DPP Home Software Image Processing DPP Solutions: Fast, Easy Videos

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DPP Solutions: Fast, Easy Videos

Animoto is a web-based application that gives you a chance to make a dynamic video from still shots and motion clips. For a minimum amount of time and energy, you can reap the rewards of a new product for your clients.

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Animoto is a web-based application that lets you make high-impact videos from your stills and video clips.

We recently had a conference call with a company that has a very cool application for professionals. Animoto isn’t a new company, per se, but they’re coming onto the radar screens of more and more pros because their web-based application gives photographers the opportunity to offer a simple-to-make video that can be sold to a client for a tidy profit.

Video is all the rage for professionals these days, but for many working shooters, there’s too little time to learn sophisticated editing and the learning curve is just daunting. Or, these pros have HD video capability in a camera, with the ability to capture some great motion clips, but turning those clips into a full video is just too much work. Animoto gives you a tool to upload still images and motion clips, and the software automatically crafts them into a polished-looking video complete with sound.

On Animoto’s website, you can find a tab that takes you to case studies. These are professionals who are using the software, and the results are impressive. The pricing is $249 per year.
Animoto uses the soundtrack you choose (you can upload a track of music or choose one from their comprehensive library) to build a finished video that keys off the rhythms and cadence of the music. This isn’t software that just builds a slideshow. Animoto analyzes the still frames and performs scan-and-pan motion to make a true video. If you choose to include motion clips as well, Animoto incorporates them seamlessly.

The company has made ease of use a priority. Even a novice making his or her first Animoto video can have the whole project completed in about 20 minutes. With an emphasis on fast and easy, Animoto offers limited customization, so you have to trust the software to scan and pan on still frames in a way that looks good, but in several sample videos and one that we made in the DPP offices, we didn’t see any miscues.

The Animoto Pro music library has more than 500 commercially licensed songs so you don’t have to worry about rights issues if you choose from their library. This is a huge value for photographers because it gives you easy access to properly licensed music, saves money and avoids the hassle of having to find, buy and incorporate your own royalty-free music. Using the Animoto Pro music library also ensures that videos posted online won’t be taken down by websites like Facebook and YouTube, which actively search for and remove content, such as videos, that use music that isn’t properly licensed.

The emphasis on simplicity carries over to the distribution of your videos. You can burn videos to DVD, post to Facebook or YouTube, embed videos in a blog or website, or send a video to an iPhone. The company wants to make it drop-dead simple for professional photographers to make the video and then get it out to the client.


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