5 Tools & Apps for Eye-Catching Video Effects

Megan O'Neill


Standing out in a crowded news feed can be tough. That’s why it’s important to craft your videos in a way that draws attention right from the start. Animoto’s Chief Video Officer, Jason Hsiao, recommends that you “save the best for first.” Put your most eye-catching imagery up front, open with a big juicy stat or compelling question to stop people in their tracks.

Video Effects Tools and Apps

If you don’t feel like you have any eye-catching imagery of your own, not to worry. We’ve rounded up some ideas, tools, and apps that can help you create video clips that are prime for grabbing attention online.

Create a burst effect in Animoto

We’ll start with a simple technique you can try in your next Animoto video. You can see this technique in action at the beginning of our Fashion Lookbook How To Storyboard. The quick succession of clips and text are great for catching the eyes of potential viewers.

To achieve a burst effect, log in to Animoto and start creating a marketing video. Not an Animoto customer? Take it for a spin with a free trial. You can choose a storyboard or start from scratch, but just make sure to go into the Style selector in the toolbar on the left and select a style that has a text reveal like Concrete or Clean Lines.

Add a handful of photos and/or video clips and here’s the important part: make sure each block is only 1 second long. This is how you’ll achieve the quick burst effect. For video clips, go into EDIT mode to trim them down to 1 second. For images, hover over the time indicator in the lower left corner of the block and you’ll be able to adjust the timing from there.

Trim Videos Animoto

Slow it down with Slo-Mo

Sometimes a slight change in perspective is all it takes to get potential viewers to stop scrolling and start watching. Slow motion footage can be a fun way to show an activity or product in a different, attention-capturing light. And guess what? You likely already have everything you need to shoot slow motion footage on your phone.

On an iPhone, you should have “Slo-Mo” as an option right in your camera app and, depending on your device model, “Slo Motion” may be available on your Android device as well. If not, you can try an app like Slow Motion Video FX.

Speed it up with Time-Lapse

On the opposite side of the spectrum is time-lapse—a sped up version of your video footage. You likely have a time-lapse feature in your phone’s camera app too, but if not you can try out an app like Lapse It.

Don’t want to shoot it yourself? You can also find a huge variety of over 1,200 results when you search our library of photos and video clips from Getty Images. Try searching for the term “time lapse” paired with “people,” “sky,” “flower,” or “city” to find some of the clips featured in this short compilation video.

Make a Boomerang

Boomerang is a fun app from Instagram that you can use as a standalone app, or from within the Instagram app itself (by clicking on the icon that looks like an infinity symbol). Boomerang lets you create mini videos that loop forwards and backwards.

You can see what a Boomerang looks like in action in a business video in this example from Pure Barre Red Bank. Read more about their story here.

Make a stop motion clip

Stop motion is technique in which you take a picture of an object, move the object a little and take another picture, move the object a little more and take another picture, and so on. Then, when you play all the pictures back in succession it makes it look like the object is moving.

Some stop motion animations are more involved, like this fun example from Visual Country for Amazon Fashion:

However, even a very basic stop motion clip can add intrigue and appeal to your video. You can see this in action with avocados in the second block of our DIY: Beauty Tutorial storyboard:

As you can see, stop motion is super fun and eye-catching and, with the use of an app, it’s actually easier than it looks. Try Stop Motion Studio for iOS or for Android. This app provides an overlay mode that makes it easy to see the difference between each of your frames.

Planning to try out any of these video effects? We’d love to see what you come up with! Drop a link in the comments or head over to Facebook to share your videos with our Social Video Marketing Community—a place for inspiration, tips, and feedback on your videos!