Orquid "Phoenix"

Orquid "Phoenix"

by ceinmart

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I got a series of shots from a wedding ceremony. I'm gonna hand the selected ones as prints to the couple, but I also wanted to create a kind of movie-"presentation", from selected pictures. My goal is to those have the photos to tell a story - when put in selected order, maybe with some ambient music background?

What I'd like to have there is a simple way to define next "frames" - when a frame could contain a single (or maybe more then 1) pictures - and transitions between them. I could probably achieve that using some simple presentation-making software (be it PowerPoint or OpenOffice.org Impress) but I was wondering if there was any other way to do that?

I'd gladly have a flash or, maybe, quicktime output from there (or maybe something playable with dvd player). Oh, and best if the software wasn't Mac-specific :)

Do you guys know anything like that?

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6 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Depending on your specific needs you could go the web-2.0/cloud-computing/program-as-a-service route. There are a number of sites that will take your images and turn them into a slideshow with music with very little work required on your part. Most of them I've seen produce mediocre results, but usually they have some type of graduated subscription plan with a free basic version you can try out before spending any money on them.

There is one site that is an exception the the mediocracy trend. While I've never used it myself, I have seen animoto.com give some truly impressive results when used to make a wedding slideshow. I was amazed when I found out it was done through a website.

I realize that you are looking for a software solution, but it might be work checking out, in any case.

* (I have no affiliation with animoto. I'm just a fan.) *

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Thanks for your anwser. I decided to give animoto a try (especially I heard some good stuff about them before) and I'm really happy with what I got. Beats writing my own script to do that, which I was about to get started :) the result I got is here animoto.com/play/ArsHsZ8IJHYgC6x8JIztYQ –  kender Oct 2 '10 at 14:41
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There are some really great shots in there, and I think the video does tie them together as a story. I'm glad it worked out so well for you. I'm sure the couple will love it! –  Sean Oct 2 '10 at 20:45
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Well... except for the non-Mac requirement, I think the answer is iMovie :)

There are a few alternatives, some free and some not:

Paid: These are probably both going to give you more control over the details, but you pay for that extra control.

Free: If you just need a simple slideshow, with basic transitions and music, these should work just fine.

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Well, yes, iMovie would be a solution if it wasn't Mac-only :) –  kender Sep 28 '10 at 12:43
    
Yeah, hopefully one of the other options will be what you're looking for. –  chills42 Sep 28 '10 at 12:55
    
+1: I've used picasa for this purpose, it works well. –  Alan Sep 28 '10 at 21:39
    
Pinnacle is just a fantastic piece of software for this. –  DJClayworth Jan 10 '11 at 20:55
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you've mentioned many solutions there and I'm sure there are more but as I see it the best way would be to either create a video file with a standard codec or a flash slideshow. The reason for this is that not every customer will have powerpoint or openoffice installed, whereas the vast majority of people will have flash and the ability to play vdieo files. Note that recent apple devices such as the iPad are unlikely to support flash anytime soon so that would push me toward video.

I've actually done exactly what you (produced a wedding photo slideshow with music) and I used a free program that's been around for a while called Virtual Dub. The only thing you need is a set of images with sequential file numbers (001,002,003 etc.) which can be done through the batch processing tools in Photoshop. There are many tutorials for how to produce your slideshow (mostly written for photographers creating timelapse movies). Here's a good tutorial to get you started (the only thing I'd add is that you might be better using the h.264 codec rather than DivX as it decodes in hardware on most modern platforms):

http://www.spacelapse.net/en/Astrophotography_Tutorials/Convert_Single_Photos_to_a_Timelapse_Movie

edit: you can lay up pages of severl images using your favourite image editor, however the above method wont let you do fancy transitions. You might be better off using flash for that, however it's not something I've done before.

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Thanks for your anwser. Just one more thing - with VirtualDub I can create a movie effect like on timelapse movies. But - how to get the transitions between single images? I was thinking about something like one pictire fading out while next one fades in... Is it doable this way, or should I prepare those "frames" myself some other way? –  kender Sep 28 '10 at 9:02
    
Virtualdub just assembles the frames, so yes you'll have to create the effects elsewhere. You can achieve simple fading in effects by scripting Photoshop / GIMP but there are probably easier ways. –  Matt Grum Sep 28 '10 at 9:20
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I highly recommend Windows Movie Maker for simple slideshows with transitions and music. It is very easy to use, and offers a lot for a free product (including a bunch of different transitions). I prefer the version before they went "Live" as it is a little less "dumbed-down". You can also easily take a Movie Maker project and use Windows DVD Maker to create a DVD with menu.

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I've seen nice things done with Soundslides. Here are some examples: http://forums.soundslides.com/viewforum.php?id=12. Flash output.

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I would recommend 4K Slideshow Maker as very simple solution for Mac, Windows and Linux. It has face detection embedded and Instagram downloading features as well. It should be perfect for wedding movie!

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that link is for a youtube downloader. Do you want to fix the link? And if you are affiliated with the software, you should disclose that fact - FAQ –  MikeW Mar 30 '13 at 8:38
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And if you're doing a wedding slideshow, what purpose do the Instagram and face detection features serve? Can you elaborate? –  MikeW Mar 30 '13 at 8:43
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protected by MikeW Mar 30 '13 at 8:38

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