November 12, 2023

How to make a boomerang: 2 creative ways to capture the perfect loop

Explore two ways to create a boomerang video in our guide and see how Descript makes it a breeze for stunning results.
November 12, 2023

How to make a boomerang: 2 creative ways to capture the perfect loop

Explore two ways to create a boomerang video in our guide and see how Descript makes it a breeze for stunning results.
November 12, 2023
Elsier Otachi
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Start editing audio & video
This makes the editing process so much faster. I wish I knew about Descript a year ago.
Matt D., Copywriter
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
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Transcriptions

Grabbing your audience’s attention within the first three seconds of a video and keeping them engaged can be difficult. 

Boomerang videos are practically made to grab attention, making them an easy win when your list of online video ideas runs dry. By adding flair to a single moment in action, they help you showcase your content without needing expensive equipment, complex techniques, or extensive video editing.

Whether you’re capturing an oddly satisfying bead drop or the perfect Jubi Slide, this tutorial will show you how to boomerang a video and put a quirky spin on your content.

What is a boomerang video?

A boomerang video is a quick video clip that loops back and forth in time. 

Unlike a GIF, which continually loops in one direction, a boomerang video plays as usual, then reverses once it gets to the end—versus restarting from the beginning. 

For example, you could loop videos of a fashion model twirling a couture gown or of your crew doing a victory jump to make it go on forever—or you could boomerang them to introduce a fantastical element that makes people stop and look.

The boomerang effect adds drama, visual appeal, and repetitive motion to videos, making it a lighthearted and enjoyable way to capture and share moments with your audience—like what Zendaya and Jimmy Fallon did on The Tonight Show

How to boomerang a video: 2 simple ways

The boomerang video creation process is pretty straightforward, regardless of the device you use. Below, we’ll share three recommended methods to make boomerang clips using Instagram and an iPhone.

How to make a boomerang with Instagram

Instagram shut down its Boomerang app, but it lives on as a feature in Instagram Stories. That makes it even easier to create short videos on the fly and make your Instagram posts pop.

Let’s walk through making a boomerang with Instagram on an Android or iOS device—and how to make it stand out.

Step 1: Swipe left to access Instagram Stories

Open the Instagram app on your phone and swipe left from your home feed to access Stories. Or, tap the Add (+) icon at the bottom of the screen, then select Story to make a boomerang video.

Step 2: Tap the Boomerang icon

Tap the Infinity icon on the left side of your screen.

Boomerang annotation on Instagram app

NOTE: To turn an existing video into a boomerang clip, swipe up to access your phone’s gallery or camera roll and tap on the video you want to convert. An infinity icon will appear at the top right corner of live photos compatible with Instagram’s Boomerang feature.

Step 3: Compose and record your shot

Focus the camera on the subject you want to record. Then, tap the Record button to record a boomerang video. You can keep your camera still and have the subject move, or move the camera, too.

Step 4: Edit and share your boomerang video

Tap the infinity icon at the top of your screen to open the boomerang video in the Instagram video editor

Selecting the infinity icon in Instagram app

Here, you can access the following tools: 

Selecting parts of video to Boomerang in Instagram app
  • Trimming tool: Drag the edges of the frame viewer to cut out specific parts of your video.
  • Classic mode: Keeps your video in the default Boomerang mode.
  • Slo-mo mode: Adds a slow-motion effect to capture each detail.
  • Echo mode: Adds a motion blur or double vision effect.
  • Duo mode: Changes video speed from high to low at alternating intervals to give it a glitchy, digitized look.

When you’re finished trimming your video and applying effects, tap Done at the top right corner of your screen to save your edits.

Instagram also offers an array of filters and effects you can use to enhance your boomerang video before publishing it. You can add music, text or captions, filters, or stickers to turn your video into something fun and unexpected.

Making edits on your boomerang Story

Tap Done to apply your changes.

Applying changes to Instagram boomerang

To save your boomerang video, tap More (three dots) at the top right corner of your screen and select Save. This way, you can upload a video to Instagram Reels and share it with your audience. 

