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How Team Clipchamp Creates Features

Posted January 24, 2020
Written by Jase Clamp
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Clipchamp team working on hack day.

I’m Jase, Clipchamp’s Product Manager and one of the team members who worked on our first Hack Day of 2020. During this event, our team created three new features for Clipchamp Create. Below, I’ll give you an inside look at how two of these features came to fruition – Timer and Rapid-fire subtitles.

The inspiration

Our team recently watched a video from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern where she was discussing their achievements from the last two years in two minutes. The editors used a single word at a time subtitle effect which was quite impactful. Suddenly, we started noticing these editing techniques popping up everywhere like in the Honda ad below.

This ad illustrates that it’s possible to read faster than you might have thought when displaying and focusing on one word at a time.

As we researched this as a team we found sites like Spreeder which allow you to paste in text and then it will render it in a one-word-at-a-time format so you can read it quickly. We found it very helpful as you could adjust the speed and force yourself to focus on reading more quickly. We found ourselves wishing we’d known about this trick long ago when reading long documents and having to stay focused. With Hack Day fast approaching, we estimated we could knock these visual features out in one day.

The features


With the timer title we configured it so that it can function as either a count up or count down timer. The preferences allow you to place the timer in the middle or corners of the video. So if the corners perhaps the video timer would be used similar to the video above.

Timer feature in Clipchamp Create.

Another potential use we thought of was a large countdown timer in the middle of or overlaid on top of video. This feels like a helpful feature for new years eve custom video countdowns. The scale of the timer can be adjusted to fill the whole screen or just be small. Finally it’s possible to turn on/off the minutes or milliseconds.

For example for a bit more of a fast paced edgy feel perhaps someone would want to leave milliseconds turned on or just having seconds showing would result in a more gentle count.

Rapid-fire subtitles

We’ve had plain subtitles in our Clipchamp Create video editor for some time, so we wanted to extend this functionality by enabling this style of subtitles where only one word is shown at a time.

The way it works is you paste in the transcript from the speaker on the video. It then detects spaces and shows one word at a time spanned equally in time over the duration of the clip in the timeline. In order to keep in time with the speaker, the person building the video would probably want to paste in a sentence at a time and then place on the timeline in sequence with the speaker on the video. To adapt timing within a sentence (such as to show one word a bit longer) you can add a “~” tilde after a word and it will double the time the word is shown for each dash. This would be similar to just putting the same word twice in a row to double its time shown.

It will take a bit of dedication to get this right but we think the resulting impact of video is worth the time.

The result

To demonstrate these two new features we challenged our Head of Product Anna Ji to review the highlights of the features and advancements we’ve made as a company over the past year – in one minute. Here it is.

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