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How to Make Animated Instagram Stories For Free

Instagram may have started out as a photo-sharing app, but has grown rapidly. Today, video content on Instagram is much better than photos, especially for stories.

If you want to learn how to create animated Instagram Stories for free, we’ll walk you through the basics. You can also use these tips to turn your photos into animated versions in your feed.

Here’s an overview of what we’ll look at:

  1. Trimmer – not required for this tutorial.
  2. Media and effects panel. It can be used to import photos, music, videos and add effects. span>
  3. Timeline – you can use this to edit photo / video length and adjust length the whole project.
  4. Viewer – here you will see a live preview of what you are editing.

With this explained, let’s start with the main body of the tutorial.

First you need to import your photo. In the Media & Effects panel, click the Import arrow, and then click Media.

Find your photo and click to import it. You will see something like this.

Drag the image from the Media & Effects panel and drop it onto the timeline panel. You will now have the start of your video project.

By default the video should now play for about 4 seconds. We can increase it to 14 seconds. Instagram stories have a limit of 15 seconds, but if it exceeds this time by even a millisecond, it cannot be used.

To change the duration of the photo in the video, right-click it in the timeline bar and select Speed ??/ Duration.

You can adjust the duration parameter in the Speed ??/ Duration tab to 14 seconds. After that click OK to apply the changes. You will now have a complete Instagram story. It’s time to add some effects!

In the Media & Effects panel, click the Effects tab. Here is an image to help you.

You can play with many effects, most of which are free. To test the effects, simply click and drag the effect onto the photo in the timeline. After adding the effect, click the play button and you can preview it in the preview pane. If you don’t like the effect, press Ctrl + Z to undo it.

Many effects add only a basic filter to the photo, which is a bit tiring. If you want animated effects, look for effects in the Warp, Grunge, Quick 3D and Particles & Simulation folders.

Here’s an example of what we’ve done. It was created using the Sparks effect in the Quick 3D tab. This effect looks like a spark is being emitted from the processor chip.

If you want to add music, you must find .MP3 files or other audio files. There are many free royalty-free music resources online that you should use if you are running a business. Or, you can use copyrighted material if it falls under legitimate use.

You can import music using the same method you used to import your photo.

After you’ve imported your music, drag it to the timeline. The sound can be over 14 seconds long, so you need to adjust it. There are two tools in the timeline bar that you can use to do this.

To edit the sound (3) in the timeline, you can use the slice tool (2) to cut the sound into two separate pieces. After cutting, use the Move Tool (1) to select each piece. You can press “delete” on your keyboard to remove any unnecessary part. Use the Move tool (1) to click and drag the sound to a new location in the timeline.

You may need to listen to the sound to find the most appropriate 14 second snippet. This is how your timeline should look after audio editing.

If you want the sound to fade out, go to the effects tab in the media and effects panel. Then scroll through the effects and find the Transitions – Audio folder. Click to open it. Find the Fade out option, click and drag it to the end of the audio clip in the timeline.

How to add more images to your video

How to add more images to your video

Making a slideshow style video with Hitfilm Express is pretty easy. Using the Move Tool on the Timeline, select the end of the photo clip and drag to reduce its size.

Then use the import option in the media and effects panel to add more photos. You can even add videos. Click and drag images and photos to the timeline.

When you do this, you will see something like the one below. You can use the move tool in the timeline bar to adjust the length of each clip. There is also an effect in the effects tab in the media / effects panel that you can use to fade out each slide.

Export your video, Instagram-ready

Export your video ready to Instagram

The next step is to export your new video. To do this, click the Export button on the right side of the timeline panel. Then click “Contents”.

To make sure it fits Instagram, you will need to create a new custom export preset. Find the Preset tab on the left side of the screen. On this tab, click New Preset. Then click MPEG-4 (.mp4).

Follow the settings listed below, then click OK.

Then take a look at the Queue panel. Here you will find your project ready for export. Click the drop-down list under Preset and select the template you just created. Finally, click the Start Export button at the bottom of the Queue panel.

Your video will now begin exporting. After exporting, you will be provided with a link in the Output field in the Queue panel. You can click on it to find your video on your computer.

Upload your new animated story to Instagram

Now that we have your video, there are only a few steps left to post it to Instagram. Here’s what’s left to do.

There are several ways to transfer a new video to your smartphone. The easiest is to use a cloud photo app like iCloud on iOS or Google Photos on Android. Alternatively, you can transfer it via USB.

When you have the file on your smartphone, it’s time to upload it to your Instagram account. On Instagram, click the camera button at the very top left corner or the “Your Story” button.

Then press the small drum button in the lower left corner. Now you can find and select the video you created.

You can now follow the usual steps you would follow to submit your Instagram Story.

If you want your new story to be even wider, you can add up to 10 relevant hashtags.

Click the button with the text at the top, then enter #example. Just replace example with the most appropriate hashtag.

You can change the text color to black and then drag the text to the black area in the story. This allows you to include hashtags without hiding them.


We hope that our tutorial on creating animated Instagram Stories has been helpful. Do you have questions about this guide? If so, please contact us.

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