Video editing application

The coronavirus pandemic has made it impossible for face-to-face celebrations of birthdays, weddings, births or holidays such as Mother’s Day. Personalized videos have become one of the alternatives chosen by thousands of users to accompany and show affection, even if it is, virtually. And also to feed their social networks. Video editors such as InShot, VivaVideo, YouCut and Tezza are among the most downloaded free apps in recent weeks on the Play Store and App Store. EL PAÍS has tested them.

Although choosing one editor or another will always depend on the needs of each user, the ones that offer more functions for free are InShot and VivaVideo. With them, you can from merging songs and sound effects to playing multiple videos at the same time on the same screen or adding animated emoticons. All with an interface quite similar to that of a professional computer editor. YouCut is only available for Android, but one of its strengths is that it allows you to export videos for free without any watermark. Tezza stands out for its simplicity, although it is only a good option if you want to make a very basic edition of a specific video.

InShot

InShot is the most popular video editor on the Play Store — with more than 100 million downloads — and on the App Store. This application allows you to edit videos and photos and make collages. After choosing one or more videos, a window opens with different editing options. The first, called canvas, allows you to choose whether you want to keep the original format of the video or choose different proportions: from the most suitable for Instagram to those designed for YouTube or Tik Tok. In addition, you can choose whether to zoom in or out of the video, center it, or pin it to the left or right. By clicking on it, it is also possible to trim it, put it at a higher or lower speed, rotate or flip it.

There are other functions to touch up or modify the video such as filters. You can also manually adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation or reflections and choose different effects. For example, if the mirror effect is applied to a video in which a person appears, the person will appear twice as if it had been multiplied. Other effects are mosaic, neon, or printed. It is also possible to freeze at a certain moment an image that you want to highlight from the recording. If the video doesn’t fill the entire screen, the background is customizable. You can choose the same image of the video more or less blurred or choose colors or gradients.

The app also allows you to add animated emoticons, images or texts to the video at certain times. That is, the video may be on one part of the screen while different photos or messages appear and disappear next to it. As for the sound, it allows to add several tracks at the same time. In other words, it is possible to choose only one song, choose several and mix them, or even choose bell, weapon, instrument, laughter or heartbeat sound effects. You can also record whatever you want to sound while the video is playing.

Once fully edited, it can be exported in different resolutions — 1080P, 720P, 640P, or custom. In the free version, ads are displayed, and after the video is exported, a slightly larger watermark appears in the lower-right corner of the video. To be able to remove it and access all the effects without restrictions, the app has paid packages. While there is a monthly subscription of about three euros a month, you can also pay one time about 30 euros.

Live video

This application is also available for both iOS and Android – it has been downloaded more than 100 million times in the Play Store. Lets you edit videos or “make a photo movie”. Once the clips to be edited are selected, it is possible to select both the video format for different social networks and the background. In the latter case, in addition to the same unfocused video, a certain color or a gradient background, you can choose backgrounds with plant drawings, illustrations, geometric shapes or different textures.

The recordings can be trimmed and divided and the user can delete any fragment. You can also change the speed, flip the video (make it start at the end), rotate it, opt for transitions, and use filters and effects. But using manual settings to change the contrast or brightness is only allowed for users who pay for the app. It is also paid to blur a part of the photo or use the mosaic effect.

In the application you can also choose different animated effects and themes that add animations to the video. For example, if you choose the theme of love, hearts appear in the video. As in some of the apps analyzed, it is possible to add text and stickers to the video. In the latter case, there are a wide variety of options, from emojis to cartoons. One of the remarkable functions is that it allows you to make a collage of videos with images or gifs, that is, that several videos or gifs are played at the same time on the same screen or photographs appear.

The application allows adjusting the volume of the original audio of the video. Also, add a recording that is stored on the mobile or recorded at the moment and a very varied selection of sound effects: from explosions to instruments, cars or sounds of nature. But the app doesn’t offer any songs to add to the video for free. Yes, you can search for different topics online, but if you want to extract the video afterwards, you will have to pay.

When going to export it, three options are given depending on the format or resolution you want: do it as GIF, at 480P (normal) or at 720P (high and only available for paying customers). As with InShot, the free version also exports videos with a watermark. In the paid one, in addition to allowing them to be exported without a watermark, it is also possible to add a custom one. The payment function allows for about four euros a month to export in HD, extract music or the app does not show ads. Another curious feature in the paid version is the voice changer, which makes it resemble that of a woman, a man, a girl or even an alien.

Youcut

YouCut is only available for Android devices. In the Play Store it has more than 10 million downloads. Once the videos you want to add are selected, a sliding row of functions appears. The first allows you to trim, cut or split the video. You can also rotate, flip, apply filters, manually change brightness, contrast, or heat settings, speed up or slow down the video, and opt for effects. In this case, the way to apply them is to play the video and press and hold a certain effect in the section in which you want it to appear.

The user can also choose between different proportions depending on the social network in which they want to share the video and choose a background —although only between solid colors—. In addition to adding text, you can also add photos or emoticons to the video. But in this case, unlike the previous editors, it is the traditional mobile emojis, which are not animated. Still, one of the differential functions is that you can choose its opacity.

As for the audio, there is a wide variety of free songs on different themes. You can also choose to record on your mobile or record any sound at the moment. As in the previous two applications, the application includes different sound effects. For example, airplane sounds, animals, applause, keyboards, children, or bells.

When saving the video, the option to choose the quality (high, medium or low) and the resolution (1080P, 720P, 640P or 480P) is offered. One of the strengths of the free version of this application is that the video is exported without a watermark. The app also has a paid version for around five euros a year or 14 euros if you prefer to pay once and be able to use it indefinitely. Subscribed features include more fonts, filters, effects, a gradient palette, and music. Although in the test carried out by this newspaper the app has not shown any ads, the editor highlights that the pro version does not include them.

Tezza

One of the most popular video and photo editors in recent days for both iOS and Android – with over a million downloads on the Play Store – has been Tezza. The application stands out for its simplicity. In this case, the functions are much more limited than in the previous editors. More than to make a montage of videos, this app seems to be designed to add different effects to a certain video.

Once the video has been chosen, the user can choose to manually adjust other parameters such as contrast, shadows, lighting, noise or colors. And also for trimming or straightening it. But the filters – from vintage to movie to pop or pistachio – are restricted to the paid version. Also the possibility to add subtitles or use a stop motion tool (frame animation).

The user can subscribe to access these additional video editing settings for about four euros a month or about 44 euros a year. But it’s probably not worth making this outlay for video editing considering the alternatives mentioned offer a greater variety of features for free. Also, in this case, when saving the video on the phone, it is exported directly without allowing you to choose any option on the desired resolution.