The Roll app is an AI-powered video studio for your iPhone

The Roll app is an AI-powered video studio for your iPhone

Roll AI is a new video creation and collaboration platform for iOS and the web that allows users to add simulated video effects to iPhone footage that would typically require professional shooting equipment, such as stabilized pans or crane shots. It’s one of the latest examples of a boom in new apps and services that use AI to streamline technical creative processes like photo and video editing.

Roll AI uses its proprietary generative AI models to recreate the shooting environment in iPhone footage as a 3D space, allowing users to add text overlay effects and simulate camera movements with side panning, dolly and crane in post-production and apply various studio effects such as bokeh (background blur). The service also uses artificial intelligence to automatically edit your footage for posting. Roll captures metadata from audio and video recordings which the Roll editor later uses to reframe hosts and create scene changes based on any on-screen conversation.

Available starting today, there are technically two products that work together to form the Roll editing platform. One is a dedicated iOS app that uses the iPhone camera to record video and automatically upload footage to the cloud for storage and processing, and the other is a web-based app for previewing, editing and download recorded footage.

Roll claims it’s the only remote video calling service that records footage in High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), which provides substantially higher video quality than other video compression standards at the same bit rate. For this reason, Roll claims that videos recorded on its platform are sharper than anything else on the market for iPhone capture. Each recording session supports a single host (who controls the recording) and up to eight call participants.

Roll users can record video in any orientation (as long as portrait orientation isn’t locked on the device) using the iPhone’s front or rear camera, and freely switch between them while recording. When using the iPhone’s rear cameras, Multicam mode is enabled which captures both a wide shot and a close-up shot simultaneously, allowing users to simulate multiple camera angles using a single device. VFX effects such as dolly, pan and text overlay can only be applied to footage shot in Multicam mode.

When viewed on the web app, Roll essentially resembles a video conferencing platform designed specifically for video editing.
Image: Roll

Users will need to sign up for an account using the same email address on both the Roll iOS app and the Roll website via the Google Chrome web browser so that the account is linked across platforms. The company specifically recommends Chrome for now, but said it will be testing the app on other Chromium-based browsers like Microsoft Edge and Arc in the coming weeks.

When iOS and the web app are paired, the Roll platform essentially allows users to set up their iPhone as a glorified wireless webcam that can be used in place of high-end photography equipment in productions like podcasts or webinars. Roll notes that smaller productions that don’t have the budget for a professional recording studio are typically filmed using video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Teams and Meet, which aren’t designed to support high-quality video productions. Adding stabilized zoomed shots to things like workplace training videos can be overkill, but even those are finding an audience these days, and Roll can at least remove some of the complexities surrounding professional-quality post-video production .

Creating great videos is a huge initial investment in equipment, equipment, learning how to use that equipment, editing software was getting rid of all that, says Roll co-founder Faizan Buzdar in a press release. Using the power of the iPhone’s camera sensors, artificial intelligence and the cloud, Roll lets you do it all, much cheaper and faster than ever before.

There are already apps on the market that allow both iPhone and Android devices to be used as webcams for remote streaming, such as the Elgato EpocCam, but the post-production editing capabilities are what make Rolls’ offering appealing here. There are a few tiers of subscriptions available: a $49-per-month Creator tier that provides five hours of recording each month, and a Pro tier that includes 15 hours of monthly recording and allowance for three additional editors for $199 per month. Roll also provides customizable business plans with no disclosed pricing and a free trial before purchase experience that grants users a one-time two-hour recording session.

While Roll is currently an iOS exclusive, Buzdar has confirmed that it does The limit that the company is planning to add support for Android devices in the near future.

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