Activate and use filters and TikTok effects – how it works

In the TikTok app, you can use filters to change the look of your videos. TikTok also offers effects that you can use to miss out on rabbit ears or a dog’s face, for example. We explain how to activate these functions here.

Basically, you can activate the filters at TikTok before or after shooting the video. However, it does less work if you do that beforehand. Above all, you have control over whether the desired effect works at all, instead of subsequently finding that it looks stupid. On the other hand, you can try out several filters if you first record a “raw video.”

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TikTok: the difference between filters and effects

You can apply filters and effects to your TikTok videos. These are two different pairs of shoes.

  • The TikTok filters are designed to change an entire video as if you were viewing it through a filter, for example, through red or blue glass.
  • TikTok effect creates a special effect, such as fireworks, glittering stars, cat ears, or a dog’s face, over the video. TikTok works with facial recognition to place masks that match the eyes, mouth, nose, or head shape. You can only activate effects before starting the video recording!

By the way, there is nothing wrong with using both. First, you use a filter and, for example, color everything in a pastel tone, and then you let light effects glitter in your video.

Activate TikTok filter

You can recognize the filters at TikTok by a white circle with three colored dots in it. As already mentioned, you can activate it before or after shooting the video – but not during it! So you either have to choose a filter before you start filming or edit the video.

Before shooting, you can see the icon on the right. After you have recorded a video and confirmed it by tapping the red tick, a menu with the filter icon appears below.

Just tap on it and you will see a selection of different real-time filters that you can try out. As soon as you have selected a filter, you can see the result immediately in the picture. There is, for example, the possibility of different black and white styles, colorful coloring, and relatively soft color effects.

Use TikTok effects

TikTok has a lot of effects that you already know from other video and photo apps. The effects are placed over the standard version of the video. This makes everything look normal in the film, but you wear reflective sunglasses, a dog’s face, or it rains.

The special thing about it is that in many cases, the filters also take part in the movement, and even rotations of the face are taken into account, as can be seen in the picture by the “Dogface effect.”

In contrast to the filters, which you can assign to a video afterward, you have to activate the effects before the video shoot.

To do this, tap on the small icon to the left of the video start icon. It is labeled “Effects.” Then a selection menu pops up, in which you can try out the different effects live. When you have decided on an effect, you can start recording.