Handful of Pictures. Amazing Results. Animoto.

12 pictures is all you need to get started with some really amazing video creation. Animoto.com adds another facet to digital storytelling in a very simple package. What exactly is Animoto? Think Microsoft’s Photostory; only hipper, much hipper, and easily accesible on the web. I like Photostory for what it does – creates videos with a documentary feel in the mold of Ken Burns’ pan and zoom technique. Animoto is different in that the videos have the feel of a television commercial or movie trailer. This makes sense when you realize that Animoto.com is the brain-child of a group of TV and film producers who have created content for major television and film studios.

The Animoto interface is streamlined and clear, ensuring success for even the limited user. You have multiple choices for image sources including digital images from your own computer or by connecting to popular sites like Flickr, Facebook, Smugbug, Picasa, and Photobucket through Animoto. After getting the pictures in place, you can upload your own audio file or use one of multiple tracks from up and coming artists hosted by Animoto.

That’s it. Now sit back and let Animoto do the rest. I must admit that the automatically generated effects are impressive. Animoto uses a patent-pending technology based on artificial intelligence to create a unique video incorporating motion design based on elements like the tempo of the music. Very cool. Bear in mind that the video will take 10 – 15 minutes to render and since this is done on the Web, there are some bandwidth issues to consider if you are planning to have a number of students uploading pictures or processing video all at once.

Animoto has all sorts of applications in the educational environment. It is a good tool for a morning news show, a storytelling activity, sharing a slideshow, or a new take on show-and-tell to name a few. You can view several examples from a Media Center Specialist in Texas here.

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