While Animoto is a stellar (and free!) service that simplifies the process of making professional-quality home videos from your pictures, it isn’t the only one. With these next products, you will soon be on your way to creating some stunning videos in a few clicks.
Flixtime is a slick video-making web app that will take your pictures and effectively creates a “flix in a flash”, as its motto says.
After you create an account, you can upload your pictures, video clips (in .AVI, .FLV, .WMV, .MP4, .MOV) and music, or select some from the Media Lounge, which is Flixtime’s library of stock images from Fotolia (which contains an enormous collection of royalty-free photos) and the Music Lounge, which features songs for use from the stock music community, AudioMicro. You can also add a cover image for your clip and text slides, which you can freely move around to fit whichever photo it’s for. You can choose to save your video in either 640 x 360 dimension, or iPod-friendly 320 x 180, and in either FLV, MP4, or DIVX formats.
What’s cool is that your videos will be 60 seconds long, as opposed to Animoto’s 30-second offering for free accounts. Like Animoto, however, you won’t be able to directly download your video, but you can post your new video on YouTube, which will require you to authorize Flixtime for access (although I had trouble getting this to work).
You’ll also be able to remix your video, which allows you to choose more pictures to add, or replace any elements, like the song or certain photos. Flixtime will also provide you with ways to share the link on your social media accounts, like Faceboo, Twitter, and a myriad of sites thanks to AddThis.
While Flixtime is pretty nice overall, there seems to not be any additional video styles. To get a glimpse of the effects Flixtime offers for the default video style, see this sample from YouTube.
Stupeflix is a suite of video products, including the interesting Stupeflix TV, which creates web TV channels from Flickr images to help illustrate the latest tweets on trending topics, and the Stupeflix API for web developers of video applications. The Studio is where the magic for consumers happens.
You can first choose a video style (there are currently 4 styles available) and then, upload your photos and videos (up to 40 MB) or import them from Facebook, Flickr, Picasa as there is no library of stock images. You can also add images by URL.
You can then choose to include songs (up to 10 MB) and text. The editor is pretty neat and fast, but some powerful features can be hidden unless you fully try it all out before publishing a video, which I had to do as I was a bit confused at first. One example is the grouping feature. You can drag pictures in and out of a group so that the same text or song (“soundtrack”) apply to all the pictures or videos in that group. Grouped pictures will also be displayed at the same time. You could also add text or a different soundtrack (but be careful as it might play along with the songs from each group which won’t sound too beautifully) to the whole movie, as opposed to the different groups.
When you want to preview your project, just save it and a video player will pop up and show you what you’ve got so far. When you’re ready to finish your project, you can then export it to a 480 x 270 video and choose to share it on Youtube and Facebook. A free video will be 1 minute-long, but you can buy the downloadable HD and full-length versions as well.
After a video is published, you can edit it as a new project, which allows you to add or edit media, but not change the video style (for that, you’ll need to make a new project).
These two applications will help you make short but stunning video slideshows in a few clicks. What do you use to whip up nicer-than-average home videos?
Photo credit: Alessandro Rei
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