It’s not one, neither two, but 22 Powerful Tools to Create and Edit your Own Instructional Videos
Achieving a fantastic online course is more or less equivalent to creating one or more great videos for your students. Luckily, nowadays video production is not just a privilege of the professionals. Impressive techniques that are popular amongst the experienced moviemakers have become available to beginners too. Affordable software and easy-to-use apps empower you as a course maker and unleash your creativity resulting in impressive instructional videos.
When it comes to video editing, you may be wondering what’s the best tool to use. The plethora of available software makes it even harder to choose. We did the hard work and the testing and curated the best software for you. So, let us guide you through the most popular and consumer-friendly video editing tools on the market.
Table of contents
Here are the top 21 tools we selected and tested for you. Let’s see what suits your needs:
Creating an Interactive Learning Experience
The first online interactive videos provided editors with the advantage of presenting additional information beyond the original content, like hypertexts. Today, interactive videos include a variety of features that can augment your video and provide a pluralistic learning environment.
How is that possible?
Interactivity in videos gives learners navigational opportunities, useful feedback in questions, it helps them emphasize the important parts of an action and adjust the video to their learning needs.
These are reasons why you should opt for creating an interactive video. Users love to interact with a learning content. Why not let them interact with your video?
LearnWorlds is an all-in-one platform that allows you to create, promote and sell your online courses, offering an advanced and easy-to-use editor that makes your videos interactive. With a variety of features available, you can augment your footage and in a few clicks, you can arrange these features in the way and the exact moment you want them to appear.
With Learnworlds editor you can add any element you want, like overlay images, logos, titles, pointers, quizzes, external links, openers, videos, labels, navigational buttons and more. You can try LearnWorlds and start creating amazing interactive videos.
Get your fully social, engaging and interactive online school.Get started now!
Update: Storygami has shut-down operations since April 2019.
Users of Storygami can transform YouTube videos into interactive experiences known as ‘folding stories’. Website creators have named the interactive elements “interactive cards”. These are layers that the designer can add, and define the length of the time they are shown to the viewer. The cards are interactive, which means the user has the choice to either click on them or ignore them. Those clickable layers are for example video cards, article cards, gallery cards, map cards, data cards (all context cards), newsletter cards, poll cards, donation cards, product cards, patreon cards.
The end-products of this platform are called “smart videos” and are filled with advanced features. TouchCast offers a green screen that allows designers to separate objects from the natural scenery and place them in different backgrounds, also while they are recording the object.
Apart from these feature TouchCast also provides valuable analytics and comes with a variety of interactive elements that are called video apps (vApps): Image vApps, Video inside a video, PDF vApps, Dropbox vApps, Video vApps, Hotspot vApps, YouTube vApps, Photo and Map vApps, Google Drive vApps, etc. Vapps are prepared at the beginning of a project by the creators who are expected to record the video along with the interaction, so that it can be saved.
Wirewax provides a variety of interactive elements including automated hotspots. People, objects, and products can be automatically identified with a hotspot, and the motion of the object can be tracked as it moves in the scene. Static hotspots allow designers to place simple buttons at any spot in a video and viewers can interact with any item that is in it.
This provides the possibility to viewers to decide the path they want to take and swipe between scenes or videos and switch camera views. Wirewax is the first platform that launched the 360º interactive video.
Creating and Editing a Screencast from your Computer
A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, usually containing audio narration. Sometimes you may need to show your learners specific steps of a procedure on a computer (e.g., how to use a specific software or simply recording the slides of a Powerpoint presentation). Screen-recording tools are very easy and often free to use. You can use:
Screencast-O-Matic is an online tool that provides fast and free screen-recording for stuff that doesn’t only reside in a browser window. Screencast-O-Matic provides the option for screencast recordings, webcam recordings or both, as well as the ability to use a microphone to record your voice.
The Pro Recorder provides exciting editing effects such as drawing on a screen, scripted recordings, zooming, creating captions, sharing tools and many others.
Ezvid is a downloadable tool which captures any software that runs on your computer. Some of its interesting features are Voice recording, speed control, screen drawing, stamps, face-camera and YouTube upload. Through a drawing palette, you can choose a brush or a stamp and draw directly on your screen.
