Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Video Idiot No More

The emergence of YouTube and the phone cameras have made video making nearly part of our lives now. I myself a 'video-idiot' have done 2 videos - which I posted on YouTube before. The results were ok, though nothing that fantastic. That despite the time spent on them.

I'll be needing to create some proposals for our Sponsors, and a cleric first recommended Power Point. I thought that was formal, but a lil tad boring. Then he mentioned how bout doing it in video.

That brightened up my eyes. This is going to be exciting! The only setback - it will consume lots of time, and I don't know if I can come up with one eye catching one.

At first I thought of using Slide which I've used before. But I find the functions a lil bit less, and the end results neat, but not so impactful.

So I googled around and found 2 interesting sites that can help create interesting videos and even slides.

Video Idiot No More
My criteria - it has to be web-based (ie not a software that I need to download). And it has to be simple and easy for basic users.

This site offers 2 types of video making - free or paid. The free version, Animoto Shorts, is shorter (30 seconds only), while the paid one has features like allowing users to have a longer version and also the video quality is higher.

The Good
I did a trial version and found it quite smooth. Users can upload images directly from the hard-drive or retrieve it from other sites like flickr or facebook.

The interface is simple and very easy for beginners to navigate around. It has a step by step procedure. After uploading the images, the next step is to select the music (for free). The music selection is very cool and edgy. After selecting the music, allow it to render a video style automatically.

The results are quite stunning and very polished, and like they say - as if it's done by a pro.

If you are happy with it, users can automatically upload it to YouTube.

For the free version, the images are lower in resolution which affects the video quality.Also, it doesn't allow you to choose the type of remix, but instead it will automatically detect your pictures and choos a suitable one. This may not go down well with some who want a more creative management on the video.

And as for the free version, it doesn't allow you to remix the video again (ie if the generated video is a particular style, you can't redo it). The paid version can though.

The other site I tried is One True Media.

The Good
Like the Animoto, users can also upload photos via the computer or from other website that the photos are already placed. And the finished video can be uploaded directly to YouTube once it is done.

The Difference
This site allows users to make both videos (montages) as well as slideshows (more hip than Power Point). It has other features as well like creating photo books, creating ecards.

Also, it allow users to choose the type of effects from a selection. As I mentioned, this could give a better hand in your creativity, despite it being pre-selected.

The images/ photos can also be cropped and sized accordingly for the user to emphasis something. For example in the video I created below, I managed to highlight the words and also the people by not using the whole image.

The navigation is not so smooth here, and a lil less user friendly. It takes a bit more time to get familiarise, but after getting the hang of it, it becomes easier. Users have to note the difference between a montage and a slideshow.

The interface is less beautiful hence giving it a less pro image, although substance wise it is just as good if not better.

I'm still new at this, but will be exploring these options more. Both are equally good, but for the moment, I want to expore One True Media first which will come in rather handy for the business proposal! :)

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