Apple “Clips”

“Clips” is a relatively new, free iOS app which brings video creation to another level. You can import images and videos, then add special effects like filters, labels, stickers, and even emojis. There are cool animated graphics and transitions and a special voice-to-text feature that turns into a rolling scroll on your screen. You can add your own music, or choose from 70 different free soundtracks in the app. With Clips, you and your students can create fun, engaging, and memorable videos like never before! Below is a video I created as an idea for your students to share a little about their homes and neighbourhoods. (Alternatively, they could do a school tour with the same idea.) Or, click here for a quick video idea called “My favourite things”.

Here’s another one I made after a quick visit to Calgary:


There are many video tutorials on YouTube for Apple Clips basics. Try to find one that has the 2.0 version of Clips which was released November, 2017. Click here for a good quick one. Click here to read more about the update and longer video tutorial.

Apple Clips is a little challenging to use at the beginning. Here are some tips and tricks I learned through much trial and error.

  1. You can take photos/videos within the Clips app, or use your camera app and upload to Clips later. (I recommend recording the videos in the Clip app because then you can use the voice to rolling text feature.)
  2. If you use the Clips app to take photos/videos, I recommend saving the clips to your camera roll in case you delete it by mistake (tap on clip in timeline, then tap “Save Clip”.)
  3. All media has to be at least 1 second long.
  4. Videos you take within the Clips app automatically go into your timeline, but not photos. To add a photo to your project, you need to hold the pink button down. This is called “Recording the photo”. (You can also adjust the duration of the photo by tapping “Trim”.) Note that you need to record a photo for at least one second before it will insert into your timeline.
  5. Videos that you import from your library have to be “recorded” into your timeline like you do for photos. (However, you will not be able to hear the original audio of the video while you are recording it. You will be able to hear it after you finish recording).
  6. You cannot add a voiceover to a photo or video after you have added it to your timeline. So you will have to delete the clip and add it again. To be safe, tap “Save clip” (in case it’s not on your camera roll), then delete the photo/video in your timeline > Done > Library > Tap your media and hold pink button to record your voice and put the clip back in your timeline. (NOTE: If you want to delete the original sound on a video, tap “Mute” > Mute original video.) Drag your media to the spot you want it to go in your timeline.
  7. If you don’t want to keep your finger on the pink button while you’re recording, swipe up until it turns into a square then tap the square when you’re done.
  8. Make sure to add an effect to a clip before you record your voice. If you add it after, you may lose it, and you will have to add it again.
  9. To add text, tap the star (effects) button > Labels > Choose a label and tap on it to edit it.
  10. Make sure to tap the “Done” button whenever you add/change something or you will lose your changes.
  11. If you want to splice a video to delete, say, the middle of it, make sure it’s on your camera roll (tap “save clip” if you shot the video from the app)> Library > tap video > start recording (tap and hold pink button) > take finger off record button and push the video line to the left in the viewer to where you want the video to continue. Tap and hold pink button again.
  12. There are no time-lapse or slo-mo options within the app. You must use the camera app, then import into your project.
  13. To make a label disappear and then add another label on the same video clip or photo (like I did in my house tour video above), there are a few ways to do this. 1) You can record the video/photo live in the app, pausing the recording each time to add a label and then recommencing the recording. 2) You can record the video/photo live in the app, pausing where you want a label to go, continue the recording and pause again where you want a label to go, etc. You can add the labels later since you have sectioned your video/photo by stopping and starting the recording. 3) You can add labels to a video/photo you have already taken but only if you import the clip from your library so make sure it’s saved there if it’s not already. Now > Library > choose clip. Start recording your video/photo then stop recording and add your first label. Continue recording and stop recording, delete the label, and add another label, and continue recording until you get to the end of the clip.(Thanks Bethany Nugent for helping me with that tip!) Unfortunately, you will not be able to hear the audio when you record video this way (but you will be able to hear it after). Note also that when you import media from your camera roll, it automatically goes at the end of your timeline. So when you add sequential labels like this, you end up with multiple clips which you then need to drag, individually, onto your timeline where you want them (it’s a pain).
  14. To copy a clip, tap and hold on the clip in the viewer (large screen), tap “Done”, then tap and hold the viewer again > then paste. Remember, you have to tap the pink button to record the photo to add to your timeline.
  15. You can zoom into a photo or video while you are recording to your timeline by using a reverse-pinch gesture on the viewer. Use the record-lock feature (#6 above) to make this easier to do while recording. You can also pan across a photo this way.
  16. Note that some of the music clips are short and may end sooner than your video, then loop up again which may result in an awkward silent moment in the middle of your video. If this is the case, search around for a music clip that is longer to match the length of your video. Note also that you cannot alter the volume of the music clip. However, the music automatically ducks so that you can hear the audio of the original video.

Do you have any “Clips” tips and tricks to add? Please add them with a comment below. Have fun with “Clips”!



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