Colossyan vs Synthsesia: Which One Is The Best? (2024)

I’m sure you know this already, but the biggest trending subject in the blogosphere is AI (artificial intelligence) and the ability to create videos with AI-generated avatars.

With a growing selection of software available today, creating your custom avatar no longer requires you to have a PhD in Computer Science and a computer the size of your fridge! Instead, you can log in to a cloud-based platform and be up and running in minutes.

It’s that easy!

In this blog post, I’ve looked at two of the most popular AI avatar builders: Colossyan and Synthesia.

To better understand the technology, I created a video from both platforms to showcase numerous tool features and see how life-like the AI avatars really are.

I’m no Steven Spielberg, but the results were surprisingly easy to achieve!

Take a closer look at my findings…

Colossyan vs Synthesia: Overview

Colossyan:

Colossyan is an AI video creation platform which offers an affordable solution for educators and website owners to create engaging videos using AI-generated avatars.

Its cloud-based platform is straightforward to use, and Colossyan offers multiple dashboard features and tools to help you create personalized videos.

Colossyan Video – WATCH!

Colossyan vs Synthesia - Which One Is The Best?

Key Features Include:

  • 50+ AI Avatars.
  • Over 70+ Languages.
  • Create Custom Avatars.
  • Transform PDFs and PowerPoint into AI Videos.
  • Add auto-generated subtitles to presentations.
  • Text-To-Video.
  • Add ageing and emotions to avatars.
  • Brand Kit.
  • AI Script Assistant.
  • Up to 4 Avatars per slide.
  • Video Customizations.
  • NEW! Avatar Side-View Conversations.

Synthesia:

Synthesia was started in 2017 and fast became one of the first commercially available AI avatar platforms for non-techies (like me!).

Its platform has a comprehensive toolset to help you customize your presentations, and it’s become one of the main go-to tools for content creators, marketers and educators.

With an intuitive dashboard and drag-and-drop inspired editor, you can create AI videos in super quick time and with no previous video editing skills needed.

Synthesia Video – WATCH!

Colossyan vs Synthesia - Which One Is The Best?

Key Features Include:

  • 140+ Video Avatars
  • 60+ Pre Designed Video Templates.
  • 120+ Languages and Accents.
  • Custom Avatars and Voices
  • Text-to-Video.
  • AI Video Generator.
  • Screen Recorder.
  • Synthesia Academy.
  • Brand Identity Assets.
  • Free Media Library (Shutterstock and Unsplash)
  • Voice Cloning.
  • NEW! AI Video Translator.

Colossyan vs Synthesia: Detailed Breakdown.

Avatars – How Real Are They?

This category is the main reason these platforms exist, so getting this bit right is priority number one!

Colossyan:

Colossyan has a great selection of avatars to choose from, and the immediate feature that stands out for me is that all of them are accessible as ‘full-body’ avatars (as well as head-only). This means you can see their hands and body gestures as they talk through their scripts, which adds lots of realism to a presentation.

A selection of Colossyan actors.

If you need to minimize the size of the actors to gain more space in your slides, you can choose the ‘head-only’ option or drag the full-body version into a smaller scale.

Sizing options in the Colossyan editor.

Colossyan is constantly adding new features and customizations, and its latest feature is an option to change the colour of the clothing of some avatars. This gives a nice touch to a presentation, especially if you only use the same avatar.

Shirt Color Options in the Colossyan editor.

The lip-sync could be more consistent throughout the range of avatars on offer, which is noticeable in a few of the avatars I used in my video – especially Jordan in the fourth slide.

Jordan - Fourth Slide (1:15)

However, what makes up for this is the way the avatars move and use hand gestures. These movements are all controlled by Colossyan’s AI and require no input by the user to get these impressive results. Check out Ryan (below) on the second slide (0:50).

When he says, “..let’s see what Emily has to say”, his hands open up towards you as though inviting you to check out the next slide.

