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How to Speed Up and Slow Down Clips

Last Updated on Nov. 19, 2020 – by Jayed Miah
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How to Speed Up and Slow Down Clips

Looking for the best speed up video app to edit your videos? We will discuss a few in this article. Whether you are using your mobile — like an iPhone or Android — or on a laptop; we have several solutions for you!

Ramping the speed of your clips up or down can add an awesome effect to your videos. Especially if you combine both slow-motion and fast motion effects- it can give off a bit of Hollywood style. Alternatively, you can drastically speed through a long clip to create a cool time lapse effect. In order to learn several techniques on how to achieve this effect, we first must learn about video speed and why it can impact your clips.


Video Speed

Video speed is the rate at which video is captured per second. Without getting too technical, most cameras capture at nearly 30 frames per second (29.97 to be exact.) This was a legacy from broadcast frequency and video formats that differentiated around the globe. When a video is captured at 30 frames per second (fps) or higher, you can capture as much micro-movement detail as possible. Therefore, when slowed down you can really get a fluid and smooth slow-motion video.

In contrast, if you are trying to achieve the “cinematic movie look,” you should be capturing at 24fps. This creates a slower capture. The human eye sees at between 30-60fps so less frames gives your footage a less realistic and more dramatic look. . In fact, the slower the frame rate the more dramatic a clip can get. Slo-mo anyone?


Slow Motion & Time Lapse Video

What is Slow Motion?

If you aren’t familiar with slow motion, it’s simply the effect in which time appears to be slowed down in a video. This is traditionally achieved by capturing frames at a rate much faster than it will be played back. When replaying back at normal speed, time appears to be moving more slowly. This can also be achieved by slowing down a video clip to play back at a reduced speed. This is achieved in a video editing program that generates extra frames in the video to create the effect of slowing down the action in the clip. This will make a clip’s playback time longer.


What is a Time Lapse?

In contrast, a time lapse aims to drastically reduce the time during a video clip. This is traditionally done by capturing frames at a much slower rate and playing them back at a faster rate. As opposed to adding frames, with time lapse a video editing software will remove frames per second to create the effect of faster action in a clip. It works exceptionally well for extremely long clips to make time go by quickly. For instance, using time lapse to reduce a sunrise (or sunset) to a few seconds versus minutes can add a compelling effect to your videos.

Now that we understand how slow motion and time lapses work, let’s get into the different apps and how to use them to speed up or slow down your video clips.


How to change video speed: Online

Without having to download an app or install software, you can use a site like Kapwing to change the speed of your clips. This is a nice solution if your clip is already online or you are just experimenting, but the controls are limited.To use the online video clip speed editor, simply go here: https://www.kapwing.com/tools/change-video-speed

There are two ways to submit a clip to be adjusted:

  • If you have the clip on your device, select the file to upload from your camera roll or hard drive.
  • If the video is online, you can add the URL web address of the video.

Once the file is added, the app will give you the option to speed up or slow down the clip and you can choose from various speeds. When slowing down, there are 0.25x (or a quarter of the original speed,) to 0.5x and 0.75x speed.

When speeding up, there are 1.5x, 2x (twice as fast,) and 4x speeds. If needed, you can trim the clip using the app as well.


Video speed editor: Windows

PowerDirector Speed Up Video App

Using a PC? You can ramp the speed of your clips using PowerDirector Essential. This is the best choice because it offers complete control over video speed options. This is the free version of the robust PowerDirector 365 software. Here’s how to make a video faster (or slower):

Mobile App Users Android & iOS Tutorial

  • Select your clip on the timeline
  • Click the “Tools” button dropdown
  • Followed by “Video Speed.”
  • A window will open with more options. You can choose to apply the effect to the entire clip or select a range of time to speed up/slow down.

Video speed editor: Mac

iMovie is an effective app to speed up or slow down videos on Mac. This is a nice solution because it comes pre-installed on Mac computers but it is limited in its speed controls. To make basic speed edits, check out this quick video:

Once the clip is on the timeline, you can select portions of the clip you want to speed up (or down.)

  1. While holding down the “R” key, click the start point of your speed change on your timeline.
  2. Next, click the ending spot of your speed change.
  3. In the upper right set of tools, you can select the playback speed of your selection. Alternatively, you can drag the clip to the desired length.

This feature will smoothly transition the speed ramp rather than introducing the jerkiness you get when splitting a clip then adding a transition.


Best Solution for any level editor on Windows

PowerDirector video speed ramping features

If you are looking for a fully-featured speed ramp tool on Windows, PowerDirector is a great full-featured solution. This app is the best choice because it offers complete control over video speed ramp options.

With PowerDirector, there are a number of ways you can adjust the speed of your clip with precision and ease:

  • Ramp the speed of clips up or down by exact time
  • Use a “speed multiplier” slider
  • Change speed by a selected range of time
  • Creating a time shift. A “time shift” is a selection within the clip where you can use easy tools- like the speed multiplier to drag video speed up or down.

Here are the basic steps for adjusting speed in PowerDirector:

  • Select your clip on the timeline.
  • Then click the “Power Tools” button.
  • Followed by “Video/Audio Speed.”
  • Holding down the “Ctrl” key on your keyboard and then drag the edge of the clip to change the speed.

The longer you extend the length of the clips, the slower the speed of the clip.


How to change video speed on iPhone

Have an iPhone? No worries… Here are the steps to create a slow-motion video with the PowerDirector app:

  • Select your clip on the timeline
  • Tap the “Edit” button to the bottom left.
  • There will be a host of cool features, choose “Speed.”
  • There is a slider to the right of the clip, slide up or down, and preview your results.

There are other options to “Ease In” or “Ease Out” the effect for a smooth transition. Plus, you can mute the clip to avoid high or low pitch audio.

Here’s a quick video below…


How to Speed Up and Slow Down Video on Android

You can also use PowerDirector video speed editor features on Android as well. Simply follow the same steps as detailed above for iPhones!


Advanced Solution

If you are seeking advanced controls over your playback speed, Adobe After Effects might be a viable solution. Keep in mind, this solution has a barrier for entry as the software costs significantly more then other solutions we’ve recommended. Additionally, it is not intuitive and can be more complicated to achieve desired effects. Overall, it’s a great app to slow down video (or ramp it up!) Here are the steps to achieve the effect:

  1. With your clip on the timeline select it, then right-click it
  2. Now select “Time”
  3. Then “Enable Time Remapping,” this will create two keyframes- one at the beginning and the end of the clip
  4. Next, slide the keyframes in the position where you want the effect to happen
  5. Now, right-click the first keyframe then select “Keyframe Assistant” then “Easy Ease Out.”
  6. On the last keyframe select “Keyframe Assistant” then “Easy Ease In”

These steps described are the basics in After Effects. The defaults are decent, however, you can use the Speed Graph to manipulate the transition. If you want to achieve some really cool transitions, here are some advanced tips in this video below:


Conclusion

We’ve offered several tips, tricks, and recommendations for speed up video apps. There are several free options; including those online, on Mac & PC, on mobiles, and for pro editors. We highly recommend you give PowerDirector a try! It by far offers the best choice of features among free video speed editor apps. It allows for creating advanced effects using an easy interface anyone can use.

Happy Editing!

If you're an aspiring editor looking to create cool videos, head on over to our complete guide on video editing effects. We've also got other great articles in our blog that'll introduce you to all the tools you need to enhance your portfolio.

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