Animoto – worth paying for

If you haven’t had a play with Animoto, you really should. It turns photos into impressive slideshows with music. There are levels of access: a free level for movies up to 30 seconds long; and a paid level (about ?18.50 per year) to allow unlimited access. Update 9th October: I’ve just discovered that Animoto has a free education service which not only gives teachers unlimited access, but also allows you to create logins for your class in a joint account. What are you waiting for? http://animoto.com/education/ What makes it so good is the simplicity of the user interface. You don’t need to resize images before uploading them as it will do this for you itself. You simply select all the images you want in your slideshow and then leave it to upload – it took me about 10 minutes to upload 25 full size digital camera images which is pretty good going. Put your images in the order you want them to appear and select any images that you want to focus upon; select the transition speed and music; and publish. Once the video has rendered (from a couple of minutes upwards) you can copy and paste the embed code into your blog. What’s more, once you’ve submitted your video for rendering you don’t even need to stay on the site as it does it all for you offline and sends you an email when the video is ready.

Here is an example of one I did with a few cycling and triathlon images – 5 minutes work. Got to be worth it! Note, the image transition rate on this video is normal speed, choosing double speed can make the video look very cool, but little ones in particular find it hard to follow. Also, quite a few of the images in this video are very low resolution as they had already been resized for use on the web. Digital camera images will come out much clearer.

It’s best used for things like school trips and special events where you want to give an impression of the event rather than being able to view individual images in detail.

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One Response to “Animoto – worth paying for”

  1. Geoff Dellow August 23, 2009 5:03 pm
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    I find this approach works heavily against creativity.

    You achieve the illusion of having being creative but really your own input is minimal.

    By using software like Flash 4 (which I use and recommend – and can supply!) you have complete control over everything you do so that the creative opportunities are endless. You spend a little longer but the result is much more your own idea. Flash helps imports a series of images in sequential order and then it’s over to you to be really creative – adding several sound tracks if you wish.

    The feeling of satisfaction and increase in self-esteem as a result of ones work and input of unusual ideas are immeasurably greater than using what can be seen as gimmicky software.

    What do others think!

    All contacts welcome!

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