Animoto are an online slideshow making site. Not just run of the mill slideshows, but neat, modern slideshows with flair. As well as auto transitions, and a range of styles (including festive ones), they provide royalty free music. That last fact should be key to photographers looking to make money from taking a slideshow on as an upsell or as part of a package deal (shoot, album and slideshow). Be it for a baby portrait, a model portfolio, seniors or even weddings, once you start making these, I think you’ll be hooked.
I first came across them with Mark Cleghorn, before I was even on PhotoTraining4U.com, and thought they were neat, but didn’t see the use of a subscription model. Of course once I understood the return value based on licensing the music and the additional sale value for them, it all made sense. Of course on PT4U, all the videos have an Animoto slideshow intro, introducing the work from the video, or from the author.
Currently I’m transferring a lot of mini portfolio into video form to show on the iPad. The high rez option on the Pro account is perfect for this. It even creates an ISO file that can be burned to create a DVD for your client.
While there is an Export Plugin for Animoto, I prefer to do it all myself. First I make the selections and create a new collection of these with ‘Include Selected Photos’ and ‘Create Virtual Copies’ ticked. The latter is needed because Animoto’s preferred crop is 4:3 ratio. I created a custom 4:3 crop, which I batch apply in Grid view, with all the images selected.
Next I look through an expanded Filmstrip for images where the batch crop doesn’t look as good. I refine the image crop in Develop, and move on to further images as needed. Finally I export a 1500px long, sRGB, Quality 74 file to a custom folder. Finally I upload via Animoto’s online upload and choose my slideshow style and song from that interface.
I haven’t yet imported the MP4 files back in, but I think I will, so I can keep the video file with the images used to created them.
You can get $5 off All Access or 1 Month extra with Pro, by using this link when you sign up: http://animoto.com/?ref=uerbmxla