Need to quickly create a video? Flexclip, a free online video maker will get the job done within minutes.
Update 2021: Since my original review, several great features were added to Flexclip. In short, Flexclip 2.0 now allows you to:
- Create a video from scratch using templates. There are well over a hundred, divided into common categories, for you to choose from.
- Create a video using Storyboard Modeor Timeline Mode.
- Storyboard Mode allows you to pick and drop different elements, text, etc, to combine into one new video.
- Timeline Mode operates like professional video editors, with different timelines for you to “drop-in” pictures, videos, your own audio, etc.
- Timeline Mode also offers a variety of effects to tweak your pictures and videos with. For example, there are 21 filter effects now.
- There are screen recording functions now in both new modes.
- It now works with Firefox, though you’re still recommended to use Chrome on a desktop.
- The previous file size limitation of 400MB looks to be gone.
- Thousands of free-to-use stock images, graphic elements, etc, were added to the platform.
Late last week, I was invited by PearlMountain Limited to review FlexClip, their new free online video maker.
Coincidentally, I was also toying with the idea of uploading some simple videos to my YouTube channel. You know, for the purpose of keeping the channel active while I struggle to finish my next arrangement?
After examining FlexClip, I decided, hey, this new free video maker might just help me do the job quickly. The platform doesn’t have the sophistication or flexibility of software like Adobe Premiere Pro. But the most commonly needed functions for assembling quick videos all look to be there.
When creating straight forward videos, this online video maker could even be considered superior to professional editors, as far as ease of use is concerned.
My Two FlexClip Projects
Quick rundowns of the projects I used to review FlexClip.
1. Far Cry 5 / Only You Slideshow
– I have all these lovely, gory screenshots from Far Cry 5. Well over a hundred of them. I wanted to create an animated slideshow using these. One that’s paired with a simple Electone performance of Only You.
2. LG V40 Video Clips
– Yes! I have a new toy i.e. phone! I’m thus eager to combine and caption several different video clips I took with my new LG V40.
Project 1: Far Cry 5 / Only You Slideshow
Before I share my creation process, allow me to quickly introduce FlexClip.
Everything’s done and completed online; it’s a net-based service.
FlexClip is also free, as in, completely free, this inclusive of the downloading of the finalized MP4 files.
All you need to do is to register an account. There’s no payment necessary even if you wish to download the finished video in 1080p resolution.
The platform itself is pretty “clean” too. Or should I say streamlined and intuitive to use.
Objectively speaking, the plus side of this is that FlexClip’s free platform is easy enough to use as long as one has some elementary computer knowledge. On the other hand, it could a little too simplistic for users seeking advanced editing capabilities.
In short, creating a video, or a slideshow in my case, involves the following steps:
- Clicking Create New at the My Projects screen shown above. (1st image)
- Select from one of the numerous templates, or create from scratch. (Updated Aug 2019)
- Hovering the cursor over the Storyboard box at the lower-left corner to add photos, videos, or a black background screen.
- Adding text to a particular video or photo using one of the 18 animated text options. If necessary.
- You can also use one of the many logo layout templates to add a logo, if desired.
- Fine-tuning text. Size, alignment, placement, etc.
- Adjusting duration of individual photos and videos.
- Importing i.e. adding more photos and videos.
- Going to the Music tab to import a music file as the soundtrack.
- Adding a watermark, if necessary.
- Preview to check for mistakes.
And that’s it. Photos added automatically enjoy a gentle zooming in effect. Once satisfied with everything, I just needed to click Export Video at the top right corner of the screen, and my slideshow was ready for downloading. With the resolution options of 480p, 720p, and 1080p.
Here’s the completed video:
Project 2: LG V40 Video Clips
I intended for this to be a simple montage i.e. assembly of video clips I shot with the LG V40. The creation process was pretty much the same as the one for the slideshow above. With the exceptions of:
- After importing a video clip, you are taken to another screen dedicated to trimming the video. Here, I discovered FlexClip doesn’t permit you to work with clips that are more than one minute long. (Your overall length i.e. the total combined duration of all clips, doesn’t have this limitation)
- You are also unable to import video clips that are more than 400MB in size. Footage shot at 4K resolution would likely exceed this size, thus require resizing elsewhere. (Or you could just shoot at 1080p) UPDATE 2021: The size limitation is removed in Flexclip 2.0
Here’s the finished video:
What I Enjoyed About the FlexClip Process
- Believe it or not, creating a simple slideshow in Adobe Premiere Pro could be a massive chore, simply because there are too many functions and too much flexibility. I appreciated how straight forward and streamlined the FlexClip process is.
- I also appreciated how easy it was to rearrange the sequence of my pictures. It’s a drag-and-drop process.
- Adding text was a breeze. I’m never one for elaborate text animations so the options available were more than enough for me. It was also easy tweaking the colours, alignment, sizes, etc.
- I should add that imported photos automatically fill the screen. However, you can manually adjust the zoom and the rotation. Removing an unwanted photo or video is also very easy.
- The Preview function is quick! And smooth! Believe it or not, again, some video editing software are terrible with previews, even if you have a powerful CPU/GPU. I think this is easily one of the greatest strengths of FlexClip.
What I Felt Could Be Better
- To be quite honest, I expected there to be filter effects. Like those in Instagram and so on? While this doesn’t matter that much to me, as I pre-edit my photos in PhotoShop, I believe some users would mind the lack of any other photo editing function outside of size and orientation. UPDATE 2021: Various adjustment possibilities, and filters, were added in Version 2.0!
- There doesn’t seem to be any way to create a transition effect from photo to photo, or from photo to video. It’s an abrupt cut, put it that way. I think this limits presentation in several ways.
- I created this slideshow using my desktop and for the moment, FlexClip is only able to work with Chrome. This might be an issue for FireFox, IE users; yes there’s still a good number of them around. Also, while the platform is accessible on phones, the orientation doesn’t fit well. As in, I couldn’t see everything within the screen. This is probably an area the creators should address in subsequent versions.
FlexClip Review Summary (Updated for Ver 2.0)
I think this free online video maker is simply great for simple videos. Videos like, a brief corporate presentation. An Instagram upload. A showcasing of wedding pictures, with quirky text, at a banquet. Etc.
It’s also intuitive and easy to use; you wouldn’t need to constantly hunt for online answers while working on something. You can effortlessly shoot something, add text, add music, and it’s ready for the world.
Or you could just pick from the thousands of free-to-use graphic elements available.
Plus, it’s free. A genuinely free online video making service. Nothing beats that, yes?
With Version 2.0, there are even various ways to enhance imported videos and pictures, and to add basic motions. They are not extensive, to be honest, but unless you’re looking to create cinema-like cuts, these should suffice.
The short of it, this is one of the best free video makers available online. New bloggers, YouTubers, etc, will especially find it valuable.
Read my other software reviews