Monday, February 14, 2011

Photostory and Animoto

So now we are experimenting with video storytelling and we needed to use two different applications. Photostory is free software that can be downloaded from Microsoft and only works on a windows operating system. Animoto is a web based application that is not dependent on a particular operating system.

Photostory was relatively easy to install and use. The best feature is the ability to record narration with each slide. If you are making an educational video and you want more explanation than just the pictures, this application would be an ideal choice. It also lets you use background music, however, I had a difficult time balancing the music with recorded narration. It was either too low or too loud and getting it balanced was difficult. It only saves in .wmv file format, which I found very limiting. Overall, I was able to produce a product I was proud to share.

Animoto is completely online. Everything is uploaded to the server, it renders the product and sends you an email when the project is completed. It does not have the option of allowing recording per slide, but I could have used Audacity to record my narration and background music, but since you cannot attach the narration to a particular slide or control the pace, I decided against this option. I uploaded my music and I used text slides to fill between the pictures. Not as informative as the presentation in Photostory. However, Animoto's video quality I believe is superior and is a better, easier choice for sharing slideshow images over the web.

So for my subject, I chose macro photography. A while back, a professor approached me and asked me to help him with a project. He needed to not only photograph a dog and deer skull found during field research, he also needed macro shots of the myxomycetes plasmodial tracks on the skulls. It then became my challenge to figure out a way to photograph an oddly shaped object and to position the object at the right angle so that I could do macro shots. I designed a set up that allowed me to do both. The professor was so impressed with the set up, he included a section that I wrote and photographed in a paper he published in Fungi. And while not everyone has the equipment to do macro photography, the technique is useful for lighting and photographing small objects. I am embedding both presentations for comparison. I hope you enjoy. :)


  1. Nice videos. I really enjoyed your photography and the tips.

  2. Great job! I liked both, Animoto was a great overview and the Photo Story had all the details. I liked your tips for the macro pictures.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I love to take pictures, and this is very useful information. Great work!

  4. Great videos, Glenda! While I think Animoto's great and you did a great job of using it, the PhotoStory video was so much more informational. Learned lots of great stuff!!