If you are anything like me, every time you go on a camp or retreat, you come back with tons of photos (about ten of which are usually any good) and maybe even some video. Of course you want to do something cool with them, and every once in a while, you take the time to create a video that is a mashup of your pictures, videos, and some recent Christian Music. Most of the time, your schedule rules out doing anything of the sort.
That is where Animoto comes in. This snazzy little web tool allows you to upload photos and video, and then creates a really slick looking video of them.
You start by uploading pictures (no larger than 5MB each) and videos (no larger than 200MB each). You can then set what portion of the videos you uploaded you want to include. Once you have all your files uploaded, it’s time to select your music. You can upload your own track or select from their collection. If you are looking for Christian music, they have 27 selections ranging from Toby Mac to Christ Tomlin (who should be on your playlist). All that’s left at that time is to determine your speed and cover image at which point their servers take over rendering an impressive video with a cool soundtrack.
The finished video is ready for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, email, and even exporting to YouTube and Smugmug.
Sounds too good to be free right? Well that’s where you’re wrong and right. This is a freemium service. You get all the photos and videos you can cram into 30 seconds for free, and if you want to make a longer video (up to the length of your song), the cost is $30 (the All-Access Pass) for all you can eat for an entire year… seems like a steal to me! In addition to making longer videos, the All-Access Pass allows you to download the videos though they will only be 432×240 h.264 mp4s. If you want dvd quality, you can pay $5 per video for the upgrade.
This site focuses on speed and ease of use. Which means that you do not get a whole lot in the way of editing control. As a matter of fact, you get NO control. If you don’t like the transitions or timing, your only option is their “one-Click Remix” that sends it through their randomizer again to hopefully spit out something you’ll like.
However, if you want to be able to make a quick video about last week’s trip for this week’s worship service and have less than zero time, Animoto is a great choice, and an incredible value. Check it out!