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How to Easily Speed Up or Slow Down a Video in Under a Minute

Last Updated on Jul. 1, 2022 – by Jayed Miah
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How to Speed Up or Slow Down a Video for Free [Desktop, App & Online]

Whether you make How-to videos for YouTube, Independent films for festivals, or marketing films for businesses, your videos could benefit from a few speed effects. Reasons to slow down or speed up video vary from purely aesthetic to practical, but whatever your reasons, speed effects can add some serious production value to your projects. 

You may be thinking that cool fast motion and slow-mo effects are something for Hollywood-level editors and learning to do them right would take time. In reality it takes under a minute to slow down or speed up video, and the process couldn’t be easier. 

This article gives you a step-by-step guide on how to slow down or speed up video on your Windows or Mac device, how to perform other cool speed effects, and offers some tips and tricks for changing video speed.

Why Change Video Speed?

There are many reasons you may want to change the speed of your video, from creative and aesthetic reasons, to purely practical. 

A practical reason to slow down video would be to show something that could not be seen by the naked eye otherwise, like watching a replay in sports to see if a foot landed out of bounds. If you make how-to videos, you may want to speed up video of any extra long steps. For instance, when making a cake, you can tell your viewers to grease and flour the pan, but you dont need to show 3 minutes of you performing that task. 

Changing your video’s speed can also be a purely creative decision to add visual interest or drama.  If you slow down video, it can help emphasize a shot, while speeding up can add humor. If done correctly (and sparingly), these changes can also add production value to your videos.

Best Software to Speed Up or Slow Down Video

PowerDirector Logo

1. PowerDirector - Best Overall Software

PowerDirector is the fastest and most straightforward way to slow down and speed up 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.

How to Speed Up a Video

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

  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 in, making it fast motion.
    The more you move the end of the clip, the faster your video will be.

How to Slow Down a Video

PowerDirector - How to Slow Down a Video

  1. Drag and drop your desired clip to the editing timeline.
  2. With your clip selected, hover over the beginning or end to bring up the Dual Arrow icon. Then press and hold Ctrl+ left mouse button and pull the end of the clip out (to the right), making it slow motion.
  3. The more you move the end of the clip, the slower your video will be.

How to Create a Freeze Frame

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

PowerDirector - How to Create a Freeze Frame

  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.

Tips to Speed Up or Slow Down Videos

Here are some tips for adding smooth, flawless speed effects to your videos. 

Tip 1: Shoot for Slow Motion.

If you know before you shoot that you plan to slow down video in a shot, there are steps you can take to keep your effect from looking choppy. Change the frames per second so you are shooting at a higher speed (around 60fps will suffice for most slow-motion shots). If you shoot at regular speed and slow it down in post, it won’t look as smooth.  

Also, when shooting at a higher frame rate, you need to add more lights. Shooting in lowlight can cause a flicker effect. 

Tip 2:  Click the Ease In/Ease Out button. 

On most video editing software there will be Ease in and Ease Out (or Fade In and Fade Out) buttons you can select when you slow down or speed up video. This will keep speed changes from being too abrupt to viewers. 

Tip 3: Use Speed Effects Sparingly

While it’s true adding speed effects can add production value to your videos, adding too many can do the opposite. Make sure you have a reason to slow down or speed up video, and that you aren’t going crazy trying to add effects just because you can. 

Download the Best Software to Speed Up or Slow Down Videos for Free

PowerDirector is the best and easiest option to slow down or speed up video. 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 video speed editors.

Speed Up or Slow Down Video FAQ

1. How Do I Slow Down or Speed Up Video on iPhone or Android?

Follow these simple steps to slow down or speed up video with your mobile phone using the PowerDirector app. 

  1. Once you’ve added your video to the PowerDirector timeline, tap on the video to bring up the Edit Menu along the bottom of the screen. 
  2. Scroll to the left and tap on the Speed icon. 
  3. Use the slider to adjust the speed of your video. To slow down video, move the slider to the left. To speed up video, move the slider to the right. 

To learn more about changing video speed on iPhone or Android, go to How to Slow Down Video on iPhone & Android

2. What Features Should I Look for in Software to Slow Down or Speed Up Videos?

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

If you’re looking for software to slow down or speed up video that checks all of these boxes, we recommend PowerDirector.

3. What Are the Best Software to Slow Down or Speed Up Video?

  1. PowerDirector
  2. Adobe Premiere Pro
  3. Final Cut Pro
  4. Corel VideoStudio
  5. Pinnacle Studio

For a more in-depth look at the above software, check out 5 Best Video Editing Software to Create Slow Motion Video in 2022.

4. 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.

5. 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 when you slow down video 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.

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.

6. 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.

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