There is very little to be said about Animoto that is not already on their website but here goes…
What is it?
Animoto is a fremium website that creates videos out of your photos and video clips, sets them to music and allows you to put titles and other movie-type things on it. This means that, at no cost, you can create a 30-second video using Animoto but, for a fee, you can create a video of any length that uses all of their fancy features and formats.
How can I use it?
Animoto can be used in the same way that you would programs like MovieMaker. The advantages over MovieMaker are that you don’t have to have the software and that the ability to upload to other web forums like YouTube are very integrated. The disadvantage is that everything you want to put onto your video needs to be added via the web creating bandwidth and time issues.
Animoto can be used to create book trailers and other image-heavy presentations. It can also be used to create a really nice little film about an excursion or something that can be shared with your students and their parents.
Here is an example of one that I just put together…
I know that this isn’t extremely fantastic but it does give you a fair idea of how the thing works and what you can do with it.
How to do it
Once you have created an account, making the video is pretty straightforward.
1. Create and account
2. Log in and from the home screen, click the giant ‘Get Started’ button.
3. If you’re interested in using the free version, select a theme that suits you and click the tiny, tiny link underneath the huge Purchase Video button that says ‘or make a 30-second video for free.’
4. Choose a song, upload your images and video, create text slides and don’t forget to create a title by clicking the pencil icon next to the generic title at the top of the page.
5. Edit your video by dragging the image and title icons around or drop them in the blank space underneath the editing pane to forget about them for a while. The order that these are in will be the order that they come up in our video once you click the Produce Video button.
6. Click the Produce Video button. Your video will be sent to your email inbox.
When using photos and videos over the web in this way, make sure that they are as small as possible to make uploading quick. You can use a program like iPhoto on the Mac or Windows Picture and Fax Viewer on the PC to do this (if you’re having trouble, just Google ‘How do I resize images for the web?’ and 73,500,000 results will come up).
The higher the number of images you use, the shorter time each will appear on the screen so don’t overload it. I used about eight images and that was probably too much.
Make sure that videos uploaded to the web protect the students’ right to privacy and that ones created by students put forward a good image of the school.
Once you have created your first, simple video, you will be able to explore the other functions that are available and play with the features like spotlight and whatnot.
Have fun with it!