I first heard about the animoto.com services a few months ago on a podcast. I checked it out, created a video and was immediately impressed. I ended up seeing the potential for this with a specific project I had coming up (my Grandmother’s 100th Birthday party), so I signed up for an account.
Animoto was created by several TV and Film people to create unique slideshows. It is my understanding that one of the founders was with a major television network and was responsible for adding motion graphics to still images in documentaries. This is basically how Animoto works.
You upload your pictures (or you can transfer them from several popular photo sharing sites like Smugmug or Flickr). You can then select spotlight photos and rearrange the display of them. Next you can either upload your own music or use the music that the Animoto group has provided in a variety of genres. Once the photos are there and the music is picked you make the video and the website renders the video for you. The amazing thing is that the photos are displayed in several unique ways and move to the beat and length of the music. Pick a long slow song and the pictures will display more slowly than if you pick a faster shorter song. The videos are suitable for playing on your computer screen in a windowed player, posting on a blog or to a social networking site or for playing back on an iPod or Video player. There are options for higher quality videos that you can see below.
In addition you can simply click on the remix button after completing your video to have it re-rendered and get a completely different look.
There are three ways to make your videos. Free – A free account allows you to make as many free 30 second videos as you like. Per Video – You can also opt to make a single unlimited time video by paying 3.00 for each one you create. All Access Pass The all access pass allows you to make as many unlimited length videos as you want for a year so you need to make at least 10 in a year to make it worth it. In addition if you would like a higher resolution file for playing back full screen on your computer or to burn a DVD of your video it will cost you an additional 5.00 per video. I did this for my Grandmother’s birthday party and we played the Animoto video full screen on a projector from my laptop and it looked great. I also downloaded the iso file and burned a DVD of the slideshow.
Animoto also has a Facebook applications you can make animoto videos right from your Facebook galleries.
Here are three sample videos I have created, two contain the same pictures but have different music to them (one is fast the other slower) and the final video I created for my grandmother’s party.
Helena’s 100th Birthday Party Video
If you are as impressed as I was with the finished qualities of these videos, you can sign up for an account at http://www.animoto.com amd save $5.00 USD off an all access pas by using my referal code gaohvrbq or by clicking on the button here