Skip to main content

Review: Motion Den - DIY Video Intros and Slideshows

Motion Den claims to be the world's simplest video maker of intros and slideshow style animated videos. I needed an animated slide show to promote my etourist Skateboards online store, which I planned to make myself with one of the many video editing applications I have, but, after being directed to Motion Den by a spammy, completely unrelated comment on this very blog (which I've since deleted), I thought I'll give them a try.

The site is free to sign up and make videos with. Any published videos will have the Motion Den watermark. If you wish to remove this you can purchase individual videos or sign up for one of their plans, which give you a certain amount of credits each month to purchase videos with. Note that you can't actually do anything with a published free video other than view it in your account. There are no share options and you can't download it (making the watermark almost pointless).



A selection of Motion Den's Templates.
Motion Den is a template based system, meaning you choose a template, substitute your own photos and text, and you're good to go, instant, professional looking animated video. Nothing wrong with that at all. It's a good, time saving option if you can find a template that suits your needs.

At the time I signed up there were just five slideshow templates, most with music attached to creative commons licenses. Not a big issue but might be if you intend using the site for commercial projects. Quite by chance, the template I liked featured music that was licensed for commercial use.

Using Motion Den's video design is a breeze. Each editable component is clearly labeled. Just click on the element to add text or to select and/or upload a photo. Photos can be cropped to fit the template - so you don't need to do this before hand.

Motion Den's Studio. Expect to see the
'Saving Image' dialogue a lot!

One thing Motion Den isn't, is quick. At least not if you're uploading photos at the standard resolution of your typical phone camera. The actual upload seems fairly quick but, once you select the image for your project it takes much longer for the image to be saved into it (in most cases on my project, noticeably longer than the actual uploads - I wrote most of this review during the many wait times!).

The site also claims to save you more time for doing the things you love but it took me the best part of three hours to edit 23 scenes in my template. That seemed overly long compared to other solutions I've come across.

There also doesn't seem to be any way to preview your video properly to see how it's going. Then, once you hit 'Make Video', you're warned that you won't be able to make changes to the project anymore.

Personally I think the whole thing could be improved if you could bulk upload all your photos in the order you want them to appear, then just run through the template and crop, position or swap photos around. I found it frustrating constantly waiting on images to be saved into the project. (If I wasn't writing this review I would probably have given it away).

Below is the only video I've successfully processed and published to date (more on that in the footnote below). It's not the video I describe editing above, it's a one image, one text box (that had a character limit too small for my etouristskateboards.com URL) logo splash.


For me the process was certainly simple and easy - especially for the above video which took seconds to create but hours to process. On my initial 23 image video it was just way too slow with lots of waiting around. The amount of time I spent putting that together I feel wasn't that much less than how long it may have taken using a standard video editing application.

If you don't know how to edit photos into a slideshow, or don't have a quicker slideshow application available then Motion Den may be worth a look (though read my footnote first).

At the moment the site appears to be relatively new with many more templates for intros and openers than slideshows - so if you're in need of a professional looking opener for your videos this could well be worth a look.

I'm not altogether sure if signing up for a plan at anything other than the lowest level is worth it as it's unclear as to what extras you get at each level. However given you can use the site for free you can certainly spend as much time as you need evaluating how useful Motion Den will be for you.

Footnote: 


The video that I started out creating for this review ultimately failed to process. It was stuck at 5% processed for days. I tried creating several other videos just to see if it was an issue with my specific video but all got stuck at 5% processing for days. I contacted Motion Den's support team but have yet to hear anything.

A couple of weeks later I signed into my account and was met with this...

Yeah... that doesn't look good.

All my videos were marked as 'Errored' and no longer accessible. Further investigation revealed that all but one of the site's templates had been taken down. The remaining template I managed to customize and successfully process as the example video I posted above.

If you're reading this, long after I wrote it, and the site appears to be well populated with templates and working again, then my review, I believe, is a fair assessment of the process up until my videos got stuck in processing hell.

