The marquee creative video capture + effects composition app that you will receive by backing this project is like Instagram on steroids. Initially the focus is on content creation with support for uploading to all social networks that support video uploads.
Last week during the GMIC conference in San Francisco I had the opportunity to bump into Robert Scoble and give him a demo of the TyphonRT Video Suite. He gave two great endorsements after seeing the creative video capture + effects composition app:
"It's the first app that makes me excited about Android in a long time..."
"This Android app makes me jealous. Video effects. Feels like a new age in video." -- Robert Scoble
A tipping point has been reached with mobile technology where we all now hold powerful phones and tablets in our hands that allow creative content production on the go. Android has lagged behind the iPhone / iPad for high quality video content creation apps and the TyphonRT Video Suite aims to bring next generation video creation tools to Android with your support.
Apple provides many media tools and a complete video engine for iOS / iPhone developers to make media and video creation apps. These tools don't exist on Android and Google does not provide a fully featured video engine to Android app developers and this is a large reason why feature rich video content creation apps lag behind on Android.
The TyphonRT Video Suite is a forthcoming collection of video creation apps that are based on the custom built TyphonRT Video Engine which has been in active development since September '13 when Android 4.3+ enabled new possibilities for advanced graphics integration (OpenGL ES 3.0+) with underlying hardware accelerated media encoders and decoders. The video engine that the TyphonRT Video Suite is built upon enables the latest graphics and efficiency techniques to bring the best experience possible to anyone interested in taking their content creation efforts to the next level.
The TyphonRT Video Suite (TVS) is geared toward anyone interested in next-gen video content production on Android from amateurs to professionals. The open ended sandbox nature of the marquee creative video capture app allows intuitive exploration of effects composition techniques that previously involved expensive desktop editing tools to achieve similar results. In short, effects composition is the process of combining two or more graphics effects to modify a video stream or image. This allows unlimited creativity compared to other video apps on Android and even iOS. If you have gotten bored of Instagram's basic color filters the TVS is for you! I'm focused on delivering easy to use, but expressive content production apps whether you are having fun with friends & family or are a working professional.
The promo video above showcases many creative applications of the initial video capture app. I want to briefly touch on a professional use case and a really good one is editing lower thirds in the field for newscasts and other short form broadcasts. With the TVS it is possible to create professional news clips with graphic overlays on location that can then be immediately uploaded for distribution without further editing that traditionally is done with desktop applications requiring more handling and time involved in between when content is recorded and then made available for viewing. Being able to launch high quality content quicker with the TVS provides a competitive advantage over more traditional media distribution. This use case is briefly highlighted in the promo video above.
Everyone who backs this campaign at the "bronze tier / $5" or higher will receive the creative video capture & effects composition app with the effects preset editor and an exclusive preset starter pack. The expected general public launch date is March '15.
In addition backers will receive an invitation to join the early access (alpha & beta) release community which ensures that you will get the latest features first before the general public. All backers will receive access to the beta early release community. By contributing more than $20 you will also receive access to the alpha early release community giving you the opportunity to try out the latest features of the TyphonRT Video Suite before anyone else. My goal is to get the first alpha release out to the early release community in January and hit beta in February.
Rewards in the $15 and higher categories will also receive additional video content creation apps in the TyphonRT Video Suite as indicated in the chosen reward tier when they are released whether funded as stretch goals or not.
The marquee app of the TyphonRT Video Suite is a creative video capture, effects composition, and basic clip editor for short form video creation (up to 45 seconds). Completed videos are saved to the Android media library with options to share them on various social networks that support video uploads.
The premiere core feature of the creative video capture app is effects composition driven by a preset editor. This allows open ended exploration of ~150 image processing operations that can be combined in a multitude of ways.
Ease of use and one handed operation on phones also is an important feature of all apps in the TyphonRT Video Suite. The effects post processing engine provides interactive visual feedback using standard Android user interface actions that all Android users are familiar with already.
Building a supportive community of Android enthusiasts and general consumers alike who are interested in making, sharing, and learning more about creative video generation is a priority for me. Initially during the alpha / beta release period there will be an email list to coordinate the community with an expanded online / web presence with forums and tutorials. I'm passionate about teaching and will be delivering high quality tutorial and instructional content on how to use the capabilities of the TyphonRT Video Suite (TVS) to the fullest. This content will include text and video tutorials that illuminates how to create better videos, but also the hows and whys behind video effects composition and many other topics for beginners to advanced instruction.
Beyond the TVS community I also pledge to support and give back to the local creative coding / digital arts community in San Francisco. A favorite non-profit arts organization of mine is GrayArea. They run a free afterschool program for teenagers teaching creative coding. I plan to donate devices from the device testing lab that are no longer needed to this after school program in addition to donating my time to teach video effects and composition topics to future after school sessions during the spring and fall of '15. Check out this link detailing the fall 2014 GrayArea after school program.
The initial reward / creative video capture app you will receive is just the beginning of the TyphonRT Video Suite (TVS). Extended features are planned for the creative video capture app along with adding several additional video content creation apps that each bring a new creative dimension to the suite.
