|TL;DR: There are two types of video generators. The first one allows you to make a talking avatar which, depending on the quality of the tool, can look either awesome or slightly uncanny. The second type basically takes your text input and turns it into an animated video (or, to be precise, a slideshow).|
Creating videos just by typing text sounds like a distant sci-fi movie to me. I’ve been in the video industry my entire life. It’s completely natural for me to open After Effects or Premiere and start creating something from scratch.
But brace yourself because AI video generators are a thing now.
Video generators allow you to create videos by typing in text. Yep, you read that right. These videos range from simple slideshow all the way to a person/avatar narrating your text. Pretty remarkable how far this technology has come.
My goal here was to find the best AI video generator and show you the way I analyzed and tested them. Just by reading through this article, you can save a ton of research time and narrow down your choice to the top three tools that you can then test out for yourself. I’m just here doing the heavy lifting for you. You’re welcome.
|Did you know you can combine video generators with Plainly? As video automation software, Plainly allows you to create more complex video workflows. Book a 15-min demo with me and I’ll show you what I mean.|
My criteria for evaluating different video generators on the market
Let me start by saying that I went through a lot of scammy websites that offered solutions that looked shady. In the end, I managed to create an extensive list that goes over the best AI video generators.
Each AI video generator (or a slideshow generator) will have the following criteria explained:
- Use cases
Before choosing an AI video generator for yourself, my advice would be to think about three main things: 1) who’s going to be using it, 2) for what purposes do you need it, 3) is it a nice-to-have or a must-have in your tech stack.
Furthermore, when choosing any type of software, you should have three buckets for features that will help you pick the right one for yourself:
|Must-have features||Non-negotiable features your AI video generator simply has to have in order for you to even consider investing in it.|
|Good-to-have features||Features that might have a positive business impact (e.g. better productivity, improved collaboration), but will not impact your end decision directly.|
|Nice-to-have features||Nice-to-have features are exactly what it says on the tin. They are complementary to the features you truly need in your video generator, but you could easy go without them.|
Two types of ai video generators
During my research, I found that there are basically two types of these video generators. To ensure I’m comparing apples to apples, I’ll split my analysis into two sections.
There are AI video 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. A talking avatar type of video generator is a tool that allows you to write a script, and get an AI-generated avatar that will read out that script in the same way a human being 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 more straightforward videos. This type of AI video generator 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. However, it’s still impressive that you can make videos just by typing text.
Use cases for AI video generators
To answer the question of what you can use video generators for, I can tell you – almost anything. Video generators create videos, and videos as a format have a wide range of use in marketing, branding, sales, and more.
Here are some examples:
|Explainer videos||Would you rather read how a certain tool works or how to do something, or watch a video and see it in action? Explainer videos are incredibly effective and with video generators, you can save up to 80% of the time creating them.|
|Content marketing||Diversifying content formats is extremely important, not just for the sake of satisfying your audience, but also for better rankings on search engines. More meaningful and engaging videos can lead to better organic visibility.|
|HR onboarding||Designing a perfect onboarding experience for new employees is not easy. However, it gets a lot easier and more engaging if you include videos instead of relying just on textual documentation that will inevitably stress the newcomers out.|
|E-learning||Want to launch an online course? Or maybe update your internal knowledge library within your company? Spicy it up with videos generated by AI.|
|Personalized sales||Got a warm lead that’s very close to converting? Input text into a video generator of your choice and create an engaging slideshow instead of sending them another generic follow-up email.|
What you see above is frankly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to possible use cases, but I hope it gives you an idea of what can be done with video generators.
Now, let’s go over the tools.
AI video generators that allow you to create avatars
Although I didn’t want to put Synthesia as number one, simply because EVERY other article did so, 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.
Credits to Synthesia’s knowledge base.
- They have a built-in video editor which means you can edit the generated video
- The avatar you create can speak 120 languages and you can even choose a local accent
- You can choose a narration style and pick one of the 55+ templates
- You can change every single detail: from gender and looks to skin tone and attire
- Avatars sound or look robotic sometimes, which creates a counter-effect of what you typically want to achieve
- $30/per month. Please check their pricing as there are limitations within the plan (e.g. 10 video credits available per month).
Want to see it in action? Here’s a video I created with Synthesia:
Elai is a pretty similar video generator to Synthesia. It allows you to input text, and you’ll get an AI-generated avatar that will read it out. It’s practically video editing software on the cloud. However, instead of editing the footage of you, you’re editing footage of an AI-generated avatar.
- 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 (65+ available), so you can create videos in a lot of languages
- You can request the creation of a custom avatar if none of the ones from the library match your taste
- Sometimes the avatars look a bit uncanny and unrealistic
- Free trial available. Two pricing plans are offered: $29/month and $99/month. They differ mainly in the number of video minutes you have available per month but make sure to check their pricing for yourself.
Here’s a video i generated with Elai:
When I first checked Movio.la, I was impressed by their tagline: Turn text into spokesperson video by typing and clicking.
It really sums up what AI video generators do in such a compelling way. Out of all the video generators that create avatars, I think that Movio.la made the simplest way for users to get started and then hooked on the features.
It happens in three simple steps: 1) you choose an avatar or create your own, 2) type your script, and 3) submit it. Then you grab a cup of coffee and wait until the video is rendered.
