Tips, tricks and shortcuts for making movies on your mobile Part 2

11. Insert title cards

Title cards are another area where WeVideo proves its worth, and you’ll see one inserted for you at the start of every video project you create in the Android app. Tap on the Title card to edit the text, then use the Theme button (which looks like a magic wand) to choose a style for your title cards to be applied throughout the project. The iOS version of WeVideo isn’t quite as advanced, but you can always export a basic project to the Web app where all of the editing features and file formats are available.

Adobe Premiere Clip

12. Go hands-off with automatic projects

Clip is the stripped-down, mobile version of Adobe’s heavyweight desktop video editing application, and it’s available for both Android and iOS. One of its most useful features as far as casual filmmakers are concerned is the automatic mode that appears as an option whenever you create a new project and import some clips: choose to go automatic and the Clip app customises your footage based on a music track and speed chosen by you. It’s the perfect halfway house between sharing your raw video unedited and spending hours poring over every detail of the sequence.

13. Create motion from photos

Clip includes a more advanced freeform editor too, and one of the tools available in it is Photo Motion: this enables you to add photos to your movies while keeping some kind of movement so your project doesn’t grind to a static stop. Tap the cog icon at the top of the freeform editing screen to open the project preferences, then toggle the Photo Motion to the on position. You can’t control the zoom focus or speed, unfortunately, but it makes your project look more fluid if you’re mixing video clips and photos together in the same timeline.

FiLMiC Pro

14. Tweak focus and exposure

If you’re serious about mobile moviemaking and you have a few pounds to spare, FiLMiC Pro is one of the most professional iOS filming apps available. You get access to a wealth of settings that most apps wouldn’t come close to thinking about, including live focus and exposure settings: drag the focus reticle (a square) or the exposure reticle (a circle) around on the camera view to set these values based on one part of the shot. The icons to the lower left lock these settings in place and prevent FiLMiC Pro from making adjustments on the fly.

15. Tweak white balance and contrast

More options become available in FiLMiC Pro after you’ve recorded a particular scene on your smartphone. Tap on the video clip icon to see your existing recordings, then tap the slider button to adjust exposure, contrast, white balance, saturation and tint using simple sliders, with the results previewed in real-time. The reset button on the left lets you undo all of your changes if you need to go back. Additional options on the same set of menus enable you to trim and downsample clips should you need to, before they’re ready to be exported to a video editor.

VideoFX Live

16. Blur videos

Installing the VideoFX Live app is like putting a fully featured editing suite inside the confines of your iPhone: from artistic titles to coloured overlays, there’s plenty to explore within the app. Some of the overlays and filters are aimed at a younger, social media-savvy crowd but there are a lot of genuinely useful ones too — such as the adjustable blur tool that you could use for anything from a dream sequence to a pre-credits intro. The blur effect is one of many you can get in the Cinema Pro Pack, a paid-for add-on to the app.

17. Add flames and explosions

There are a plethora of ways you can use VIdeoFX Live on your iPhone, covering green screen effects, frames that border your video and so on, but the flame and explosion filters are some of the most dramatic tools. Via another premium add-on pack you can have flames rise from the foot of the screen, or have sparks, bangs and phaser effects flit across the screen in line with the movement in the frame. Of course the end results aren’t quite as slick as those produced by Hollywood studios, but they’re very impressive for an inexpensive smartphone app.

Stop Motion Studio

18. Create your own stop motion animations

From Wallace and Gromit to Fantastic Mr. Fox, filmmakers continue to explore the potential of stop motion animation, and you can emulate the professionals using Stop Motion Studio (available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone). The app features overlay and grid modes to help you get each of your frames perfectly aligned, and everything can be compiled on your mobile device — there’s no need to switch to a computer editor to finish off your project. There’s also an automatic mode where images are snapped at regular intervals, saving you having to press the shutter button each time.

19. Add in green screen effects

Stop Motion Studio supports the use of green screen effects, a tried and trusted movie technique where a coloured background (usually green, hence the name) is swapped out for a different image or video. By using a blank coloured material behind your actors (whether real or cut out of cardboard) it’s possible to replace the background with a couple of taps of your finger. The only downside is that the green screen feature is one of the premium paid-for add-ons in Stop Motion Studio, but it’s well worth the investment if you’re going to be using the feature regularly.

Hyperlapse from Instagram

20. Stabilise shaky video footage on iOS

Hyperlapse from Instagram is a spin-off of the photo filtering app that offers two key features: timelapse capture and video stabilisation. If you want to shoot clips that are smooth and cinematic even while you’re on the move then Hyperlapse is one of the best ways of going about it (for those using iOS devices at least) — capture your footage with the main shutter button and then choose 1x as the playback speed to end up with a finely stabilised clip which is saved to your photo gallery. Instagram and Facebook sharing options are also available.

Microsoft Hyperlapse

21. Stabilise shaky video footage on Android and Windows Phone

If you don’t have an iOS device then there’s an alternative app from Microsoft that does essentially the same thing — confusingly, it’s also called Hyperlapse. There are more speeds to choose from (1x to 32x) so you can choose video stabilisation or a timelapse effect, and another feature available here that’s not in Instagram’s alternative is the ability to import existing videos. Neither of these Hyperlapse tools have any advanced editing features to speak of, but you can use them to stabilise (or speed up) clips and then export them to other applications on your phone.