The loss of their presence. That's the thing I miss the most since Tia and Spart passed away. I long for them to just come around the corner, or wash their faces in that signature way, or sleep curled up next to me. When they died, I knew I'd need to see them regularly to get through the worst of those first days. My solution: creating a pet memorial video for each. While having this visual reminder of a lost animal companion isn't the right solution for everyone (my husband in particular struggles with this), it has been my lifeline for getting through the grief.
If you're in need of a similar balm for your pet loss pain, I'd like to help you create something like the videos I made. The methods I outline below for producing a memorial video of your pet are kinda hacked, but they work in a pinch and are all free. As long as you're not afraid to cobble together various tech solutions, this will get you a finished photo and video slideshow you can watch when you're blue. Or if you're like me, you'll turn it into your screensaver so you can view it on and off throughout the day (tutorial on that in a future post).
The Basics of Creating a Pet Memorial Photo and Video Slideshow
Before you get started, be sure to take these initial first steps to get set up properly:
Save Your Pet Videos and Photos in a Safe Place
Having all of the digital images and movies of your pet in one place is a good idea – not only to keep them safe, but also to make it easier to organize them for a project like this. Check out my article on choosing a cloud storage option for your pet photos and videos.
Name and Order Your Media
Start by ordering all of the pictures and videos you want to use in your memorial video in the sequence you’ll use in the final production. Trust me, it’s much easier to do this now rather than once you’re working in the software. Besides, having all of your stuff named and filed away correctly will let you access it with ease later on.
I recommend naming things with the date first (yy.mm.dd or 17.02.27 for instance) and then with the pet’s name and action depicted. Here’s an example of one of my video file names: “08.04.27 Tia - jumping to open door, Cochrane”.
Ok, now you’re ready to become a pet video producer!
Design Your Pet Memorial Video with Free Online Software
Now that you have your photos and videos all organized, you’ll need to use a piece of video editing software. If you’re looking for a free way to make your slideshow, I recommend Stupeflix. Its features are very limited and you will be restricted by length, but it makes for an affordable video editing option.
Here’s how you use is to create your pet memorial video:
1.Choose a theme and set up an account
Start by clicking “Make a free video” and checking out their theme options,. Click on the one you like best and then on “Make a video”.
At this point, you’ll need to create and sign into an account – choose the best sign-in method for you.
2. Add your photos and videos
Click on the big red plus (+) sign and then select “Add Photos & Videos”.
Now you’ll tell Stupeflix where to find your photos. Navigate to the photo and video storage option you selected previously to select your media.
If you want all of the items in your folder, simply hold down “CTRL-A” on your keyboard to select all.
If you want to select only certain items, click on the first one, then click and hold CTRL on your keyboard as you select each additional item.
Click “Open” or “OK” or whatever “Next” button is available to you (depending on the location of your files).
3. Wait for your files to upload.
Note, the process of uploading your pictures and videos can take awhile. Be prepared to wait.
4. Select a soundtrack (optional) for your presentation.
Your photos and videos will now appear in a strip. From here, you can choose music for your video if you so desire. Click on “Add a Sountrack” near the top left of your screen to add your own music or something from their audio library.
I personally prefer not to have music for my videos because I use them as screensavers and want the sounds of my videos to be the feature, not the music. However, if you’re preparing a video for a pet memorial service, music would be a nice addition.
5. Reorder images and videos
If you didn't order your pictures and movies before you uploaded them, they may be out of order for how you want them to appear. If that's the case, you can reoder them. It's pretty easy, but can be time-consuming if you have a lot of stuff out of order.
To get the job done, click-and-hold on the video/photo you want to move and drag it to your chosen location.
6. Choose global transition settings
It's easy to set how long each item will display and the transition style between them for the entire presentationl. Do this by clicking on the “Project settings” gear icon in the top right of your screen to change how quickly the video will transition from one image to another. Note: Regardless of the speed you choose, the theme will not transition from a video to the next item until the video plays in its entirety. That's a GREAT feature!
7. Add text to your images, set custom display durations and transitions, and more
You can further customize how your images appear in a variety of ways. Find this menu by clicking on the arrow in the top right of an image. This will let you edit it (i.e. set a custom duration, that’s all), duplicate it, or delete it. From here you can also add a text overlay or audio or adjust the transition.
8. Preview your pet memorial creation
You can use the “Quick Preview” to take a look at your work and decide if you like it.
9. Finalize and export your video
Once you’re satisfied with all of the elements of your video, click “Produce and save your video.”
From here, you need to select the highest quality (HD 720p) by clicking “Make HD video”. Wait some more.
