Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Animoto - quick, easy, hip movies

In the past, I have used my Mac applications to create brief movies set to music comprised of images related to class topics or samples of student projects. These brief movies are a great way to grab students' attention before a lecture or recap a field trip or visual project. However, even with the easy-to-use Mac apps (iPhoto or Keynote export to Quicktime) I'd end up spending hours perfecting the movie and then was never quite satisfied with the transitions or music. And then along came Animoto. I just heard about this tool a couple of weeks ago and have had a blast making some short movies of family holidays pics. I'm excited to use it in class this semester.

Essentially, Animoto allows a registered user (free to register) to create a movie using images from one's hard drive and copyright free music (or music from their pre-selected library). Movies under 30 seconds long are free and longer movies cost $3.00 each. An unlimited annual membership can be purchased for $30. Quite a bargain, I think. And the movies hold their own against the expectations of the YouTube generation!

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