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The future of VFX and Content Creation

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Ben Thompson - Contributor
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December 9, 2021
Taking a look at four ways Runway is transforming visual effects and video editing.

Whether you’re a visual effects artist, a social media influencer, or just someone who wants to create compelling videos, Runway provides cutting-edge tools that handle diverse tasks with ease through the power of machine learning. With Runway creators of all skill levels to can focus on fulfilling their creative vision, while our software does all the heavy lifting.

New algorithms are emerging every day that grant new powers to VFX artists and video editors, and Runway is leveraging the latest breakthroughs in AI to make these features as accessible as possible to users everywhere.

Today, we’re taking a look at four ways Runway is transforming visual effects and video editing.

Make things simple

Seasoned creators and newcomers alike can all appreciate simplified workflows. With Runway , users have access to an array of tools that perform complex functions like rotoscoping, background removals, and numerous AI-assisted video edits with just a few clicks.

The example below demonstrates how quickly and accurately rotoscoping can be achieved in Runway, compared to using After Effects’ latest Rotobrush tool.

If you’ve ever wanted to know the fastest way to rotoscope, this is it!

Most importantly, this ability to process shots so quickly means that Runway enables high-volume output, saving both time and money for creators and studios. Increased speed means increased productivity - and Runway provides a significant value for the VFX and video industry.

The soon to be released, Text-to-Mask features available in Runway allow for sophisticated smart masking based on simple text commands. Whether you need to isolate and track a specific element for color grading or want to separate object layers with an alpha channel, searchable text labels give instant context to Runway's masking - and provide unparalleled speed when masking objects.

This allows users to tackle some of the most daunting VFX tasks with simple written commands, as if wielding the power of an entire rotoscoping team with instant results.

Beyond these advantages, Runway streamlines every video editor’s workflow, from unique video effects and LUTs, to intuitive audio editing, innovative Multi-Band Metadata processing for enhanced creative flexibility, and even the ability to export optical flow and depth maps).

Web-Based Accessibility

As more programs make the transition into cloud-based applications like Adobe’s recently announced version of Photoshop for the web, creatives are no longer tied to a single location for their work. Runway is fully available as web apps that can be accessed from any browser.

This web-based approach allows teams to collaborate in real-time from any location. It also democratizes VFX and advanced video editing tools for users on any web-connected device, such as low-powered Chromebooks that typically can’t handle onboard video editing processes. This means expensive PCs and complicated software are not required to use AI rotoscoping, perform background removals in videos, or even create assets based on custom datasets.

Runway’s web-based apps ensure your software is always up to date without any intrusive downloads, and cloud storage makes accessing your projects from anywhere a snap.

Synthetic Media and Generative Models

Advances in AI image generation through neural networks such as OpenAI’s DALL-E and GPT-3 even further. Leveraging vast datasets with exceptional training, DALL-E allows users to provide text and image prompts with a high level of specificity, and instantly generate synthetic images.

DALL-E is even capable of producing assets based on historical and geographical parameters - so rather than having to acquire the rights to a certain photo, creators can simply input what they need and access a wide selection of images to suit their project, with astounding realism. OpenAI demonstrates that DALL-E can generate landmarks and even add lights to buildings to create night shots.

For VFX artists, synthetic image creation that’s on par with the level of quality that DALL•E promises could be used to build digital set extensions or create custom matte paintings in the future, forever changing the industry. Rather than requiring a VFX studio to develop a backdrop for a lush jungle or a luminescent cityscape, just a few words could be used to build backgrounds for any environment, allowing for endless world designs. Artists could then layer in VFX elements and live-action footage to put the finishing touches on their scenes. In the case of content creators and video editors, ML Lab provides a bottomless well of synthetic images that can be used in lieu of stock photos, allowing for completely unique photos and abstract designs for every project.

As machine learning continues to evolve, Runway provides access to the latest algorithms, unrivaled AI video editing tools, a convenient web-based interface, and so much more. Get started today and experience the next generation of video editing with Runway!

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