Your recording appears on a timeline after you have finished recording. Editing possibilities include duplication or splitting of your clips, speed control (up to 600%) and adding text to a video. This nice tool also includes a speech synthesizer!
7BlueBerry Flashback Express Recorder
This recorder enables you to capture your screen while at the same time recording yourself through a webcam. It provides a long list of features that allows you to edit your videos like a pro using a very user-friendly interface. The tool allows you to decide whether you want to record sound and web activity or not.
Another great thing about BlueBerry is that you can schedule recordings to avoid missing online events, such as webinars. Also, it includes a record player that works like a VCR and allows you to go over and review your recording frame-by-frame.
Camtasia’s screen casting tool offers a lot more flexibility in terms of creating long videos and adding overlays. It has a simple interface with powerful editing, interaction features, animated backgrounds and special effects. Users can upload their videos straight to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and Screencast.
By the way, here is a great article with advice on how to create a winning screencast, including more screencasting tools.
Apps to create and edit videos on your phone
Today’s smartphones are super powerful. Most of them can run software that only a few short years back could be found only on expensive, professional desktops and workstations. Editing videos on our own mobile phone can produce amazing results for your instructional videos, especially in cases someone wants nice results in a short amount of time.
After shooting a video with your smartphone, you may need to edit it for better quality and give it more awesomeness. In this category, we introduce four tools you can use to edit videos shot with your Android phone. Why not give them a try? Here are our suggestions
This app (also available for your PC) makes it easy to transform photos and videos into edited movies. The procedure is simple: You can capture video from within the app or upload videos, select an editing style, a soundtrack and give it a title. The app automatically adds filters and special effects to your video. Recently, Magisto released Magisto Shot, which turns photos and text into a micro-movie.
iMovie app is a super user-friendly Video Editor as it offers a simple process on creating videos. At first, you select the video format – either movie or Hollywood style trailer, and then you select a theme for transitions, titles, and chapters. After that, you add your photos, videos (you can capture video from within the app) and audio files (insert or record a voiceover). iMovie automatically adds movement to your images but you can also manually adjust the flow of your photos. When you are done, you can simply save or share the footage.
Videoshop is an excellent and very affordable video editing app that lets you create movies without restricting you to a specific format template. Videoshop offers slow motion, time-lapse, and stop-motion options when capturing video from within the app. All you need to do is add photos and videos, add audio tracks, filters, and titles, sound effects and organize your clips (you can also trim them). Videoshop also provides video editing options. For example, you can adjust how each clip flows into the next clip. Finally, you can save your video to your device or share it on social media.
Animoto is an automatic video editing app that is very straightforward to use. Unlike the previous apps, you cannot capture pictures or videos from within the app. What you can do though is select an editing style, then add filters to your video by choosing a style theme from the list of provided options. Select a preferred soundtrack and add your captions and titles on photos and video clips. Inserting title screens with custom messages throughout your video and sharing your footage via social media is possible. Additional features provide HD videos, longer videos, video downloads, cloud storage, more photos and videos to upload.
Easy to Use Tools to Edit Videos on your Computer
There is a range of video production tools you can use that offer easy solutions for creating a nice footage. If you just want to edit videos in your computer, there are lightweight editors – either downloadable or online – that will help you get the job done in minutes, and export the video in a format suitable for uploading online, or playing on any desktop or mobile device.
Here some of the best options we tested.
13AVS Video Editor
AVS Video Editor is a downloadable video editor for Windows. It is easy to use and it is rich in features as it can give your video a professional and high-quality touch, while importing your clips, trimming them, adding several elements (like music, pictures, and text) and transitions between them. AVS also provides several video effects and offers the ability to share the end result through various social media platforms.
Filmora is a more advanced video editor that still manages to maintain an intuitive and straightforward approach to video production. With Filmora you can achieve a professional result through a simple interface, where you can quickly add and edit video clips, music, text, and filters.
Filmora also provides a wide range of video formats and can retrieve files from social media. Its latest features include speaker speed control (control the speed of narration), camera shake and various blending modes (to combine videos).
This advanced and simultaneously easy to use downloadable software provides curve-based Key Frame animations, unlimited tracks and layers, and 3D animated tiles and effects. It possesses and advanced timeline that enables users to drag and drop images and audio support into the editor.
