Free Video Apps to Capture Your Creativity

All you need now are some apps to make the most of both. We’ve rounded up a handful of great apps designed for mobile videographers of all levels, from budding auteurs to friends capturing friends’ antics to families looking for fun creative outlets for their kids. The best part? You can get started with all of them without paying a penny up front.

This one has potential to keep kids – and geeky grown-ups – busy for hours on end by turning anyone who can hold a camera steady into an expert special-effects director. All you have to do is select one of the available scenes or effects – like a meteor smashing into the ground, say, or an avalanche – and then point the camera at your subject. Press record for the specified amount of time, hit the OK button afterwards, and around five seconds later you’ll have your very own professionally rendered CGI Hollywood action scene starring your friends, family and even your toys or pets. It comes with plenty of free scenes to choose from – including one in which a Star Wars BB-8 will zap the subject of your choice (the app was built by J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot production company) – and you can purchase more scenes in packs for just a couple of bucks each.
Action Movie FX
Free with in-app purchases | iOS

Hailing from the image gurus at Instagram, Boomerang doesn’t capture true video but instead short bursts of photos that it then runs back and forth in an infinite loop, a bit like a GIF. Boomerangs can make their subjects appear to defy physics – like a drink forever pouring and un-pouring itself – or transform a friend’s casual smile into a study in muscle movement. And it’s incredibly easy to use: just point your phone at your subject and hit record. The app takes care of the rest. Another couple of taps will let you instantly share your boomerangs however you like; not just on Instagram but also Facebook, Twitter, text message or email.
Boomerang from Instagram
Free | Android, iOS

This awesomely accessible video editor is so well designed that it was recently purchased by GoPro to give its extreme-sports camera customers the power to quickly and easily edit footage on mobile devices. But you don’t need a GoPro camera to use it. You can import videos (and photos) from your device or a cloud service. Then in just a few simple steps, Splice will stitch everything together, automatically adding transitions and the music of your choice. Once all of your scenes have been put together, you can edit speed, add effects, crop out bits of the frame you don’t want, and add text or narration. It’s a quick and painless way to put together professional-looking videos from your library while on the go.
Free with in-app purchases | iOS

Give a tablet loaded with this app to an imaginative kid and you probably won’t see them again for the rest of the day. They can get started with virtually no instruction. Just open the app, point it at a scene – like a table set up with action figures or dolls – and then start tapping the onscreen shutter button, moving subjects a smidgeon at a time between shots to create a sense of movement. You can play back your progress at any point, adjusting speed and adding your own voice. It’s as simple and easy as animation gets, yet it opens the door to endless possibilities, from Lego movies to cartoons made from paper cutouts. No kids? Consider using it to document the progress of a home reno or backyard project, capture the magic of blooming flowers, or record the gathering of storm clouds.
Stop Motion Studio
Free with in-app purchases | Android, iOS, Windows Phone

Want quick Web celebrity? Triller could be the ticket. It will let you put together an (almost) MTV-worthy music video in a matter of minutes. Just pick a song from the app’s featured list of top 40 artists or one your own library, select the length you’d like your video to be, then record yourself performing it as many times and using as many filters and effects as you like. Once you’re done, the app will create a preliminary video by automatically stitching together segments from each of your takes. Unhappy with the final cut? No problem. You can easily shorten or lengthen each segment with a quick slide of your finger. When finished, you can share it with your friends or upload it to the Triller community. Then just sit back and wait (hope?) for a bit of viral fame.
Free | Android, iOS

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