Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Filmora Video Editor - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

You asked for it. Here's my review of the Filmora Video Editing Software by Wondershare.

First, take a look at this video I just put together with it and judge for yourself.

In a nutshell, I like it but this software is a little glitchy so far.

Overall I'm happy with the results but I did have to restart the program several times because of an error when it froze trying to upload some photos.

I really like a lot of the special effects and filters it offers, although I think they could improve on their panning and zooming effects.

I can only compare Filmora to Apple's iMovie or Window's Movie maker because those are the two video editing programs I was familiar with. What can I say, each of these editors has its own limitations depending what your expectations are.

At one point I had bought a number of filters and effects for WMM and I was happy with the results for a while. Back then my biggest complaint was Movie Maker's lack of Blur effects. WMM's panning and zooming effects were quite adequate in my opinion and the software was very wasy to learn and use.

Filmora has tons of cool effects and filters, overlays, you name it, this software includes plenty of great effects and if you're into text effects, they've got that covered too. Where Filmora falls a little short, for me, is with it all important panning and zooming effects.

Some of them are very good and useful, however, its most important and most useful basic zooms and pans are missing altogether. That's a shame because otherwise, I think Filmora is an excellent program despite its occasional glitches.

I sure had a great time working with it and taking advantage of all it has to offer. I only wish they had focused on essential zooming elements, such as zoom to right corner, pan from upper left, to lower right, etc.

The kinds of zooms best mimic camera movements and without them I find myself a bit stuck and unable to get the exact look and feel I'm after.

Timeline screenshot for the making of Millennium Trailer
In all fairness to Filmora, I suppose it depends what you expect from the software. I'm sure most users are thrilled with the effects it has to offer if you're just interested in making some cool home movies. But if you want a more professional feel to your videos, you might want to look at other high-end editing programs such as Vegas Movie Studio or even Apple's Final Cut software.

The bottom line is that for the price-point of $59, I think Filmora is a great deal and then some.

You can download a free trial version here and judge for yourself:

Filmora Video Editing

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Board Game Design - Really?

You've got to be kidding me. Board games?

Okay, okay. I get it. This is a book trailer design site. More about book trailers later. (buzzer) Yeah, sort of because it's really all about marketing and promotions so anything goes.

Here's the thing. The focus here is book trailers, as long as that market holds up. Notice I haven't been here for a while and my last article was about a book, not a trailer.

Once demand winds down for reasons beyond my control, I latch on to something else. Whatever comes my way or hits my fancy.

Besides, it so happens that package design is my first passion and one of my favorite things to do. Well, it's more than package design because it's about game design right now. For me this is a challenge because I'm not really a board game geek but I do enjoy a good game once in a while and so in an effort to make board games that I'd really enjoy playing, I decided to design one myself.

The problem with most board games for me is that they're not very engaging. They seem technical and take a long time to learn to play. Some of these rule books are more like manuals. Confusing manuals at that.

"The problem with most board games
for me is that they're not very engaging."

My goal is to design a board game that's fun to play and easy to learn. And that's where Millennium comes in. But like book trailers, novels, movies, or anything else for that matter, it's all about the concept and themes. In this case, the Apocalypse, End of Days, a dark future, take your pick. The themes are timeless so I can't go wrong with that.

Beyond concept and themes, there is story of course and besides that you've got a bit of magic you must add to the equation among other things. Yes, just as they say about relationships, it's complicated. Always is and nothing worth pursuing is ever that easy.

I'm only about half way done with Millennium and it's been about six months so all together it's about a year invested when all is said and done. Not for the faint of heart and quitting is easy to contemplate but the show must go on if you want to reap the rewards down the line if you're lucky enough.

Millennium Game Board in Development
I don't work with a team. I am the team. A one-man band and that's the way I like it. You know what they say about too many cooks.

This is a challenge but so far I've started designing 5 games and almost finished with three of them, including this one. Finishing is sometimes the hardest and longest part because that's where all the changes and refinements come into play. So it can feel like you're stuck at times but you press on towards the finish line.

My master plan is to have Millennium on the market for this coming Christmas season. (laugh track here). I think it's more like 2018 but sometimes you have to set impossible goals to get momentum going.

If you'd like to learn more about Starship Games TM and FunSpot Games TM, two gaming brands I'm developing, see more here:
Board Game News.