Then, tap the sharing options at the bottom of the screen, such as Your story, to publish your new boomerang video instantly on Instagram or share it to Facebook.

How to make a boomerang on iPhone

If you have an iPhone 6S or newer model, you can make a boomerang video using Live Photos.

It’s easy to shoot a Live Photo just like you would a normal one, except a Live Photo captures what happens (including audio) 1.5 seconds before and after taking the shot.

Here’s how to turn a Live Photo into a boomerang on an iPhone.

Note: These steps apply to an iPhone 12 running iOS 16. The exact menu names may be slightly different, but the basic concepts apply to iOS 9 or later versions.

Step 1: Open Photos app and select a Live Photo

Open Photos app and tap Albums.

Scroll down to Media Types and tap Live Photos.

Selecting Live Photos from iPhone

Select a Live Photo.

Note: If you don’t have a Live Photo, it’s easy to create one. Open the Camera, tap the Live Photo icon, and then tap the shutter button to take a photo.

Step 2: Select Bounce

Tap the Live Photo icon in the top left corner of your screen and select Bounce. This effect rewinds the action backward and forward, giving your Live Photo a boomerang effect.

Selecting Bounce from the options in Photo app

Step 3: Edit, save, and share the Live Photo

Enhance your Live Photo by trimming out some frames to create the perfect boomerang. 

Open the Live Photo from the Photos app then tap Edit.

Tap the Live Photos icon at the bottom of the screen. 

Drag the ends of the frame viewer to choose the frames the Live Photo will play.

Creating a Live Photo on iPhone

Tap Done to save your edited Live Photo.

Saving completed Boomerang video

Then, tap the Share button and choose where you want to share your Live Photo. 

Another way to boomerang a video on an iPhone is to use third-party tools from the Apple App Store, like CapCut, or a boomerang video maker, like Clideo. However, you might lose any Live Photo effects you’ve applied.

All-in-one solution: Edit your videos with Descript

Creating and sharing short videos is easy when you have the right tools. Most social media platforms limit your boomerang video to a three-second recording with a basic back-and-forth cycle, so you won’t get full creative control over what you post. 

Say you want to make a GIF or a background video, which plays repeatedly from start to end, then starts again from the beginning. It’s easy with Descript, whether you’re on a Mac or Windows computer.

Simply start a new video project and add your video clip. Then, use Descript’s editing tools to edit, trim, or crop the clip and keep what you want to loop at the beginning. With a free account, you have access to:

  • Green Screen: Replace your background with another image or video. For looping, this lets you insert or blend different elements without any jarring transitions, making your loop appear infinite. 
  • Color Balance: Match colors from the end of your loop to the beginning. Any changes in color grading can disrupt the seamless appearance of the loop. 
  • Transitions: Add cuts, fades, dissolves, and other types of transitions to create the illusion of continuity. Make sure your transitions are done in a way that the viewer cannot detect the starting or end point.
  • Overlays: Add text, stickers, or your watermark to create a unique video for your brand.   

Select the video layer and head to the Properties Panel. Under the Clip section of the sidebar, switch from Once to Loop. You can speed up or slow down your clip from the side bar. Simply click and drag the speed value under Duration. 

Image showing how to loop video or audio in Descript dashboard

Save, export, or publish your clip as a YouTube video. Or upload it to Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and other social media platforms for your audience to enjoy.

If you’re using the free version of Descript, your clip will export with a watermark. Upgrading to a paid plan like Descript Creator or Pro gives you access to premium features, like unlimited watermark-free video exports in 4K resolution, higher cloud storage capacity, and more remote recording hours.

No matter what you’re selling, making amazing videos is easy with Descript’s intuitive video editor.  With the right combination of effects, royalty-free background music, and annotations, you’ll be on your way to creating professional-grade boomerang videos that resonate with, engage, and entertain your audience.

