Creating videos just by typing text sounds like a distant sci-fi movie to me. As someone who’s been in the video industry my whole life – it’s simply natural for me to open After Effects or Premiere. It turns out though, that AI video generators are a thing now.
They allow you to create videos by typing in text. These videos range from a simple slideshow, all the way to a person narrating your text. It’s pretty remarkable how advanced this technology is.
I set out to find the best AI video generator, i rolled up my sleeves and try the majority of them that pop up on Google. This is a pretty new industry, not a lot of stuff comes up on Google.
I went over a lot of scammy websites that offered solutions that sounded shady, but in the end, i managed to create an extensive list that goes over the best AI video generators, their pros, cons, and use cases. This article goes over that list. It will help you decide which one of these is for you, and how to get started with it.
Two types of ai video generators
During my research, i found out that there are basically two types of these tools. In order to make an apple-to-apple comparison, i’ll split the comparison into two. There are AI generators that:
- allow you to make a talking avatar
- take your text input and turn it into a slideshow (animated video)
Depending on your use case, you’ll have to decide what works for you. The talking avatar type is a tool that allows you to write a script, and get an AI generated avatar that will read out that script like a human would do. These tools also allow you to design the scene behind the avatar, so you can create a wide range of talking head videos.
Text to slideshow works for a simpler video. It will take the script you input, and divide it into scenes with background images/videos, narration, and captions. The videos you can make are quite simpler, and they might not have the WOW effect like the one above…but it’s still impressive that you can make videos just by typing text.
Let’s go over the tools.
AI generated talking heads
Although i didn’t want to put Synthesia on the top spot, simply because EVERY other article did this. They really do deserve the top spot. This AI video generator is the best out of them all. Since it’s the talking head type, it allows you to input a script, and you’ll get a pretty realistic looking avatar reading out your script.
They have a built-in video editor which means you can edit the generated video. This means that the avatar you create can speak 60 languages. That’s pretty awesome.
Their tool isn’t flawless though. As i said this is a pretty new technology, so the quality of the talking heads can be off sometimes. It still has some training to do, and i’m sure this will be sorted out in the future iterations, but the avatars sound/look robotic sometimes.
Using Synthesia will cost you $30/per month. I find this pretty reasonable, and i give them a big plus for putting the price on their website and being transparent with it.
Here’s a video i created with Synthesia:
Elai is pretty similar to Synthesia. It allows you to input a text, and you’ll get an AI generated avatar that will read it out. It’s practically a video editing software on the cloud, but instead of editing footage of you, you’re editing footage of an AI generated talking head.
I like their Web App, it’s pretty intuitive and you’re basically creating scenes, adding avatars to each scene, and adding background elements & captions. They also have a huge library of languages, so you can create videos in a lot of languages. English looks & feels the best.
I think that right now, there isn’t a clear winner in the AI video generation space. It will come to which of these tools will be able to develop avatars that look most like humans. Right now they are all in the uncanny valley, where they look like humans, but it’s not just right. I feel like the first tool that develops an AI generated avatar that looks & feels like a human is going to be the winner.
Here’s a video i generated with Elai:
Synthesia’s avatars are more realistic, and that’s why i put them in the top spot…but Elai is a close second. If you play more with the avatars you might find one that works better.
Their pricing is super transparent, and they also have a free plan which is awesome. You can sign up right now, and create a test video. If you like it, there are options for $29 and $99 per month.
This tool confused me at first, without any landing page or anything – it goes directly into login. After i created an account i found out that it works on the same principle as the two tools before. It’s quite a bit simpler though, their avatars need a lot of improvements and their rendering times are the longest.
Talking Avatar will allow you to pick an avatar, input the script and create an AI generated video. It can also add a green screen behind the avatar and you can then composite that video wherever you wish using After Effects or a similar tool.
They also have a face swap feature, which will take any picture you upload and stick it to the talking avatar. This feature is…well interesting. It’s actually much better than i thought it would be and it can give you pretty funny and creepy results.
This tool is created by a company called Surreal AI, and it seems like they are working on a bunch of interesting AI stuff, so i’m sure that Talking Avatar will improve over the years.
They only have two plans. A free one, and a 19$ / month one. I’d say this is pretty reasonable, but again, for only $10 more you can get Synthesia and get a much better looking and sounding avatar.
Here’s a video i created with this tool:
Reals, similar to Elai and Synthesia is a Web Based video editor where you can add AI generated talking heads, put them in different scenes, and add captions.
I have to say though, their UI is a bit overwhelming once you open it up. Elai had the simplest UI out of them all, and i felt like Reals just tried to look more advance but ended up being more complicated.
They also have a huge selection of avatars, and you can make a pretty nice video since you have an in-built video editor. Avatars though, not the best. They still have a long way to go to be realistic but i’m sure that they’ll train them even more in the future.
They have multiple pricing plans, and one free plan – which is awesome. Their paid plans range from $49 to $499.
Here’s what i created using Reals:
Neuraloom tried to strike a balance between functionality and simplicity. They have a nice library of AI avatars, around 20 languages and their UX is smooth. Unlike other tools, they have a step-by-step guided process for AI video creation.