1st Generation Tech Improvements
- The most pertinent tech improvement and first stretch goal is to add the ability to share effects presets you create with the effects preset editor in the creative video capture app with friends and the public.
- A desktop app / client available on Windows / OSX / Linux to easily transfer media content to / from one or more connected Android devices running the TyphonRT Video Suite will make the effects preset editor much easier to use in addition to making the transfer process of completed videos to the desktop easy to accomplish.
Additional Android Apps
- The second app in the suite brings advanced stop motion / timelapse recording functionality together with the effects composition / preset editor allowing recording of stop motion videos that can take advantage of chroma keying (build a mini-green scene set for your stop motion!) and other custom effects presets that you define. A specialized editor built for per frame navigation makes it easy to edit and compose stop motion / timelapse videos. Android Wear integration is planned to allow hands free operation of the stop motion frame editor. Easily create better stop motion videos suitable for uploading to Vine and other video enabled social networks.
- The third app in the video suite enables the recording of hyperlapse videos which are image stabilized timelapse videos. Using the device gyroscope and rotation vector sensors it is possible to record the orientation of your device while recording video and use this information to create smooth timelapse videos. I have already prototyped most of the required functionality and you can see a teaser / proof of concept video here.
2nd Generation Video Tech
The first generation video capture application which is the main reward for this Kickstarter applies effects when recording video. The second generation video engine technology to be completed Q2 and beyond in 2015 upgrades the underlying engine to support offline post processing such that full 30 FPS videos with even more complex effects presets can be accomplished on all devices even older ones.
Presently, the video engine resolution is 720x720 as this is the highest resolution that works well for complex effects presets on the current generation of Android phones (Snapdragon 800 / 801 based). The 2nd generation video engine will allow user selectable video sizes including 720P and 1080P full resolution recording options. This is possible for even current generation phones with the addition of offline post processing described above.
In addition to expanding the capabilities of the existing creative video capture app a more fully featured video editing app is going to be built supporting multiple video sources, overlapping edits, key frame editing with control points, expanded high quality text entry, and tweening (control value animation).
Expanded web site / social networking
With the stretch goal of being able to share effects presets with friends directly in the creative video capture app this presents the opportunity to expand social networking capabilities to an online web site. While the initial focus is on creating high quality next-gen video creation apps for Android eventually the goal is to allow optional expanded management of social features through a more comprehensive online / web site offering.
Let's get the base goal funded first!
These are some of the exciting stretch goals that would be fantastic to fund and will be available to those who choose higher reward tiers via this campaign. I will provide a detailed update in the future discussing these stretch goals and the funding required to build and release them to you. For now though let's get the base goal of the current campaign closer to being fully funded!
One of the unique capabilities that makes a suite of video apps possible is that the backing TyphonRT Video Engine is extremely compact in size and as an example the current creative video capture app size is only 3.5MB on Android 5.0 / Lollipop OS. This includes the entire post processing effects library of ~150 effects and preset editor. The modern design of the TyphonRT Video Engine allows a suite of many video apps to be delivered at the same cummulative size of just a single version of other video enabled apps on Android like Instagram (25 MB) or Vine (44MB) on Lollipop.
There are two different types of premium features available in the TyphonRT Video Suite. The first are core features which are shared between one or more apps in the suite. The first core feature of the suite includes the effects composition capabilities that is driven by a preset editor which allows you to create your own effects from simple to complex. Core features are available by a yearly subscription which unlocks them across all applicable TyphonRT Video Suite apps. Most apps in the suite will support effects composition and preset creation, so instead of having to buy this functionality multiple times for each independent app you may purchase it as a subscription feature for the whole suite. Core features are also significantly improved over time adding extended capabilities.
The other type of feature is a unique feature specific to a particular app in the TyphonRT Video Suite. Specific features are available as in app purchases that only remain accessible to a particular app in the suite.
I have long been involved with creative coding applying technical expertise and an artistic touch to build tools for personal use and now the public at large. In recent years I have really focused on technical aspects of taking TyphonRT and related media technologies to the next level. Previously though for over 10 years I was quite active as an underground electronic music producer, DJ, and event promoter. You have already heard some of my music production efforts in the promo video above! If you like electronic music on the edgier side of things perhaps check out mySoundCloud account.
From a technical perspective I have over 20 years of software development experience. Professionally I have worked with Java since 1996 with an emphasis on client side development using all the major graphics APIs starting with Netscape's IFC, Java2D / Swing, OpenGL/ES, all JDK versions including all versions of the Android OS. I have done extensive low level client app and custom 2D / 3D graphic engine development with Android since v1.0 and the G1 hit my hands in October '08. I am the creator of TyphonRT which is a component architecture and middleware development framework for Java / Android for advanced media apps which underlies the TyphonRT Video Engine and TyphonRT Video Suite of apps for Android.
