The beat . A blog by premiumbeat

August 16, 2013
Final Cut Pro XIndustryVideo Editing

Hand Gesture Video Editing with FCPX and Leap Motion Controller

Edit your Final Cut Pro X video projects in mid air with a swipe of your fingers – wave of the future or simply a gimmick?

Final Cut Pro X

A while back we shared a video editing workflow that was based on hand gestures and an Apple Trackpad. The video below takes it one step further, touch-free video editing through hand motions and finger gestures. Can we expect this to be a viable method of video editing in the future?

For those unfamiliar, the Leap Motion Controller is (from Wikipedia):

a small USB peripheral device which is designed to be placed on a physical desktop, facing upward. Using two cameras and three infrared LEDs, the device… is designed to track fingers (or similar items such as a pen) which cross into the observed area.

Leap Motion Controller

Early users of the device report it’s astonishingly accurate and some industry analysts are wondering if it will “change the way we use computers“. Post production device manufacturer Editors Keys have jumped on the bandwagon, designing the first application to support video editing with the Leap controller.

The finished app should support over 50 unique gestures for video editing and retail for 99 cents. Check out the video below for a sneak peek.

Although it’s certainly neat teach, we can hardly imagine editing like this day-in and day-out. How precise can it actually be? Could it actually be faster than using a mouse/computer? How long until your arms give out?!

Share your thoughts in the comments!  Thanks for the tip,

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  • sunjae

    Arm’s going to get a little tired after a while of editing like this though. And it doesn’t really seem much easier to tap the air than tapping the actually keys…

  • Don Burton

    Love it. At this point it looks more difficult than a keyboard and mouse, but once it develops into a much broader tool it’ll be great. Next step, it needs to break us all out of our chairs and get the arms and entire body moving while editing – much like when working on a life size sculpture in clay or a standing percussionist working with large drums and chimes – the work space grows and demands that we move around in it. If this tool sticks with just hand gestures and forearms, it’ll get tiring. But getting us all moving while we work, would be a hugely welcome change. That would also necessitate the ability to virtually “grab,” move and throw clips around rather than working within locked windows that usually conform to old fashioned “insert” and “overwrite” functions. Those virtual functions will most likely become more physical like grabbing a piece of celluloid (but with much more freedom of functionality). And then finally, all that freedom of movement will necessitate breaking out of the conventional monitor setup. Perhaps a projection or something along the lines of the edit suite becoming a multimedia suite with monitor walls. These kinds of virtual work and game spaces aren’t new. But applying it to editing would be very new. A lot of people might not like it, but I bet an entire new group of people would love it. I’ve been editing in FCP for 13 years and on older equipment for sometime before that. And I would LOVE something revolutionary to come along and shake it all up. Exciting!

  • MrEnis

    hahahaha total crap ! the idea is good, but it looks like a retarded interface and stupid hand gestures to process simple processes. “Lets clap twice, turn around do a push up and give the screen the finger to start playing our footage.” or i can just press space bar with finger….

  • Sinubis

    Glad to see someone working on a Leap motion app for picture editing. I don’t think what I saw would help me edit faster, I think it would actually slow me down. Where I think this could be used to speed things up is in color correction/grading, mixing audio, and painterly FX. Please place some focus in those areas.

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