10 Apps For Making Totally Unique Videos

10 apps for making totally unique videos to spice up your Instagram stories.

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Hey, I’m Ani, and I make a lot of mobile video. So, naturally, I’m always looking for new video apps to expand what’s possible. And when I do, I love to figure out creative ways to use the new tools to spice up my Instagram stories. Here are some of my favorite apps, along with some tips about how to use them.



Boomerang is nothing new to you, but did you know that you can change the length of a Boomerang to be a fraction of a second? With this effect, you can make photos come to life, and even create the illusion of floating.

To do this, you need to access Boomerang’s hidden settings. Unfortunately, you can’t do this from Instagram Stories (yet!). Download the Boomerang app and tap the display four times using four fingers. It usually takes a few tries to get it right. Once you get it, scroll down and use these settings -- Frame Count: 3, Long Capture Frame Count: 10, Capture Frame Rate: 20, Playback Frame Rate: 20. That’s it! You can toggle these to create Boomerangs of various lengths.

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You probably have used Hyperlapse to capture a sunset, but I want to introduce you to a more creative way of shooting with it, inspired by a video that my friend Red Gaskell made. To show off a space in a dynamic way, hold you phone as still as possible (or get a stabilizer), and walk forwards, slowly, and in a straight line. If you precisely turn your body (and phone) at a 90 degree angle, you can round corners in a very cool way as well.

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LightSpace - 3D painting in AR

LightSpace allows you to draw your own world in AR. You can paint in AR, and the tracking works like magic. It’s super easy to use. I posted it to my Instagram story once and received the highest number of messages I’ve ever gotten in response to a story. Everyone was asking, “what app is that?!” I’m surprised this hasn’t caught on more - it’s an incredible app made by really passionate folks.

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Glitché is definitely under the radar, but I’m beginning to see it on select friends’ Instagram stories. The app allows you to apply effects to your videos/photos that would take hours to create in After Effects. While the glitch effect is the more popular effect, the app provides a variety of fun ways to manipulate your photos or videos.

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Gabsee is like Bitmoji but cooler. You can make a 3D AR avatar of yourself and have it interact with the real world by assigning it an activity/emotion. It can get pretty wild.

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Everyone knows Snapchat. Not enough people take advantage of the pinning emoji feature, though. Snapchat’s emoji pinning works way better than Instagram’s emoji pinning. The two major tricks to mastering the art of the pin are to learn how the tracking mechanism works and to use emojis creatively. To make a text-based video, like in the example below, take a video panning across a wall, and then pin emojis to different parts of the wall. You’ll have try a variety of panning and pinning before you get it right. Also, you can make a colored background by pinching an emoji to make it bigger; just keep pinching it until it fills the screen.

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Giphy World - AR GIF Stickers

Instagram Stories now has GIF stickers, but they don’t work in AR. With Giphy World, you can draw with AR GIF stickers.

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These are a few other apps that I find helpful...


Unfold - Story Creator

Unfold provides creative Instagram Stories templates. Want to spice up the design of your story? Download Unfold. My personal favorite feature is the capability to show more than one photo on a slide -- great for showcasing shoots without overloading your followers with little bars at the top.

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Unum lets you upload photos and videos to a fake grid to see how they look laid out on an Instagram feed. If you’re going for a consistent Instagram aesthetic, Unum helps you make that happen.

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Lumy helps you track sunrise, sunset and magic hour times. It’s helpful for planning shoots.


Feel free to DM me on Instagram or shoot me an email if you have questions about anything above. All content created by Ani Acopian unless otherwise noted.

Ani Acopian is a filmmaker and content creator living in Brooklyn, NY. Her mobile-focused videos earned her recognition as a finalist for Snapchatter of the Year in the Shorty Awards, screened at Tribeca Film Festival, and a Future of Storytelling fellowship. She shoots with film cameras, drones, and her iPhone for clients including Red Bull, Everlane, and Samsung.

You can email her at aniacopian@gmail.com and find her on Instagram at @aniacopian.

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