Animoto is an online service that makes it easy to create professional-looking animated videos from your photographs. The process couldn’t be simpler — you just upload a group of photographs or choose them from your account on Flickr or other supported site, choose a music clip from their the Animoto collection or upload your own, and click on Create. Animoto’s software takes it from there, analyzing your images and customizing the movement and special effects to match the music. It takes several minutes before the video is ready, but you can get pretty impressive results with very little effort. The video can be viewed online, mailed to a friend, or uploaded directly to YouTube.
This could be a fun “craft program” for kids or teens, who might enjoy making their own videos like the sample below:
Thirty second videos are free. If you want to make longer ones, you can pay $3 per video or $30 a year.
Libraries and other organizations can use this site to make simple promotional videos to post on YouTube and their own sites. Here are some examples:
- Teen Music Video — From the Leesburg Library in Florida
- Sparta School District — This one uses a custom soundtrack with words as well as music
- Read in 2008 — From the South Carolina State Library
Of course, there isn’t much skill or creativity involved in making videos this way — the software is doing all the work. It can be fun, though, and users who tire of this and want more control have lots of options for making their own movies using other programs.