Ok, I have to confess. I thought I had better do this sooner or later.
I have been waiting to expose Animoto for the beast that it is becoming. I just thought it would be nice if you thought my latest two videos were the result of hours and hours of devoted video artistry by yours truly. The plain truth is, I take beautiful photos. There, I said it. I am cocky about my photographical sKiLLz. I took some pretty photographs, chose some particularly dynamic and tasteful music, uploaded them to Animoto and voila… they made the videos for me. Or rather, their computers made the videos for me. The Marine Biology video sitting at YouTube is here, and the leadership retreat video is here. However, many of you have already seen them right here on our own little Ning site.
The self-proclaimed “nerds” at Animoto state on their website that the program works by “automatically generating professionally produced videos using our own patent-pending technology and high-end motion design”. The entire process for the end-user takes place online; there is no software whatsoever to download. When you get in the end result, makes you feel like this is all a big sham, that some video experts sitting in a box in cyberspace quickly made your video and sent it back to you in final form. The service has started quite a buzz.
The official description goes like this: “Animoto uses patent-pending technology to analyze your images and everything about the selected music — its structure, genre, energy, build, rhythm — before developing a blueprint for the motion design of your video. The remaining time is spent rendering your video, using a giant farm of computer processors to custom-generate 15 new images per second for your final video.” In a word: amazing. In two words: amazingly efficient. Three?: amazingly efficient and creative. Ok, so that’s four, sue me.
Here is a very cool Animoto fact: videos under 30 seconds are free. Here’s another cool fact: full-length Animoto videos cost only $3 to make. An even better cool fact: a year-long license to make an unlimited number of full-length videos: $30. Ten in a year and it is worth it by those prices. But wait: *drumroll* for what seems to be the best part: for teachers, the service is FREE. The only thing that could have been better would be to have known that before spending thirty of my hard-earned dollars before finding out that little factoid.
Wow. Animoto. Give it a try.