Colossyan vs Synthesia - Which One Is The Best?

I had nothing to do with this!

Colossyan did its clever thing, and that was that. Job done!

Overall, I found all of the avatars very believable and engaging. With the ability to have four of them together on one slide (price-plan permitting), Colossyan can certainly get your creative juices going when building a presentation.

Synthesia:

Like Colossyan, Synthesia has a great variety of avatars to choose from. Some avatars are available in different sizes and clothing, and you can even get a Santa Claus option if that’s what you need! Ho ho!

A selection of Synthesia avatars.

Not all avatars are available as full-body, so you’re slightly restricted in choice if that’s a feature you’re looking for. However, Synthesia is constantly creating new variants of individual avatars to give you lots of flexibility in your presentations.

Check out Alisha in the picture below.

Alisha (avatar) - Synthesia

I found Synthesia’s lip-sync very realistic, and with the newly released ‘gesture’ feature, you can control some of the avatar’s expressions by adding ‘nods’ or ‘eyebrows up’ commands. This adds more detail and control to your avatars rather than letting the AI try to figure it out.

Choose a place in your script where you want a gesture to happen, and Synthesia will do the rest.

'Gesture' feature in Synthesia editor.

Synthesia can only have one avatar per slide (at the time of writing). This might be a deal breaker for some; however, with such a great selection of convincing avatars at your disposal, it’s easy to see why Synthesia is such a popular platform.

Winner: Colossyan and Synthesia

It was hard to find a clear winner – so it had to be a draw.

Yes, Synthesia has a better lip-sync algorithm on its avatars, but I found the natural presence and body language of the Colossyan actors really impressive too.


Choice – How Many Avatars Do Colossyan And Synthesia Have?

With the continuing race to generate life-like responsive avatars from simple commands, Synthesia and Colossyan are constantly adding new avatars/actors to their selection.

See what you think…

Colossyan:

Colossyan has over 50 avatars at your disposal, with various ages and genders to choose from, as well as professionally dressed or more casual-looking avatars.

ColossyanAvatarsNew

Depending on which price plan you’re on will determine your choice of avatars, but whether you try the Free Trial or sign up for the Enterprise Plan, the AI-generated avatars will always be of the same quality.

Synthesia:

With over 140 avatars to choose from, Synthesia gives you a comprehensive selection of avatars for your needs.

A slection of avatars from Synthesia.

As with Colossyan, the selection of avatars will be determined by the price plan that you’re on (Personal or Corporate). Still, Synthesia is constantly adding more to their list, so you’re pretty much spoilt for choice.

Winner: Synthesia

Although the quality of the avatars is just as good as each other, Synthesia wins this one as there are more to choose from.


Voices – How Natural Do They Sound?

Colossyan:

Colossyan has a comprehensive selection of voices and accents, with over 70 to choose from.

Each avatar has a preloaded voice, but if you feel it’s not what you want, you can easily swap it out for another.

Colossyan lets you filter voices by ‘accent’, ‘age’, ‘tone’, and ‘scenario’, which can save lots of time by not having to listen to them all.

Choose Your Voice Type - Colossyan.

For added control over the avatar’s voice, you can change the speed, pitch and amount of pause between sentences. These tweaks are subtle, but you can definitely improve the factory settings for nearly all of the avatars. (Price plan permitting).

Advanced voice settings in the Colossyan editor.

Additionally, Colossyan allows you to create extra emphasis on individual words by using commas, quotation marks and periods. This feature is easy to implement, and I found myself adding these commands to my script without thinking.

Add emphasis to words by using commas, quotation marks and periods in the Colossyan editor.

Synthesia:

Synthesia has over 120 languages to choose from.

If you’re not happy with the factory-set voice for your avatar, then you can swap it out for something different. You’re very much spoilt for choice here!

Choose a voice type in Synthesia.

