In the age of YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram Reels, basic video editing is a required skill. If you’re reading this, chances are you have already downloaded a video editing app or software to neaten up your content or play around with effects. Let’s show you what else you can do with your video editor.
Here is a roundup of some easy and cool video editing ideas for newbies.
1. Audio Visualizer
We’re all familiar with the iconic Windows Media Player sound visualizer. You can make your own version for the sake of nostalgia, or do something completely original.
All you need is a background image or video, and a design element that you’re able to mask and animate. Ideally, your editor has a beat detector or effects that utilize beat detection, but you can also manually animate the elements. Here’s how to make the elements react to audio in After Effects.
You can add whatever else you want to make the design truly unique. Look at what the above tutorial by TechnoMafia Visuals did. They used the Audio Spectrum effect in After Effects to get the animation, and included other visuals such as a brush effect, a fade-in frame, and callouts.
2. Lyric Video
This one is not only easy but useful; there will always be someone who looks up the lyrics of a song on YouTube. You can easily whip up a lyric video and make it aesthetic with animation and cool fonts.
All you need is a background, a copy of the lyrics, and get to work. In the above tutorial by Olufemii, they used Premiere Pro and After Effects together to make the lyric animation, which simplifies the process, but you can stick to just one editing program.
You can get creative with fonts, background visuals, colors, animation effects, and the manner in which you break up the text.
3. Animated Lower Third
Another useful editing technique is a lower third. It’s very simple to make and serves a purpose for your content.
A lower third is a graphic that appears in the lower third of the screen, and it can contain anything that you want to relay to your audience, such as social media handles, titles, and fun facts. This is assuming you already have your primary content taking up the rest of the screen space.
See our full guide to making and animating a lower third in After Effects.
4. Loading Bar
This one is very easy and fun to make. An animated loading bar visual can be used in a variety of content types, including meme videos, aesthetic TikTok edits, and even presentations.
You can make it any color you wish, add any text you want, or put a cool glitch effect on it. Ideally, you should use a solid background color that differs from the colors of the loading bar. This is so you can import the file to other video edits and mask out the background. You can even use it for your YouTube intros with the text “Content Loading”.
5. Shattering Glass Effect
This effect is easier than it looks if you can get your hands on a pre-made green screen shattering glass clip. You can find these on YouTube or Instagram for free, so long as you credit the creator. Search for “glass shatter green screen”, and then all you need to do is import your footage and mask out the colors in the clip.
Some video editors also come with this type of effect, so you don’t have to hunt down a green screen. For example, in After Effects, search for “shatter” or “pixel polly”.
6. The Reverse Edit
The reverse editing technique is very easy. All it involves is cutting your clips, rearranging them, and adding a reverse effect to every second clip; this will create a back-and-forth motion. You can also do a simple once-forward and then once-backward effect. These animations pair very well with some popular TikTok audios.
In order to make this editing technique look good, you’ll have to add some velocity, motion blur, color grading, and any other effects that complement your style.
If you’re on social media, you’ve seen velocity. All you need is an editor that lets you edit the speed of your footage and add motion blur or optical flow to prevent it from looking choppy. After Effects, Video Star, and CapCut are superior for this technique because they have dedicated tools for creating velocity.
There are different ways you can try this. You can use one long clip so it goes fast-slow-fast-slow, or you can cut it into multiple clips and use the same speed variation settings on each one. As long as some parts are fast and others are slo-mo, you did velocity.
Ideally, you should sync up the speed variation to the audio. Here’s how to sync video and audio in After Effects. A flicker effect also pairs well with this animation.
8. VSMB Transition
VSMB stands for Video Star Motion Blur, but this effect is not limited to the Video Star app. Depending on the editor you’re using, the way to achieve VSMB can vary. Usually, it involves merging all of your clips into one video and adding motion blur, or some type of blur or warp effect, turned all the way up.
It’s best to use still images for your clips because, during playback, the extreme motion blur will blur any movement. The above tutorial demonstrates all of your VSMB options on CapCut.
9. Glowing Eyes
If you’re editing a video with a person or character, you can make their eyes glow. There are a multitude of methods to achieve this effect, but it’s simpler than it looks.
The above tutorial by OREKI uses the chroma key feature in Alight Motion to mask the eyes, then imports the file to CapCut, tweaks the colors, and uses it as an overlay on the original footage. That’s all it takes. It’s similar to using green screen overlays in CapCut.
You can also create a mask manually and animate it, but it might be difficult to align it with the original footage if you’re still a beginner.
Get Creative With Your Video Editor
If you have a video editing app on your phone or computer but don’t know what else to do beyond splitting and trimming clips, these ideas are a good starting point for using your editor to its full potential. The more you try them, the easier it will get, and soon, you’ll be making superior video edits that you can show off on social media.