7 Popular Free or Low-Cost Tribute Video Makers

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Your mom was a remarkable person. She loved others, gave of her time, raised you and your siblings, helped the poor, and made everyone smile. Now she’s gone, and you want everyone to know how amazing she was. What do you do? Put together a tribute video.

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What if you need to memorialize your dad or brother or best friend? Make a tribute video. Tribute videos can be created for someone who is living or deceased to tell a story about their lives. You can make it on your own or you can have friends and family help you. 

No matter why you need to create a tribute video, your job will be made much easier by using a video maker. So what are they and where can you find budget-friendly options? Read on for everything you need to know.

What Is a Tribute Video Maker?

A tribute video maker is a software you can use to edit photographs, video clips, and audio clips together with transition effects and music to create a video about someone’s life. If you ever get asked to make a tribute video or a memorial video for a funeral, it’s helpful to use software that makes this task easy.

Unlike a tribute speech, when you create a tribute video, you’ll likely combine multiple forms of media from your own archives and potentially from the archives of your loved ones, as well. Some tribute video makers give you the option to invite others to send you pictures and video clips so you have more content to draw from.

Putting pictures and videos together in the proper timeline then creating smooth transitions, neat effects, and putting music behind it all can take a ton of work. That’s where tribute video makers can be of assistance. Many automate nearly the entire process, leaving only the fine-tuning to you while the software uploads, sorts, arranges, and even creates transitions for you. 

If you want to take a more hands-on approach, most video makers do allow you to create and edit the entire movie yourself from scratch.

» MORE: Make things easier for yourself in the future. Use Cake to help a loved one plan and navigate their loss when the time comes.

 

How Much Do Tribute Video Makers Cost?

You can find tribute video-making software available on the internet for free as well as software that costs hundreds of dollars. The biggest difference between free software vs. expensive software is how professional of a video you can produce.

Professional software on the level that movie producers use will cost hundreds. However, for our purposes, this type of software isn’t needed. We’ve found that all the tools you’ll likely need are already included in many free or budget-friendly tribute video software versions available.

What Features Should You Look for in a Tribute Video Maker?

There are a surprising number of tribute video makers available on the internet. With many to choose from, how do you pick which one to use? Check to see if the software you’re considering contains the popular features below.

Ratings

This one isn’t really a feature, but it’s very important. Before downloading any software or signing up for a cloud-based tribute video maker, check ratings and customer reviews. Look through positive and negative reviews. 

While you read, see if you can find answers to questions like these: What do people like about the software? What worked well? What didn’t work at all? Were there missing features people wished it had? Was there good customer service and support or was it non-existent? 

Check reviews to help you save time and money by avoiding less than ideal software and finding the best options available.

Templates

Most video makers have templates that you can use to help make the video creation process faster. The best video makers will have plenty of templates to choose from so you can pick the one that works best for your multimedia needs.

Editing tools

When you upload pictures and video clips into a video maker, you may realize that you need to trim a picture or edit the video. A good video maker will include editing tools that allow you to do this as you go.

Other tools to look for include items like filters, transition effects, recording capabilities for a voiceover narration, and the ability to add text over photographs.

Music

Music makes a tribute video come alive, and the best video makers will have a music library of copyright-free music that you can choose for the background of your movie.

Some video makers will even let you upload your own family songs for slideshows if you have a particular song you want to play.

Popular Free Tribute Video Makers

Here are several of the highest-rated free tribute video makers available on the internet.

1. Animoto

Animoto is a movie maker that creates slideshows from pictures and video clips with a simple drag and drop application. There are plenty of templates to choose from and a large music library to use. Customization is made easy with a variety of fonts and video styles plus editing tools such as photo enlargement, video trimming, and voiceover.

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2. Movavi

Unlike some video makers, Movavi is a program that you download directly onto your computer. This is a definite perk if you want to work on your video tribute when you’re offline or traveling. The free software provides features such as transitions, filters, special effects, music tracks, and a helpful slideshow wizard that guides you through the process.

3. Smilebox

Smilebox allows you to create simple yet elegant slideshow tribute videos for your loved one. There are hundreds of templates to get you started, thousands of songs to use as background music (or you can upload your own), captions can be added, and the photos you use are backed up to the Smilebox cloud for safe storage. The best part? You can upload an unlimited number of photos for your video.

