Those who have joined my mobile video training over the past couple of years know all about an editing app called VN.
Launched in 2018, VN (Vlog Now) was a breath of fresh air.
For the first time I could train journalists and creatives, using iOS or Android devices, with a free app that did a proper job.
But during our NLNG Change Your Story
programme in Lagos earlier this month I used a different app: CapCut
I’ve been testing it for a few months, but crash-testing it with 30 journalists armed with mobiles ranging from new iPhones to ancient Androids was another story. CapCut worked like a charm 🏅
At first glance, VN and CapCut bear many similarities. Both have all the features needed to create promos, explainers and narrative stories. Cutaways, picture-in-picture, title animations, masks, keyframes, chroma key, music and voiceovers in vertical, square and horizontal formats … take your pick. While VN carries a few unobtrusive ads (mainly for its own products), CapCut is ad-free.
The main difference is that VN adopts a multi-track approach, with separate tracks for main video, cutaways, titles and audio. VN also offers a good desktop app for Mac, which I featured in a recent run-down of free video editors for Mac and PC
CapCut reimagines the timeline to fit everything into and around one track. Titles and cutaways (called overlays in CapCut) shrink almost out of sight when not active. When you get the hang, I think it’s easier to use and looks cleaner.
VN has plenty of transitions and effects. But the number of options in CapCut is mind-blowing. You can even ‘enhance’ face and body shapes and turn yourself into a speaking cartoon character.
But that wasn’t why I switched to CapCut …