Friday, March 1, 2013

POV | Whoa! Vimeo Goes "Instagramish"!

Is the whole visual world going Hipstamatic & Instagramish???
Vimeo, which in my view, is the best video-sharing website available at the moment, has just added a new feature called Looks in its video Enhancer which provides its users over 500 professional-looking (and some not so much) filters that can be applied to videos for instant and stylistic visual effects.
Vimeo film makers and users can now preview a filter on a single frame of their uploaded video and compare it with their original footage before choosing whether to apply it or not. The intensity of a filter can also be adjusted using a slider, potentially giving the ability of the user to avoid the over-done look of Instagram and Hipstamatic filters.
Looks is available for free to all Vimeo users over the next 90 days. It’s likely to become a paid feature for both Vimeo Plus and Vimeo PRO subscribers.
I've tested it with one of my favorite video...Cafe Dao, made in Hoi An. I chose the Old Black & White filter, and although I think it might be a little too dark, it adds a welcome visual feel to the story of the elderly couple. I haven't decreased the intensity of the filter, and left at it's maximum level. With filters, one has to remember that less is better.
A word of does take a while to enhance a 3-4 minute video. I don't know if it was because the feature was just announced thus generating a lot of traffic to Vimeo's site, but it took about an hour to enhance Cafe Dao video you see above. And then a little more to convert it to HD. 
The new Looks feature is being powered by Vivoom, a new cloud-based video enhancer that can be customized and integrated by its partners such as Vimeo.

From the comments I've read on the various websites that carried this news, the reactions are mixed. Retro filters are not universally liked by purists and others...but my feel is that many will reconsider, especially as the intensity of the filters can be adjusted.

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