Tracking Shot makes snappy movies from your photos

Tracking Shot makes snappy movies from your photos

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
2 min read

I've been experimenting with a very fun online service that's still being built: Tracking Shot. You feed it your photos, videos, and music, and it will create a video with your images and movies automatically arranged and cut to the beat. The photos will have zooms, pans, and transition effects. Here's a sample I put together using images from conferences I've attended (the music is from the Cypress String Quartet, which my wife is a member of). Other than uploading my files and selecting the first and last shots, I did no editing. Tracking Shot analyzed my images and the music track to put everything together into a more or less watchable show. I found that the system works much better with pop music, but I didn't want to post music I don't have a license for.

If you want to exercise some control, Tracking Shot will let you define the order of photos and videos explicitly or clump related images together or simply set the first and last photos while Tracking Shot orders the rest. You can also crop images. You can't rotate pictures or set the in and out points of videos that you upload, though, so you're probably better off doing all your editing before you upload.

You can't see it in my demo video, but Tracking Shot will also mix movie files into a presentation and duck the music soundtrack under the movies' audio. It doesn't appear to be able to edit within video clips, though.

Tracking Shot is still in development, and the team is working on the interface, features, the sharing system, and business deals, so I expect the look and feel of the product to change over time. But the technology behind it seems solid. The autoeditor is based on the work of Hollywood producer Bruce Block. The films Tracking Shot has made for me are better than the ones I could have made myself; they took a lot less time, and they're much more enjoyable to watch than slide shows.

See also PhotoShow, which has a more developed interface and feature set but doesn't seem to do image analysis; and Muvee, which requires a download.