App for journalists: Clips, for creating videos with animated captions

Credit: Image by Clips

What is it?: An app that creates quick videos with animated text, graphics, emojis and music.

Devices: iOS

Cost: Free

How is it of use to journalists?

News organisations looking to engage social audiences are more aware than ever before of the need to capture people’s attention with the sound off, and we’ve seen publishers such as AJ+ and NowThis coming up with news ways of using captions in their videos.

But although post-production softwares such as Adobe After Effects and Final Cut Pro can help news outlets create eye-catching visuals, mobile journalists out in the field need to be able to use only their smartphone to shoot, edit and publish this type of materials.

Clips, a free app from Apple, enables reporters to add animated titles and captions to their clips in real time, by dictating the text straight into their phone – all while recording video.

Captions are generated automatically as they speak to match the timing of their voiceover – useful for journalists when they are commentating on events, filming interviews or recording pieces to camera.

How does it work?

Once you’ve opened the app, select the speech bubble from the top-left of the toolbar on your screen. Here, you can choose how you’d like your subtitles to appear while you talk into the phone: in full sentences on a banner at the bottom or in the center of the frame, or word by word at the bottom.

Next, choose the filter option to add effects, such as making footage look like a comic book or a black and white movie.

Like Snapchat or Instagram Stories, you can add stickers and captions to your videos to make them more engaging, and you can also include a time stamp or your location.

Once you are happy with your settings, press and hold the red record button at the bottom of the screen to record your first clip. Once you release the button, your video will be saved as a square thumbnail, and you will be able to record additional clips and personalise them individually with captions and stickers.

Changed your mind about the visuals used for the clip you just took? The toolbar at the top of the screen allows you to go back and change or remove any of the elements included in the clip. You can also easily add photos and videos from your camera roll if your wish to use pre-recorded material.

Change the order of your shots by holding down a clip’s thumbnail and dragging it to the desired position. You can even cut clips by selecting them, tapping the scissors icon and using the trimming tool to shorten them.

When you are done, you can upload your video to social media by tapping ‘done’ in the bottom-right corner, and uploading to Facebook, Twitter, or sharing with your newsroom via email or Slack.

If you’re interested in apps for adding subtitles to videos, check out these two collections of 10 apps, including Gravie and FilmStory.

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