If you’re a content creator, save time editing your videos and focus on being creative. Take a free tour today and see why thousands of creators rely on Descript.

Elsier Otachi
Elsier is a freelance SaaS and eCommerce writer. When she’s not hard at work, she's reading, listening to music, or spending time with family.
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How to make a boomerang: 2 creative ways to capture the perfect loop

how to boomerang a video

Grabbing your audience’s attention within the first three seconds of a video and keeping them engaged can be difficult. 

Boomerang videos are practically made to grab attention, making them an easy win when your list of online video ideas runs dry. By adding flair to a single moment in action, they help you showcase your content without needing expensive equipment, complex techniques, or extensive video editing.

Whether you’re capturing an oddly satisfying bead drop or the perfect Jubi Slide, this tutorial will show you how to boomerang a video and put a quirky spin on your content.

Our full-featured video editing tool is as powerful as it is easy to use.
Look for our all-in-one audio & video production that’s as easy as editing a doc.

What is a boomerang video?

A boomerang video is a quick video clip that loops back and forth in time. 

Unlike a GIF, which continually loops in one direction, a boomerang video plays as usual, then reverses once it gets to the end—versus restarting from the beginning. 

For example, you could loop videos of a fashion model twirling a couture gown or of your crew doing a victory jump to make it go on forever—or you could boomerang them to introduce a fantastical element that makes people stop and look.

The boomerang effect adds drama, visual appeal, and repetitive motion to videos, making it a lighthearted and enjoyable way to capture and share moments with your audience—like what Zendaya and Jimmy Fallon did on The Tonight Show

How to boomerang a video: 2 simple ways

The boomerang video creation process is pretty straightforward, regardless of the device you use. Below, we’ll share three recommended methods to make boomerang clips using Instagram and an iPhone.

How to make a boomerang with Instagram

Instagram shut down its Boomerang app, but it lives on as a feature in Instagram Stories. That makes it even easier to create short videos on the fly and make your Instagram posts pop.

Let’s walk through making a boomerang with Instagram on an Android or iOS device—and how to make it stand out.

Step 1: Swipe left to access Instagram Stories

Open the Instagram app on your phone and swipe left from your home feed to access Stories. Or, tap the Add (+) icon at the bottom of the screen, then select Story to make a boomerang video.

Step 2: Tap the Boomerang icon

Tap the Infinity icon on the left side of your screen.

Boomerang annotation on Instagram app

NOTE: To turn an existing video into a boomerang clip, swipe up to access your phone’s gallery or camera roll and tap on the video you want to convert. An infinity icon will appear at the top right corner of live photos compatible with Instagram’s Boomerang feature.

Step 3: Compose and record your shot

Focus the camera on the subject you want to record. Then, tap the Record button to record a boomerang video. You can keep your camera still and have the subject move, or move the camera, too.

Step 4: Edit and share your boomerang video

Tap the infinity icon at the top of your screen to open the boomerang video in the Instagram video editor

Selecting the infinity icon in Instagram app

Here, you can access the following tools: 

Selecting parts of video to Boomerang in Instagram app
  • Trimming tool: Drag the edges of the frame viewer to cut out specific parts of your video.
  • Classic mode: Keeps your video in the default Boomerang mode.
  • Slo-mo mode: Adds a slow-motion effect to capture each detail.
  • Echo mode: Adds a motion blur or double vision effect.
  • Duo mode: Changes video speed from high to low at alternating intervals to give it a glitchy, digitized look.

When you’re finished trimming your video and applying effects, tap Done at the top right corner of your screen to save your edits.

Instagram also offers an array of filters and effects you can use to enhance your boomerang video before publishing it. You can add music, text or captions, filters, or stickers to turn your video into something fun and unexpected.

Making edits on your boomerang Story

Tap Done to apply your changes.

Applying changes to Instagram boomerang

To save your boomerang video, tap More (three dots) at the top right corner of your screen and select Save. This way, you can upload a video to Instagram Reels and share it with your audience. 