You can use the ‘Diction‘ feature to customize the phrasing and pronunciation of your avatar’s voice. This allows you to spell words phonetically in the script, which helps to improve the diction of your avatar’s voice.

Synthesia - Diction Customisation tool.

Winner: Colossyan

Although I found the voices from both platforms very believable, Colossyan’s customization features are more granular to help you achieve a natural-sounding voice.


User Experience – Easy or Hard?

With the ever-growing reliance on software in our daily lives, being able to get up and running fast with something new is potentially a make-or-break factor that all software developers have to consider.

The UX (user experience) must be a smooth end-to-end process for the general public to produce a finished product without any headaches.

Easier said than done!!

Below is my first-hand experience with Colossyan and Synthesia.

(Please note: I had no experience using these platforms before writing this article).

Colossyan:

Colossyan’s homepage is straightforward to understand, with all the immediate features you need to get started right in front of you.

Colossyan - Homepage layout.

When you start a ‘New Draft’, you get directed to choose either from ‘Start From Scratch‘, ‘ Prompt To Video‘ (more on this later!) or ‘Select a Template‘.

Colossyan's Template Options

From here, you’re directed to Colossyan’s project/editing page, where you can start creating your presentation.

The main editor itself is very logical to use. You can easily add and position assets into your presentation; any further edits can be done in the left-hand sidebar.

Text Edit Functions in Colossyan eiditor.

Previewing your slides in real-time can be done individually, or if you want, you can view the whole project by pressing the ‘Preview’ button in the top right-hand corner.

Preview and Generate Functions in Colossyan editor.

Unfortunately, any preview function does not show the avatars moving their mouths in sync with the script. And if you’re previewing your whole project, you won’t be able to see the transitions between the slides either. These features can only be viewed once you’ve ‘generated’ the video, whereby the whole project is rendered into a finished product.

And that’s it! Super easy!

The whole process took me just a few hours, and at no point did I feel like throwing my laptop out of the window!

Synthesia:

Synthesia’s homepage is set out very cleanly, and like Colossyan, you are presented with a list of current projects and an option to start a new one.

Synthesia - Homepage layout.

On clicking the ‘New Video‘ button, you can either start a new template from a ‘Blank‘, ‘Generate Script‘(with AI), ‘Import PowerPoint Presentation‘, or choose a pre-designed template from Synthesia’s library.

Synthesia - Template options.

Synthesia’s main edit page is neatly set out, and I found it very easy to get started. All of the assets to add to a slide can be located directly above the preview screen, and like Colossyan, you can drag and resize these very easily.

Synthesia's Edit Page Layout.

If you need to make any edits, simply click on an asset, and you can make your changes in the right-hand sidebar. Very easy!

Synthesia - Additional Editing Functions.

Any playback of your slides can be done individually or as a whole project. Unfortunately, (like Colossyan), you cannot see the avatars move their mouths at this stage; however, you can see the transitions between scenes if you’re reviewing the project as a whole – which is very helpful.

Finally, to complete your presentation, press the ‘Generate‘ button in the top right-hand corner, whereby you’ll get an option to name the project and add captions automatically.

Synthesia - 'Generate' feature.

From start to finish, the Synthesia video took me just over two hours to make. There were no head-scratching moments, and I found the whole process very easy to navigate.

Winner: Colossyan

Although both Colossyan and Synthesia are very user-friendly, I found the position of the script editor in Synthesia a little restrictive, as I had to keep minimizing the preview screen to see more than a few lines of text.


Video Templates.

If you need to create presentations quickly, then starting with a pre-designed template is always a good place to start. No more writer’s block!

Take a look!

Colossyan:

Colossyan currently has over 25 templates on offer which cover topics such as e-learning, explainer videos, and employee onboarding.

Colossyan - A selection of templates.

When you click into a template, Synthesia presents you with a series of slides you can add to your presentation. You can edit them as you like, and if you want, you can insert extra slides you have designed yourself.

Using templates is a great way to fast-track your creative process and save time.

