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3 Quick and Easy Short Video Tools for Animation on Mobile

If you are looking to stand out on social media then check out these short video tools for animation – all easily created on your mobile phone.

In this post I share 3 short video tools that help you to quickly (and easily) create animations for social media on mobile. 

BY DONNA MORITZ | UPDATED 16 MARCH, 2021

I’m sure you’ve heard it from many sources – create video for social media.

You can create video in many ways – from the whole she-bang on YouTube, Facebook Live or short video on Instagram or Facebook.

For many small business owners, highly edited, long-form video is just too hard.  Short video, on the other hand, is much easier (if you have the right tools). And it’s a great place to get started. 

In this post I share 3 short video tools for animation to help you to create short videos via animation on mobile – taking text and/or images and then easily creating a fun animated video.

But remember, these are video shorts, and not long-form video. If you want ideas for those, then check out this post

Creating quick social video is easy with the right tools, so let’s jump in and take a look at 3 of the short video tools for animation (all apps) that you can use to do this:

3 Quick and Easy Short Video Tools for Animation

1. Life Lapse

Life Lapse is a VERY cool app that is all about creating stop motion animation. And it has fast become one of my favorite short video tools for animation.  I’ve dabbled with a few stop motion tools over the years and generally gave up as they were too fiddly or complicated.  This app is super easy to use, even for beginners.

Stop motion comes to life with LifeLapse!

Oh, and if you’ve been living under a rock, you may have missed the fun, engaging, fast-moving stop motion trend that has been taking over all the socials. From Instagram to Snapchat to Reels to TikTok, stop motion has become the darling of video.  And Life Lapse (in my honest opinion) is the darling of stop motion.

Here’s an example of a fun stop motion video made with Life Lapse:

Need more convincing to add it your list of short video tools for animation? Here’s another example showing how the Life Lapse team (especially the founder, Sarah) share some awesome tutorials on how to use the app. So make sure you follow them on Instagram for inspiration:

What’s to love about Life Lapse?

It’s built for beginners right through to export stop motion artists. You also get a lot of functionality on the free plan, so I suggest you grab this app as part of your short video tools for animation, and start playing with it. Check out what’s included in each plan:

The Free (Limited) Plan

The free plan includes access to an “introduction to stop motion course” which gets you started creating fun stop motion animations. You can also access the following in the free plan:

  • the ghosted image overlay (helps you line up the shot so there isn’t too much movement).
  • unlimited projects
  • a whole swag of features like an interval timer, exposure and white balance, and focus lock features on the app
  • standard features like crop, boomerang, reverse camera, rotate, freeze, speed, filters and more!
  • ability to import your own photos
  • grids to guide you in creating your stop motion video
  • 3 lens options on iPhone 11 and higher.
  • ability to save clips to your phone.

The Pro Plan (Monthly or Yearly)

You can upgrade for more features with a paid Life Lapse Pro account (on a monthly or yearly plan). This includes features such as:

  • full access to all the tutorials and trainings on Stop Motion.
  • ability to attach a bluetooth remote.
  • ability to save your video as a GIF or MP4.
  • tilt effect to change the angle on your video.
  • ability to adjust brightness, contrast, white balance and saturation
  • hundreds of royalty-free songs, a music editor and the ability to record audio and import songs.

As you can see – Life Lapse is perfect for getting started, hence its inclusion on my list of short video tools for animation. Whether you’re a beginner or levelling up your stop motion game, it’s worth adding to your toolkit of short video tools.

You can download Life Lapse for stop motion here on both iOS and Android:

Download Life Lapse on iOS here

Download Life Lapse on Android here

2. Story Swag

Story Swag (the sister app of WordSwag and made by the same team) is a fun app for creating videos with moving text overlays – aka animated text or ‘moving text’.

Story Swag makes it super easy to make multi-panel stories.

What’s to love about Story Swag?

Story Swag has a number of cool, easy to use templates for creating stories in minutes. This short video tool is a breeze to use. It’s as simple as:

  • entering your text
  • choosing a style from a list of different styles and layouts
  • choosing images or video (free from Unsplash)
  • creating a quick animated video in just a couple of minutes (or less!).

Check out some of the examples below from Story Swag’s Instagram account. Here’s a video created using the ‘boxed’ template style:

And another example using the ‘paper tear’ template:

And if you’re looking for a modern, urban style, this ‘Nineteen Ninety Two’ template mixes it up a bit:

Story Swag doesn’t have a free plan, unfortunately, but you can get a free 7 day trial. That’s more than enough time to batch some content and check out whether you want to add it to your toolkit of short video tools for animation (ie add it to your phone!).

If you love it, then upgrade to Pro ($4.00 per month). Here is what is included:

Story Swag Pro

includes the following features:

  • up to 8 videos and images in a slideshow
  • unlimited projects
  • over a million free videos and photos
  • custom color options
  • easy live text editing (it previews as you type it, instantly!)
  • fresh video and photos filters
  • TV-quality tracks that intuitively time to your video
  • magic text resize and layouts.

It’s not a complicated app. You don’t get a lot of control over how you edit the template but that’s the part that makes the content creation easy. And it’s why it’s one of my favorite short video tools for animation.

The secret sauce to this app is that it uses ‘Designer Intelligence™’ that ensures that hand-picked layouts, colors and filters all change dynamically based on your user input with text and images. Not thought required!

Download Story Swag on iOS here.

3. Mojo

Mojo app is a powerhouse in your pocket for creating stunning animated Stories (for Facebook or Instagram). Again, it’s one of my favorite short video tools for animation.

The templates are professional and they’re created by top designers so you’re getting quality layouts. Add your fonts, logo and make them your own!

It also allows multiple sizes (square or landscape) so you can create content for any social platform. Start for free with a basic selection of templates and move on up to Pro for access to hundreds of templates and styles.

Mojo is all about animated stories – with class!

If you want to check out Mojo’s templates in the wild, follow their Instagram account where you will see examples of Mojo stories and animations. Here’s a new template pack they released:

And another reason why I added this to my list of short video tools for animation is this. While Mojo is mainly an Instagram Stories app, you can do more. You can also create fun animated visuals using the Instagram Feed size too:

What’s to love about Mojo:

There are a few things to love about this app:

  • Mojo is free to install and you can use it with basic limited features – no credit card or account required. You’ll have plenty to play with using just the free templates and features.
  • Each month new templates and text styles are added to the app to use in your stories.
  • You can customize each story template easily to change it up. Add photos, stickers, music, videos and text effects, animated backgrounds and logos.
  • You can edit colors, format and timing of the stories.

If you want to upgrade, you can pay for Mojo Pro which gives you hundreds more templates, access to Pro text styles, and the ability to add your own fonts and brand colors. You can also add (and animate) your logo. Switching between sizes is easy too with Pro (ie 16:9 Story Size, Insta Feed, Square and Landscape).

That’s a Wrap on our Short Video Tools for Animation!

These are some of my favourite short video tools for animation. You’ll be creating easy animated text and images/videos in no time!

There are plenty more apps on my phone (of course!) but these are the ones that I am loving right now for creating stunning animated visuals using mobile.

One hot tip to finish off! Make sure you follow each of the tools above on Instagram – Life Lapse, Mojo and Story Swag – for more inspiration!

Over to You

What are your favorite short video tools for animation? What apps do you love for quickly animating text and visuals for social media newsfeed posts and stories?

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Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a “Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About in 2019”. Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Online and she is a contributor to Social Media Examiner. Donna speaks about digital and visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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