When selecting an AI video creation tool, it is crucial to conduct thorough research independently, even before engaging in sales conversations.
Although every option claims to be the ultimate all-in-one solution, verifying if these claims hold true is important, especially if it’s your first interaction with AI video generation tools.
In this article, we will focus on five areas: AI avatars, language capabilities, ease of use, security, and innovation. These vary greatly from tool to tool, which results in different pricing. Therefore, pricing is not covered as a factor per se.
Hopefully, the following checklist will assist you in identifying the most suitable option or, at the very least, in narrowing down your choices.
Let’s go step by step. 👇
1) AI avatars
Avatars are the most important aspect of your AI video.
You’ve probably heard of the uncanny valley effect — it's when avatars resemble human likeness, but something is still slightly off. Well, that’s something you want to avoid, and while there are no perfect AI avatars yet, there are nuances to consider.
Here's what you should pay attention to when comparing different providers:
• Are the AI avatars diverse enough?
Do they cover a range of ages, ethnicities, and attires? Would you be able to create various types of videos using these avatars? Does the provider continually expand their avatar collection?
• Is the lip sync good?
Better lip sync leads to increased trust with viewers, so make sure that it appears natural and convincing. You can test that by creating side-by-side comparisons of AI Avatars from different vendors, paying close attention to the mouth movements and articulation of words.
• Can the AI avatars perform micro gestures?
Pay attention to non-verbal cues, such as head nods, eyebrows movements etc.? Can you control such movements?
• How do they look when idling?
It is important for avatars to appear natural, not just when communicating verbally but also during moments of silence. Do they idle naturally during pauses? Do they conclude a sentence with a subtle inclination of the head? What about their hand and eye movements?
• Does the company offer high-quality custom avatars?
Many AI video creation tools allow you to create a custom avatar that looks like you, but the quality of these avatars can vary significantly. Before selecting a provider, be sure to clarify what types of avatars they offer (realistic or cartoon), view some examples of custom avatars, and compare them with the provider's stock avatars. Also, don’t forget to check the footage requirements for creating a custom avatar.
2) AI voices
Creating videos in different languages is important as it enables effective communication, cultural inclusivity, and fosters global connections. It allows for greater accessibility and reach to diverse audiences.
Therefore, before choosing your AI video creation tool, make sure to get answers to these questions:
• How many languages and accents are supported?
How many languages and accents are available? What about captions? Can they be easily added? Can they be exported as an SRT file?
• How many voices are available?
Consider the voices and tones available for your video narration. Are there enough options to match different types of content and desired effects?
• Do the voices sound natural?
Do the voices sound like real humans, or are they artificial? Can you tell they are fake, or are they believable?
• Does the company own the voices it offers?
Do they have in-house voice capabilities, or are the voices provided by a third party such as Amazon Polly, Microsoft Azure, Wellsaid Labs or Google Wavenet? If the voices are provided by external parties, there is always a risk of losing access to them if they decide to withdraw their support or cease operations. In contrast, owned voices are a more reliable and permanent option.
• Does the tool offer in-app translations?
Can you translate your script within the tool, or do you need to use an external software/service for that? How many languages does the translation feature support?
• Does the provider offer voice cloning?
Is it possible to clone your own voice and pair it with your own avatar? And if so, is the resulting voice clone of good quality? How can one go about creating such a clone?
3) Ease of use
Once you have a good selection of avatars and a variety of voices to choose from, the video creation process has only just begun.
The next step is to start creating your video, which requires a tool that offers specific editing capabilities and is easy to use.
Here are some questions to help you find one:
• Is the tool easy to navigate?
Is it made for professional video editors or for people without prior vide editing experience? Can you find your way around it without difficulty? Does it follow the same creation principles as the tools you are already familiar with, such as PowerPoint and Canva? Is the process intuitive, or do you find it too complex?
• Are there any templates available to help you get started?
Does the tool offer templates for different use cases? Are the templates available in different styles to cater to everyone's needs? Is it easy to customize these templates?
• Does the tool offer AI-assisted video creation?
Are there any AI-driven capabilities that can speed up your video creation process? Does it use AI for layout generation? Does it include an AI text generator for script writing? Are the AI-supported features user-friendly?
• What are the options for exporting and sharing the videos created?
Is it possible to share your video using a link? Can it be downloaded as an MP4? What is the export quality? Can you embed your videos using an embed code?
• Does it support team collaboration?
Can you easily invite your colleagues? Can you collaborate with your team? Does the tool support real-time collaboration? Is it possible to comment on videos?
Trust is the foundation of every partnership, regardless of its size, and in the world of increasing security risks, it is also vital to trust your software provider.
Therefore, when selecting a video creation tool, it is crucial to exercise caution:
• Does the company utilize clean and compliant data?
AI companies rely heavily on large amounts of data to develop their algorithms. It’s becoming increasingly important to understand the sources, quality and compliance of data used by AI companies. In other words, before partnering with a vendor, you are entitled to get a good understanding of their data governance, to avoid situations where your vendor is being sued for copyright infringement or misappropriation of data.
• Does the tool comply with GDPR regulations?
Does the organization behind the tool meet the legal requirements for properly handling personal data? Can they prove it?
• Does it support single sign-on (SSO)?
SSO reduces the number of attacks as users only need to log in with one set of credentials. Therefore, it is worth checking if the tool you are considering offers this feature.
• Is it SOC2 compliant?
Does the tool store customer data in the cloud? Will it store your data securely in the future? Does it comply with SOC2 standards?
• What is the company’s moderation policy?
It is important to learn about the provider's ethics and moderation policy to prevent bad actors from using the same AI video creation tool as you. You wouldn't want the stock avatars from your videos to be used in a misinformation campaign, would you? So – does the provider moderate content? Do they use machines or involve humans in the moderation process? What are their average moderation times?
When it comes to AI products, the research teams are the ones who drive innovation.
Simply put, the product's future hinges on the company's capacity to allocate resources to an internal research team, thereby maintaining ownership of their technology's intellectual property.
Of course, you may not want to read academic papers, but there are some indicators that you can consider:
• Does the company have an internal research team?
How many researchers are involved in product development? Is the team well-known and recognized for their past work?
Remember — companies with strong research teams are leaders in innovation, while those without research departments fall behind as they rely solely on open-source projects.
• Do they have an active presence in the academic space?
Do they publish important research papers and attend conferences? Do they sponsor internships? Do they have connections with academia?
• Do they regularly put out new features?
Several companies make their roadmaps and product updates public, which can provide insight into the product's direction and what to expect in the future.
Check independent business software review websites like G2.com to learn what your peers like or dislike about a particular vendor.
Back to you…
Of course, there are many other factors to consider, such as pricing, online communities, quality of support, investments, and more. However, the above questions prove to be crucial when selecting a new AI video creation tool.
Only then can you make an informed decision that you won't regret. 😌