I contemplated not posting this review but I'd already invested quite a bit of time and whoever brought the site to my attention with their spammy, generic blog comment deserves the karma of a less than stellar review.

After my initial video failed to process I still needed to create my animated slide show for my skateboard shop. A Google search brought my attention to a similar site called Render Forest.

Render Forest is just like what Motion Den should have been only better in every way. I was able to make a quick, seven second video ad that looked very cool in under an hour, including processing time and purchasing a high quality download. I posted that video to my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts and have embeded it below.


Render Forest's Robot character
is a good representation of how
happy you'll be with their service.
I plan to write a more complete review of Render Forest at some point but, if you're looking for a site that will help you make intros, slideshows, music visualizations, and more using templates as a base then Render Forest is definitely a great option, and certainly better than Movie Den. You can even download your free published videos.

Comments

  1. Hey!

    Founder of MotionDen here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I suggest you check us out again and give us an updated review if you ever get the chance, we've made a world of improvements :)

    https://motionden.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mauricio, thanks for stopping by.

      I took a brief look at your updated site but, unfortunately, didn't notice any compelling differences to what I've already outlined in my review... other than your site appears to be up and working again, of course.

      Your service is still buggy, at least through Chrome browser. I can't seem to delete videos from my account. The delete function doesn't actually do anything once you click the delete button.

      I'd still recommend RenderForest over Motion Den. Their service is streets ahead, and their customer service is prompt, and helpful (whilst your comment is the first I've heard from MotionDen since I contacted your support 2 months ago).

      Delete
  2. I've tried a couple of the templates. It seems as though MotionDen updated and changed many of the issues noted above, except I received the same "Errored" and 5% rendered errors that the author did above, a year before my attempts. MotionDen still hasn't responded to my help request. Why would I spend money on something that I can't even get past the testing stage with, with any satisfaction?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In contrast, I've continued to use Render Forest, which is a much better service and their support is far more responsive. I've made a few videos now through Render Forest, while purchasing single videos from them is a little pricey it's worth it for the quality of the experience and final video.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your experience of Motion Den.

      Delete

Post a Comment

I welcome, read, and respond to genuine comments relating to each post. If your comment isn't that save me some time by not posting it.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular posts from this blog

Voice All Your Own Animated Characters with Voice Changer

Voice Changer by AVSoft is real time voice manipulation software that can be used for a wide range of purposes including (according to their website); Voice-over and voice dubbing for audio/video clips, presentations, narrations, voice messages, voice mails, E-greeting cards, broadcasting, etc.; mimic the voice of any person, create animal sounds, change/replace/remove voices in songs, videos,etc. I bought it for the specific purpose of changing my own voice, to extend my vocal range, for voicing characters in my own animations. I was fortunate enough to get this software at a significant discount that made it difficult to refuse, given that I'd never tried it, or even heard of it before. I'm not sure if I would have bought it at the full price given that much of what it can do (for my needs) can also be done with the freeware audio program, Audacity . AV Voice Changer Interface. Voice Changer is relatively easy to install and set up. Once installed simply

Make Disney/Pixar Style Characters with Reallusion's Character Creator and Toon Figure Bases

The Extraordinary Tourist Classic Coat outfit created using Reallusion's Toon Designer for CC3. I've talked before how I've wanted to get into 3D Disney/Pixar style character animation since I first saw the animated cutscenes for the very first Tomb Raider game back in 1996. It's why I initially bought Reallusion's iClone 3D studio app as soon as I could afford a computer that would run it. But then Reallusion released their 3D Character Creator (CC) for iClone and I wanted to create my characters with that (and I did try with Bat Storm ). But the focus of CC was realism, even with ToKoMotion's stylised body morphs . Now with Reallusion's Cartoon Designer bundle for CC3 which features two packs, Toon Figures , and Toon Hair , designing Disney/Pixar style 3D characters just got a whole lot quicker. The two packs are the bare essentials for creating Toon style characters. Five body morphs (2 male, 2 female, and one adolescent body morph that w

