Easily create a looping video background in the NLE of your choice, and learn how to play a looping video in QuickTime, VLC, and YouTube.

Top image via Shutterstock.

It’s only a matter of time until a client asks you to create a video that can loop infinitely. Whether it is for live performance displays, conferences, sporting events, award ceremonies, or presentations — there are a few ways to creatively use looping videos.

Making Looping Background Videos

The trick to making the perfect looping video is matching the in-point and out-point as closely as possible. Much like we talked about in creating Cinemagraphs, the perfect looping video needs to reset for a seamless transition.

Let’s imagine your local city is hosting an awards ceremony. At the gala, they will have two projectors on each side of the stage, linking back to two computers running the slides and video files. One computer is running a slide presentation, and the second computer is running the video files. So all you have to do is flip a switch projecting from one machine to the other.

So when the time comes to announces the nominees for a category, you can queue up a looping video on one screen that just plays until the speaker lists all the names. When the winner is announced, you just switch back to the other machine with the slide of the winner’s name and information.

That means we need to create a looping video background with something along the lines of “The Nominees” on the screen. While you can certainly create a simple animation from scratch, I find it easier to find already-looping animations or footage to use. In this case, I’m going to show you how I created this looping video in under a minute.

So to create that video, all I did was find a looping animation and add text. For this exact example, I used a clip from RocketStock’s Canvas pack of 100 loopable video backgrounds. The pack actually includes a Awards category, which has ten looping awards backgrounds. I chose Awards_09.

Quickly Create and Play Looping Video Backgrounds — Looping Backgrounds

I dropped the clip into my timeline and added text. (For the curious, “The” is in Monotype Corsiva, and “Nominees” in Telugu MN.) While I did this in Premiere Pro, it’s just as easy to do this in After Effects, Final Cut Pro X, or just about any other NLE. 

Now to have a little more fun, let’s just pretend that Jennifer from the city planning office wants you to change the color of the video background to blue to match the city logo. With the same project I was just in, I can hop into the color grading portion of my NLE and adjust the HUE and temperature of the video clip.

Quickly Create and Play Looping Video Backgrounds — Color Grading

The final looping video clip is exactly eight seconds. Now you may be tempted to just repeat footage in your timeline for the duration you need, but you can easily just loop short clips in video players like QuickTime, VLC, YouTube, and Vimeo. By looping in the video player, you can keep your file sizes down.

So now we have the final eight-second blue looping video background.

So now that you have your video file, you will want to set it to loop in the video player of your choice. Most often, I prefer to work with QuickTime, VLC, and YouTube as they are all easy to use and often compatible with Mac and PC workflows.

How to Loop Videos in QuickTime

Quickly Create and Play Looping Video Backgrounds — QuickTime

  1. Open the video file with QuickTime.
  2. Click View on the toolbar.
  3. Select Loop.
  4. Play the video in full screen.

How to Loop Videos in VLC Player

  1. Open VLC Player.
  2. Add the video file to VLC Player.
  3. Click on the Loop button (Click twice to loop an entire playlist).
  4. Play the video in full screen.

How to Loop Videos on YouTube

Quickly Create and Play Looping Video Backgrounds — YouTube

  1. Navigate to the YouTube video.
  2. Right-click on the YouTube player.
  3. Select Loop.
  4. Play the video in full screen.

How to Loop Videos on Vimeo

Quickly Create and Play Looping Video Backgrounds — Vimeo

  1. Open the video’s settings.
  2. Navigate to the Embed tab.
  3. Click the pen tool next to End Screens.
  4. Select Loop from the dropdown menu.
  5. Play in full screen.

All the examples in this tutorial featured loopable video backgrounds from RocketStock’s Canvas pack. The “Hoolicon” welcome sign up top uses Canvas — Technology 07. The “RocketStock Loop” uses Canvas – 3D 02. The awards nominees uses Canvas – Awards 09.


Have any tips for working with looping backgrounds? Let us know in the comments.