How to Slow Down Video in Shotcut

Introduction

Shotcut is a super awesome, free, open source video editor that’s packed with a lot of great features. One thing you can do relatively easy is slow down specific parts of a video, maybe for dramatic effect or just to put an emphasis on something.

Some of the images associated with the steps are included inline below. All images associated with these steps can be seen in the embedded YouTube video. Also, please note that you’re not able to leave a comment directly on this article. If you have a question or feedback, please leave it on the YouTube video.

YouTube player

Steps to Slow Down Video in Shotcut

  1. We’ll start by loading the video we want to slow down and moving it onto a video track in Shotcut. In this example I’ll use an example of a video with me playing Rocket League where I want to slow the video down in the last few seconds before I score a goal.
  2. Next let’s identify the start and stop points associated with where we want the video to slow down. In this example I want to slow it down between 11 seconds and 13 seconds. To split the video first click the video track you want to split to select it. The selected track will be olive green on the left and have a red boundary around it. Next, you want to move the scrubber icon to either your start or stop point and then right-click the track to open a menu. Click “Split at Playhead” in the menu. Repeat this process to mark the other split point.

  1. Before we move on you’ll want to make sure the Properties window is displayed in your Shotcut interface. By default, this is located in the options menu on the left side of the screen.

If you don’t see Properties, click “View” in the menu along the top of the screen, and then select “Properties.” The window should be available. Click “Properties” to view the window.

  1. Because the part of the video you slow down will overwrite and delete any sections in the timeline that come after it, it’s important to either move those sections out on that timeline, or move them onto their own timeline. In this example I’ll add another timeline and move the clip that comes after the section I want to slow down onto that timeline.
  2. Click the section in the video track you marked off that you want to slow down to select it, and then click to make sure the Properties window is open. Find the “Speed” section in the Properties window. By default the speed will be set to 1. Decrease this number to slow your video down, and then press “Enter.”

You’ll see that clip get longer, indicating it’s taking more time to play. For example, lowering this number to .5 will make the video go at half speed; increasing it to .75 will make it go three-quarter speed, and so on.

The following YouTube shows what the video output looks like at the different speeds.

YouTube player

Reasons to Slow Down Video in Shotcut

1. Emphasizing Key Moments

Slowing down a video in Shotcut allows users to emphasize crucial moments. This can dramatically enhance storytelling by drawing attention to specific actions or events. In a suspenseful movie, a slowed-down sequence can heighten the tension. In a documentary, it might highlight a significant occurrence. These moments, amplified by slow motion, can effectively stir emotions, leaving a lasting impact on viewers.

2. Creating Cinematic Effects

Cinematic effects are key to transforming ordinary footage into mesmerizing scenes. The slow-motion feature in Shotcut helps in creating these dramatic effects. Slowed sequences are often seen in action films or sports videos, where every detail of an explosion or the trajectory of a game-winning goal is made strikingly apparent. The ability to experience each micro-movement in slow motion brings viewers closer to the action, making them feel part of the scene.

3. Facilitating Detailed Analysis

Slow-motion videos can act as valuable tools for detailed analysis. In educational videos, complicated concepts can be broken down using this feature. Scientists might slow down a chemical reaction to explain it better, or sports coaches might analyze an athlete’s movements to improve performance. By reducing the speed, viewers gain the luxury of time to comprehend each phase of a process without feeling rushed.

4. Enhancing Visual Aesthetics

The slow-motion feature in Shotcut can significantly elevate the visual aesthetics of a video. It renders ordinary movements into graceful, almost balletic actions. It’s akin to bringing poetry to motion. The fall of a raindrop or the flutter of a butterfly, when viewed in slow motion, takes on an extraordinary, almost hypnotic charm. This allure of enhanced aesthetics can captivate viewers, making your video more engaging and memorable.

5. Ensuring Safety and Compliance

Slow-motion videos can be critical in industries where safety and compliance are paramount. For instance, in construction or manufacturing sectors, slow-motion footage can verify whether safety protocols are being adhered to. An action that seems compliant in real-time might reveal infractions when viewed in slow motion. These slow-motion reviews can help prevent mishaps, ensuring safer work environments.

6. Assisting in Troubleshooting

In troubleshooting scenarios, slow-motion videos can be a powerful tool. Quick, unexpected events are often hard to understand in real-time. Whether it’s a brief system failure or a sudden mechanical malfunction, viewing the incident in slow motion can help pinpoint the exact moment and cause of the problem. This enables more accurate diagnosis and quicker problem resolution.

7. Offering Entertainment

Slow-motion videos often serve as a source of entertainment. Everyday actions can seem humorous or extraordinary when slowed down. A dog catching a frisbee or a person’s surprised reaction, when viewed in slow motion, can incite laughter and amazement. Such videos can inject a dose of fun into social media feeds, parties, or family gatherings, lightening the mood and sparking joy.

8. Clarifying Dance and Sports Training

In the realms of dance and sports, slow-motion videos can provide a clear breakdown of complex movements. Dancers can perfect their pirouettes, and basketball players can refine their layups. Coaches and trainers can utilize this feature in Shotcut to dissect each motion, offering feedback to help trainees improve their techniques. Over time, this can lead to enhanced performances and a higher level of skill mastery.

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About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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