Basic Video Creation Tools You Need

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In our video content series, we’ve tackled why video reigns supreme on social and the core technical setup to get you started. Now, there are essential video creation tools that you need to know and use when getting started.

Your Free (or Nearly Free) Video Creation Tools

The right software should never be a barrier to your creativity. Jumpstart your journey with these:

  • CapCut (Mobile): Owned by the same parent company that owns TikTok, CapCut is the undisputed champion for fast-paced Reels and TikToks. Its music, text overlays, and trendy effects make using the app intuitive and fun. 
  • Canva (Desktop/Mobile): Famous for graphics, Canva also boasts surprisingly robust video editing.  Canva’s video editor has pre-made templates, a stock footage library, and simple animation for those with zero experience.
  • InShot (Mobile): Another popular choice, InShot excels at simple transitions, splitting/combining clips, and making audio adjustments. Great for no-fuss platform-specific edits.
  • VN Video Editor (Mobile): This often-overlooked app provides more sophisticated controls like adding keyframes for subtle animations. Consider it a step up if you outgrow beginner tools.
  • OpenShot (Desktop): If desktop power is what you crave, this open-source software rivals paid programs. Multi-track editing, layers, and deeper effects await those willing to put in a bit of learning time.

Beyond Video Creation Tools: Mastering the Essentials


Video creation tools are but one side of the video creation coin. To create eye-catching content, you must combine a fundamental understanding of your skills with the tools. Here are some things to take note of in this regard; 

  • The Magic of Music: Impactful video is about both sight and sound. Music creates mood, so it’s worth testing a few. Platform-provided sound libraries (licensed for use!) are your best bet to avoid legal issues. They make adding background tracks or fun effects a snap. 
  • Subtitles are Super Powers: Increase accessibility AND reach viewers scrolling with sound muted. Many apps auto-generate them, but always proofread them for accuracy!
  • Transitions to Try: A simple cut between clips works, but fades, wipes, etc. enhance visual interest.  Experiment to add polish, but don’t go overboard – focus on your story over flashiness so you don’t distract your viewer from your message
  • Export Tips: Know your platform limits! Large files cause upload headaches and incorrect formats play badly. Always research ideal settings BEFORE finalising.

From Concept to Creation: Workflow Example

Let’s put this into practice with a short-form Reel for Instagram:

  1. Choose Your Tool: For short-form, playful edits, let’s try CapCut on this sample project. Download the app and once settled, open a new project
  2. Import: Grab that selfie video we discussed in Part 1! 
  3. Pick your track: CapCut’s music library is vast. Select a track that matches your brand voice or what you’re communicating in the video. Use keywords like “upbeat”, “catchy”,  “inspirational”, etc. to get the right vibe. Ensure a legal track by filtering in-app options.
  4. Subtitles Matter: CapCut will auto-generate subtitles, but mistakes happen. Check them! Bold fonts and colours enhance readability on small screens.
  5. Trim and Pace: Attention spans are short! Does any bit drag? Cut! Are there unnatural pauses while talking? Cut! Keep your clips as short as possible to hold attention on fast-moving platforms.
  6. Test Drive Effects: CapCut is known for these… But don’t go overboard. Does it complement the message, or clash?
  7. Export Like a Pro: CapCut has pre-sets for platforms. Select the platform-specific template right in the tool for optimal file size and format. Follow guidelines to ensure your final version plays perfectly.

The Adventure Continues

This is a sample workflow, with platforms and apps evolving frequently! While the fundamentals always apply, the idea is to keep exploring and experimenting. Be curious, play with effects, and refine your editing with every video you create. As your skills sharpen, you can then graduate to more complex tools. 

Ready to elevate your editing game further? Check out this course on Video Editing by Nova University.


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