4. Microsoft Video Editor (PCs)

If you have a PC or laptop and you like DIYing things, you might want to take advantage of the built-in Microsoft Video Editor. With it, you can combine pictures and video clips, overlay text, and add special effects and transitions. There are also handy editing tools and voiceover capabilities. 

5. iMovie (Macs)

For those with a Mac computer or laptop, you can take advantage of the iMovie app. The interface is user-friendly and allows you to choose photos and video clips, add music, overlay text, and choose effects. There are also a host of editing tools built-in, enabling you to crop pictures, shorten video clips, and make sure the video turns out just the way you want.

6. Google Photos Movie Maker

Google Photo fans will rejoice to know that there is a free tribute video maker available. To access it, you must be signed in to your Google account. From there, you open Google Photos, click on Utilities in the left-hand menu, then click Movie. 

You can choose the “In Loving Memory” template, and Google will walk you through the entire creation process step-by-step. You’ll import photos directly from your bank of Google Photos, choose music, transitions, effects, and more until you’re finished.

Popular Low-Cost or Subscription-Based Tribute Video Makers

Though these video makers aren’t free, they are still budget-friendly, and we think the features alone will make them worth the cost.

7. FlexClip

FlexClip is an excellent option for video creation that offers both free and paid versions. While you can create a short one-minute video for free, if you want to do your loved one justice and create a longer video, you’ll need to purchase the paid version. Paid plans start at $5.99 a month for a three-minute video and increase to $19.99 a month for a 10-minute video.

8. Tribute

Tribute is one of the best video maker tools available for creating a tribute video with a few friends or family members. Tribute provides a seamless way to invite family members to send their pictures or videos to you. Once a family member receives an invite, they can send an unlimited amount of photos or videos to you. After you receive all the media from those who are working with you, you can drag and drop the pictures and video clips into the provided templates or have the concierge service put it together for you.

The DIY version is a one-time fee of $29. The concierge service, where Tribute staff put it together for you, is $99.

» MORE: Make things easier for yourself in the future. Use Cake to help a loved one plan and navigate their loss when the time comes.

 

9. Fastreel

Fastreel is a simple slideshow movie maker with plenty of templates, effects, and tools to make your video special. While creating your video, you can edit individual clips, crop pictures, add transitions, and choose audio tracks. At only $5.95 for a single video or $19.95 a month for unlimited videos with every tool they offer, this is a very budget-friendly option.

Where Can You Publish or Show a Finished Tribute Video?

Once you’ve gone through all the hard work of creating your tribute video, it’s time to publish it and honor your loved one by letting others view it. Here are some of the places we recommend publishing a finished video in addition to showing it at their funeral, memorial, or celebration of life service.

Online memorial site

Online memorial sites are growing in popularity thanks to the full suite of tools they offer. Most online memorial websites provide you with space to include an obituary, biography, photo and video gallery, information on services, and a digital guestbook. A memorial website is a perfect place to post a tribute video you’ve made for your loved one.

Friends, family, and visitors to the website can watch the video you upload and comment on it. After watching the tribute video, you might find that friends and family comment and share stories and memories of their own. Consider taking these comments and editing them into the video footage later, creating an addendum of stories and anecdotes from relatives who hadn’t been able to contribute to the video when you put it together.

Social media

Social media platforms are ideal for posting a video or a link to a tribute video for your loved one. Depending on the platform, you can upload it directly or link out to a third-party website where they can watch it. You can also allow the post to be shared and commented on.

Funeral home websites

If you set up an online memorial webpage that is hosted on the funeral home website, you may be able to upload a tribute video to it. Some funeral homes only allow the upload of a tribute video if they created it for you while some allow you to upload your own. Not all funeral home memorial sites have this capability, however, so it’s a good idea to ask before you decide to use their memorial site. 

Personal blog page

If you have a personal blog or website, it could be appropriate to share your tribute video there. Keep in mind that your video will be viewable to anyone who happens to find your site. If you’re comfortable with this, or you want as many people as possible to learn about your loved one’s legacy, then posting the video publicly might be a good option for you.

Honoring a Loved One Through Video

Whether multiple videos are combined into one with elaborate footage and effects or the video is a simple photo montage with a brief narration, it tells the story of your loved one’s life. This video honors their memory and continues their legacy for all who watch it. We know it takes a lot of time and effort, but we think you’ll agree that the work you put in will be well worth it.

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