HeyGen Alternatives for AI Videos & Custom Avatars
March 17, 2024
Discover the best alternatives to HeyGen for AI video creation & custom avatars in this side-by-side comparison guide.

There is an ever-growing demand for content. Whether text, video, images, or audio, content consumption has never been higher, and with it, the need for content creation. And, as anyone paying attention knows, AI is already a crucial tool in the content generation arsenal of B2C brands and social media influencers alike.

It’s hard to keep track of all the players in this emerging technology. At this moment, in the area of AI video, HeyGen gets a lot of buzz. By combining machine learning and natural language processing, HeyGen enables you to produce narrated videos using custom avatars, AI-generated avatars, and avatars from a photo. No need for sophisticated video editing - just enter some text and your avatar delivers your message. 

But other players have come on the scene, and this article will focus on market up-and-comer AKOOL.

What Does HeyGen Do?

First, let’s take a look at what HeyGen offers. 

There are three avatar options: photo, instant, or studio. 

The instant avatar is generated from a quick webcam recording of yourself, which saves your features and gestures, as well as your voice. 

Studio avatars can be selected from HeyGen’s large library, and you can upload a photo to produce a talking video. There is a nice selection of voices (including your own), as well as accents.

You can write out your own video script, upload an audio file for speech-to-text, or use the ChatGPT script option. Translation for many languages is available, and you can have any language delivered in any accent (for example, an English script read in a French accent). 

A Look At AKOOL

AKOOL is a leading alternative to HeyGen, offering very similar features, and very inviting for beginners.

With a simpler and more intuitive UI, AKOOL’s features are almost identical to those of HeyGen, though so far do not include instant avatar.

Avatar and talking photo lip-synching and facial movements are quite natural, comparable to what you get from HeyGen’s. Though at this time, only the avatar face moves, not any part of the body.

One of the most appreciated UI features in AKOOL: everything you generate goes into the Results section, in its appropriate section. This makes it super easy to find everything you’ve done.

A screenshot of Akool's talking photo user dashboard: HeyGen Alternatives

Comparative Analysis: AKOOL vs. HeyGen

Here’s a feature-by-feature comparison of HeyGen and AKOOL.

Avatar Library

AKOOL’s comprehensive selection of diverse avatars are ready for use in explainer or marketing videos. All avatars are available at no extra cost, and each has multiple versions.

a screenshot of Akool's custom avatar user dashboard: HeyGen Alternatives

HeyGen’s avatar library is large with many options - for a beginner it may take some scrolling to find the one you want. Premium (extra cost) avatars are also available. Once chosen, customizing your library avatar takes a few more steps. 

a screenshot of Heygen's custom avatar user dashboard

HeyGen also offers the Instant Avatar option - the video and voice taken from your self-recording. The analysis of your speech patterns, voice, and movement, makes for a pretty accurate-looking talking result. You can also use your own voice for any videos. 

Avatar Customization

Both platforms make it easy to make changes to an avatar, for realistic-looking video presentation.

AKOOL’s simple UI makes it easy to customize the avatar, as well as any other selected element. The face-swap option is available when the avatar is selected, as are other options like opacity and alignment. Other customization options are available when other types of elements are selected.

a screenshot on how to upload an image for custom avatar use on the Akool user dashboard

HeyGen’s customization options are abundant, though they may be overwhelming for someone just getting their AI feet wet. 

A similar face-swap feature is available here, though with a somewhat more confusing process.

a comparative screenshot of heygen's avatar user interface

Templates

HeyGen offers a nice library of video templates with slick backgrounds, onto which you can add any avatar from any library. But it’s not immediately obvious how to change template backgrounds.

 another comparative screenshot of heygen's user dashboard

AKOOL has an intuitive background changer, presenting numerous background options. Or you can upload your own.

Akool's intuitive background changer AI tool

Text to Video

Both platforms produce accurate-sounding video from text, with avatar lip-synching and facial features to match. HeyGen offers fine, granular control which can be a bit complex for a beginner. AKOOL’s focus is on basic, natural-sounding delivery, ideal for marketing or explainer videos.

Talking Photo 

AKOOL's talking photo feature is quite fun, with great results. Upload any photo - yourself, a stock image, even a drawing or painting.

Akool's talking photo tool, a premier marketing AI tool

With the face-swap feature, you can get the exact look you want, with an easy download for use in talking videos.

