Animato is a great tool for creating professional looking video shorts using photos set to music. The site has already been blogged about by the education community and has great potential for use both by students and staff! You simply upload photographs directly to the site, or if they already exist on the web, for example on Flickr or Facebook, you simply direct the site to them, you then chose music from a wide selection (or I believe it is possible to upload your own) and away it goes transforming your photos into what looks more like a film trailer! You can create a short film (lasting 30 secs) for free and full length videos can be created by purchasing credits. At the moment this stands at $3 per video or by paying $30 you can get create unlimited videos for a year. Certainly worth exploring and having a play with – signing up is free – as are creating the video shorts! Thanks to Justin Medved for the tip off on this one!
I have just created a 30 second example of a video short using this years Iceland photographs – have a look at the results here. Unfortunately there doesn’t yet seem to be the ability to embed this in wordpress, but it works fine in blogger and quite a few of the social networking sites!