Nowadays, everybody can record and share videos instantly, but not everything can be done with the limited editing options that come with regular smartphones!
There are plenty of effects, styles, and liberties that you’ll want to feature on your video content and can only be accessed through video editing solutions.
The thing is that, even though professional-level animation companies usually rely on expensive, licensed software, when you’re just beginning to dip your toes in the video editing world, this initial investment might be too high to manage!
Not only that — these apps usually need lots of disk space and state-of-the-art GPUs to run smoothly.
But fret not, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of quality alternatives out there for the beginner editor!
Online video editing tools that are both useful and (mostly) inexpensive. Ideal for getting some experience editing beautiful video pieces, or for small business owners wanting to experiment with video to improve their marketing.
Today, we’ll go through some of these online video editors so you can choose the one that fits your needs best. Let’s go!
The Benefits of Using Online Video Editors
As mentioned before, there can be many reasons why you choose to use an online video editor. Let’s break them down a bit, just in case you’re not one-hundred-per cent convinced by now.
1) You Won’t Have to Worry About Storage Space
Raw video files are usually very big. If you’re going to be editing videos often, you’ll have to use a computer with a lot of hard-drive space, or else you’ll have to constantly delete your old projects to start new ones.
If you decide to go through the online route, you won’t have to worry about the size of your files while you edit them, so that’s a big win.
2) Edit Your Videos Using Any PC/Laptop/Tablet
If you plan to become a professional animator or filmmaker, then you might need to invest in potent hardware somewhere down the road.
But if you’re just starting, you can easily get some experience with online video editors in any PC, laptop or even tablet!
3) Edit Anywhere You Have an Internet Connection
With online video editors, you’ll be able to work from anywhere in the world, without the limitations of a desktop PC. You’d like to edit your videos from the pool, drinking an ice-cold soda? You can do it!
You want to be able to switch from your desk computer to your laptop and still be able to work on your videos? The world is your office.
You won’t even have to install the software all over again on all your different devices — all you need is an Internet connection.
What Types of Videos Can You Create?
There are many different types of videos, and some will require more expertise than others to edit. Some, however, are relatively easier to edit on your own, and making them can serve as great practice to improve your video editing skills. Let’s see some examples.
● Video Ads
Video ads are the typical commercials we all grew up watching on TV, but now they’ve been extended to social media, websites, newsletters, even in-app advertising.
The magical thing about ads is that you can let your imagination run wild and create anything you want, providing that it reflects the true spirit of your brand.
When making video ads, remember that they need to be short and sweet. It’s recommended that ads stay below one minute in length, even shorter if you can.
It’s important to grab the audience’s attention, and if you make your video too long, you might lose them before you deliver the whole message!
● Whiteboard Explainer Videos
Explainer videos might be the hardest one of this list to make if you’re a beginner, as these videos usually need a full team of screenwriters, illustrators, and animators in order to make a good product. But still, you can manage to create a basic explainer video if you choose a simple style, like whiteboard animation.
Basically, explainer videos are pieces that will introduce and describe the value proposition of a product or service, using storytelling to show how the product or service can improve its customers’ lives.
Whiteboard animation is one of the styles you can choose to make explainers. Because of its simple shapes and animations, it can be great for beginners to start experimenting with animation!
● Social Media Videos
Social media videos are short pieces designed to engage social media users. Videos for this purpose can have a lot of different styles, so you can choose the one that fits better for your brand or your online community’s vibe.
Some things to keep in mind, though: On social media, there are lots of different formats, so you should make sure to use the one that fits better for the platform that you want to post in.
For example, you should make vertical videos for IGTV, Instagram, and Facebook Stories; 1:1 videos for Instagram feed, and so on. When in doubt, you can check the official guidelines of each platform.
Which Softwares Can You Use for Online Video Editing?
1) Adobe Spark
Adobe Spark is a tool developed by the same team that made Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, After Effects, and so on, but it differs from these tools in the fact that it’s easier to use.
