Well, I have, thanks to Steve Isaacs, been able to join the Education side of Animoto and have been able to complete a short video (just about twice as long as my first ‘free’ version at 1min 08) Concrete River Animoto. And there’s the rub; in VuVox, the full segment (2.15mins) was able to be fully utilized by the VuVox production engine and gave a nice completion to the video.. However, no matter what I tried to do in changing the music/image rate in the Animoto Audio track ‘editor’, I could only get either 30secs or 1.08mins. This is a huge limitation and quite disappointed me in fact. As far as the slide show is concerned, Animoto’s treatment of image transition was I felt, very choppy and, well, slide-showish. It did however, have a simple method of creating text and credits, that unfortunately, VuVox hasn’t got at the moment (or I couldn’t find). Another couple of things that may also count a little against Vuvox is the inability to download the finished video, or go back in and reedit it. However, to me the way VuVox utilizes transparency, varying opacity and more of a melding of image one into the next, to my aesthetic taste anyway, is much superior. I make no bones of the fact that I like Art, and in my opinion the VuVox treatment is much more artistic and interesting, compared to Animoto’s. The fact too, that VuVox has some quite sophisticated and powerful editing tools, also lifts it into a higher category of usability, aesthetic interest and power. Overall, I believe VuVox is the better of the two Cloud Apps and has potential to go even higher in the realm of Web 2.0 tools for creative multimedia.
I have spent one of the most frustrating days since starting this Web 2.0 unit of study (and I really apologize to all those people who have actually read anything I have posted, as I seem to be Mr Doom himself personified, in my rantings about Web2.0, but in defense, my feeling is that Web2.0 Apps are generally a little over-rated in their function, and perhaps that is because we are still infants in its development, be as it may be, l’infant terrible!). Anyway, I very much wanted to create a music-video type prez on Animoto but discovered first thing when I went there to do it, that the link to the Education version no longer existed and one had to pay money to subscribe to get more than 30secs of presentation. I then decided that I would try VuVox as highlighted on our VHS Web 2.0 home page. At first glance it seemed similar to Animoto, but I discovered that in their Create a Collage section there are a couple of fabulous tools available to creators, and they are: the ability to make selected parts of an image transparent, and other images are able to be layered behind so that a ‘window’ is created through the first image. I love this idea as transparency and varied opacity is a corner-stone of my teaching Photoshop skills, and it is great to see a Cloud based App having that ability, and free too! I uploaded my first batch of images (32) then previewed the Collage. I didn’t like it, as it simply scrolled a slow panoramic trail of images across the screen like trucks on a railway line passing by a car stopped at the crossing. I decide to then use the Studio (pro) slideshow app, but all the images I had uploaded weren’t stored on the website but had disappeared with the collage, as had the MP3, (which is, by the way, a segment of David Byrne’s magical Glass and Concrete and Stone, to acknowledge his contribution). Two frustrating hours later (connection problems) I finally had the 32 images back up there and dropped into the creation window, along with the MP3. I had chosen a template style and left it to do its work. I have to say, and I am rather surprised to do so, that I am really rapt in the finished product (means I love it!) which is here, if you would like to check it out (it is best viewed full screen): Concrete River
Unfortunately VuVox hasn’t yet got Text ability up and running (or I couldn’t find that particular tool), so I couldn’t put in Titles, credits, etc.