The rise of TikTok has given everyone the tools to become mobile filmmakers, whether it’s a helpful cleaning guide or funny comedy clip. This makes learning the skills to create engaging videos in TikTok extremely valuable.
Whether you’re an avid video creator already, or are looking to learn these skills for the first time, this guide will show you how to edit TikTok videos within the app, so you can create professional-quality clips, no matter how much experience you have.
1 - Set up your camera shot
Once you’ve tapped the + icon to enter Create mode, you can adjust a variety of settings to get the video looking exactly how you want:
• Flip – Changes between selfie camera and rear camera
• Speed – dictates how slow or fast the video will record at, for example when you want to record clips in slow motion
• Beauty – this mode softens your face whilst filming; ideal for close-ups when pixelation might be an issue
• Filter – adjust the mood of your video with a range of colour filters. Can also change facial structure, add a makeup overlay, brighten teeth and more
• Flash – turns your phone’s rear light on or off
2 – Use the timer
One of the most useful tools in the TikTok app is the ‘Timer’ setting. This feature enables you to set how many seconds will pass before the video starts recording. You can choose from a 3-second or 10-second delay, giving you plenty of time to get into position.
Let’s say you want to film a dance video; by using ‘Timer’ to set a delay of 10 seconds, you can record hands-free, set positions, and include everyone in the video at the same time. It’s also a useful tool when filming solo, as it allows you to get into a stylised shot without the need to hold your phone at awkward angles.
3 – Select effects and sound
There are a variety of effects you can set when editing your TikTok video, such as changing the background with a green screen, or adding a mirrored version of yourself.
Many of these effects are added over time and during seasonal events, such as at Christmas, giving you a significant number of options to mix up your videos.
At the top of the screen, you can also add music and sound clips to your creation, including snippets of famous songs, drastically changing its mood in an instant.
4 – Arrange your filming area
Effective lighting and sound are essential for creating an engaging TikTok video. If you’re filming in an overly dark or bright area, viewers might find it hard to see what is going on. Likewise, poor quality sound is a factor people will consider too, and all these can potentially impact how many views and shares your TikTok video receives.
Investing in a ring light is a cost-effective way to illuminate your filming area in natural-looking light. Also, if your handset’s recording sounds tinny or muffled, consider using wired earphones with a built-in microphone, as these are often discrete enough to not be visible on-camera.
5 – Recording the video
Now that your video’s settings and filming space are set up, you’re ready to start recording.
Clips will record for either 15 or 60 seconds based on your choice. Pressing the ‘Record’ button will start the video as normal, but a useful tip is to hold down the ‘Record’ button whilst filming; by doing so, you can zoom in and out by moving your finger up or down.
Another key skill when editing TikTok videos is to loop them. Clips on TikTok restart at the beginning if not scrolled away, so to show the app’s algorithm that your video is being watched to the end (an important metric the algorithm measures), watch your creation repeatedly so you can make sure the end flows into the beginning.
6 – Editing your TikTok video
Once you’re happy with your video, select the ‘tick’ button. You’ll now see the editing timeline, where you can amend each clip and put together your full video. It’s very important to remember that your TikTok video can’t be edited once it’s uploaded, so make sure you’re fully confident with it before putting it online.
The length of individual clips can be adjusted by tapping ‘Adjust Clips’, or they can be recorded again by selecting ‘Start Over’. Text captions, stickers and effects can also be added to each clip, helping you shape the story of the video. To make your video more accessible, captions can be added as text-to-speech by adding your caption, tapping the text, and pressing ‘Text-to-speech’.
To elevate your creations further, master the use of transitions. These can take different forms and serve as a bridge between clips in your video. Examples include:
• The hand-to-camera – at the end of a clip, put your hand against the camera. Start the next clip by removing your hand
• Jump cut – one clip ends and immediately cuts into the next, giving the impression that a change has happened mid-video e.g., a costume swap
• Finger snap or stomp – these are examples of using physical movement to time a cut, such as changing a song when stamping your foot
Transitions are one of the most creative editing techniques for making your TikTok video stand out.
7 – Share your video
Your video is now good to go! Pressing ‘Next’ on the ‘Editing’ screen will take you to ‘Publishing’, where you can assign hashtags to share your creation with a wider audience. You can also enable other TikTokers to create videos that feature your content with ‘Allow Stitch’ or ‘Allow Duets’.
The former gives users the option to cut to your video in theirs, whilst the latter lets them run it simultaneously alongside their clips.
Tap ‘Post’ to send your video out to the world. An option that can be missed in the ‘Share’ menu, when you select your posted video is ‘Share as GIF’. This lets you post bitesize moments of your TikTok creations; great for turning your larger videos into meme templates.
The processing speeds of modern phones means there is little compromise for creating video content, including editing TikTok videos on-the-go. The same is true for editing photos, and our guide to the top photo editing apps will take you through the best ways you can enhance your images directly from your smartphone.
You can find the latest handsets perfect for filming your next TikTok video at Mobiles.co.uk.