This makes it perfect for beginners! Spark is an online media creator, so it can do more than just videos: it also lets you create simple social media graphics, simple web pages, video stories, and so on.
The Pros: There are a lot of templates you can choose from, so you can create a decent video in very little time. You can also choose from their audio library some background music for your videos, and even record the voiceover yourself.
The Cons: On its free plan, it has limited options for your design styles (color schemes and fonts), and you can’t personalize these — you’ll be stuck with fixed color palettes. Also, it doesn’t have advanced video editing capabilities, so if you’re looking for something more than just a basic editor for social media pieces, you might find that Adobe Spark falls a little short.
Pricing: You can try it out for free, but if you want the extended license (which lets you personalize your designs) you’ll need to pay US$ 9,99 per month for an individual license, or US$ 19,99 per month (billed annually) for teams.
Animoto is another online video tool that’s aimed for beginners, which means that it won’t have very advanced functionality either. It does provide a very interesting way to structure your video: It features a series of storyboard templates for different types of audiovisual pieces — promo videos, slideshows, motivational videos, and so on.
Just like in Spark, you can add your own voiceover and choose from their (rather extensive) background music collection! Another good thing to note is that, with their Professional and Business plans, they include a subscription to Getty Images, which is pretty cool if you’re planning to include stock images or footage to your project.
The Pros: Its storyboard templates, their music collection, and a lot of social media integration services — including an Instagram-like set of filters that you can apply to your video clips. It’s also a very easy program to learn.
The Cons: It doesn’t feature a video editing timeline, which takes out a lot of the flexibility you’d have with a traditional video editor. There’s also no live-preview, which can be frustrating if you like to check your changes in real-time as you edit.
Pricing: It’s free if you don’t mind the Animoto branding on your videos. If you want to get rid of that, you can pay US$ 33 per month for a Professional account, or US$ 49 for a Team account.
If you’re feeling confident and you’d like to try a tool that’s a little bit harder to master but that it gives you more editing freedom, then you could try Clipchamp.
It advertises itself as “The first online video editing software with pro features”, and it’s targeted at personal and professional users alike.
The Pros: Unlike other online video editors, Clipchamp features a proper timeline. It’s also reasonably advanced without being too complicated! If you’re somewhat concerned with privacy issues, then this is also a great tool for you — you can choose to keep your files in your browser instead of uploading them to the website’s servers, so nobody can access your videos, not even if someone ever hacks the platform.
The Cons: On its free plan, you don’t get HD exports (not even 720px, only 480px). And you’ll have to pay extra per audio and video stock.
Pricing: Clipchamp has a free version with some limited functionality, and if you want to upgrade it, you’ll have to pay US$ 9 a month for a Creator account, and US$ 19 for a Business account.
We’ve seen three video editors that are perfect for editing live-action clips or even stock footage. But if what you’re looking for is to make animations, there are fewer options. Powtoon is one of them — it’s a very basic animation software that’ll let you create simple cartoon videos using plenty of templates for shapes, illustrated characters, and other props.
One cool feature is that you can import Photoshop designs directly to Powtoon, so if you’re familiar with Photoshop, you could end up with really awesome-looking videos. Not bad for an online video editor!
The Pros: Very easy to use (they even have a lot of tutorials on how to use the platform, if you need them). You also have a lot of pre-designed templates that you can use to create a nice-looking animated video.
The Cons: If you’re using the free plan, you won’t be able to download the videos, only share them on social media.
Pricing: If you buy an annual subscription, a simple Pro plan will cost US$ 19 a month, and an Agency one US$ 99 a month.
There are many more online video editors out there, but hopefully, these gave you a general idea of the possibilities of you can create with these tools, as well as the pricing and the level of creative freedom you’ll have with them.
At the end of the day, an online editor is just a tool like any other. If you want your video to be good, it won’t be because of the editor app you choose, but because of the creative effort, you put into it.
So, are you ready to start editing amazing videos? Get on it, Spielberg!