Between TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram, it can seem like video is everywhere these days. But making something that looks professional can often be a daunting task. This is the problem that HeyGen (which used to be known as Movio) promises to fix.
HeyGen is an AI-powered video creation platform that lets you make unique talking-head clips. When you load up the app, you are presented with several options, including the ability to generate a “TalkingPhoto” video, or to begin with one of HeyGen’s avatars. TalkingPhoto lets you create an AI-generated image (similar to Midjourney or Stable Diffusion) that you can then turn into an animated video. I opted to start with an avatar, and selected one from the dozen pre-created characters that were available. These include a few fun ones, including Mona Lisa and William Shakespeare, though premium customers have access to a larger range of avatars.
You can customize several elements before you create your clip, including the format (landscape or portrait), and your avatar’s voice. Again, there are more options for premium users, and even the ability to clone your own voice for a one-off fee of $99. Here, I went with a free voice and then input the text that I wanted the character to say. You can of course upload your own audio, but you’ll have to be mindful of your video’s runtime, as each time you generate a video, you use credits; the longer the clip, the more credits you’ll use.
HeyGen gives you a voice preview feature which is helpful for checking how your avatar will sound before you create the end clip, and when you press render, the wait time is also mercifully quick. The end result is a very good animated video, which, while not quite able to get over the uncanny valley, is more than good enough for an explainer video, presentation, or even a social media response clip. (Just maybe don’t try to use it for a TikTok duet.)
Click to enlarge
HeyGen has a decent selection of free avatars to get you started.
The avatar editing interface is clean and simple. You can even adjust the speed and pitch of the speaking voice.
The video creation tool is pared back and simple, but you can still preview the character’s audio before you render your video.
Quickly create a talking heads video.
Clone your own voice with just two to eight minutes of audio.
Create 4K videos.
Once your free credits are spent the service gets pricey.
Audio-syncing isn't perfect.
Our Insider Tips
The TalkingPhoto renders are very good and definitely worth exploring.
Tweak the audio settings before you render your clip. You can adjust both the pitch and the pace - even on the free voices.
Try the Templates feature - there are some great pre-rendered backgrounds that can help elevate your video and make it feel less generic.
Very easy to use.
The facial animations are consistently good.
The video render time is excellent.
Once your free credits are spent the service gets pricey.
Audio-syncing isn’t perfect.
- D-ID - A close competitor with many similar features.
- Synthesia - Competitive on price and with broad language support.
Our Verdict on HeyGen
HeyGen is very impressive at what it does. The animations seem to avoid the repetitive head movements that can hamper the output of some other AI video services, and even the free voices are of high quality.
Nonetheless, HeyGen’s pricing might make some people hesitant - particularly when other platforms charge notably less for their premium offerings.
HeyGen Pricing - Creator
Or purchase Yearly with 20% discount
This tool comes with a generous free tier. AllThingsAI always recommends trying before you buy
HeyGen is suitable for enterprise usage. Get in touch with the team for higher usage limits, better security options and other enterprise-grade features
AI Avatars: Over 140 diverse AI avatars are available for your videos. These avatars look and move with remarkable realism as they are based on video footage of actual actors. A wide range of age groups, races, and religions are represented among the avatars.
AI Voices: There are more than 120 realistic AI voices available to use, and new ones are regularly added. The latest, most-advanced text-to-speech technology is used to create a huge selection of voices available in different languages, accents, dialects, and styles.
Video Templates: Use over 60 pre-made, professionally designed video templates to create company videos in minutes. Fully customize your videos by adding brand logos, stock video clips, images, screen recordings, audio soundtracks, and more using the simple-to-use video editor.
Custom AI Avatars and Voices: Create your own AI avatars and voices that look and sound just like you. Keep in mind that the custom avatars and voices feature is a paid add-on, costing around $1000 per year on top of the standard subscription fee.
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HeyGen Frequently Asked Questions
How does Tool Work?
Is Tool free?
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