Pictory is an AI-powered platform that converts written text into short, engaging videos optimized for sharing on social media platforms like YouTube Shorts, Instagram Shorts, and TikTok.
In the online world, video content is king. Videos convert better, rank easier, and are more engaging than text or images alone. However, filming professional-grade videos requires substantial time, resources, and technical expertise.
This is where artificial intelligence (AI) powered tools like Pictory come in. Pictory provides an automated way to turn text scripts, articles, and images into polished, production-quality videos literally in a matter of minutes.
In this extensive Pictory review, I'll walk through exactly how this AI video creator works, its key features, pros and cons, pricing options, and whether it's worth trying for your video marketing and content creation needs.
What is Pictory?
Pictory is a web-based software that leverages advanced AI to convert various forms of content into professional videos.
Pictory Main Tools
The main tools it offers include:
- Script to Video: Paste in any text document to create a video with relevant stock footage visuals and optional voiceover narration
- Article to Video: Insert an article link and Pictory analyzes the content to produce a video summarizing the key points.
- Edit Video Using Text: Upload your existing recordings to trim out "umms", reduce silence, create highlights reels, and more.
- Visuals to Video: Add your own photos, clips, GIFs, and images to create a custom video slideshow or montage.
Pictory is designed to help marketers, agencies, bloggers, coaches, social media managers, and anyone looking to repurpose written content into polished videos quickly and easily.
You don't need any technical expertise. The AI handles all the heavy lifting, finding suitable media assets to match your script and automatically assembling a professional video.
Pictory Key Features
Pictory comes packed with a robust set of AI-powered features:
- Intuitive Dashboard - Easy drag-and-drop interface to create videos without any learning curve.
- 40+ Customizable Templates - Tailor the look through different fonts, colors, logos, and branding elements.
- Massive Stock Media Library - Access to over 3 million video clips, 15,000 music tracks, 2 million images, and more.
- Voiceovers - Use AI-generated voices, record your own narration, or upload audio files.
- Automatic Transcription - Converts speech in videos into text for captions and translations.
- Remove Fillers - Take out filler words like "um" and "uh" to polish speech in videos.
- Extract Video Highlights - Repurpose key clips from longer recordings.
- Summarize Videos - Shorten lengthy videos by keeping only the most important sections.
- Convert Articles - Turn blog posts, articles, and long-form content into videos easily.
- Detailed Tutorials - Step-by-step guides and videos to help you master Pictory.
These tools provide immense time savings compared to piecing together videos manually in traditional editing software.
Who Can Benefit from Using Pictory?
Pictory is a gamechanger for:
- Bloggers - Repurpose articles into videos to increase reach and engagement.
- Businesses - Create marketing, promo, and training videos without expensive video production.
- Agencies - Quickly produce videos for clients across diverse industries.
- Coaches - Turn lessons, tutorials, and presentations into videos.
- Social Media Managers - Craft viral videos optimized for YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and more.
- Freelancers - Offer video creation services without learning complex editing programs.
- Organizations - Automate internal video creation for communications, HR, training, and more.
Essentially, anyone looking to maximize video output and results can benefit from Pictory's AI automation. It opens up professional quality video creation to individuals and teams at any scale.
Hands-On Experience Using Pictory
1. Script to video
I had a chance to test Pictory for my other business and see what it can do. I was very impressed with its features and capabilities. If you want an automated way to produce high-quality videos, Pictory is a great option to consider.
Creating a Script
One of the best features Pictory offers is the ability to create videos directly from a script. You can write your script from scratch or use an AI writing assistant like ChatGPT to help craft an outline or draft.
The key with scripts is to keep sentences short and choppy, with each sentence ideally being its own slide. This helps ensure your video has good pacing and isn't overloaded with too much text on any one screen.
I tested this out by having ChatGPT write a short script about one particular website. I then edited it by deleting unnecessary sentences and doing additional tweaks. Pictory makes it easy to paste your script right in and see it laid out across individual slides.
Choosing a Template
Once you have your script, the next step is picking a template. Pictory provides numerous templates with different color schemes, fonts, text sizes, and layouts.
The templates use sample background videos to showcase the style, but these will be replaced when you pick actual visuals later. Focus on finding a template that fits the look and feel you want for your brand.
I opted for the Marketing template since I make business and marketing content. But you may prefer something bright, bold, minimalist, or fun, depending on your niche.
Note: if you're unhappy with the selected template, you can change it in the Styles section anytime.
Next, when you click a template, you get to choose the aspect ratio for your video.
For YouTube, the 16:9 widescreen format works best. Pictory also lets you create square 1:1 videos optimal for Facebook and Instagram and vertical videos for TikTok and Instagram reels.
Working With the Storyboard
After selecting a template, you'll see a complete storyboard with your script spread across slides. Here you can fine-tune your video production.
Look at each slide and ensure the text looks good. Make tweaks to the wording as needed. You'll also want to replace the background videos with visuals that fit your script.
Searching visuals by keywords makes finding relevant clips for each slide easy. While Pictory automatically populates background videos, you'll get much better results by picking your own visuals tailored to your content.
Some of the text-to-speech voices still sound a little robotic to my ear. For more natural voiceovers, I'd recommend upgrading the plan to Premium or Teams to access ElevenLabs premium AI voices that sound very realistic. Still, Pictory's computerized voices work fine for background narration in a pinch.