In the picture below are all the slides from the ‘Cybersecurity Training‘ template.

Slides from the 'Cybersecurity Template' - Colossyan

Synthesia:

Synthesia has been around a lot longer than Colossyan, so there are over 60 templates for you to choose from. The topics on offer are wide-ranging, and there’s a good chance you’ll find a template for your needs.

A selection of templates from Synthesia.

Like Colossyan, if you click into a template, you open a selection of slides that can be uploaded into your presentation. With Synthesia, you’re really spoilt for choice!

The picture below shows all the slides from the ‘Banking Template‘.

Pre-designed slides from the Banking template - Synthesia

Winner: Synthesia

With more than 45 templates on offer than Colossyan, this was easy to choose a winner.


Additional Key Features.

In this section, I explore the extra tools and functions that both Synthesia and Colossyan offer.

With both platforms constantly striving to add more features and functionality to their software, I’m pretty sure I’ll be updating this post regularly!

Colossyan:

  • Screen Recorder – A very useful addition to a presentation is to add screen-recorded material, especially if it is a tutorial. Fortunately, with Colossyan, an in-built screen record function takes the hassle out of using a third-party application.

  • PowerPoint/PDF Import – Import a PDF or a Powerpoint (PPT), and Colossyan’s AI will convert it into a full-blown presentation. As with anything AI-driven, you still have double check the results, but overall this function is an excellent way to fast-track your creative process.

  • Brand Kit – If you’re already an established business and you want to embed Colossyan recordings into your website, then you can use the ‘BrandKit‘ function, which enables you to save your logos, colors and fonts per project type. For future presentations, choose the relevant Brandkit, and all your brand assets will preload into your new project. A real time-saver!

Choose a 'Brand Kit' for any new presentations - Colossyan.
  • AI Prompt to Video – Now, this is really clever! All you have to do is enter what you want your presentation to be about, and Colossyan’s AI will generate a comprehensive set of slides with text, images and actors. For the below screenshot, I asked Colossyan to create a presentation on ‘How to Give a Good Interview‘. The results are really impressive, and I hardly needed any edits!

'AI Prompt to Video' function in Colossyan
  • Custom Avatars – Another great addition to Colossyan is the ability to create yourself as a custom avatar. It’s not a cheap option as it can cost up to $500 a year (you also need to be signed up to a price plan), but if you’re an already established business looking to add some real polish to your brand, then this is definitely a feature worth considering.

  • AI Script Assistant – With ChatGPT integration into many different content creation tools, it’s good to see Colossyan taking full advantage of this great resource. Simply type a forward slash ‘/’ in the script editor to open the AI assistant, and from there, you can brainstorm ideas and accelerate your script-writing process with ChatGPT. Where would we be without it??!

AI Assistant function in Colossyan.
  • Free Music and Media – If you want to add background music, pictures or video to your slides, you can either upload your custom assets or use Colossyan’s integration with Pexels to inspire you. With millions of images and videos to choose from, you’re really spoilt for choice.

Synthesia:

  • PowerPoint To Video – This is a great way to create videos from those boring PowerPoint presentations we all have to suffer through! By downloading your .pptx/.ppt files, Synthesia’s AI will generate a series of slides that you can edit into your new, freshly revived presentation.

Synthesia's 'Import PowerPoint' function.
  • Custom AI Avatar – Like Colossyan, Synthesia offers a custom avatar option for subscribed customers. At $1,000 a year per avatar, this is quite pricey, but it’s definitely worth considering if you run a well-established business.

  • Free Media/Icon Library – If you need more image and icon resources to put into your presentation, then Synthesia has collaborated with Unsplash and Icons8. For any music, then Shutterstock provides a wide variety of tunes.

Stock images and icons with Unsplash and Icons8 in Synthesia.
  • Screen Recorder – If you’re using Synthesia to create online tutorials, you can use the built-in screen recorder function to avoid importing a screen recording from a third-party app.

