Animoto: Web Videos for Dummies

As I continue searching for free hosting solutions to meet all of your online needs, I found an excellent way to make, host and share impressive and professional web videos for free.  If you have a product or project you’d like to promote with a cool web video that you can share on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook, you might want to check out Animoto.  You might find everything you’re looking for with their free service, or, if you require lengthy videos with lots of effects and such, you can also take advantage of their decently priced pay services.

I came across this site through a link on Facebook for a webcomic promotion from Jason May.  I watched the video which was filled with excellent effects, text, and music and noticed it was hosted at Animoto, which I’d never heard of before, so I went to the site to check it out.

When I first went to the site it claimed that videos such as the one I watched could be made for free through their service.  Out of curiosity I decided to sign up.  Upon signing up for an account details of the free video editing were made a little more clear.  Free videos are limited to 30 seconds and have less options for editing.  Full-length, full-featured videos could then be purchased for 3 bucks a piece, or you can subscribe to make unlimited full length videos for like two hundred bucks a year.  The subscription seems pretty steep for people like me, but I thought the 3 bucks might be worth it if it is easier or less time consuming than using video editing software then fighting with file types, conversions and uploads.  I figured I’d make a test video.

I uploaded a handful of jpegs from some of my webcomics then picked some pre-made effects for the video.  After I added some text and browsed through a bunch of music liscensed to Animoto to choose a song for the video.  After, I let Animoto take the jpegs and text, throw them together randomly with effects and music, and pop out a neat little 30 second web video.  The experience was quick and painless.  It leaves some to be desired, especially if you’re used to full featured video editing software, but if easy and free are what you’re looking for Animoto is for you.  What’s even cooler is that you can make as many of these short videos as you want and host them on the Animoto site, then from there you can easily share them on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or your blog.  All in all, it’s a neat little site to make high quality web videos if you don’t have the time or experience to deal with video editing software.

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