I am an Android enthusiast through and through and believe strongly in Android first innovation. My goal with the TyphonRT Video Suite is to bring the best video tools to Android first and make all of your friends with an iDevice or otherwise jealous. As an independent developer all of my effort is directed at making your Android video content creation experience exceptional.
I have been writing and posting updates on the TyphonRT Video Suite for a good portion of the last year on my G+ account:
View my professional resume on LinkedIn.
The TyphonRT Video Engine has been in development for over a year now and I have personally invested ~2500 hours of development time in addition to paying all operational and promotional costs out of pocket leading up to this Kickstarter campaign. These costs encompass ~$80k of funding out of pocket over the last year up to this point to build the fundamental next-gen video engine technology. I have assumed the riskiest part of building the TyphonRT Video Suite and have already verified the video engine on the majority hardware configuration (Qualcomm Snapdragon 800+) for most Android phones and tablets released this year in the US in particular.
TyphonRT which is underlying middleware / engine technology has been in development for over 11 years on the desktop before porting to Android began the fall of '08. In many respects my previous efforts to build a modular engine for creative coding put me in the right place at the right time with all the resources necessary to start down the path of releasing a next-gen video engine for Android the moment it became possible last year. I have spent an additional ~16000 hours developing TyphonRT starting in '03 and personally invested every penny (~$700k) I've ever earned professionally back into TyphonRT Media which I finally incorporated in September '14.
My passion is to improve the immersion of all media, but specifically audio and now video. Besides video engines for Android a long term passion is large scale spatial audio. I work out of an R&D media studio facility I built from the ground up for long term media R&D. The TyphonRT Video Suite is the first product to make it to market after years of fundamental efforts.
Here is a picture of the media facility starting from a blank room to where it is now today:
The total base amount raised for this campaign is $20k. After Kickstarter and Amazon (credit card processing) take their respective cuts this leaves ~$18k for the project budget. The following general breakdown is where funds will be spent leading to the public launch of the TyphonRT Video Suite (TVS). The two main categories include seeding a device testing lab and an operating budget to cover essential expenses leading up to the public launch of the TVS.
Operating expenses - ~$15k
This amount covers 3 months of essential operating costs allowing me to focus fulltime on launching the TVS to you on time.
Device testing lab (seed) - ~$3k
This amount covers acquisition of ~6 devices to seed the device testing lab.
The initial alpha launch to the early release community is planned for February and beta is planned for March. While the general public launch is planned for April you will get your initial reward as early as February if you pledge more than $20 which gives you access to the alpha early release community.
As the TyphonRT Video Suite evolves I am very interested in receiving your feedback regardless if you participate in this Kickstarter or not. Presently, the best ways to get in contact are through the comment options associated with Kickstarter in addition to these following sources:
At this stage telling friends about the Kickstarter campaign directly or via online forums and contacting various media news sites from blogs to more traditional media sources asking them to cover the TyphonRT Video Suite is greatly appreciated!
I have to thank Brad Larson et al of the iOS GPUImage community for a great open source compendium of OpenGL ES 2.0 image processing operations. The TyphonRT Video Engine does not share any software architecture with GPUImage, but the catalog of GLSL fragment shaders available provided an initial starting point that I built upon with a custom engine, GUI, and expanded support for OpenGL ES 3.0 in the effects pipeline.
Risks and challenges
The largest risk in regard to project delays will be supporting every single applicable hardware configuration that supports OpenGL ES 3.0+ and the Android MediaCodec hardware accelerated video / audio encoders and decoders. Not every OEM (original equipment manufacturer) has strongly tested support for hardware accelerated video / audio encoding / decoding. The TyphonRT Video Suite can only work around so many low level issues without hardware manufacturers fixing any incompatibilities or problems. I will be working increasingly with various mobile hardware and GPU manufacturers to resolve any issues.
The good news is that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 / 801 / 805 / 810 and the Qualcomm Adreno 320/330 and 420/430 GPU line is the majority hardware configuration for most flagship phone devices in '13/'14/'15 and already works well with the TyphonRT Video Suite. In addition the Tegra K1 has been tested and works well too. Chances are if you bought a phone in the last year quite likely it is running a Snapdragon processor / Adreno GPU which is already compatible and well tested.
The above risk is one of the main goals of this Kickstarter and that is to incrementally build a device testing lab based on a diagnostics / test app that is available for anyone to try from the Google Play store. A compatibility database will be created and devices that pass the test will receive support quickly. Devices that don't pass the test will be added to a list where backers can vote on them to be added to the device testing lab so thorough testing can occur. I will work closely with manufacturers to resolve any next-gen video issues with their respective hardware. In many ways this is a chicken before the egg situation insofar that without an advanced set of next-gen video apps like the TyphonRT Video Suite Android hardware manufacturers don't have a good test case to verify their efforts. I'll have an increasing amount of interaction with all hardware manufacturers especially once alpha versions of the video capture app are released in February. My goal is to get the TyphonRT Video Suite to run on as many devices as possible.
Outside of the above since I am a single founder / developer the only other remotely possible delay is any unseen natural disaster / "force majeure" or injury that will prevent me from working.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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