I came across Animoto.com a little while back but did not have time to give it a try. Looking back in my bookmarks of sites to re-visit, I decided to give it a shot to see just what it would create with my pictures and music. Here’s what I got with some of my pictures of my trip to Cancun:
Animoto is a web application that produces MTV-style videos using the images and music you choose. Produced in a widescreen format, Animoto videos have the visual energy of a music video and the emotional impact of a movie trailer. Best of all, no two videos are ever the same. Ever.
Basically, you upload the picture that you want in the video, choose or upload the music and let the Animoto engine do its thing. You can send the end-result through the engine again if you are not happy with the results. The video above went through it only once since it was only a test, but because of the way Animoto “Reads” your music and places pictures and animations to go along, no videos are ever the same.
As with many services of this type, Animoto offers a free version to try it out and offers two paid options. The free version lets you create as many videos as you like, but you are limited to 30 seconds per video. If you want to make the full-length videos, you need to pay 3$ per video or get the all-access pass for 30$/year which will let you make an unlimited number of videos. All your creations can be embedded or published to various sites or sent by email or even to Youtube.
There are a variety of websites which offer similar services, but Animoto is the first one I actually tried. I must say I like the result but would prefer a longer version. Naturally, I don’t really need one, so I’m not going to pay 3$ for a video I can probably make myself if I were to put the time into it. But overall, I can see this service being very useful when you need to create something cool very quickly and don’t want to use a boring old slideshow.
You can just give the free version a try and see if you end up with something you might want to use.