Voicemod - Free and Easy to Use Voice Changer/Modulator Application

Voicemod is a real time voice changer app. A common problem for hobbyist animators is finding people to voice characters. Friends are often called in to our no budget productions because they're friends and they're usually happy to help. However friends aren't always available and/or willing, and hiring voice actors can be expensive if you're making a lot of short animations just for fun. In desperation you start voicing all your own characters but quickly realize your vocal range extends to only about three different voices. This is where  Voicemod  may help. Voicemod is a free dedicated, real time voice modifying app for Windows (other OS's are in the works). It has a very simple interface that makes it easy to alter the sound of your voice to any saved voice profile with a single click. It also makes it very easy to modify any profile or even create your own voice modifications from scratch. Before I go further, while Voicemod is free you are limited

Blender 2.8 Amazes with 2D Animation Features. Might Be the All-in-One Animation Studio for You

Hero - still from a 2D animated short created in Blender 2.8 with Grease Pencil. There are a number of animation apps that like to promote themselves as the one tool for all your animation needs and, while many are certainly very powerful, I think Blender 2.8 , released earlier this year, may be the closest yet. If you're not familiar with Blender it's been almost the go to tool, since at least 2002, for anyone wanting to learn 3D animation on a budget - and nothing is easier on the budget than completely free. With the release of 2.8 not only is Blender a complete 3D animation tool, it's now also a complete 2D animation tool. That's right you can use it to create 2D, hand drawn animation, motion graphics, and bone rigged 2D characters. As well, it has plugins that can give 3D animation that 2D look. Hence my suggestion that Blender 2.8 is truly the one tool for all your animation needs (because Blender is also very capable at VFX - think of any 'live acti

Review: Headshot Plugin for Reallusion's Character Creator 3

Headshot for CC3. Quite possibly the best 3D Avatar I've made of myself in any 3D application. Creating a realistic 3D human avatar is a whole lot easier with Reallusion's new Headshot Plugin for Character Creator 3. The plugin is an AI powered extension that can generate 3D digital humans from one photo. Which sounds like an amazing proposition but, in practice, if you're trying to achieve a specific likeness to an actual person, Headshot will give you an excellent base to work from. Headshot has two modes, Auto and Pro. Auto Mode Auto is well worth a try if you have an ideal photo of a front facing person that is properly lit and posed to Headshot's optimum requirements. It's also the only mode that will take a crack at generating a hair model. I grabbed an image of Harrison Ford, dragged it into Headshot without changing any of the default settings (other than specifying 'male' and selecting an 'old male' setting) and this is what I

Learn Moho Pro 12 Free Using SmithMicro's Own 104 Video Tutorials Sorted into a Logical Order of Progression

So you've bought Smith Micro's Moho Pro 12 along with the Moho, 10 hour, 104 Video Tutorials Add On pack so you can get learning right away... only you can't. For whatever reason, the video tutorials aren't sorted into any logical order of progression making them hard to follow. Yeah, I've been there, only I've done what Smith Micro should have done and sorted all the video tutorials into a logical order of natural progression for you. That is, each tutorial builds upon what you learned in previous videos and you won't suddenly come up against some feature you've never used before, unless that feature is what the video tutorial is about.

Artbreeder - Using AI created Character and Background Content in your Animations

A selection of User/AI generated images from Artbreeder. If you're looking for an endless supply of 2D character and background images for your animations then Artbreeder , an online Artificial Intelligence (AI) that generates image mash-ups you can tweak as much as you like, could be the ultimate content library. What is Artbreeder? Artbreeder is free to use though there are various paid plans, that give you additional features, such as higher resolution download images or more settings to play with. All images created on the site are Public Domain (CC0 License) and can be used in commercial projects. Using Artbreeder's online app you can generate head shot portraits, full body characters, landscapes, and other scenes simply by choosing two or more existing images to mash together then, using a series of sliders, to select which traits from each image you wish to lean toward in the final image. Photo Comparison - Top is my original uploaded photo. Bottom is Artbreeder's ap