Video Editing API

Whether you want to generate video for social media, automate video banners for your marketing, or develop video-powered applications, you may be looking for an API that allows you to edit video in the cloud. A video editing API helps with adding overlays, stitching, resizing, and trimming video as well as rendering video using templates.

  • Edit video by API
  • Automate any video creation task
  • Generate video in the cloud

Tutorial: How to Edit Video using an API

Most of the videos edited using our API are intended for marketing and social media purposes and are very short in length. However, the API can also generate longer and more dynamic videos, such as slideshows and storytelling videos. Here's a quick tutorial on how video editing works using Creatomate's API.

Create a video automation template

There are two ways to edit video in the cloud. The first way is to start with a template designed in the online video editor, and then make unique videos with different captions, images, or clips. This approach is great if your videos follow a predictable design, like short-form videos or animated banners.

Alternatively, if you just want to edit a video, you don't have to use a template, but just write a JSON script to do the editing. This provides a lower-level way to edit video by defining each operation without being limited by a template. This is ideal for watermarking, stitching, trimming, resizing, or creating highly dynamic videos entirely by code.

curl -s -X POST \
  -H 'Authorization: Bearer Your-API-Key' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  --data-binary @- << EOF
  "template_id": "Your Video Template ID",
  "modifications": {
    "My-Text": "Your Text And Video Here",
    "Bg-Video": ""

Edit video using the REST API

If you choose to use the template-based approach, you can simply refer to the ID of the template you created in the online video editor, insert any values into the template, and an MP4 video will be created. Here's an example where we provide a custom video clip and text. We're using cURL to access the REST API, but any programming language or no-code tool (like Zapier) will work.

As an alternative, you can replace the "template_id" parameter with the "source" parameter, and provide any video editing instructions in JSON format. This allows for much more control over the final output video, allowing you to create highly dynamic video that is not restricted by a template.

Automate any video editing task

As you can see from the example above, regardless of whether you are editing video by template or by scratch, this offers a very flexible way to edit without managing your own server infrastructure. As the video rendering process takes place in the cloud, there is always sufficient processing capacity available for any video editing request.

You can use Creatomate's API to edit video in any programming language, including Node.js, PHP, Ruby, Python, etc., in order to create your own video-based applications. And if you want to edit video with no-code tools, you can use Zapier, Make (Integromat), or Pabbly.

Frequently asked questions

What is a video editing API?

A video editing API is a managed service that provides video processing in the cloud. This is different from unmanaged video editing, in which you perform the processing on your own servers, such as with FFmpeg. A video editing API allows you to create video without worrying about server infrastructure and scalability.

What type of video can be edited using an API?

You can edit any kind of video. For example, a video editing API can be used for social media videos, animated banners, video ads, slideshows, as well as for general video editing tasks such as stitching, resizing, trimming, adding captions, and watermarking.

Why should I use an API for editing video?

If you are developing video-powered applications, or would like to automate your marketing via video, and don't want to worry about maintaining your own video rendering infrastructure, it may be a good idea to use a managed video editing API.

Can't I just use FFmpeg to edit my video?

As a command-line tool, FFmpeg is great for simple video editing tasks. But if you need to edit videos at scale, such as for a web application or automated video generation, it won't suffice. Although FFmpeg can run on a server, it will only be able to render one video at a time and be limited to the most basic video editing operations.

How long does it take to set up?

Because Creatomate is a simple REST API, you can create your first video in as little as 10 minutes. With any of the guides provided at the bottom of the page, you can create your first API request in no time, whether you are using code (Node.js, PHP, Python, etc.) or no-code (Zapier, Make, cURL, etc).

What is the capacity of the Creatomate video API?

Creatomate takes advantage of a serverless computing infrastructure powered by Amazon AWS to automatically scale its infrastructure according to demand. It can render thousands of videos simultaneously at peak times.

Can I build my own service on top of the Creatomate video API?

Yes. There are many developers building video-powered software with Creatomate's API. You can use the API with any programming language, and we have libraries on NPM and Packagist for Node.js and PHP.

How much does a video editing API cost?

The Creatomate video editing API is considerably less costly than setting up your own video editing solution. Its pricing starts at the same level as a single EC2 server on AWS. However, an individual EC2 server can only handle one video at a time, not to mention the additional cost of managing your own infrastructure.

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