Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. 🙂
Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we’re going to be taking a look at a tool that lets you make fun, cool, interested animated videos….really easily. I’m not sure what the practical applications of this tool may be, but I am looking at ways to integrate it into my library- currently I’m update our virtual library tour, and at the end of this post I’ll show you what I have so far. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at Animoto!
I have to admit- I’ve really had a fun time with Animoto. I was introduced to this piece of neatery by my good friend and former (but always current) colleague, Peggy Kaney of Northeastern State University in eastern Oklahoma. Peggy was our keynote speaker at our summer workshop, unCOILed. She spent some time talking about Animoto, but I have only recently been able to dig around on the site. So, let’s dig!
Animoto is easy to sign up for and easy to use, which I will walk you through momentarily. There are different levels to Animoto, and each of the nicer levels required monetary involvement. However, if your needs might only be to create short 5-7 slide videos, then the free version will work for you. I’ve gone ahead and purchased the Full video option, but there is a Pro option (non-branded) as well. So what you’ll see today will be a short video, but I also plan to show you what you can do with a longer, or Full Video option.
When creating a video, you simply click on the create video link and Animoto will walk you through it.
It’s a simple photo uploader, one I’m sure you’ve seen before. You just choose pictures from your computer and they will appear in the Animoto layout. Keep in mind, you can pretty much manipulate any order so don’t worry if they don’t upload in a specific order. Oh, and you can bulk upload, which is nice if you’re doing a large project.
Below is a pictorial representation of the Animoto tool bar.
You can (and should) add text to your Animoto, in order to give it narration. The “T” in the following picture represents a slide on which I’ve inserted text. You’ll see what I’ve typed over to the right side of the picture. Here’s where you might need to get creative- slides keep you to a specific number of characters in each line (22 in the top line, 30 in the bottom).
After you’re set with your pictures and text, you go on the the next step, which is choosing music.
This I did find a little frustrating, but not too bad. The speed and length of your video is dictated by the speed and length of the song. When I was creating my virtual tour, there wasn’t a long enough song on the site to cover all of my video. So it stops short of the desired end of the video. But, there are a lot of genres to choose from or you could upload your own music. Beware of copyright!
The next thing you’ll do is choose how quickly you want your pictures to progress. Essentially you can choose between 1/2 time, normal, and double time.
Once you’ve chosen your music and slide speed you move on to the final stage of creating your Animoto video. This is where you’ll add your title and a brief description of the video.
Then the video has to be converted. You’ll see a screen similar to this:
Once the video has been converted, you’ll be sent an email alerting you that it is finished. The email has a link to the video which you can click on and watch immediately.
If you find a mistake you can change things: but beware, each time you go back to fix something you will create yet another copy of it in your queue. So, I have about 7 redos of my virtual tour. But you can delete whatever you want and only keep the final if you so choose.
The Animoto editor panel is also where you can get the code to embed your video.
Click here to watch the video I created while touring the site for Tuesday Two.Oh!
Click here to watch my (EARLY) virtual library tour.
I’ve really liked using this tool. As I mentioned above, we’re really looking at this as a tool with a lot of potential. My next task is to record a voice file and upload THAT to Animoto and see if we can’t use it as our “music” background. I’m a little nervous about the timing of said voice file, but I’m sure with a lot of tweaking and swearing I can get it to come out correctly. Have you used Animoto? What do you think?