Mar 06

FAV 5: Video Creation Tools

This week’s FAV 5 post is for techies and non-techies alike.  In today’s publish-yourself environment there are multiple free and easy sites for sharing your ideas and photos.  Even video sharing is easy with platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, ScreenCast and Facebook to host videos.  Rather than having questions about how to share video on the web, most people want to know how to create great videos.  That’s why I thought of sharing my FAV 5 list of video creation tools.

  1. Animoto – A web-based tool for creating photo slide shows with great motion set to music.  It also allows for inclusion of short video clips.  Educators can get a free account, otherwise 30-second videos are free, memberships for longer videos start at $30 per year.  You can’t beat the video quality.  There’s something about the timing of the photo effects with the music that is super engaging for the viewer.  Plus the creation process is super easy.  It would make a great video for a wedding, birthday or anniversary celebration.  I even did one for our church last year to recap all of the events we celebrated throughout the year.  I rate the tool an A+!!  None of the others on the list do the same thing so it stands alone in its excellence in my opinion.  Here’s a sample video to give you a taste of the possibilities.
  2. Jing – A free (my favorite price!!) downloadable software for recording narrated screen tours.  This is a completely different type of video – one where you want to “show and tell” something on your computer – perhaps a web site tour or a “how-to” demo for someone who works in your office.  Whatever the need, Jing is very easy to use.  Simply plug a microphone into your computer and click record.  The max video length is 5 minutes.  And Jing comes with 2 GB of free storage at Screencast.com so with one click you can upload your video to the web when you are done recording.
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  3. Camtasia Studio – Created by the same company as Jing, Camtasia is fee-based (to the tune of $299 – or $249 for non-profits) but well worth the price if you want to mix together a variety of media and produce a high-end video.  In Camtasia you can include your own audio, video (shot on your camera) and PowerPoint slides and can control every aspect of their arrangement on a storyboard in the software.  And Camtasia allows you to output your video for playback on DVD, web or mobile devices.  I use Camtasia when I create training videos for my job (many are posted here), and I think it would be great for pastors and teachers who want to record narrated PowerPoints for distance learning.  But that’s just one idea.  The great news is you can download a fully-functional 30-day free trial of Camtasia and take it for a test drive – a perfect time to get a video project completed!
  4. Pinnacle Studio – A product similar to Camtasia Studio for mixing and creating high-end videos.  It is fee-based as well (starting at $59). This is the tool my husband prefers.  Check out our Green Screen Video Fun for some examples of creativity with Pinnacle from a few years ago.
  5. Flip Mino HD – Recently our school was gifted with a Filp camera (thanks MyCokeRewards!!), and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with it!  It is so easy to use to shoot video, and when you are done recording it plugs directly into your computer via USB and installs it’s own software for easy editing and sharing.  We used it to record video highlights of our Christmas Eve service and my 11 year old son (a.k.a. the angel Gabriel) mashed up the video using the Flip software and posted this video on YouTube.

That’s it for my FAV 5 video creation tools.  Get going and make a video. Don’t forget to send me a link when you do!

Do you have another favorite video creation tool which I didn’t list?  Add a comment about it so I can try it out!

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