Creating Videos Using Animoto

In the past few months, I have been asked to create several videos as a way of publicly saying “Thank You” to our sponsors and supporters at the American Heart Association. We needed a platform that was quick, easy-to-use and designed for online streaming, email sharing and posting on company webpages.

Enter Animoto, an free online program designed to do just that. Simply choose a video design, upload your pictures or videos, add a few short captions (and I mean short!) and choose a song and viola! Now you have your very own video to share. Here is one I created this week to celebrate National Wear Red Day as part of the AHA’s Go Red for Women campaign:

A few months ago, we had our annual Heart Walk in downtown Dallas. In the aftermath, I was asked to sort through hundred of photos and create nearly a dozen videos for different corporate sponsors. Here is my favorite one honoring the Cooper Aerobics Center:

See how easy it is? There are a few quirks to the program though. First, it takes a pretty long time (as long as 30 minutes) to produce the videos once you are finished. Second, you can’t caption the picture without creating an entire caption slide that has to go either before or after the picture you want to caption. Third, there aren’t very many backgrounds to choose from, even if you have an upgraded PRO account. And fourth, the song options are terrible! Yes, you can upload your own music for private use. But if you are doing this for all the world to see, you run the risk of getting busted for copywright infringment.

Overall, it is an easy to use program that does what I need it to do in a pinch. I wish it were faster and had better songs to choose from, but that would probably cost more money. Maybe there are better programs out there. What do you use to make quick online videos?

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