Today I was introduced to an interesting website that hopes to bring the end to slideshows. The site is called ANIMOTO. At first I thought it had something to do with Japanese Anime, but on a further deep dive I found out that its essentially an auto mash-up tool.
I say auto because all you are responsible for is dumping assets into the virtual blender, (photos, text, video, music track), and out comes a finished product with a professional look. Too good to be true? Well not really. If you give up your creative control rights to have this picture come in this way or this video play that way; you will actually get something that looks like a professionally edited piece.
How is this possible? You see, we are trained over the years of media consumption to tell when an image is going to cut to the next shot. Editing on a note, movement, or pause has been the staple of professional editors since the very beginning. If you could automate wipes and camera moves to happen during a beat in music then you’ve figured out half the equation. Making it look pretty and be easily distributable is the other half.
ANIMOTO.com does this in a neat package that allows you to create videos that you can then share via the interweb. They offer basic :30 second videos for free (like the one above) and you can either pay $3 for a full-length :60 or $30 for unlimited videos for a year. You can make videos of birthdays, trips, valentines, and other occasions. Once you sign up, you are given a simple three step process: upload your photos/videos, select your music track, and finalize(render) your video. You have options to have the cuts fast or slow and the promise of no two videos being the same lends to the blender mash-up reference I mentioned before.
They also offer a completely unbranded experience for potential business users and photographers who’d like to offer videos for clients for $249 per year.
David Says – Definitely a cool way to showcase your photos if you are the kind of person who likes to put together slideshows. The drawback is that kind of person generally takes pride in the organization, timing, font, and image placement on the page of their slideshows and may not take to giving up that control.
The cool thing is if a you don’t like what you’ve got the first time, you can always “remix” the video by starting the blend over again. I think that if you are drawn in by the initial :30 second teaser vids and want to create more, you should opt for the $30 year purchase right away. As doing a single video here and there can easily add up to more than that very quickly. Definitely check it out and at the very least create your own little highlight reel.
Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.