**** updated on 27th May 2020 ****
The ability to slow down a video or speed it up is a powerful way to convey emotions, ideas, action, and more.
Think of Neo’s bullet-dodging antics in The Matrix, where slow motion is used to emphasise speed and grace. Or the way a coffee cup shattering in slow motion communicates a character’s state of shock in The Usual Suspects:
Fast motion is just as versatile, great for everything from conveying superhuman intellect in films like Limitless to the absurd comedy of The Three Stooges:
And then there are virtuoso scenes like Donnie Darko’s simple walk from his school bus to class. This shot seamlessly blends slow motion and fast motion, allowing the audience to identify a world of characters and relationships in a single take.
So, how do you speed up or slow down video without the need for fancy equipment or expensive software? Introducing Clipchamp Create!
Changing the playback speed of videos with Clipchamp
Our free online video editor puts a whole array of editing techniques at your fingertips, including the ability to add a slow motion effect to video snippets or, alternatively, speed them up. Despite offering powerful functionality, Create is very easy to use, even if you don’t have any prior experience in video editing.
It’s also very fast as it works entirely in the browser without uploading your media files to a server, allowing you to edit videos online without having to wait for slow uploads.
All you need to do to slow down or speed up video with Clipchamp is sign up for free with an email or social media account, then follow the steps below.
Step 1: Open a new editing project
After registering, click ‘Create a video’ on the overview page to get started:
Select the aspect ratio that works best for your video. For example, an Instagram video should be 1:1 while most YouTubers use 16:9.
Step 2: Add video files
With your project initiated, the next step is to add media assets. You can import video, image and audio files straight from your computer. Just click the ‘Add Media’ button:
You can also explore Clipchamp’s extensive stock library of more than 100,000 professional video and audio files.
Step 3: Slow down your clip or speed it up
After you’ve added the video file you want to manipulate, drag it down to the timeline, like so:
Then, highlight the file by clicking it, which brings up a window with editing options. Under the Transform tab, you’ll see an option for ‘Clip speed’ – use that drop down to select fast or slow motion.
You can make your video twice, four times, eight times or sixteen times as fast:
Or slow it down to half, a quarter, or one-tenth its original speed:
Step 4: Making more precise changes
Of course, you may want to do something more creative with your video – have it slow down at a pivotal moment, or even blend normal speed, slow motion, and fast motion. Here's how to achieve this – in the example we're only slowing down a portion of our video while the rest remains at normal playback speed.
First, you’ll need to identify where you want to speed or slow your video. For example, in this clip of a BMX jump, we want to slow the video at the start as our ‘hero’ makes his jump, but leave it at normal speed right after he hits the ground.
For this, we’ll need to use the ‘Split’ tool, which looks like this:
All we need to do is drag the scrubber to the right place, click the scissor icon to split the video in two, then select the first part of the clip and slow it down, like so:
And here’s the result, made with just a few clicks in Clipchamp:
To selectively speed up or slow down other snippets of a clip, just go through the same few steps as described above.
Once you're done making edits, click 'Export’ in the top right of the Create screen and download your new video incl. all added effects and adjustments:
And that's how easy it is to add playback speed effects to a video online :-)
BONUS TIP: if you’re looking for ideas, inspiration, or great content for your video projects, you can browse Create’s range of themed templates. For example, here’s an winter sale e-commerce template that makes strategic use of slow motion.