Video Editing

Video Editor Overlay: How To Add Text, GIFs, and Images

Adding captions or pictures to a clip is one of the simplest and most demanded features of video editing apps. It is no wonder - such things are useful in many contexts, from creating viral clips to making learning materials. In this article, we will show you how to create a video editor overlay in your app and use other augmented reality video overlays.

Video Editor Overlay How To Add Text GIFs Images

AR Video Overlay In Brief

The term can describe all kinds of effects that are placed on the video. This includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Text
  • GIFs
  • Static images
  • AR masks
  • Another video

In this article, we will focus on the first three points, as they are the easiest to get and can be applied in a wide variety of cases. 


Video Editor Overlay Use Cases

Out of all features that video editors can have, augmented reality video overlays have the most potential applications.

    • eLearning. Captions can be used to describe events and phenomena, provide subtitles, or give problems to solve. Images, on the other hand, can add context or demonstrate similar processes to the ones shown on screen.
    • eCommerce. Any user training video can benefit from additional explanations, captions for the deaf/hard of hearing, and extra examples. Reviews can be made more interesting and exhaustive with additional information. And AR-powered remote consultations are a proven way to increase sales.
    • Social media. All the networks focused on short videos (e.g. TikTok, Likee, and Chingari) include these capabilities by default. Given that clips are the main trend right now and even platforms like LinkedIn join it, basic AR video overlays are a must.
    • Mobile video editors. The ability to use video editor overlays is a must-have feature, on par with trimming and sound editing.
    • Dating. Video dating has exploded in popularity during the lockdowns. It still is widespread, so including a video editor with a GIF overlay is important to keep in touch with the users’ needs.

In short, augmented reality video overlays are useful wherever there is a need for video content. 

Banuba video editor sdk-1Picture-in-picture mode is popular on social networks

What they bring to the table

Overlays bring a set of diverse benefits to any app with video editing functionality. There is a reason they are an expected feature in all such applications.

First of all, it’s an opportunity to creatively express oneself. By combining the basic clip with fun gifs, captions, and inserts from other videos, the users can create viral content. And this, in turn, benefits your app, as there will be more fun things to see. 

Secondly, they can bring extra information and clarity where they are needed. Imagine you are making an explainer video about your company’s new product. Disassembling it to show the inner workings can be too much of a hassle. However, you can place a caption with a quick rundown, so that the customers understand the underlying principles. Or suppose you are making an educational video about volcanos. Place the terms “lava” and “magma” where appropriate so that the students immediately see the difference.

Finally, they can improve privacy in video messaging. Using a video editor overlay is one of the most basic ways to cove one’s face when sending a video that a person doesn’t want to be leaked. In this day and age, this is a benefit that can’t be overlooked.

Integrating AR Video Overlay

To add text to the video editor, you first need to get the editor itself. We are going to show you how to integrate Banuba Video Editor SDK, which includes the common overlays and other core features (trimming, audio, LUTs, etc.).


The SDK runs on Android and iOS. It can be integrated with applications written in native or cross-platform technologies (e.g. React Native and Flutter). Here’s what you need to support it:

Android Requirements:

  • Java 1.8+
  • Kotlin 1.4+
  • Android Studio 4+
  • Android 6.0 or higher with Camera 2 API.
  • OpenGL ES 3.0 (3.1 for Neural networks on GPU)

iOS Requirements:

  • Swift 5+
  • Xcode 11.4+
  • IOS 11.0+
  • OpenGL 3.1

The Android version takes 50 MBs of space, and its iOS counterpart needs 43 MBs. They are delivered as a set of modules represented as .aar for Android and .framework or .xcframework for iOS.

Getting a token

For the SDK to work properly, you need to insert a special token. You can request one, as well as a download of the SDK through our contact form.

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There is a 14-day trial period when you can thoroughly test and assess Video Editor SDK functionality in your app. You can store the token in the app itself or on Firebase. Check these instructions to configure it.

Integration - native iOS

You can find the detailed instructions at this GitHub page. They include everything you need to add video editor with GIF overlay to your native iOS app: step-by-step process, code samples, dependencies, etc. Feel free to also take a look at the FAQ.

Integration - native Android

The detailed guide that will help you add text to the video editor on Android lies on this GitHub page. It contains all the steps you need to take and examples to illustrate them. It also includes additional technical information like supported media formats and recording quality parameters. The FAQ for Android can be found here.

Integration - Hybrid

Banuba Video Editor SDK supports cross-platform frameworks. These are the instructions for integration with React Native apps and their Flutter counterparts. 


Now you should have everything you need to get a video editor overlay, as well as a few extra features. Whether you use native technologies or hybrid frameworks, you will be able to place GIFs and static pictures over the videos. So feel free to request your trial token and start experimenting!

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