Tips to create YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts lets you create Shorts by filming new content using the Shorts camera. You can also select videos or photos from your camera roll. Explore all the creation tools available to you when recording a Short.

YouTube Shorts

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Shorts Creation Tools

Tap Add Sound if you would like to add a song to the clip you want to record. You can choose from a selection of tracks from YouTube’s audio library at no charge. Watch this Short to learn more about adding sound.


Use the Shorts Audio library to inspire your Shorts creation and set the tone for your Short. Choose an upbeat audio to film a dancing video and inspire your audience to dance along with you. Or select a calming sound if you are filming a 1-minute meditation and you want to leave your viewers feeling zen. Learn more about adding sound here.

Are you planning on using your front camera or your back camera to capture the shot? Tap on the Flip icon to toggle between both.

  Explore the different Effects and choose one that adds to the tone and aesthetic of your video.   


Using an effect such as “big head” can help add a comedic tone to your Short. In contrast, an effect like “fish eye” or “night vision” can change the viewpoint with which your segment is filmed.

Tap Speed to select between 0.3x - 3x as a modification to the original speed of the shot.


Maybe you are filming an awesome trick shot that could only be fully appreciated when slowed down using slow-mo. Or you can speed up your video clip to make an action shot look even more incredible. Watch this Short to learn some Shorts Speed tool tricks.

Tap the Timer icon to choose the length of the countdown that shows before you start recording and to choose where your recording stops.


Use this tool to set up your tripod or experiment with leaning your phone against inanimate objects to get different and fun angles. Filming a dance challenge or simply trying to show off your full outfit? It will take you a few seconds to back away from your camera until you are in full frame. Select your countdown to account for this and your phone will start recording once you are ready.

Green Screen lets you choose any photo or video from your own gallery. It also allows you to choose any eligible YouTube video or Short as the background for your original Short video. You can create using both the audio + video or video-only if you choose to mute the audio.


Use images in the background for your skit about Mount Everest or add commentary to your favorite existing YouTube Video. Get creative when using this feature to film your short. Watch this Short to learn how to Green Screen yourself into any background.

The Retouch tool has a skin smoothing effect that you can toggle on and off depending on your preferences.

 Sort through the different Filters to select which, if any, you would like to apply to your clip. You can add different filters for each segment that you record.  


Think of filters that you can select as a way to add to the style and personality of your Short. They can also make up for less than ideal lighting. You can select a filter to brighten up or color correct your shot, or even a filter that adds a vintage black and white feel.

When you add music, you can use the Adjust tool to select what part of the song you want to play in your Short.

Align lets you match up the clip you are about to record with the previous clip you either recorded or selected from your camera roll. The camera takes the last frame from your Short and displays it as a silhouette. This feature allows you to align the subject from the last frame into the new one, making this the perfect tool for assuring your transitions are smooth.


Remember to think about continuity. Consider whether your lighting or background looks the same or if you’ve changed outfits. Watch this Short on how to hit the perfect transition with the Align tool.

Tap on the Lighting icon to toggle between having it on or off.


This tool automatically adjusts the lighting of the video when recording in dim or darker environments. This removes the stress of having the perfect light set up before you start filming with your front facing camera.

Tap on the Flash icon to toggle between having it on or off.


Think about the lighting around you, is it too dark? Maybe you’re filming at night? The flash tool will be a great way to brighten up your shot when filming with your rear facing camera.

Want to edit the length of the segment you’ve recorded? You can use the Trim tool. Drag the sides of the bar to change the video’s start and end times. Anything not in the box won't show in the Short.


This allows you to edit mistakes or moments you don’t want included in your final product. Watch this Short to get your timing just right using Trim.

Things to keep in mind

  • You don’t have to rush your creation process. Remember that you can click X in the top left of the Shorts camera to save any work-in-progress. Then tap Save and exit.
  • In addition to the Shorts creation tools available while recording a Short, you also unlock a new set of tools after your Short has been recorded. You can explore adding voiceover, text, filters, and reviewing your timeline. Learn more
  • Check out other Shorts on the YouTube Creators channel to learn more creation tips.

Next: check out tips for editing Shorts

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