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:
- Why video stories are better than photos
- What software do you need for this tutorial
- How to turn an Instagram photo into a video with music
- How to turn multiple images into a slideshow style video
- How to upload to Instagram with hashtags enabled
- How to use Hitfilm Express to create animated videos
- How to make sure your video is the correct length (less than 15 seconds)
- How to find and add music
- How to add special effects
Why are videos and animated stories better than photos? span>
We don’t know the exact algorithms for Instagram, but video stories work much better than photo stories.
When you add a hashtag to your story, it may appear in the news feed for that particular hashtag. However, Instagram has a secret scoring system that determines whether your story is shown.
In my tests, video stories are always more likely to be popular than photo stories. This is great news because the more featured stories, the more impressions and potentially more followers.
Plus, video content grabs the attention of your subscribers much better. If you care about creating quality content, this guide makes sense.
Recommended free software for this tutorial
We suggest using HitFilm Express for this task, but if you already have a video editing tool, you can use it instead.
HitFilm Express is a powerful video editing tool that is completely free to use, although you can pay for additional effects and styles. You must enter your email address and create an account to access the download link.
If you’re worried about your first encounter with a video editing tool, don’t worry, it’s pretty simple. I will walk you through all the steps required for this particular tutorial so that you don’t get lost along the way.
If you want to create more complex animated videos, you may need a photo editing tool. You can choose Free Photoshop 7-Day Trial or use span> GIMP . In this tutorial, we will be using GIMP, a completely free and open source image editor.
How to convert an Instagram photo into a music video
Learning how to turn an Instagram photo into a video with music is one of the most requested image editing guides I see. Below we will look at the next steps.
< li style = "font-weight: 400;"> How to ensure the correct video dimensions (9:16)
Step 1. Create a photo
Step 1: Create the image
It all starts with choosing the photo you want to turn into an animated video. In this tutorial, we will create a story to promote our Intel Processor Comparison article .
Make sure your photo is the correct size and resolution. If it’s already Instagram-ready, you can skip this step.
For Instagram Stories, the resolution is flipped. So instead of 1920 x 1080 16: 9, that’s 1080 x 1920 9:16. In other words, this is portrait resolution, not landscape resolution.
If you are using your own photos, the easiest option is to crop them or just take a portrait shot. When searching for photos online, you will need to resize. This can be done in two quick steps.
First, take your original image and open it in an image editing program.
Then click the Image Selector, and then click and drag the pointer over the main area of ??the image. Most likely, you will need to crop the areas on the side.
Then press Ctrl + X. This will cut out the selected area. Then click File in the upper left corner, then New and set the width to 1080 and height to 1920.
After that press Ctrl + V – your photo will now be positioned in the area of ??the appropriate size.
Obviously there are some problems with this image. There is a lot of white space above and below the main content. We can fix this by adding two things.
First of all it’s text so followers can get some context. You can use the Text A tool (1) to add text. Use the margin on the right (2) to adjust the font size and the margin on the left to change the font type (3).
A small black square in the corner is used to select the text color. When you are finished entering your text, use the Move Tool (4) to drag the text box to a more suitable location.
Here is the result after adding the text. This is much better, but there is still a lot of white space at the top.
Luckily, we can fix this problem by adding black bars at the top and bottom of the image. It looks like the overall image size on Instagram is smaller and we can even hide some hashtags in this area. More on this later.
To create black stripes, first select the Rectangle Selector Tool (1) and then create a rectangle at the top of the image. Then select the Paint Bucket Tool (2). Click to fill area (3). You can use the Color Picker (4) to change the color if it’s not already black.
Repeat this process from below. If you like, you can use the paint tool on the main white area to spice up the image a bit. After that, you should end up with something like this.
Now it’s time to save the image and move on. Click File> Export and find a suitable location so you can easily find it later.
When exporting, remember to add the .PNG at the end of the filename so that it will be saved as the correct file type.
Your image is now ready for editing.
Step 2. Turning your photo into a video
Step 2: Convert image to video
Now it’s time to open your photo in Hitfilm Express video editing software. We’ll walk you through each step below.
Once logged in, click File and then New at the top of the page. On the project settings page, scroll down the template selector and click Custom.
Then make sure your settings match what we chose below. Finally, click “Start Editing”.
Here’s a quick overview of what you’re looking at.
- Trimmer – not required for this tutorial.
- Media and effects panel. It can be used to import photos, music, videos and add effects. span>
- Timeline – you can use this to edit photo / video length and adjust length the whole project.
- 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.
- Transfer your video to your device
- Add it to your story
- Add hashtags
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.