There's been an explosion of special effects videos on YouTube over the past few years. Because the technology to create special effects has gotten so cheap and so easy to use, basement video editors of all kinds have put together videos of themselves throwing fireballs or fighting with lightsabers against their cats. PyroPainter takes this idea to an even easier place: It's an iPhone app that lets you add special effects to videos as simple as dragging and dropping them across the screen.
The app's instructions are unfortunately a little sparse, but once you figure out how it all works, it's really simple. You upload one of your previously recorded videos into the app, choose an effect from the huge library and "paint" it across the screen with your finger. Anything you add gets added to the video, and you can then go back and watch the video while dragging or deleting the effects as you like. Once done, the video gets rendered right there in the app, and sent back to your video library, in full HD form, where you can send it off to YouTube or watch it on AirPlay.
It's very impressive. There are already a few demo videos on YouTube, but I hope to see even more cool demos put together by users in the future. PyroPainter is a free download, and there are two packs of special effects to buy for 99 cents each with more to come.
Developer Markus Nigrin has also released a second app available for free to celebrate the launch of PyroPainter: Photo Extractor is something he came up with during development of the effects app. It will allow you to grab HD photos from any video on the iPhone, and then save those off to the photo reel on their own. It's a much simpler function than the full effects app, but it could be very helpful for that specific need.