- Choose over 100+ avatars or create your own
- Pick one of the 40+ languages with diverse accents
- You don’t have to start from scratch: Movio.la has 300+ templates available
- Great instructions on how to get started
- I kinda get a bit of a robotic, Siri kind of vibe from listening to some of the avatars
- Their Pro plan is a bit expensive, but you do get 90 minutes of video per month, so it’s not that bad of a deal
- You can try it out with 1-minute free credit or choose between two plans starting at $30 (Essential) and $250 per month (Pro). Make sure to check out their pricing page because there is a pricing slider depending on how many video minutes you need per month.
Here’s a video i created with this tool:
HourOne, similar to Elai and Synthesia is a video generator where you can add AI-generated talking heads, put them in different scenes, and add captions.
- Huge selection of avatars
- Pick a language, accent, look, and feel of the avatar
- Upload your own images or use existing templates to get started
- Avatars might sound a bit robotic
- In addition to a free trial that gives you 3-minute video credit, there is a Lite plan ($25 per member per month) and a Business plan ($199 per member per month). Check their pricing here.
Neuraloom has created a marketing narrative around hiring avatars as “digital employees” and I must say I felt a combination of shock and awe. Their unique selling point revolves around replacing humans to do different types of video presentations, thus saving money and resources.
- Nice balance between functionality and simplicity
- Great library of AI avatars
- 20 languages available
- Great documentation and step-by-step guides
- Avatars look amazingly realistic until you hear them speak (it’s kind of like when you’re watching a dubbed movie and there is a lag effect between the sound and the person opening their mouth)
- It can get pricey down the road because of their business model
- They have a pay-as-you-go business model and you’re expected to pay $18 per 3-minute rendered video. See their pricing here.
Here’s an example video:
Video generators that allow you to turn text into a slideshow
When I started researching this type of video generator, I noticed that they are 1) all pretty much similar to one another and 2) very good tools. 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 the tools I tested.
So, out of all the tools I tried out, Pictory is my favorite one. I say this because of two main reasons: 1) it chooses the best background images and 2) 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
- 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 Standard plan ($23 per month per user), and a Premium plan ($47 per month per user). Check their entire pricing page here.
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.
- Upload your own media or choose one from millions of licensed images from Unsplash and Shutterstock
- You can turn blogs into videos with ease
- Very easy to use: point and click, drag and drop (even easier than creating a regular presentation)
- They also have avatar videos, but I don’t think they are the best solution for this use case
- If you don’t mind Lumen5 watermark, you can use it for free. Other pricing plans go from $29 to $199 per month. See their pricing page here.
InVideo also has the option to start from a template (and they have a huge library of them) or you can 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.
- Easy to use drag-and-drop editor
- 5000+ customizable templates
- Upload your own media or use one of the million premium images available in InVideo
- 70+ languages available
- Their automated image selection is a bit off, I really didn’t like the images I got and it doesn’t have to do anything with style or preference (they are simply out of context)
- Choice paralysis: you really have a lot of templates to choose from which may extend the time you had planned for creating a simple video.
- Pricing goes from $30 per month to $60 per month. Free trial is available. You also have a lifetime business deal for $399, but it’s a limited offer. Go to their pricing page for more info.
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.
- Great video editor: you can add transitions, customize text, add scenes, and more
- You can add automated voiceover
- More than 20+ languages available
- Resize for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok
- Their interface could use an update, but I’m really nitpicking here
- Pricing goes from $29 per month to $69 per month, and it includes their entire creative suite (not just the video generator). Check out their pricing here.
SteveAI, like the other video generators, offers the ability to transform the 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.
- An automated voiceover option (they seem a bit better than the DesignsAI ones)
- You can add automated voiceover
- The AI picks the most relevant assets once you insert the text
- Fewer templates and less engaging compared to other solutions
- Simpler built-in video editor, but it gets the job done
- They have Basic, Starter, Pro, and Enterprise plan. Prices go from $15/month to $60/month. See their full pricing here.
So, what’s the best AI video generator?
The best in the talking head category is Synthesia, there’s no word about it. Their avatars are almost perfect, their UX is pretty smooth, and they have a wide range of looks, languages, narration styles, and accents.
For text to the slideshow video generator, 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 eventually. Also, their suite of tools is impressive, so you’ll get four tools by paying for one. Pretty good deal.
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 and exploring the direction it’s heading into.
Combining AI video generators and Plainly
We built Plainly with the idea to be the leading solution when it comes to 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 to any workflow and you can combine it 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 video generator, not even that. This is why a video automation tool like Plainly makes this use case even better.
AI video generator creates avatars and Plainly personalizes the rest of the scene (images, text, audio, video, and more). You could introduce personalization into your marketing mix and increase sales simply by relying on video as the engaging format it truly is.
Want to see Plainly in action? Let me explain it in 15 minutes: book a demo with me today.
FAQ about AI video generators
1. What are AI video generators?
AI video generators are advanced tools that allow users to create videos from scratch by relying on artificial intelligence.
2. How do video generators work?
Video editing software and artificial intelligence (AI) are frequently combined to create videos that appear convincingly human-produced.
3. How much do video generators cost?
Video generators can cost anywhere from $19 to $199 per month. The pricing depends on the business model the company that created the video generator uses, the number of users on the account, and the video credits you plan on using on a monthly basis.
4. What are some typical use cases where video generators can come in handy?
Video generators can be used for creating explainer videos, sales videos, content marketing videos, HR onboarding videos, different types of personalized videos, and more.
5. How do I decide which video generator to use?
When deciding which video generator to use, make sure to weigh the pros and cons, analyze the features, pricing, and create a list of must-haves, good-to-haves, and nice-to-haves. Also think about the number of users that will be on the same account as in some cases, this might affect the pricing.