Forget Sora, Runway is the AI video maker coming to blow your mind

Artificial intelligence-powered video maker Runway has officially launched its new Gen-3 Alpha model after teasing its debut a few weeks ago. The Gen-3 Alpha video creator offers major upgrades in creating hyper-realistic videos from user prompts. It's a significant advancement over the Gen-2 model released early last year. 

Runway's Gen-3 Alpha is aimed at a range of content creators, including marketing and advertising groups. The startup claims to outdo any competition when it comes to handling complex transitions, as well as key-framing and human characters with expressive faces. The model was trained on a large video and image dataset annotated with descriptive captions, enabling it to generate highly realistic video clips. As of this writing, the company is not revealing the sources of its video and image datasets.

The new model is accessible to all users signed up on the RunwayML platform, but unlike Gen-1 and Gen-2, Gen-3 Alpha is not free. Users must upgrade to a paid plan, with prices starting at $ 12 per month per editor. This move suggests Runway is ready to professionalize its products after having the chance to refine them, thanks to all of the people playing with the free models. 

Initially, Gen-3 Alpha will power Runway's text-to-video mode, allowing users to create videos using natural language prompts. In the coming days, the model's capabilities will expand to include image-to-video and video-to-video modes. Additionally, Gen-3 Alpha will integrate with Runway's control features, such as Motion Brush, Advanced Camera Controls, and Director Mode.

Runway stated that Gen-3 Alpha is only the first in a new line of models built for large-scale multimodal training. The end goal is what the company calls “General World Models,” which will be capable of representing and simulating a wide range of real-world situations and interactions.

AI Video Race

The immediate question is whether Runway's advancements can meet or exceed what OpenAI is doing with its attention-grabbing Sora model. While Sora promises one-minute-long videos, Runway's Gen-3 Alpha currently supports video clips that are only up to 10 seconds long. Despite this limitation, Runway is betting on Gen-3 Alpha's speed and quality to set it apart from Sora, at least until it can augment the model as they have planned, making it capable of producing longer videos. 

The race isn't just about Sora. Stability AI, Pika, Luma Labs, and others are all eager to claim the title of best AI video creator. As the competition heats up, Runway's release of Gen-3 Alpha is a strategic move to assert a leading position in the market.

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Windows 11 update brings back Movie Maker as ClipChamp

Microsoft released a new preview build of Windows 11 on March 9, where it announced a surprise new app called ClipChamp.

This allows you to create videos, edit video clips, and gives you access to plenty of stock photos and videos that you can use for your projects.

ClipChamp is rolling out to users who are on Windows Insider build 22572 and above. If you've not signed up to be a Windows Insider to help test early versions of Windows 11, this app should appear later this year in the upcoming 'Sun Valley 2' update.

It looks as though Microsoft is looking through its back catalog of apps, such as Paint and Windows Media Player, and seeing what could work in 2022. In some ways, ClipChamp is the return of the iconic Movie Maker, and looks to appease casual users who just want to edit clips on the fly, or make their home movies look a little more professional.


Analysis: What's old is new again

Windows Movie Maker on Windows XP

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has been both reviving its apps for Windows 11, and refreshing others that have not been updated in years, such as Paint and Snipping Tool.

Movie Maker was a useful tool back in the days of Windows XP in 2001, where you could place random transitions and effects over your photos and videos, then share it through MSN Messenger.

It launched with Windows Me in 2000, a short-lived upgrade to Windows 98, and was supported until 2014, but Movie Maker hadn't seen any major new features since 2007. With the increase of other apps and websites that could edit video, alongside being able to do the same features on social media apps on your smartphones, Movie Maker faded into irrelevance.

However, nostalgia is powerful thing, and many of us fondly remember the apps that we used to have as part of our childhoods, and for some, Movie Maker is a big part of this. There are most likely users out there who have videography careers in 2022 thanks to Movie Maker introducing them to video editing when they were younger.

ClipChamp looks to do the same for users in Windows 11, with a modern design that is reminiscent of Movie Maker, all while bringing modern features.

Via Windows Blog

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