Akool's face swap feature

The talking photo UI is simple: avatar on the left, script on the right, and go.

AKool's easy to use user interface

HeyGen also offers a talking photo feature. You can upload an image, or produce an AI avatar with a simple prompt.

heygen's talking photo user interface

The talking photo results were a bit less realistic than what came from AKOOL.

Video Translation

HeyGen has a long list of languages for translation. 

Heygen's video translation tool user interface

AKOOL’s language list (for now) is not quite as long, but is still impressive, and growing. AKOOL offers most languages used for corporate communication and training.

Generate a video according to the entered script, then upload it back in and get a different version in a different language.

Video Editing

AKOOL’s Realistic Avatar option opens a default template, onto which you can place an avatar from the library and adjust placement and size of all elements. You can overlay text, stickers, emojis, and images, with layering capability to “stack” elements in front of, or behind, other elements.

AKOOL also offers an AI Image Generator feature that produces sophisticated results. Here and some examples of results from a simple robot prompt. 

Akool's AI image generator feature for realistic furniture showroom prompt results

Background replacement is very easily done with AKOOL. You can use your own imagery, an AKOOL-produced image, or any asset you upload.

A screenshot of an AI generated avatar using Akool's background replacement tool

HeyGen also has a well-developed templates library, with elements and text you can add and edit. Background replacement can be done, but isn’t intuitively easy.

Heygen's template library allows you to also replace the background of any image

Pricing

AKOOL is pay-per-use, with flexible credit packages, making it ideal for occasional needs. You can actually get pretty far on the free plan. 

HeyGen is subscription-based, which can work for high-volume corporate users. Subscription pricing is less ideal for students, or weekend-warrior AI users.

HeyGen Vs. AKOOL: Decide What's Right For You

Both HeyGen and AKOOL are into-the-future image and video AI platforms. Here’s are some pros and cons of both: 

HeyGen pros

  • HeyGen’s versatility supports a wide range of industry use cases.
  • In addition to library avatars and talking photos, HeyGen’s AI-generated instant avatars and voice cloning let you bring “you” into your videos, for a unique and personal touch. 
  • HeyGen provides many avatars and templates, and sophisticated editing tools.
  • Vast translation options enable you to reach audiences anywhere.
  • You can generate talking photos from actual photos as well as AI-generated images.
  • HeyGen offers Zapier integration, for easy integration into existing workflows.

AKOOL Pros

  • AKOOL’s simple UI makes it easy for beginners to pick up quickly.
  • The pay-as-you go pricing model is attractive for occasional or student users.
  • Background replacement is easy and intuitive.
  • AI image generation is superb.
  • The innovative talking photo feature produces realistic and engaging results.
  • Text to video produces attractive video presentations.
  • The Results section is a handy place to find all generated content. And there is no extra fee to view your content.

HeyGen Cons

  • HeyGen’s subscription model, and add-ons for premium features, are limiting for non-corporate users.
  • The trial plan runs out quickly.
  • The HeyGen UI is crowded, and can be confusing for users new to AI.
  • Avatar customization is not intuitive.
  • The learning curve is relatively steep.
  • Talking photos don’t always turn out as realistically as hoped.
  • Depth of voice and range of human emotion are not quite there yet.
  • Extra fees are sometimes required to view the final video.

AKOOL Cons

  • Translation options are limited, though more languages are in the works.
  • Full-body animations are not included yet.

In conclusion, while Heygen's AI features undoubtedly offer powerful capabilities, it's essential for businesses to explore alternative solutions like AKOOL. With a diverse set of marketing AI tools, AKOOL presents a compelling option to enhance your strategies.

Don't just take our word for it – take the next step and explore AKOOL's suite of tools firsthand. Elevate your marketing game and unlock new possibilities with AKOOL's innovative approach to AI-powered solutions. Embrace the future of marketing by experiencing the difference today!

Frequently asked questions
Can AKOOL's custom avatar tool match the realism and customization offered by HeyGen's avatar creation feature?
What video editing tools does AKOOL integrate with?
Are there specific industries or use cases where AKOOL's tools excel compared to HeyGen's tools?
What distinguishes AKOOL's pricing structure from HeyGen's, and are there any hidden costs or limitations?
Bonnie Roskes
Technical Writer
Technical Content Expert
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