Editing allows clip resizing, scaling, trimming, snapping, and rotation. OpenShot also provides frame accuracy (step through each frame of video), Time-mapping speed changes on clips (slow/fast, forward/backward) and digital video effects.
Advanced Video Editing Tools for Experienced Users
If your business relies on having top-notch video quality (and if you are in the online course business this is definitely true), then having access to Professional video editing software is an investment worth doing. Advanced editing software provides many special effects and helps you take your video creation from beginner to Pro Level. Such editors can help you create the most stunning videos, rivalling what film makers can produce. We tested some of the top video editing software and we present here the results so that you can find the program with the right features for you.
Hitfilm is a downloadable software that is distinguished from others as it combines editing and special effects all in one (like 3D special effects). The basic editor is very impressive, with advanced cutting tools, a great set of audio and video filters, layers, masking and compositing options. A fascinating feature is Chroma keying used for creating green screen effects. Additional tools are available for a fee, for a pack featuring color-correction, exposure adjustment, split screen masking, and various creative filters.
17VSDC Video Editor
VSDC is a downloadable software, which provides a vast array of effects and filters. It offers both wizards and manual options, matching the needs of beginners and more advanced users, alike.
You can choose amongst multiple scenes and transitions, add sprites, images, audio files, animations and text to your videos. You can also layer these in various ways e.g. blending, overlaying, and masking, and each object can be edited, moved and cut independently. Like Hitfilm, the editor also provides video effects (Instagram-style filters, special effects like fire, smoke, and water) all of which are fully customizable.
Online Tools to Create Stunning Animations and Other Presentations
Creating animations has always been considered as a time-intensive activity that requires heavy software and technological expertise. However, over the past few years, the emergence of various online presentation and animation tools has simplified the process of creating animations. Animations are very powerful tools for elearning. They are engaging and can serve a variety of purposes. Animations can easily be changed, in contrast to traditional footage.
With Animaker you can just as easily create animations by choosing from a variety of characters available in the library, deciding a specific movement and facial expression for the character and changing it as many times you need. You can also use pop-up effects and add scene transitions.
Animaker offers the ability to create handcraft animations (a human hand holding the animation), whiteboard animations (an efficient and engaging way to merely explain an idea) or infographic videos. This tool now gives multi-camera possibilities to watch the characters one after the other.
GoAnimate is an online platform that is made easy for anyone. With GoAnimate you can create high-quality animated videos and the characters can be customized into hundreds of different shades of color. What is special about this tool is that it provides ready-to-use templates with specific characters, at different scenes, which you can choose to put on the editor. You can also change the characters of these scenes, specify their position and direct their movements within the scene.
If you are looking for an easy way to create engaging presentations – that is not necessarily consisting of footage, then this is your tool. Moovly studio consists of: A library, which contains objects and clips to create your content; a stage, which is the area where you visually compose your content; a timeline, where you can time and synchronize the appearance and animations of your objects; and a property area, where you can change the details about your objects. The objects in the library may be images, sounds, and even videos.
Wideo is an online video platform that allows users to create stunning presentations in a very simple way. The platform provides a variety of templates which you can use to create every kind of presentation you want (e-commerce, company guidelines, institutional explainers etc.). The templates are arranged in ways that help you create animation-based stories. You can either download or share your videos.
Powtoon helps you create great presentation with the ease of making a power point presentation. Like Wideo, Powtoon is a template-based tool that helps you create training demos, landing page videos, How To’s videos, tutorials etc. It isn’t as simple to use; however, it provides a wider variety of templates in the same story.
So, there you have them! 22 special tools that will help you create an instructional video fast and easily, without the need for previous experience. Don’t worry if you are not familiar with video creation yet. Start by producing simple footage on your phone. Always keep in mind that learners prefer to learn through video rather than through text.
If you already are a seasoned video creator and are looking for new ways then consider creating an animation video, or a 360-degree video and experiment with making it interactive. Of course, if you can afford it, producing professional videos that use special effects is always a choice.
Further reading you might find interesting:
Anthea is a Course designer and Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team. She holds years of experience in instructional design and teaching. With a Master of Education (M.Ed.) focused in Modern Teaching Methods & ICT (Information & Communications Technology), she supplements her knowledge with practical experience in E-Learning and Educational Technology.