TikTok is an impressive, powerful app. The fast, simple workflow allows users to edit real videos in no time. (FYI, you can get a close-up look at the app as a whole and its relationship to the future of video content here.) It makes perfect sense that it’s the most popular website and application in the world.
So how does TikTok work? What does the interface look like after you download the app and record your first video? After a few years of updates, we tried to return to this are.
Like Vine, TikTok lets you edit your video as you shoot. You can start and stop recording on the go, and the app will automatically add clips to your timeline as you record them.
You can press and roll the red record button once, or hold and release it to record a specific length. Once you’ve captured all your clips, you can still go in and edit them further.
Here’s Rachel Pederson going through all the essential features of TikTok and what to do after you’ve recorded a video.
Look for Sounds right at the top of the screen and tap on them to browse the music. Once you’ve selected a song, you can choose where to start it and play it back as you record to better sync your recordings to it.
Additionally, you can add a voiceover and sound effects. (We’ll take a closer look at the sound effects in a moment.)
Currently you can only add one song per video.
Considering all this audio stuff, I think one of TikTok’s most handy features is how you can work with multiple layers of audio in a video.
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For example, you have your recorded clip with in-camera audio, music, sound effects, and anything else you added. TikTok allows you to turn down the volume of the camera’s audio while turning up the music (and vice versa).
To do this, simply press the arrow on the side to bring up more options and select Volume. You’ll see two sliders, one labeled Original Sound and one labeled Added Sound. The added sound is related to the music you chose. Original sound refers to in-camera audio and voiceover.
After you’ve captured or uploaded the clips you want to use, go down to Effects, look down and choose Transition. Find the ones you like and figure out how to use them. To place a transition, just tap on your timeline – the effect will be added at that point.
The app’s transitions are perfect for transformations and reveals. Just make sure to play the clip over and over again to ensure you get the result you want and tweak accordingly.
To add text or a title to your video, click Text below. You have the option to choose the font, color and size of your words. Setting the alignment for the text is also available, so choosing left or right alignment will help you lay out the text in a visually pleasing and consistent way.
You also have the Speech to Text option, which dictates what you say into your phone’s microphone. If you’re familiar with Instagram’s fonts, TikTok’s will feel familiar. Once you’ve entered your words, you can choose where they appear and how long they appear on the screen.
To do this, tap once on the title. A frame will appear around the text, offering two options: Set Duration and Edit.
As mentioned earlier, if you select Set Duration, you can choose time and length. Tapping Edit takes you back to the screen where you choose your font, color, and size.