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Slow-motion video is everywhere. Whether you’re watching a Hollywood film, a nature documentary, or an athletic event, there’s a good chance that some of the footage contains slow motion. SloMo is a valuable technique for adding dramatic emphasis to a scene. Read on to find out the origin of SloMo, helpful tips when shooting and our selection for the five best choices in video editing software if you want to create a slow-motion video in 2021.
Slow-motion video dates back to the early 1900s, following the birth of the moving image. An Austrian physicist and priest, August Musger, invented the technique by using high-speed cameras to capture a scene. He then slowed down the video to play at a regular rate, creating a slow-motion effect in the process.
Today’s cameras use the same mechanism to make slow-motion video possible. Most cameras record at 30 frames per second (fps), the speed at which consecutive images appear on a display. High speed cameras might record at 60, 120, 240, or even 1,000 fps.
A video editor can slow down a video shot from 60 fps to 30 fps. Even though the footage may play at half the original speed, it doesn’t appear choppy or stilted because the original clip had twice as much footage as the clip with 30 fps. The result is a smooth and seamless slow-motion scene.
You can’t use a fast-motion video camera and expect flawless results, though. Keep in mind how and where you’re shooting. For instance, a regular camera pan would move at a snail’s pace in slow motion. Feel free to move the camera rapidly when shooting for slow motion.
Second, consider the lighting. When you shoot with a fast shutter speed, you need more light to illuminate an image. If you’re shooting in artificial light, the light sources may flicker when you capture the shot.
Third, keep a 180-degree shutter angle in mind. The 180-Degree Shutter Rule states that your shutter speed needs to be 1/(2 x frame rate)—that is, one over two times your frame rate. For example, if your frame rate is 24 fps, your shutter speed should be 1/48 second or 180 degrees. The higher the number, the more motion blur you’ll incur when shooting slow motion. Conversely, you’ll have less motion blur from frame to frame if you shoot at fewer than 180 degrees.
Finally, make sure you have the right video editing software for your next project. CyberLink PowerDirector offers a robust suite of tools that make it easy to speed up or slow down and even speed ramp your videos.
CyberLink’s PowerDirector lets you bring your ideas to life by combining consumer level ease-of-use and pro-level video editing tools in one platform. Users can leverage the fast rendering, straightforward interface, and surplus of effects, whether they use a Mac or PC. It is ideal for amateur filmmakers and YouTubers.
CyberLink’s award-winning PowerDirector excels at speed and precision. The easy-to-use tools allow you to adjust the speed of a clip with one click. You can simply control-click and drag the end of any video clip on the timeline to change its speed. This allows you to adjust the clips speed by changing its length.
PowerDirector not only simplifies creating slow-motion effects but speed ramps as well. Add smooth slow-motion in and out effects using the Action Camera Center.
Start by dragging media onto your timeline then the following steps:1. Click Designer > Action Camera Center 2. Select Create Time Shift at the desired point on the clip 3. Use the Apply Speed Effect to lower the speed multiplier
You can create a slow-motion video with a reverse effect. Once you drag your media into the timeline, here are the steps you’ll need to follow:1. Click “Designer” and open “Action Camera Center” 2. Select “Create Time Shift” to slow down section of video clip 3. Choose “Apply Replay and Reverse”
PowerDirector ranks as the best video editing software for creating slow-motion videos. It works regardless of your ability level, empowering editors with a wealth of free tools and CyberLink’s continuous upgrades.
Adobe Premiere Pro stands out for being very well-known in the video editing software industry. The expansive professional-grade suite has editing tools to create slow-motion videos and highlight reels.
To adjust the rate of a fast motion video, open the Speed/Duration tool. For example, you can set it to 50% before clicking the Time Interpolation button to finalize your selection. More advanced users can toggle keyframes to create slow motion.
The major drawback of Adobe Premiere Pro is you need to have some knowledge of video editing to use the software. Otherwise you will be completely overwhelmed. Its professional video editing tools are not easily accessible to new users, presenting them with a challenging learning curve. If you can master the techniques necessary to use Adobe Premiere Pro, the results may be worthwhile.Pros
Apple has married prosumer and professional-grade products. Final Cut has powerful features, a slick interface, and numerous upgrades to help you create slow-motion videos.
Slowing down or speeding up a clip is done by selecting a clip on your timeline and extending it to the desired length. If you want more precise video editing tools, you can use the re-timing feature to halve or quarter the speed.
However, the software is pricey. Final Cut Pro retails around $300, and Apple doesn’t allow users to subscribe monthly.
Final Cut Pro works best for serious video editors. The wide range of features makes it a competitive leading offering in the video editing software industry. The only way to justify the price tag, though, is to use the platform and all of its features regularly.Pros
Corel VideoStudio offers a solid array of features with intuitive consumer-centric video editing software. While not as rich as Final Cut, Adobe Premiere Pro, or CyberLink PowerDirector, it deserves consideration. Recent updates have enhanced the timeline editing modes for increased versatility while making slow-motion videos.
Corel VideoStudio has several features that let you toggle a clip’s speed. You can select Slip, Stretch, Slide, and Roll and move the media around your timeline. The effects allow you to adjust the rate at which a clip moves in real-time.
Slow-motion editing has become easier with Corel VideoStudio thanks to its upgrades. Corel added a highlight reel and 4K-monitor support, allowing you to produce eye-catching videos in the highest resolution. You can also take advantage of the new color grading tools to ensure that each clip has the proper look and feel.Pros
Are you seeking a near-professional-caliber video editing software? Pinnacle Studio deserves a look. The flexible and speedy suite has a rich selection of features and upgrades.
Pinnacle Studio comes with a magnetic timeline, allowing you to drag and drop clips into the desired location. It also has a Fit to Duration button, where you can speed up video or transform it into a slow-motion montage. With its straightforward application, the duration-stretching effect can save you time.
While Pinnacle Studio doesn’t stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the industry heavyweights, it continues to improve. The higher quality stability and rendering serve as steps in the right direction. If you want to create a slow-motion video on a budget, Pinnacle Studio can assist you.Pros
|User-Friendly||Easy, Beginner Friendly||No, Professional||No, Professional||Moderate||Moderate|
|Updates & New Features||Constantly/Year Round||Yes||Minimum||No||No|
|Music, Photo, Video Stock Libraries||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Transition Library||Large Collection & Growing||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Text Animations & Title Template||Wide Selection||Limited||Limited||Yes||Yes|
|Split Screen Designer||Yes||No||No||No||No|
Quality video editing software can make all the difference when putting together a slow-motion clip. The best tools allow you to speed up a video or slow it down with the click of a button. The key is that the footage should match the style and pacing of the rest of the video.
CyberLink’s PowerDirector software stands out as the best video editing software on the market. Its prosumer features make it ideal, whether you’re a professional video editor or a first-timer. CyberLink also offers an extensive collection of free plug-ins and effects with a subscription.
Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro are each excellent in their own way, but they cater to professional video editors. They present more challenging learning curves and a steeper price tag. Meanwhile, Corel VideoStudio and Pinnacle Studio Ultimate offer solid values but lack the additional resources of CyberLink PowerDirector.
Get started making your slow-motion masterpiece today! You can download PowerDirector for macOS or Windows for free from CyberLink. You can upgrade to freemium features, such as PowerDirector 365, at any time for as little as $4.33 per month.