  • Upload Brand Assets -Synthesia allows you to upload your brand assets into the editor. Unlike Colossyan, however, there isn’t a dedicated way to save these within Synthesia’s editor and preload them into other projects in one go.

  • AI Script Assistant –  This feature is very new! Once you have filled in all the text field requirements for your new script outline, the AI assistant (from OpenAI) will generate your script. You can generate as many variations as you want, and once you’re happy, Synthesia will create the project for you within individual slides.

Synthesia's 'AI Script Assistant' tool.

Winner: Colossyan

Although most of these features are very similar in both platforms, Colossyan goes the extra mile with nearly all of them.


Video Quality.

Once your project is finished, it’s time to press the generate button and let the magic begin! But how long does it take, and what resolution can you render your video?

Colossyan:

Depending on how long your project is and what resolution you’ve chosen will determine the rendering time. The Colossyan video (which is 2:21secs long) took just over 15 minutes to complete at a standard 1080p HD resolution.

You can choose between different resolutions when generating a video (Up to 4K – price plan permitting) and have subtitles added automatically.

Colossyan download resolutions.

Synthesia:

The rendering time for the Synthesia video (which is 2:14secs long) took almost the same time to complete at 1080p HD (15 mins). At the time of writing, this was the only resolution Synthesia offers, but I was pleased with the result and didn’t feel the need to have it rendered at a higher resolution.

Winner: Colossyan and Synthesia

Although you can get more pixel resolutions to choose from in Colossyan, I scored this as a draw, as I found the graphic quality of both videos equally as good – they also rendered at the same time.


Languages

Hello! Hej! Bonjour! Hallo! Ciao! Ola.!! Whatever the language, make your choice!!

Colossyan:

Colossyan offers over 70+ languages, which can all be accessed with different accents and tones. These voices are all created to speak text from their language, but they can also speak English (from an English script) in an accent from the original chosen language. It’s very believable!

Additionally, if your presentation is for an international audience and you only have an English-written script, then Colossyan can translate this into 26 languages for you (price-plan permitting). No more messing around with Google Translate!!

Synthesia:

Synthesia has over 120 languages and accents to choose from, and like Colossyan, these can be accessed in different tones and accents. I’m not a multi-lingual genius by any stretch, but with my half-fluent grasp of Swedish, I typed in a short sentence to see what would happen.

Impressively, Synthesia identified the language I had written and suggested Swedish-speaking avatars to choose from. The playback was very realistic, and my wife (who is Swedish) was very impressed with the voice. (Coloyssan managed this too!)

Winner: Colossyan and Synthesia

Another draw! Although Synthesia has more languages to choose from, Colossyan’s translation function levelled the result on this one.


Integrations.

Colossyan:

At the time of writing, Colossyan has integrations with Asana, Medium and Google Slides. It’s not that many, but I’m sure this will increase in time.

Synthesia:

Synthesia has been around longer than Colossyan, so it’s established more than 36 integrations into Synthesia Studio. These are definitely worth checking out.

Winner: Synthesia


Customer Support

Both platforms offer a live chat service and contact details if you need to reach out with any concerns.

Syntheisa had more resources to help you resolve an issue, but Colossyan’s active community and feedback options are definitely worth using.

Winner: Synthesia

Both platforms are very helpful and keen to answer any queries that you may have, but Synthesia wins it here with more useful information to tap into.


Learning Resources

When did you last read a manual for anything?? Thankfully most software is self-explanatory, but we should still have some guidance along the way.

Colossyan:

Unfortunately, there are no dedicated resources within Colossyan’s dashboard for tips and tutorials. However, the Community with other ‘Colossyanites’ (I coined the phrase first!) is an excellent way to find solutions to a problem. There’s also a dedicated YouTube channel with different content to review.

