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Synthesia Alternatives | Side-by-Side Feature Comparisons

December 01,2023

Synthesia Alternatives | Side-by-Side Feature ComparisonsMeta description: Discover AI-powered alternatives to Synthesia in this side-by-side comparison guide and find the ideal solution for your needs. 

Introduction

The demand for video content - marketing, explainers, informational - is growing every second. Content creation used to be handled by expensive professionals using expensive equipment. But AI has made it possible for just about anyone to create realistic, avatar-presented videos, with very little effort.

There are many players in the AI space, and one popular platform these days is Synthesia. Used in a variety of industries, Synthesia is a subscription-based service that enables avatar-presented video creation for marketing, training, presentation, and more.

Another emerging AI platform is Akool, offering a simpler, more intuitive UI that’s attractive to beginners, amateurs, and professionals. In this article, we’ll compare the two AI solutions.

What Does Synthesia Do?

Synthesia is a video production tool, geared toward industry users. It comes with a robust library of avatars and video templates, and supports numerous languages for translation and accents.

Depending on your subscription type, you can use the studio avatars, or use modified visions of these avatars, or create your own avatar from a webcam recording.

You can build a video with one or more scenes, adding to each screen avatars, text, shapes, images, and other assets. Enter the script for each scene in your desired language, with pauses and gestures, and generate with one click.

A Look at Akool: a Premier Alternative

Akool is a leading alternative to Synthesia, offering avatar video creation. In addition to studio avatar videos, you can also produce talking photos and static AI-generated images.

With a simpler and more intuitive UI, Akool’s features involve a lower learning curve, and is a bit more attractive to beginners.

Avatar and talking photo lip-synching and facial movements are quite realistic and natural, even when compared to the more expensive and established Synthesia.

Comparative Analysis: Akool vs. Synthesia

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

Free Trial

Akool works on the credit system. Each Akool tool requires a particular number of credits, with the exact cost depending on the operation complexity.

Upon opening an account, you start with 50 credits. That’s enough to get your feet wet with several images and videos.

With Synthesia, there is no free trial. You are able to test the platform by using the Free AI Video Generator, choosing from three sampler templates. Choose the template, keep the default script or enter your own, and click Generate. Note that you’ll need a corporate email address, which means no free domains like gmail.

Once generated, you’re emailed a link to view the video, which does have realistic voice synchronization and facial movement. There is no way to download the video, though with the watermark it’s not something you’d want to save anyway.

You can enter your script in any of 120 languages, which the avatar delivers in a perfect accent.

Cost

If you want to do anything in Synthesia other than the watermarked test video mentioned above, you’ll need a subscription. There is monthly and yearly pricing.

The Starter plan is $22 / month, which gets you only 120 video minutes per year. AI Assistant is included, which helps you write scripts from a few prompts. Custom (webcam) and studio avatars are available only with a yearly plan.

The Creator plan jumps to $67 / month, and includes 360 video minutes per year. That may sound like a lot, but might not be sufficient for multiple training courses, presentations, etc. Beyond the included Starter features, you also get premium avatars and voices.

For a company to get the most out of Synthesia, you’d likely have to sign up for the Enterprise plan, whose pricing depends on company size and anticipated usage. This plan has no limits, and offers voice cloning and other premium features.

Akool pricing has similar tiers, but allows for more flexibility. For example, with the Pro plan, the monthly or yearly fee depends on the number of credits you’ll need each month.s.

Avatars

The Synthesia avatar library has over 170 people to choose from. Some of these are repeats of the same avatar, showing more or less body. The search field helps you find a specific look.ounds.

Each avatar can be previewed, delivering a boilerplate script in several popular languages. You cannot enter your own script for the preview. Some avatars had realistic voice synch, where others appeared more stilted and artificial.

Akool’s Realistic Avatar tool opens a library of about 45 diverse avatars, and this is where videos are created (more on that later). You can add a script by entering text or uploading an audio file, and listen to a preview of the script audio according to the selected gender, voice, and accent

Avatar Customization

With a Synthesia monthly plan, only studio avatars can be used. Upgrading to a yearly plan gets you the custom avatar option, in which an avatar of you (or someone) is generated via a webcam upload. Yearly subscribers can also edit existing avatars and add custom logos.

Akool’s studio avatars cannot be edited. But with any plan, you can make a custom avatar via the Talking Photo tool. Just upload a photo of yourself or someone else, and enter your script. For the voice, choose the gender and voice actor. You can even add a foreign accent, such as a French accent for an English script. Click the Play button to test out your selected voice. When ready, click the large High Quality Generate button at the bottom.

A great feature of the Akool UI is the Results link at the top - click this to see whatever is being generated.

The talking photo appears when ready in the Results page, where you can click Play to see how it turned out. Or click Download to save it.

