Fast Video Editing on the iPad Pro with LumaFusion – a Workflow Guide

The iPad Pro has been on the market for a while now, yet the “Pro” in its name still has to live up to expectations. I talked to Pedro Hofmann, a videomaker from Vienna, in how he is making the iPad Pro into his fast turn-around editing machine using the LumaFusion app.

The iPad Pro-ish

Apple’s most recent upgrade to the iPad Pro line was impressive – with a processor that is exceeding the speed of many laptops in its line-up, it became clear during the Keynote introduction that it’s a sign of things to come. The iPad was finally powerful enough to be the Pro machine they promised a year earlier. With one huge caveat: the lack of a a proper file system and the incompatibility of the consumer-oriented iOS with the professional Mac OS makes the “Pro” in iPad Pro nothing more than a shallow promise.

LumaFusion on the iPad Pro

In comes Pedro Hofmann, a videomaker based in Vienna, who creatively specialised in producing fast turn-around one-minute films for his clients. He’s shooting the films on his Sony a7s II, his DJI Mavic drone and other gear, and then he edits right on the spot using his iPad Pro using the app LumaFusion. In fact he sold his MacBook Pro and considers the iPad Pro the best “selling tool” for his productions he’s ever had. I agree with him that showing edits to clients on an iPad often gets them more excited than showing them something on a conventional laptop – somehow the experience feels more haptic and organic.

File Access in iOS & WD My Passport Wireless

Regarding his workflow, it isn’t completely straightforward simply because Apple is limiting the way you can access files in iOS. He’s working with Apple’s USB-C SD reader as well as a Western Digital My Passport Wireless, which also has an SD reader built in, and it enables him to read and copy every file system of any camera (on the SD card) while Apple’s own reader ignores the folder structure of Sony cameras, for example, effectively showing an empty card despite the fact there’s data on there. The My Passport Wireless becomes a media hub that can serve the data into the editing app LumaFusion.

SD Reader in the WD My Passport Wireless

LumaFusion

Now of course it’s not ideal that there isn’t an Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro for the iPad Pro yet, meaning, it is impossible to move projects between your desktop and iPad so far. However, the LumaFusion editing app is truly impressive in what it’s capable to do: You can have up to three layers of video at 4K 50 playing simultaneously without any hick-up. And believe it or not, but it also plays H.265 extremely smoothly due to the graphics chip in the iPad Pro, something that even the biggest desktop machines can still struggle with these days.

LumaFusion seems like a very capable editing app at first glance, with proper editing shortcuts, layering, proper typo handling and many advanced functions. It’s definitely worth a closer look and seems to work quite well for these fast turnaround edits.

iPad Pro Editing – the Way of the Future?

Enjoy this workflow video above, peeking into Pedro’s way of working. I personally can’t wait until we can finally use an iPad Pro or any other laptop for professional editing because I think it will totally change the way of working. Direct interaction with your footage feels a lot more natural than the indirect way of working we’re used to with keyboards and mouses, and nothing has changed in that way in the last 30 years. It’s time for a revolution in professional interfaces.

What do you think about editing on an iPad Pro? Have you worked with LumaFusion before? Let us know what you think in the comments. 

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Frank D'AmelioEugenia LSusan LauraSpike BoydellPaul Szilard Recent comment authors
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I bought an iPad pro 512 gb just for luma fusion and lightroom.
Apple did allow reading 10bit h265 files in ios 11, and in ios 12 they block them. and I can’t downgrade to
ios 11 anymore because apple dont let me. ( with the apple camera sd card reader)

It just does not work. the new apple slogan.

Pedro Hofmann
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Pedro Hofmann

Hey Lars. I do work with the latest iOS software and have no problem with h265 as seen on the video from my cameras. I took also a H265 mov file from Nino with 200mbits without troubles. Just Gopro seems to have some troubles right now with 4k 50p. I could not figure out why but this is new. My Gopro Fusion has no problems and also delivers in H265. So I think this is not a problem from the ipad itself as you have a new encoder/decoder working now. Check if you have the latest updates. Also in Lumafusion. For a short while they had some troubles with H265 but this is history

Eugenia L
Member

He’s talking about 10bit files. That’s always the stinking point. Not the bitrate of a format. Are your files 10bit?

James Zsigmond
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James Zsigmond

It’s unfortunate that this “pro” device doesn’t support Apples Prores codec……. actually it’s pretty ridiculous….

Oscar Goldman
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What Haveyou

And even if that changes, there’s still the idiotic lack of a headphone jack. And do you think Apple will allow proper I/O through the USB port? Of course not.

Apple and Jony Ive have taken an already marginal gimmick and made it LESS useful.

John Cummings
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John Cummings

Does the iPad Pro not have wireless headphone capability?

Pedro Hofmann
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Pedro Hofmann

Absolutly agree – Apple sucks with the lack of an headphone jack. Enough space for that. I work with the Bose bluetooth headphones and this works perfect.

Vladimir
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Vladimir

So all Windows machines weren’t pro until couple of months ago? :) iPad is not yet made for this, MBP and FCPX is much much better for editing on the go, and that’s why it doesn’t support Prores.

Vladimir
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Vladimir

I don’t understand how is this faster or more convenient than a Macbook Pro with FCPX.

Vladimir
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Vladimir

Ok, now it’s clear, he has no experience with FCPX :)

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