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How to Speed Up or Slow Down a Video for Free [Windows, Mac]

Last Updated on Apr. 8, 2022 – by Jayed Miah
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How to Speed Up or Slow Down a Video for Free [Desktop, App & Online]

Ramping the speed of your clips down can add a dramatic effect to your videos. In addition, it can give off a bit of a Hollywood style, especially if you combine both slow-motion and fast-motion effects. 

Alternatively, you can drastically speed through a long clip to create an excellent time-lapse effect. 

This article will teach you the best ways to change your video speed on a Windows or Mac. But before we learn how, let’s look at the best solutions for adjusting your video’s speed.

3 Best Software to Speed Up or Slow Down a Video

PowerDirector Logo

1. PowerDirector - Best Overall

PowerDirector is the fastest and most straightforward way to speed up and slow down video clips. You can use it to create speed ramps, loops, freeze frames, and reverse/repeat effects. The software is an excellent choice for all experience levels.

Davinci Resolve Logo

2. DaVinci Resolve- Best for Professionals

DaVinci Resolve combines editing, color correction, visual effects, motion graphics, and audio post-production all in one professional software. As a result, you can take complete control of your video's speed, but there is a significant learning curve. Learn More >

iMovie Logo

3. iMovie - Best for Amateurs

With iMovie, you can create Hollywood-style trailers and 4K-resolution home movies. You can even start by shooting and editing on your iPhone or iPad and finish on your Mac. The speed controls are basic, so they are simple enough for beginners.  Learn More >

How to Speed Up or Slow Down a Video

Let’s now take a look at how to adjust the speed of your videos with the best video editing software, PowerDirector.

Download it for free and follow along.

There are two ways to change your video speed with PowerDirector. Option 1 is the quickest, and option 2 gives you the most control.

Option 1

  1. After uploading your video, drag and drop your desired clip onto the editing timeline.
  2. PowerDirector Interface - Video Speed
  3. With your clip selected, hoover over the beginning or end to bring up the dual arrow icon. Then press and hold Ctrl+ left mouse button and drag the end of the clip either in or out and release.
  4. Whatever length you make the clip, your video's speed will be adjusted to it, making it either slow or fast motion.

Option 2

  1. Upload your video file, then drag and drop it onto the timeline.
  2. Select the video clip in the timeline.
  3. Click Tools on the middle left-hand side of the software, and a drop-down menu will appear.
  4. PowerDirector Interface - Video Speed
  5. Select Video Speed from the drop-down menu, and a window will open.
  6. At the top of the new window, you'll have two options: Apply the effect to an Entire Clip or a Selected Range. 

Entire Clip Speed Change

  1. Select Entire Clip and move the bar under Speed Multiplier to select the speed of your clip. Move it left to slow down the clip or to the right to speed up your clip.
  2. PowerDirector Interface - Entire Clip Speed Change
  3. Click Ok at the bottom right of the window to apply the effect.

Selected Range Speed Change

  1. Choose Selected Range and click on Create Time Shift.
  2. Select the portion of the clip that you would like to slow down or speed up on the timeline at the bottom of the window.
  3. Move the bar under Speed Multiplier to the left to slow down the clip or to the right to speed up your clip.
  4. Click Ok at the bottom right of the window to apply the effect.

How to Create a Freeze Frame

Let's now take a look at creating a freeze-frame in PowerDirector.

  1. Add your clip to the timeline, and with it selected, click on Tools. A drop-down menu will appear.
  2. PowerDirector Interface - Action Camera
  3. Select the Action Camera Center from the drop-down and a window will open.
  4. Open the Effect tab.
  5. Find the frame you want to freeze by scrubbing through your footage on the timeline.
  6. PowerDirector Interface - Freeze Frame
  7. Click on the Add freeze-frame button.
  8. PowerDirector Interface - Freeze Frame Duration
  9. Set the Duration of your freeze frame.
  10. Click OK.

Best Video Editor to Speed Up or Slow Down Videos Free Download

We've offered several recommendations for speeding up and slowing down your videos at the beginning of this article. Of these, PowerDirector is the best and easiest option. It gives you total control over your videos’ speed while not needing previous editing experience to use it. 

Whether you are making a YouTube video or editing home movies, we recommend giving PowerDirector a try. It contains the most advanced accessible features among free video speed editors. 

Video Speed FAQs

1. What is Video Speed?

Video speed is the rate at which video is captured per second. Most cameras capture 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 are capturing lots of micro-movement, creating detail. Therefore, you can get a fluid and smooth slow-motion video when slowed down.

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 between 30-60fps meaning fewer frames give your footage a less realistic and more dramatic look.

The slower the frame rate, the more dramatic a clip can get. 

2. What is Slow Motion?

If you aren't familiar with slow-motion or slo-mo, it's simply the effect in which time appears to be slowed down in a video. This is traditionally achieved by capturing frames faster than their playback speed. 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 playback at a reduced speed. This is achieved in a video editing program that generates extra frames to create the effect of slowing down the action in the clip. This will make a clip's playback time longer.

3. What is a Time-Lapse?

Time-lapses aim to reduce the time during a video clip drastically. This is traditionally done by capturing frames much slower and playing them back faster. With time-lapse, video editing software will remove frames to create the effect of faster action in a clip.

As a result, 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 stimulating effect to your videos.

4. What Features Should I Look For in a Video Speed Software?

  1. Speed adjustment controls
  2. Timeshift effect
  3. Freeze frame effect
  4. Speed ramping
  5. Replay effect

All these features can be found in PowerDirector.

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