I am constantly amazed by the variety and high quality of the videos created by Marco Torres and his student videographers. I would love to have access to Final Cut Studio Pro, the hardware required to run it, and to have the knowledge and expertise required to use many of the special effects Marco’s student teams use in their videos. The problem is, I don’t have any of the above requirements at present. That’s not to say I may not be able to gain the access and ability to create videos with similar effects in the future, but for now, I simply couldn’t with “traditional” hard drive installed software and computer hardware create videos with such sophisticated special effects. Until now.

Enter Animoto. This website takes your images and analyzes them, then “feels your music,” and finally creates a VERY sophisticated web-video with them customized to your content– all online with just a few mouseclicks. Amazing! According to the “about us” link on the website:

Animoto Productions is a bunch of techies and film/tv producers who decided to lock themselves in a room together and nerd out. Their first release is Animoto, a web application that automatically generates professionally produced videos using their own patent-pending technology and high-end motion design. Each video is a fully customized orchestration of user-selected images and music. Produced on a widescreen format, Animoto videos have the visual energy of a music video and the emotional impact of a movie trailer.

Wow! Kevin Jarrett and Sylvia Martinez used the site to create the teaser for their 2007 K-12 Online Conference presentation on Second Life. (Nod to Kevin and Sylvia for alerting me to Animoto.) I’m enthralled! 🙂

30 second short videos are free to make on the site, while “full length” videos cost $3 each to make. Similar to a Flickr Pro account, access to create “full length” videos for an entire year costs $30. Here is my first attempt, titled “Exploring Central Oklahoma” and created with a Flickr image set I uploaded last month after a fun Saturday spent in and around Kingfisher, Okarche, and Concho, Oklahoma:

Here is a second video, created with images from the KSU home opener last weekend against San Jose State University in Manhattan, Kansas, but created as a shorter 30 second video. I titled this “Bring on the Cats 2007!”

If you’re a student creating a video project for class, you may not want to disclose Animoto as your rendering engine… Your teacher, instructor or professor may not give you quite as high a grade if they discovery you created your entire video in less than five minutes! 🙂

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11 Responses to No time to make a video? No problem with Animoto!

  1. Maria Knee says:

    Hello Wes,
    This was just too cool to pass up. After watching your examples, I just had to try it for myself. It took no time at all to create my short video and post it to my classroom blog. I may have to spend the money for the full version – 30 seconds is way too short!


  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    That’s great Maria! I was amazed how fast it was as well. My 9 year old couldn’t believe it either when I showed him these movies today after school!

  3. Tina Steele says:

    Hi Wes – awesome! The OK video would be perfect for the centennial celebration. You need to submit that somewhere! Have you seen the official video – it’s pretty awesome too. After seeing Animoto listed on twitter one night, I shared it with everyone at work. A friend wrote them and said that they will be making it be able to incorporate within Powerpoint within the near future. Oh, and by the way, you’ve been tagged – see instructions at http://mstina.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/ive-been-tagged-by-durff/

  4. Thanks for sharing Animoto! Too Cool. Of course, I always try out technology first with my passion
    which is ranching & horses! Then I will incorporate it into my video conferencing blog for the District.


  5. Wesley Fryer says:

    Great work Ashton! I like that song too. I agree that we should often try out technologies with our personal hobbies and interests… then we can better see connections to teaching and learning.

  6. Chris Beall says:

    Just to throw another new free tool out there for digital storytelling – QlipBoard from Qlip Media. Lets you narrate over images, point, draw, collage, etc. Instantly ready to play, cast, send as attachment, send as link, embed in blog. Takes about 2 minutes to learn.

  7. Hey Wes! Glad you liked Animoto. We rocked out in my Elementary Computer Lab this week with my “What I did for summer vacation” Animoto:


    The kids LOVED it, and though I should really redo it (some of the transitions could be better, I’m still learning) it came out pretty well.

    Handy tip: use PowerPoint to create text titles slides (just use a smaller font than I did) and save them as .JPGs, upload to Flickr, and incorporate them into the show. Works great!


  8. Wesley Fryer says:

    Great tip Kevin! I think I will experiment with that (saving PPT slides and inserting them) as a way to create a preview / overview of a workshop presentation, similar to what you and Silvia did for your K12 online teaser.

  9. Cool beans. You already know about Voicethread.com, right? The PPT technique works great with that service too. Here’s an example:


    Sylvia and I plan to use Voicethread as our K12Online presentation platform. More on that later…


  10. Pam Nielson says:

    I cannot thank you enough for turning me on to Animoto. I’ve made just one video so far,
    but my school was so impressed that they put it on their homepage: http://www.oswego308.org/schools/bednarcik/
    Now they want me to make one for each team and club so they can post new ones throughout the year.

    Thanks again!! I love it!!

  11. […] Gary Stager’s partner, Sylvia Martinez, is too. I’ve never met Jamie, but I’ve traded blog comments with Wes, and sense a possible future connection […]

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