BLUF- Animoto a free or really cheap service that takes a boring collection of photos and turns them into a really cool video with music. If you’ve got a bunch of pictures of people at an event or something similar this is without a doubt the way to show them to people.
So I went to the Blogger Social 08 this weekend and had an incredible time meeting the most amazing people in the universe. And no, I’m not exaggerating, I’ve met nearly everyone in the universe and this group was the best! Anyway, I digress sorry. So we went on this great New York harbor cruise. And I came up with this nerd joke and took pictures of everyone (in the bs08 group) on the boat. After the cruise I went home about 4 PM and I knew I only had a short time to play on the PC before I had to head back into the city for the diner at 6PM.
Now I had seen this video created by CK Kerley and this one too. And CB Whittmore suggested that I check out Animoto. So with 2 hours to kill, and wanting to put the photos up for the group to share I decided to try it out.
WARNING- mildly technical content ahead. I got the photos out of the camera and onto my hard disk. Then I realized that I needed to shrink them in size so I used Irfanview that I’ve mentioned before. I used the batch function to resize 46 photos in one quick job. It took Irfanview less than 30 seconds!
Next I uploaded the 46 photos to Animoto which only took a couple of minutes. And then I had to choose music. I checked out their music selections and decided I should have something better in my library. Then I decided after wasting 15 minutes that some of their canned techno stuff really would work best.
So back to Animoto’s music choices and I selected something up beat then I hit the Create Video button. Now here is my only complaint with the service. I choose the Free 30 second short video first. And it created a video that didn’t have all of my pictures in it. They should tell you that before you wait the 10 minutes or so it takes to create the video. Or even more importantly after the video is created. If I wasn’t paying close attention I would not have noticed.
After the first attempt I purchased a $3 unlimited video, (only $3 bucks- this is so cool!). Then I edited the first video and made a new one. The second video turned out great. I wrote a quick blog post, tongue firmly planted in cheek and posted the video.
Next I changed my clothes and ran off to the evening’s festivities. My only frustration was that the video couldn’t be viewed on an iPhone or Blackberry. But this is not the fault of Animoto, it’s the fault of Apple and RIM.
In about 1 hour I had signed up, uploaded 46 photos, created and then recreated the video and posted it on my blog. For this accomplishment Animoto is amazing!
However, the story doesn’t end there. The next day, I spent a little time playing with Animoto again, because I realized that I’d left out a few photos, (including yours truly!) So I had to upload new pictures and remake the video again. Then I tried the YouTube option and that also worked like a charm.
It was simple and straight forward. I have to say that the makers of Animoto have done an excellent job of creating an interface that is simple, direct and easy to use.
And please remember that I have no connection with Animoto at all (yet, call me- OK?). I had never used the service before Saturday. I found my entire experience to enjoyable and simple with stunning results.
Animoto is One Good Way to show off your otherwise boring pictures!