet to be realized…

It’s going to take a few decades for video editing and the cloud to reach its full potential, if that’s even possible.  In a perfect world, I can run Final Cut Pro and Adobe from my browser and still be able to do complicated video editing.  In other words, I want to eliminate the need for high-end desktops and MacBook Pros.  WeVideo will suffice for a novice with little money and resources.  It is possible to crank out a good video using minimal tools, but only if the editor is patient enough.  WeVideo is great for people who are getting started in video editing.

There are both pros and cons to editing in the cloud or off the cloud.  For now, I would stick to expensive software.  Saving thousands of dollars on video editing doesn’t do much for me if I’m on editing on a tight deadline.  In this industry, you really do get what you pay for.

1 comment

  1. In the real world, uploading 8.5 GBs of footage doesn’t work.
    Spending 16 hours editing on a remote server while trusting that it is secure and that your hard work won’t be accessed by hackers doesn’t work.
    Trusting that the people running the organization are actually doing their job regarding due diligence doesn’t work.
    In short, cloud computing is not secure and not somewhere to put work that you wouldn’t leave lying around on the sidewalk. Therefore cloud computing in the real world doesn’t work. It is a gimmick at this stage in development.

Leave a Reply