Slow-motion videos are in trend now, especially when shooting for Instagram Reels, TikTok videos, or YouTube Shorts. While many users record the entire video in slow motion, there are others who need only a particular section of a clip to play at a reduced speed. Nevertheless, slowing down footage is no longer rocket science, thanks to the advancements in technology, and the availability and ease of access to relevant apps.
That said, here you will learn what is needed to record a video in slow motion, and how to get the job done in a simple way. In addition, you will also learn how to reduce the playback speed of an already existing video if it was recorded at a normal pace.
Part 1: How to Make Slow Motion Videos via Recording?
The fact is, the playback speed of a video is inversely proportional to the frames per second (FPS) it has been recorded in. Usually, to have a video play at normal speed, it is recorded at 24 FPS or 30 FPS. On the other hand, if you increase the frame rate (FPS) to 120 or 240, the playback speed slows down. You can easily check this if you have access to a DSLR camera or an iPhone. These devices allow you to adjust the FPS so the videos can be recorded in slow motion.
For your convenience and learning, the step-by-step procedure on how to record a video in slow motion using an iPhone is explained below:
Step 1: Get to the SLO-MO Mode
Launch the Camera app on your iPhone (iPhone 13 Pro Max is used here for illustrations), and swipe the screen to the left to get to the SLO-MO mode.
Step 2: Adjust Recording Preferences
Tap the number at the top-right corner to switch between 120 FPS and 240 FPS as needed. Tap 1x from the lower-middle section of the screen, and use the rotator to adjust your preferred zoom level.
Step 3: Start and Stop Recording
Tap the Record button from the bottom-center of the screen to begin recording the video in slow motion. Tap Stop when you are done. You can access the recorded video from the Videos container of the Photos app in your iPhone.
If you are using Android phone, you can check this article to find out more details about How to Record Super Slow Motion Videos on Your Phone.
You may also like: Best Slo-mo Camera Apps for Android And iPhone
Part 2: How to Apply the Smooth Slow-Motion Effect in Post-Production?
If you don’t have access to a camera that can record videos in slow motion, or in case you want to capture the footage at normal playback speed and then slow it down later, you need a dedicated tool to get the job done. Even though several post-production applications are available in the market, the one that is most versatile, has an intuitive interface, and is quite easy to use is Filmora video editor from Wondershare.
The latest version of the app, i.e., Wondershare Filmora 11 has a new feature called Speed Ramping that enables you to graphically manage the speed of the clips. While using the feature, you can either slow down the entire video or certain parts of it according to your requirements. For your learning, both the methods are explained below:
Method 1: Add Slow Motion Effect to the Whole Clip
Step 1: Import the Source Video and Add to Timeline
Launch Wondershare Filmora on your Windows or Mac computer (a Windows 11 PC is used here for illustrations), click New Project from the first screen that appears. Make sure that the Media tool is selected from the standard tool bar at the top, click anywhere inside the Media window, and select and import the source clip to the program.
Next, hover the mouse over the thumbnail of the imported video in the Media window, and click the + icon present at its bottom-right corner. When the confirmation box comes up, click the Match to Media or Keep Project Settings button to change the project settings to match the resolution of the video, or change the footage to meet the project settings respectively.
Step 2: Add Slow Motion Effect to the Whole Clip
Once the media is added to the timeline, click on it and then click the Speed icon on the toolbar. Scroll down to the Slow menu and then you will see 0.5x, 0.25x, 0.1x, 0.05x and 0.01x presets. Select one to add slo-mo effects to the whole select clip. and click Speed Ramping from the menu that drops down.
You can also right click the video in the timeline, and hover over to Speed option to select Uniform Speed to adjust the speed of the video to make a slo-mo effect video. Drag the speed slider to the left to slow down the video and you will see how many times it slowed down in the next field.
Method 2: Use Speed Ramping to Add Slow Motion Effect
Speed Ramping enables you to add the slow-motion effect at different parts of a video and even freeze the screen for the duration that you specify. The processes to get these done are given below in detail:
Step 1: Add Source Video to Timeline and Get to the Speed Ramping Window
Use the process given in the previous method to import a source video to Wondershare Filmora 11 and add it to the Timeline. Then use the process given in the second step of the previous method to get to the Speed Ramping window.
Step 2: Add Slow Motion Effect to Different Parts of the Clip
Go to the Speed Ramping tab if it is not already selected, click Custom from the available options, and drag the adjustment points below the center line to reduce the playback speed for that particular section of the clip. Optionally, you can click any of the available presets to automatically add the slow-motion effect to the video.
Note: You can also drag the adjustment points above the line to increase the playback speed.
To add an adjustment point on the frame where it is not already present, place the playhead (skimmer) at the correct position, and click Add Adjust Point from the left of the Speed Ramping window itself. Once added, you can drag it downward to reduce the playback speed of that part of the clip.
Step 3: Freeze the Video
Place the skimmer on the frame where you want to freeze the video for a while, and click Add Freeze Frame from the left of the Speed Ramping window. When the time box appears, in the Freeze Time field, enter the duration in seconds you want to freeze the screen for, and click OK.
After adding a freeze point, optionally, you can drag and reposition it in the Speed Ramping timeline as needed. Finally, click OK from the bottom-right area to save the changes.
Part 3: When to Use Slow Motion?
There could be many instances when you want to add a slow-motion effect to your videos. Some of the most common ones include:
- Add Focus
If there is a particular scene in a clip that you want the audience to focus on, it would be a good idea to add the slow-motion effect right before that action appears on the screen, and bring the speed back to normal when the section is over.
- Skill or Style Demonstration
When a clip is playing at a normal speed, many times, the audience isn’t able to see the skills that you want to display. This is where you may want to add the slow-motion effect so that every detail can be noticed clearly and in detail.
Mostly used for tournaments and matches where the actual action is to replayed so the audience, umpires, and other viewers can see the movements in detail before making the right decision.
Some natural phenomena such as a deer running in the woods, a balloon full of water bursting, etc. occur quite quickly. If you want to witness such things clearly and in detail, it would be good to record them, and then reduce the playback speed for better viewing.
- Add Suspense
When you add the slow-motion effect to a scene, the impulse of the audience is automatically increased, and they take that particular section more seriously and with a thrill.
The slow-motion effect is inversely proportional to the framerate, i.e., frames per second or FPS. Almost all DSLR cameras that are available nowadays allow you to switch between different FPS values (typically 120 and 240) before recording. Also, if you have access to an iPhone, its Camera app has a built-in SLO-MO mode that can capture the footage in slow motion.
In addition, if you already have a video that has been recorded at a normal speed, you can use an efficient post-production software like Wondershare Filmora 11, and exploit its Speed Ramping feature to add the slow-motion effect at different scenes of a clip.