5 mins read

Discover Pika Labs 1.0 to Create Amazing AI Videos

Pika Labs is a company focused on AI video generation with their Pika 1.0 tool, also known as Pika Art. They define themselves as an idea-to-video platform that brings creativity to life.

This platform allows users to generate AI videos from text or images and also provides capabilities for editing and expanding existing videos. Pika Art joins the ranks of other similar tools like Stable Video Diffusion and Runway ML Gen 2. It is currently accessible after enrolling in a waitlist, so there might be a waiting period. In this article, I will showcase some examples created with Pika and compare its features with other tools.

Pika Art main page

Overview of Pika

AI-Driven Video Editing: Pika Art utilizes artificial intelligence to enhance video editing. By uploading your videos, the AI can adjust colors, crop scenes, and generally improve the overall appearance, making your videos look more professional.

Style Transformation: This feature enables you to alter the visual style of your videos. For example, you can transform a standard video into an animated format, or vice versa, all powered by AI.

Video Creation from Text and Images: Pika Art can convert text captions or static images into dynamic AI-generated videos.

Customization Options: The platform offers a wide range of customization capabilities. You can modify various elements within your video, such as changing character appearances or scene backgrounds, and adjust camera movements like zooming and panning.

Adaptable to Different Screens: Pika Art ensures that your videos are optimized for various screen sizes, from TVs to computers and smartphones, maintaining quality and the correct aspect ratio.

Pika Labs Pricing

Is Pika free to use? As of the time of this writing, Pika is indeed free, with a limitation of 10 generations every 5 minutes.

Requirements

Pika Labs offers the tool as a service on their website, pika.art. Therefore, it can be used from any browser without the need for a powerful GPU.

Availability

Pika Art is currently in beta testing and is gradually being rolled out to the public. You can sign up for the waitlist and receive an invitation to access the platform when it becomes fully available. For instance, I gained access two weeks after signing up.

You can read more about the announcement directly on the pika.art website.

Capabilities and Examples

text to video

The first interesting use case is to generate a video by providing a simple text prompt, leaving all the settings unchanged. This is the prompt that I used:

cinematic shot of a cherry tree fields on hills, during sunset, zoom in and pan left

It followed my prompt very well, even if it missed the pan left part. However, it is possible to use the controls to specify more accurately what we want.

image to video

If you already have a good image and would like to animate it, you can simply drop it in the prompt area, and the video will use that image as a starting point. Even in this case, it’s possible to adjust the camera movements, as well as specifying certain areas to modify.

video expanding

When using image-to-video, it is also possible to extend a given image or video beyond its borders with the “Expand Canvas” functionality. This can be useful, for example, to convert vertical videos to horizontal ones.

expand canvas pika

I took a video that I generated previously, vertical, and tried to expand it in 16:9. thee are the results:

video upscaling

Upscaling allows increasing the resolution and level of detail of a given video while keeping it as close as possible to the original. I tried to upscale the previous video, and I have to say that there is an improvement, even if minimal.

video upscaling in pika labs

Comparison

RunwayML

RunwayML is currently a direct competitor of Pika Labs, offering a similar level of control and customization. One significant difference is that RunwayML’s Gen-2 is available to everyone; there is no waitlist to access the service, which is also available with a subscription.

Stable Video Diffusion

Released by Stability.ai, Stable Video Diffusion can transform images into animations, albeit with a limited and often unpredictable set of controls. It can be run locally on a PC equipped with a GPU that has at least 8GB of VRAM. It serves as a good starting point for open-source research and experimentation but still lacks refined camera controls.

If you want to read more about these tools, have a look at this article: Comparing Image-to-Video tools: Runway’s Gen-2 vs. Stable Video Diffusion

Conclusion

Pika stands out as a versatile and innovative AI-powered video tool. It offers a range of features like video editing, style transformation, video creation from text and images, customization options, and adaptability to different screen sizes. These capabilities make Pika Art a great choice for those looking to enhance their video content with ease and creativity.

I have to say that currently, in terms of output quality, I lean more towards RunawayML. It just gives me better-looking videos and feels smoother to use with its motion brush feature, even if it is more expensive to use.

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