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Sora vs RunwayAI – How are they different?

A new player emerges in generative AI video
Last Updated on February 16, 2024
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OpenAI has announced their new application Sora, a generative AI tool aiming to create cinematic video-based content based on user prompts. You may be wondering how this product differs from other AI tools such as Google’s RunwayAI app. Well, what makes Sora the first of its kind is its hyper-focus on photorealism. Sora aims to create clips that are both longer and more indistinguishable from actual real-world footage found in films, television, and documentaries. With that being said, let’s take a deep dive into Sora vs RunwayAI to see how these products match up.

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OpenAI Sora vs RunwayAI – Features

A major selling point of Sora is its specific capabilities in generative AI video. Sora can produce and render substantially longer clips than other applications like RunawayAI. Sora’s content can be minutes long, compared to just brief snippets. Furthermore, Sora’s clips are not only longer but higher quality and more photorealistic. Based on content released to the press, Sora could create entire visual landscapes with a cinematic quality as if straight from a movie set. However, instead of taking months to shoot, Sora completed the entire process in an afternoon. Its immediate grasp of cinematic grammar is important and noteworthy, potentially becoming the first app to truly blur the line between film and AI. With AI restrictions firmly at the forefront of Hollywood following the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, who knows what Sora’s future holds?

Launched in 2023, RunwayAI is advertised as a way of enhancing visual work through its generative text-to-video platform. With other 30 creative tools and personalized models, Runway’s features included not only text-to-video, but text-to-image, video-to-video, video editing (erasure/removal of objects), and the ability to animate images. As one of the major pioneers in this field, RunwayAI has received equal praise and apprehension from critics, creatives, and even politicians – mainly as a result of its capabilities and infringement on industries. However, having raised over $141 million in new funding over the last year, it does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.


OpenAI Sora is still fresh

OpenAI Sora is brand new, with only select individuals (chosen by OpenAI) able test and use the product at this stage. Although we have discussed many of the capabilities above, some will remain unknown until the app reaches larger audiences.

It is also worth noting that much of the information currently available on the app is directly from OpenAI and Sora sources. Therefore, the potential for bias is high.

OpenAI Sora vs RunwayAI – Similarities and differences

Let’s take a look at the major similarities and differences between Sora vs RunwayAI to fully grasp how these two models shape up. Please note that some of OpenAI Sora’s capabilities are yet to be confirmed (TBC) or demonstrated to the public. For example, Sora’s ability to generate videos from a single image or a sequence of frames. This feature is still being developed, though is intended to be included when the app launches.

FeaturesOpenAI SoraRunwayAI
Removal of objects/video backgroundTBCYes
Short rendering timeYesNo
High-resolution videoYesYes
Understanding of cinematic grammarYesNo
Sampling flexibility (aspect ratio)1920x1080p (widescreen)
1080x1920p (vertical)
Features table for OpenAI Sora and RunwayAI

Is Sora better than RunwayAI?

According to information released by OpenAI, Sora marks an increase in performance capabilities from previous AI apps like Runway. This is particularly evident in rendering speed, photorealism, and overall quality of the picture. It also does not suffer from many individual drawbacks compared to Runway, instead, both programs face equal questions over their safety and veracity – particularly in the spread of misinformation online. For now, Sora seems like a significant step up in AI video technology but we will have to wait till more information is released to fully verify OpenAI’s claims.

Final thoughts

So, who wins the battle between Sora vs RunwayAI? With AI’s capabilities rising daily, OpenAI’s Sora is set to become another formidable player in the generative AI video realm. Its ability to understand cinematic tools and render high-quality, fully realized content is both impressive and daunting depending on your AI views. It is certainly a step up from other AI platforms such as Runway, which has similar capabilities but lacks the level of quality that Sora possesses. However, it is important to take Sora’s technical achievements with a pinch of salt as the product is yet to be widely available. As a result, much of the information currently available is direct from OpenAI, rather than unbiased sources or reviewers. For now, we will just have to await its public release.

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