Synthesia:

Synthesia has an ‘Academy’ with a collection of ‘how-to’ tutorials on topics such as ‘Introduction to Synthesia‘, ‘Video Creation Course’ and ‘Tips and Tricks‘. There is a lot to look at here, and some courses are up to 2 hours long.

Syntheisia's Academy and a selection of lessons.

The ‘Advanced‘ tutorials are full of great ideas to inspire you, and like Colossyan, there is also a dedicated YouTube channel.

Winner: Synthesia

There is just more to choose from at Synthesia.


Pricing and Value For Money.

Colossyan Pricing:

Colossyan pricing page - Jan'24.

Colossyan offers three paid plans as well as a free trial:

  • Free Trial – Both the Starter and Pro plans offer a free trial. You can also generate videos up to 4K. (watermark included)
  • Starter Plan – $28/month (yearly subscription) or $35/month (month-only basis). This plan offers 10 minutes of footage per month and 5 scenes per video.
  • Pro Plan – $96/month (yearly subscription) or $120/month (month-only basis). This gives you 40 minutes of footage per month and 25 scenes per video.
  • Enterprise Plan – This gets you everything Colossyan offers, including 4K quality video and up to 4 avatars in one scene. For prices, you need to contact sales directly.

Synthesia Pricing:

Synthesia Pricing Page Jan24

Synthesia offers two price plans:

  • Starter – $29/month. This gives you up to 10 minutes of video time per month and 70+ AI Avatars. (Note: If you considerably exceed 10 minutes of video time, you are automatically billed for extra minutes).
  • Creator – $89/month. This gives you up to 30 minutes of video time per month and 90+ AI Avatars.
  • Enterprise – This provides unlimited access to all tools and video credits. For pricing, you need to contact the sales team.

There is no free trial. However, a free demo page gives you a basic idea of what Synthesia can do.

Winner: Colossyan

Although the prices are very similar, Colossyan gives you more options to choose from, as well as an excellent free-trial offer.


Colossyan vs Synthesia: Pros and Cons.

Colossyan Pros

  • Easy-to-use video editor.
  • Upto 4 avatars in one scene.
  • All avatars are full-body, with hand and body gestures.
  • Free 14-day trial with all features (except custom avatars).
  • All screen formats.
  • AI-generated videos and scripts.
  • Transform PDFs and PowerPoints.
  • Brand kits.
  • Stock video and images from Pexels.
  • Generate videos up to 4k resolution.
  • Custom avatars.

Colossyan Cons

  • Only 50+ avatars to choose from.
  • Lip-sync is not consistent throughout all the avatars.
  • Limited resources for ‘how-to’ tutorials.
  • Only 28 pre-designed templates.
  • Playback in the editor does not show lip-sync or slide transitions.

Synthesia Pros

  • Easy-to-use video editor.
  • Over 140 avatars to choose from.
  • Lip-sync is very believable.
  • AI script assistant.
  • Synthesia Academy.
  • Over 60 pre-designed templates to choose from.
  • Free stock images and icons library.
  • Import PowerPoint presentations.
  • Custom avatars.

Synthesia Cons

  • Some avatars are head-only.
  • Playback in the editor does not show lip-sync.
  • No stock video footage to choose from.
  • Videos can only be generated at 1080p HD.
  • No import PDF function.

Final Thoughts.

So there you go! Without a doubt, both Colossyan and Synthesia have been great fun to use, and with the ability to create professional videos in such a short period of time, it’s clear to me that these platforms will become essential tools for online businesses and content creators.

If there’s just one frustration, it’s that both platforms are unable to show the avatars fully active in the editing stage.

This means that you have to fully generate your presentation to truly see how your video looks. However, if you don’t like the results and you need to change something, then you have just wasted ‘x’ minutes of your price plan for nothing. If you’re working on a tight budget, then this could become a problem.

A possible solution would be if both Colossyan and Synthesia fully generated their videos with a watermark, with a further option after that to get the finished product. It should be at this point when your credits get deducted.

It’s just a thought…

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