Akool also has a very sophisticated Face Swap tool, in which you can switch the face in a photo.

Download the swap results for use as a talking photo.

Voice Synchronization, Animation Quality

In the resulting talking photo example from above, Akool’s voice synchronization is quite realistic. The facial and head movements are pretty good as well, though Akool’s studio avatars produce more human results.

In Synthesia, the simplest way to create a video is to choose an avatar and create a video from it.

Enter your script, and there are also handy icons for adding gestures and pauses. The script can be delivered in any language you enter, with the specified accent. You can preview the audio, and click Generate to create the video.

Videos you create are easily found in My Videos.

Synthesia animations have good facial movements such as nods or head shakes. The voice synch was not quite as realistic, however - the mouth movements in particular seemed a bit odd.

Once published, in addition to download options, you can get the URL or embed code for the video.

Check out the results of this example here:

Languages and Translation

At this time, Synthesia supports dozens of languages. The correct language will be selected based on the script you enter, and changing the language will adjust the accent.

Script translation is available, but requires a plan upgrade.

Akool language offerings are at a more basic level, with seven at this time of this writing. If you enter a script in French, and choose French as the language, the script delivery will be correct.

Akool provides a Video Translate tool, offering a slightly wider range of languages.

Translation results are quite good, with matching voice and facial synchronization.

Ease of Use / UX

The Akool UI is extremely easy to understand and follow. All tools are presented in the Tools menu at the top.

As mentioned above, all results are stored in the Results page. In addition to videos produced by Realistic Avatar and Talking Photo tools, you can also find generated images, background changes, and translated videos.

The Realistic Avatar tool is Akool’s video builder. Along with the avatar itself, you can add elements such as shapes or emojis, various types of text, and assets such as background or product images. Akool also has an Image Generator tool, which produces wonderful AI-generated images based on one or more short prompts.

The realistic avatar results look really good. The avatar voice synch is accurate, and Akool avatars gesture and nod like a human presenter would.

The overall Synthesia UI is a bit less intuitive than Akool’s but is easily learned, and offers industry-friendly options and features. Rather than start with a list of tools, video features and assets are listed along the left. The New Video button is at the top right.

The main video options include starting from scratch with an avatar on a blank background, or starting with one of the many Synthesia-provided templates. There are also options to generate scenes and scripts from a website or document, and import a PowerPoint as background scenes.

Synthesia’s video builder is quite sophisticated. You can start with a template that has multiple scenes included, or start with an avatar alone and build your own scenes. In each scene, add your own text, shapes, media, and music, in addition to the script.

Adding scenes is easy, and the Media option includes access to Shutterstock images and videos.

Conclusion

Both Synthesia and Akool are sophisticated AI video platforms, with realistic-looking results. Here are some pros and cons of both:

Synthesia Pros

Synthesia offers out-of-the-box, industry-friendly templates which are easily modified.

With a yearly plan, you can create a custom avatar and modify studio avatars.

The video builder enables you to create videos scene by scene, with different avatars, assets, music, etc.

Facial expressions and head movements are very realistic.

With vast language and translation options, you can reach audiences everywhere.

Videos are easily shared, via dedicated URL and embed codes.

Akool Pros

A new Akool account comes with enough free credits to get you started with several videos and images.

The credit-based pricing model is attractive for occasional or student users.

The credit-based pricing model is attractive for occasional or student users.

Credits can be used for any tool. There are no premium-only features.

Akool’s simple UI makes it easy for beginners to pick up quickly.

Text to video produces attractive video presentations.

AI image generation and Face Swap tools both produce excellent results.

The Realistic Avatar video builder is easy to use, with the ability to add assets like background images, text, emojis, etc.

The Results section is a handy place to find all generated content.

Anyone can be an avatar, via the Talking Photo tool. Talking photos have excellent voice synchronization.

In addition to videos, Akool also has tools to produce face-swap images and AI-generated images.

Synthesia Pros

Synthesia has no free trial, just the ability to try out three different avatars.

Synthesia’s subscription model, and add-ons for premium features, are limiting for non-corporate users..

The HeyGen UI is crowded, and can be confusing for users new to AI.

The Synthesia UI requires a bit of a learning curve for users new to AI.

Voice synchronization is not as realistic as one might expect for the platform price.

Synthesia results are video only.

Akool Cons

Language and translation options are limited, though more languages are in the works.

The Realistic Avatar video builder does not (yet) have multi-scene functionality. 

For talking photos, facial expressions and head movements are less realistic than Synthesia’s (though voice synch is better).

Table of Contents

1.

Introduction

2.

A Look at Akool: a Premier Alternative

3.

Conclusion

Bonnie Roskes

Writing & Thought Leadership

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