New App Lets Fathers Add Movie FX to Family Photos, Video

boywithtrex smallMy son Ben thinks there’s a T-Rex chasing us whenever we go for a ride in the family car. So it felt extra good to be able to insert an actual T-Rex next to him in a family snapshot.

Efexio has introduced a slick new app that allows families to insert movie-quality CGI effects – think dinosaurs, robots and dragons – into your photographs and videos. Efexio recently added a Tippett Creature Shop within the Efexio Store, a company founded by special effects guru Phil Tippett of “Star Wars” fame.

The results can be saved or shared on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube or even sent along via email. Users can adjust the size and scale of each effect and modify the lighting and camera angles to make it appear as realistic as possible.

I touched base with Efexio CEO Alicia Nevarez to find out more about the app and how technological advances can make your child’s imagination come to life.

Daddylibrium: Would this technology have been possible 10 years ago? 5?

Alicia Nevarez: On PCs, not possible 10 years ago. Perhaps 5 years ago. On mobile, not possible 5 years ago. For the following reasons: 1) the graphics processors on mobile were not powerful enough to render this quality of three-dimensional graphics; 2) performance of processors (CPUs) on mobile devices was not powerful enough to animate the effects; and 3) there was not enough bandwidth to download the effects.

DDL: Some potential app customers might consider the concept and worry it’s too complicated — even if it’s not. How would you reassure someone that this is a simple app to control?

AN: The best way is to show someone how it is done. I would create a short video showing how I added an effect to a video using just the Quick Controls. The app is free so I would encourage them to download it and try it out and maybe even start out by adding an effect to a photo. There are just a few steps to creating a great video or photo. 1. choose an effect; 2. load or shoot video/photo; 3. rotate the effect and change the size and position to put the effect where you want it, and 4. export your new video/photo. All this can be done within the Quick Controls in just a few minutes.

DDL: The new app is aimed at everyone, but I think parents will get a particular kick out of it. Can you share a few ideas on FX additions that parents might love?

AN: Dinosaurs are very popular with little boys. We’ve seen grandfathers, fathers and mothers add them to videos and photos with their sons (as young as 4) and grandsons and the boys have really enjoyed it. The baby dragon is very popular with little girls. They love choosing its color. We’ve done many videos and photos where the little girls are holding the dragon in their hands. We did this at a 6 year old’s party and it was a big hit!

DDL: What FX downloads/subjects have proven the most popular so far?

AN: Dinosaurs, dragons and zombies.

DDL: Are there copyright restrictions on the FX content — could a teen filmmaker use some of the images in a movie he or she wants to sell online, for example?

AN: Not on any of the effects currently on the store. The usage rules can tell you more. In the near future, we will be putting on popular characters that will be subject to effect shot-specific usage rules.

dragonfireinthesky smallDDL: We can assume adults will be able to tap into the app’s potential the most, but could pre-teens also be able to manipulate the app’s tools? Might there be future app versions aimed at younger kids?

AN: We think any kid 9 years old and older can use the app by himself. There are no current plans to make another version of the app for younger kids.

DDL: What kinds of FX/creatures will be coming soon to the app?

AN: Aliens, unicorns, UFOs, fairies, butterflies and gnomes.

(NOTE: An iOS version of the app – for iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches – is currently available, with models that work with Mac OS and Windows coming soon. Daddylibrium, who is iPad free, submitted several photographs taken in Denver to Efexio which then inserted the FX into the images)

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