You pick the avatar, pick the background, add the script and that’s it. They don’t have a full-blown video editor like Synthesia or Elai, but i’m not even sure if you need it.
You can sign up for Neuraloom today and try it out. Their avatar training is not top notch, it still has a lot of room for improvement and that’s why i’ll put it at the bottom of the list. It doesn’t have subscriptions, you have to add credits and you’ll on a pay-as-you-render basis.
Here’s an example video:
Text to slide show
So, the list below is not ordered in any fashion. All of these tools below are pretty similar and they are pretty good. I tested each one. They will all take the script you input, split it into scenes and create a video with background images, videos and text.
Let’s go over each:
Although i said they are not ordered in any fashion. Pictory is my favorite one. I say this because it chooses the best background images, and i feel like it’s the easiest to use.
As you input the script, it will split the script into sentences and it will create a scene for each sentence. This can be edited, of course, and you can merge multiple sentences into one scene in order to create something you like.
You can also add audio tracks and even a voiceover. Unfortunately, they don’t have auto-generated voiceover options, so if you’re looking for that you might be better off with another solution.
They have a free, $19/month and a $39/month plan.
Lumen5 is pretty similar. One upgrade though is that you get to choose a visual template that you’d like your finished video to follow. It also seems like they have a bit more editing capabilities, as you can move and scale the generated text pretty easily.
What i like about this AI video generator is that they also auto generate motion design scenes. You’ll get a nice variety between animated scenes, and live-action scenes where you have a video/photo and text overlay.
The pricing is 0$, $59, $149.
InVideo also has the option to start from a template, you can also create your video from scratch. It’s up to you. Similar to the solutions above, you can paste your script and it will automatically generate scenes using the template you choose and the script you pasted.
They also have an “Advanced” editor which is for those who want more control. I’d say that InVideo is the most powerful out of these “text to slideshow” AI video creators. The advanced editor is more like a full blown video editor on the cloud, and you can really do anything you wish.
Their automated image selection is off though, i really didn’t like the images i got and it doesn’t have to do anything with style or preference. It’s simply because of context. They were way off context, and had nothing to do with the story i created. One more thing i’d add as a con – they don’t have voiceover. So you’re stuck to the music and the captions you put in.
They have a free, a $30 and a $60 per month plan. Also, they have a very generous yearly discount which will save you 6 months.
Ok, at first i didn’t even want to try DesignsAI because i thought it required my credit card to test. I was wrong, so i decided to test it. Right from the start, i could tell that DesignsAI is amazing.
Although very similar to the solutions above, they have a few features that make them unique. At first, you’d think it’s all the same, you pick a template, paste a script and create a video. But you’d be wrong.
After the video is created, DesignsAI has a pretty good video editor. You can add transitions, customize text, add scenes…etc. But what i really like is that you can add automated voiceover. So not only you’re getting your video generated by AI, but it’s also the voiceover. DesignsAI seems to combine the best out of the “talking heads” and “text to slide show” types.
They have multiple tools in their suite, and you can get them at $29 or $69 per month.
SteveAI, like the other tools, offers the ability to transform text into video. They have multiple options, and you can choose if you want the AI to generate an animated or a live video. I like this. It gives you flexibility.
It also has an automated voiceover option – which i really like. The voices are a bit better than DesignsAI in my opinion. They have fewer templates, and their in-built video editor is simpler but i think it gets the job done.
All in all, i think it’s quite similar to DesignsAI but it comes with a free plan. Their lowest paid plan is also cheaper. They have 3 pricing plans, one at $20, one at $40, and one at $60 per month.
Combining AI video generators and Plainly
We built Plainly with the idea to be the keystone in advanced video automation workflows. It’s a video automation tool that allows you to combine a video template with a data source and create 1000s of videos automatically.
Since it’s a video creation API, it’s built to adapt any workflow and combine with other tools.
AI video generators work like a charm with Plainly. Here’s why:
Although the videos are automatically generated by AI, it personalizes only the talking head. In the text to slideshow type of generator, not even that. This is why a video automation tool like Plainly makes this use case even better.
AI video generator creates talking heads, and Plainly personalizes the rest of the scene (images, text, audio, video…etc). For example, you could be creating sales videos that have personalized talking heads and customers’ pain points and website on the screen.
If you want to learn how would this work, book a 15 min demo below.
Learn more about Plainly video creation API
Book a 15-min demo
What’s the best AI video generator?
The best in the talking head category is Synthesia, there’s no word about it. Their avatar’s almost perfect, their UX is pretty smooth and they have a wide range of avatars and languages.
For text to slideshow, i’d pick DesignsAI. They have automated voiceover, and their video editor is the most advanced. I feel like they have the most complete tool. It has some flaws, of course, but i feel like they will fix them all. Also their suite of tools is impressive, so you’ll get 4 tools by paying for one.
In my opinion, all of these tools are good enough to be used in your business. It really is a fascinating industry, and i’ll be following it closely to see how more advanced it gets. I hope this article helped you find the best tool for your use case.