Art filter photo app Prisma Update is including a big new feature to its iOS app in an updated landing today: support for videos.
The app, which allows people turn their selfies into cartoonies by using deep learning algorithms to process photos in several graphic styles, soon surged to millions of downloads in a viral splash after launching this summer. And just as quickly issuing a rash of fast following clones.
As well as creating art selfies, users of the Prisma iPhone app can now convert snippets of video up to 15 second long into playable animations by selecting one of the nine filter styles currently available — and expect for the app’s AI algorithms to weave a frame by frame transformation.
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Turning a tedious shot of a hallway into a moving comic book in a matter of minutes .
Videos can be filmed in the app or selected for processing from the camera roll. You’ll need iOS 10 for Prisma video to work, and a little self-control as it can take more than a minute to process a clip depending on length, resolution and which make of iPhone you’re using.
Android users have to be more patient — as there’s still no support for video there.
Prisma state it’s planning to attach offline photo processing to the Android app first, in “a week or so”, after which co-founder Aram Airapetyan announce they’ll “jump on a video development”. “Android is a tough guy,” he adds.
The processing period for Prisma video on iOS is around two mins for the iPhone 6; 55-60 secs for iPhone 6s; and half of minute for iPhone 7, according to Airapetyan, although in my experience videos seemed to finish process a little fast than that on average.
All processing is done locally on the device so expect your iPhone hardware to heat up a little as you play almost with remixing videos as mosaics or Munches or manga-style cartoons.
Next up on Prisma’s iOS to-do list is attach a GIF creator — with looped video touted as coming “very soon”, aka later this month.
Rough round the corner
Prisma video on iOS is just a beta launch at this stage, with Airapetyan touting improvements in feature coming down the pipe, and an expanded choice of art filters to style clips — adding their intention is to make all Prisma’s photo processing method available for video, and add some new ones too.
They’re not first to the thrust with art filtered video, though — others, such as the startup behind photo processing app PicsArt, got there before them.
But Airapetyan is dismissive of rivals’ efforts. “We’re faster and better, taking into account the fact that we’re driving videos in beta, as the final quality will be much better,” he argues when asked how Prisma video stacks up next to PicsArt’s take.
“We’ll also increase the photo styles’ quality within a couple of weeks,” he adds.
It’s competing for talk, but Prisma is clearly now having to play catch-up with the competition, thanks to its early viral achievement.
At this beta stage, the quality of Prisma video also has some rough edges. More polished-looking results are likely with Magic Video — although personally, I prefer the simpler Prisma interface vs all the toggles and layers accessible in Magic Video .
In a quick test of Prisma video ahead of the new feature launch I found results looked a little crude and were less instantly appealing vs Prisma’s art filtered photos — with a tendency towards producing flickery footage.
That state, as with the art photos, different Prisma filters can yield pretty radically different results, some of what look better than others. So you’ll want to spend some time playing around with different styles.
I observe there was typically at least one style that looked interesting if not entirely pleasing. So there’s certainly happy to be had here, although perhaps less instant viral potential vs the snap and share gratification of art filtered selfies.
Here are a several more test clips I made — using the ‘Gold Fish’ and ‘The Scream’ filters respectively:
And here’s a lengthy form video made by music group Tweed, apparently incorporates Prisma’s tech
For both video and photos, Prisma’s app does not offer as many granular commands for processing as PicsArt’s two apps do. But Prisma’s simplicity is very much a part of the viral appeal here IMO. Nor does Prisma require you to register just to process a few photos… But sure, horses for courses — if you want a more entirely featured image editing app then Prisma is not it.
Looking purely at the photo filter effects, I also individually prefer Prisma’s results — finding PicsArt’s results generally more garish. But again that’s a matter of personal taste.
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