10. Download or publish your video
When Stupeflix is finished creating your video, you’ll want to download and/or publish it.
At the very least, be sure to download the 720p version to wherever you store all the rest of your videos and photos. You may also wish to publish it through Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Note These Free Software Downsides
As with any free software option, there are limitations! Here are a few of the more annoying ones:
- You are limited in how long each completed video is: 20 minutes max. If you want something longer, you have to create multiple separate, shorter videos and then stitch them together using another program (see below).
- The output of these videos is somewhat low quality (720p). As a result, you’ll find that some of your images will look grainy and pixelated, depending on the resolution and size of your monitor or television.
- It will be branded with the Stupeflix logo, etc. You can remove these, but it does take extra software to do so.
- If you use their audio library, you may find that your video plays longer than the song. There’s nothing to be done about this except to shorten your video.
- You are only permitted to add photos that are JPG, PNG, or GIF (no BMP, RAW, or animated GIFs) and videos that are MP4, MOV, M4V, MPG, FLV and AVI (no WMVs). You have to know how to convert these files if you have the wrong formats.
- You are also limited in the total file size you can upload: 40 MB for photos and videos with the free plans (and I cannot find a way to purchase any of the other plans). If you have more content than this limit allows, you'll need to produce several Stupeflix files separately and then stitch them together using different software (more on this below)
- The software will not reorient or rotate your photos of videos – you have to do that before you upload them. Again, this requires yet another type of software.
- Stupeflix will only store your video on their servers for 2 months – if you want to edit your video after that, you’ll need to find another way.
If you need additional help creating and sharing your video, check out their Support Articles.
Stitch Multiple Files Together into One Coherent Pet Memorial Presentation
If you’re like me and a 20 minute video just isn’t long enough to tell the story of your animal companion’s life, then you’ll need to find a way to stitch several videos together. For me, this meant creating three separate Stupeflix videos and then working with MovieMaker (a piece of software that most Windows pcs come loaded with automatically) to combine them all into one video.
Below are some quick instructions on how to do this, but if you have a Mac, you can use iMovie – instructions for that here (by the way, one of the reasons I do not recommend using iMovie to make your entire pet memorial video is because I just don’t like the themes they offer. Sorry!)
1. Load your videos from Stupeflix
Start by clicking on the “Add videos and photos” button on the top left of the program.
Then navigate to where you saved your Stupeflix video file. Note: If you didn’t change the file name after downloading it from Stupeflix, it will be named something like “MyStupeflixVideo-720p”.
2. Clip the Stupeflix branding out of the video.
Do this by watching the video and noting where the “Stupeflix” black screen comes up. Use the long black progress line to select the last point in your video before Stupeflix shows up.
Right click on that progress line and click “Set end point” and presto! The end of the video with that annoying branding will be gone. You’ll need to repeat this for each of the videos you add to Movie Maker.
3. Add your next video.
Be sure that the progress line is at the very end of your video.
Then click on the “Add videos and photos” button again to select your Stupeflix video file.
4. Save your video.
First, you’ll want to save your file by clicking on the top left dropdown menu and clicking “Save project”. This will create a Movie Maker file format that you can open and edit again in the future.
Second, you’ll want to save the file in a format that you can use elsewhere – such as in mp4 format, which you can upload to YouTube or Facebook, or use as a screensaver. I recommend choosing the “Save move > For computer” option and using the settings to save an mp4 file.
5. You’re done!
Want to see an example of the finished product created using these tools? Check out my first pet memorial video created for Tia. You’ll notice that indeed, the quality is rather poor. While some of the pictures were taken with old film cameras over 20 years ago and are understandably blurry, even the images that are digital and clear are somewhat grainy. But that’s what you get with free software! I have loved this video a lot for keeping images of my girl alive in my world.
Have Us Create a Professional Pet Memorial Slideshow For You
Not a DIYer? No technical expertise? Let us do the heavy lifting! I've got an easier way to get a pet memorial video for yourself - let me use my pro tools to make a more polished video that will require much less of your time. Just send me your images and videos and I'll create a high-resolution, professional and beautiful video.
- Choose from a variety of themes
- Add text at the beginning of the video
You won’t have to worry about rotating videos, editing files, or using video production software. Just answer a few questions, upload your media, and we’ll take it from there.
Main image: StockSnap.io - Daniel Frank
Affiliate Disclosure: There may be affiliate links on this page which help to pay for Tiny Pet Memories. If you make a purchase through a link I provide, thank you because it may allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I am not paid to promote specific products. Any opinions I express are strictly my own.