Then, tap the sharing options at the bottom of the screen, such as Your story, to publish your new boomerang video instantly on Instagram or share it to Facebook.

How to make a boomerang on iPhone

If you have an iPhone 6S or newer model, you can make a boomerang video using Live Photos.

It’s easy to shoot a Live Photo just like you would a normal one, except a Live Photo captures what happens (including audio) 1.5 seconds before and after taking the shot.

Here’s how to turn a Live Photo into a boomerang on an iPhone.

Note: These steps apply to an iPhone 12 running iOS 16. The exact menu names may be slightly different, but the basic concepts apply to iOS 9 or later versions.

Step 1: Open Photos app and select a Live Photo

Open Photos app and tap Albums.

Scroll down to Media Types and tap Live Photos.

Selecting Live Photos from iPhone

Select a Live Photo.

Note: If you don’t have a Live Photo, it’s easy to create one. Open the Camera, tap the Live Photo icon, and then tap the shutter button to take a photo.

Step 2: Select Bounce

Tap the Live Photo icon in the top left corner of your screen and select Bounce. This effect rewinds the action backward and forward, giving your Live Photo a boomerang effect.

Selecting Bounce from the options in Photo app

Step 3: Edit, save, and share the Live Photo

Enhance your Live Photo by trimming out some frames to create the perfect boomerang. 

Open the Live Photo from the Photos app then tap Edit.

Tap the Live Photos icon at the bottom of the screen. 

Drag the ends of the frame viewer to choose the frames the Live Photo will play.

Creating a Live Photo on iPhone

Tap Done to save your edited Live Photo.

Saving completed Boomerang video

Then, tap the Share button and choose where you want to share your Live Photo. 

Another way to boomerang a video on an iPhone is to use third-party tools from the Apple App Store, like CapCut, or a boomerang video maker, like Clideo. However, you might lose any Live Photo effects you’ve applied.

All-in-one solution: Edit your videos with Descript

Creating and sharing short videos is easy when you have the right tools. Most social media platforms limit your boomerang video to a three-second recording with a basic back-and-forth cycle, so you won’t get full creative control over what you post. 

Say you want to make a GIF or a background video, which plays repeatedly from start to end, then starts again from the beginning. It’s easy with Descript, whether you’re on a Mac or Windows computer.

Simply start a new video project and add your video clip. Then, use Descript’s editing tools to edit, trim, or crop the clip and keep what you want to loop at the beginning. With a free account, you have access to:

  • Green Screen: Replace your background with another image or video. For looping, this lets you insert or blend different elements without any jarring transitions, making your loop appear infinite. 
  • Color Balance: Match colors from the end of your loop to the beginning. Any changes in color grading can disrupt the seamless appearance of the loop. 
  • Transitions: Add cuts, fades, dissolves, and other types of transitions to create the illusion of continuity. Make sure your transitions are done in a way that the viewer cannot detect the starting or end point.
  • Overlays: Add text, stickers, or your watermark to create a unique video for your brand.   

Select the video layer and head to the Properties Panel. Under the Clip section of the sidebar, switch from Once to Loop. You can speed up or slow down your clip from the side bar. Simply click and drag the speed value under Duration. 

Image showing how to loop video or audio in Descript dashboard

Save, export, or publish your clip as a YouTube video. Or upload it to Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and other social media platforms for your audience to enjoy.

If you’re using the free version of Descript, your clip will export with a watermark. Upgrading to a paid plan like Descript Creator or Pro gives you access to premium features, like unlimited watermark-free video exports in 4K resolution, higher cloud storage capacity, and more remote recording hours.

No matter what you’re selling, making amazing videos is easy with Descript’s intuitive video editor.  With the right combination of effects, royalty-free background music, and annotations, you’ll be on your way to creating professional-grade boomerang videos that resonate with, engage, and entertain your audience.

If you’re a content creator, save time editing your videos and focus on being creative. Take a free tour today and see why thousands of creators rely on Descript.

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