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Putting Vine's new importing and editing tools to the test

Susie Ochs | Aug. 22, 2014
The best thing about Vine has always been how crazy simple the app makes it to shoot and share a looping six-second video. You press the screen to shoot, lift up your finger to stop shooting, and that's pretty much it. Vine's latest update, which just landed on iOS and will come to Android later, adds some new tools and the long-needed ability to import video shot with other apps. It's more flexible, but without cluttering up Vine's minimal interface.

After choosing a clip, tap the right arrow to advance to the Trim & Crop screen. Here you're able to drag the white slider in from the right to shorten a clip. You can push the timeline itself around inside the orange box if you want to start the Vine a few seconds into the video itself.

Once you click Add, the clip is added to your Vine, and if it doesn't take up the whole six seconds, you can add more (either from your Camera Roll or by shooting them in the app). Once you reach the six-second limit, or you tap the forward arrow again, you get to the Preview screen.

More editing tools

On the Preview screen, you'll see... a preview, of course. Tap the big green checkmark to post the video to Vine, or the little floppy disk button to save it for later, without posting it. (Saving it for later does not export the video to your Camera Roll, it just saves it within Vine.) You'll also see another new Edit button, with a scissors icon.

Tapping that brings you to a new screen, with all the clips that make up your Vine video. Tap a clip to select it, which lets you trim it again with the orange slider. Buttons along the bottom let you duplicate a clip, trash just that clip without affecting the rest of the video, or mute that clip. Muting is a nice touch, but it seems odd that you can't then record a voiceover or otherwise add new sounds — only take all the sound away.

More shooting tools too

If you're shooting part or all of your Vine inside the Vine app, you've got some new tools that can make the process easier. In the toolbar at the bottom of the shooting screen, you'll notice a wrench icon. Tap it for a second toolbar with some extra buttons. The Grid button was in the last version of Vine, but now if you tap it a second time, you get a bubble level designed to help you achieve a perfectly straight horizon — or a perfectly slanted one, if that's how you roll.

The button that looks like a little target is the focus lock. That was in the last version of Vine too. You tap it once, then tap the screen where you want your video to be focused; the icon then changes to a padlock so you know the focus is locked.

The Ghost button was in the last version of Vine too — it can make filming stop-motion Vines easier. When you're filming a little stop-motion with your Lego minifigs, it's handy to see where they were standing in the last clip so you could move them just so before shooting the next clip. Or it could help you shoot a video where your feet stay still and only the background moves.


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