Instead of using AI voices from the library, the storyboard lets you record your own voiceover audio for a customized feel. You can also upload audio files if you want to outsource your narration.
You can add small touches like a custom intro/outro, graphics, and background music to finish polishing off your video.
With minimal edits and swapping out some mismatched clips, I had a polished video in minutes versus hours of editing.
2. Article to Video
In addition to scripts, Pictory lets you quickly turn articles or webpages into videos as well. Simply paste your URL, and Pictory will analyze it to identify key points.
You can then customize further by adding or removing sentences. This gives you control over the final script that gets turned into a video, so you don't miss any important information.
The rest of the video creation process works the same as with scripts. You pick your visuals, add a voiceover, add graphics and music, and soon produce a slick video - all without filming anything yourself!
Converting blog posts into videos is now super easy. Pictory instantly grabs the key points from articles to generate a summary script. After minor tweaks to the wording and background visuals, you have engaging videos to repurpose your content.
3. Edit Videos Using Text
Pictory's "Edit Video Using Text" tool is very handy if you already have existing videos you want to polish up.
It provides professional editing capabilities to take your recordings to the next level without needing complex video editing software.
Simply upload a video file or paste the YouTube link to use it. Pictory will automatically transcribe the speech into text captions.
You can then easily edit the video by making changes to the transcript. Delete sentences, and they get removed from the video. It's that simple.
Fixing fillers and silences is a great feature, too. Pictory can remove all "umms" and "uhs" with one click. And get rid of any pauses longer than a defined length, like 2 seconds.
This cleans up speech and tightens pacing better than hours of tedious manual editing work.
The automatically generated captions can also be styled and customized with text templates to match your brand. And you can turn them on or off with the subtitles toggle.
Once you finish polishing up the transcript, the AI will remake your video with the edits applied. Preview it to confirm the changes, then export your improved final cut with just a few clicks.
4. Visuals to Video
If you want to create a custom video montage or slideshow from your own media assets, Pictory's "Visuals to Video" tool is perfect.
It lets you quickly turn photos, video clips, GIFs, images, and other visuals into professional-looking videos.
Simply upload the images, videos, and graphics you want to include. Pictory will automatically add them as scenes in a storyboard.
You can then rearrange, trim, replace, or delete scenes as needed. Add customizable text overlays, background music, and voiceovers.
And apply your brand logo, colors, and fonts so the finished video feels cohesive.
Once you're happy with the storyboard, generate a preview to see your visuals compiled into a video and make final tweaks.
You can download the entire high-quality video file directly to your computer when complete. Or generate a shareable link or auto-post to platforms like Vimeo.
So, if you want to quickly turn a batch of product photos, event clips, stylized graphics, or other media into a professional video presentation, Pictory makes it easy.
Other Handy Features
Pictory also includes several other features to enhance your videos:
- Edit Videos - Trim out "umms," silence, and dead space in existing videos to polish them up
- Create Slideshows - Quickly turn a batch of images into a video slideshow with captions
- Add Subtitles - Automatically generate subtitles from your voiceover script
- Custom Intro/Outro - Brand your videos with an opening/closing sequence
These tools provide more ways to produce videos that engage your audience and look highly professional.
Here are some of the biggest upsides I found using Pictory for automated video creation:
- Super easy to use - Within minutes of signing up, I was able to start using Pictory's tools to create videos without any tutorials.
- Extreme time savings - Create videos exponentially faster versus manual editing.
- Customizable results - Tweak videos exactly how you want before exporting.
- Professional production value - Videos look like they were expertly filmed and edited.
- Multi-purpose - Easily tailor videos for different platforms and sizes.
- Cost savings - Far more affordable than hiring video editors and producers.
- Boosts engagement and conversions - Videos outperform text and images.
No software is perfect though, and Pictory does have some limitations:
- AI misses context - Ofter pairs an unsuitable visual to a sentence.
- Medium quality voiceovers - Some voiceovers don't sound very natural. However, you have premium voiceovers available with higher plans.
- Occasionally slow - some functions, like generating a preview and downloading video, seemed slowish for me. Especially video preview should be instant, that is the most annoyning thing with Pictory.
Pictory Pricing and Plans
Pictory offers the following pricing tiers:
- Free trial - Pictory's free trial plan allows you to create 3 video projects, each up to 10 minutes long.
- Standard ($23/month or $228 annually) - One user per account, up to 30 videos per month.
- Premium ($47/month or $468 annually) - One user per account, up to 60 videos per month.
- Teams ($119/month or $1,188 annually) - For teams of up to 3 users, 90 videos per month included.
The Standard plan works great for most use cases. Premium unlocks more video length and related features for power users. I recommend starting with the free trial to see whether Pictory is a good fit for you.
Is Pictory Worth It? Final Verdict
In my experience testing Pictory extensively, it earns a 4 out of 5-star rating. It's one of the most user-friendly automated video creation tools available.
For anyone looking to produce videos faster, easier, and more affordably than traditional filming and editing, Pictory is absolutely worth trying. The free account lets you test-drive it initially before upgrading.
I hope my Pictory review has provided a look at how this AI-powered technology can transform your video creation abilities as it has for me.