While Motion Stills on iOS allows users to transform their Live Photos into GIFs and longer videos, the Android version allows users to record new clips within the app. Specifically, users can record up-to three second clips, which are automatically stabilized and turned into sharable GIFs.
In a blog post, Karthik Raveendran and Suril Shah, software engineers at Google Research, explained how this feature works:
For this release, we redesigned our existing iOS video processing pipeline to use a streaming approach that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded. By computing intermediate motion metadata, we are able to immediately stabilize the recording while still performing loop optimization over the full sequence. All this leads to instant results after recording—no waiting required to share your new GIF.
In order to display your Motion Stills stream immediately, our algorithm computes and stores the necessary stabilizing transformation as a low-resolution texture map. We leverage this texture to apply the stabilization transform using the GPU in real-time during playback, instead of writing a new, stabilized video that would tax your mobile hardware and battery.
Elsewhere, a second feature, called “Fast Forward,” allows users to “speed up and condense” up to 60 seconds of video into a shorter clip, complete with video stabilization. Users can change the playback speed (from 1x to 8x) after recording a clip.
Motion Stills is available to download for free on Google Play. Google encouraged users to share their creations on social media using the hashtag #motionstills.