Wednesday, May 31, 2006

SlideShow Software Review

Perhaps you have lots of funny or memorial photos, and would like a make a flash slideshow. However, you know nothing about flash, xml, JavaScript. So what? Well, don't waste your time and effort trying to master it from now on, unless you have enough time, money and patience. Searching in GOOGLE, you will find bundles of easy-to-use, nice and inexpensive tools for non-experts, like you and me!
Yep, I say, bundles of tools. So, what to look for in slideshow software?

1. Ease of Use.

The slideshow software should be easy to master. WYSIWYG interface is most important. Do remember, we’re not experts in Flash. Our purpose is to make a slideshow as easily as possible.

2. Features.

Transition effect is something attracting users most. Therefore, a large number of transitions are necessary, which make your slideshows more attractive. And software should have existing library, which means preset photos, music, background pictures, template, clipart, etc. are included. The software should also allow users to drag and drop photos from outside source, and control the duration. It’s better if the program allows editing the photos to suit your slideshow, importing music or adding narration. Last but not least, the ability to preview before publishing.

3. Output Format.

Basically, the slideshow can be published as SWF format. Some software provides publishing as exe, html, screensaver or online album as well.

4. Support.

Good software manufacturers should at least provide tutorials or manual that guides a user how to create a slideshow step by step. FAQ is needed, too. That brings convenience on only to users, but also to the manufacturer. Of course, if possible, we also need phone, fax or online support.

Click here to have a look at the review of 4 similar software: FlashSlider, Amara Flash SlideShow Builder, SWF’n Slide, Wondershare Flash SlideShow Builder. There’s no rating for each program, for in my opinion, it’ll be 5-star software if it exactly meets your needs.

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How to create your menu template (6)

First, choose your favorite picture as the menu template. You can select one from Template List section. There are many sorts you can select.

However, if you still don’t think they satisfy your require, it also allows you to make your own wonderful templates. In the Background Area section, click Image to choose the beautiful picture from your local driver as your background area. Then, you can begin to edit your template. You will find it’s easy to add or edit the Frame, button, and background music. When you want to create new a template based on the original template, you only copy the template and decorate it as you like.

After that, add Text or Clip to your new template, I’m sure it will become a classic in a few seconds.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Make a slideshow with 3:4 pictures

Because of the limitation of third-party plug-in, most slideshow making software only allow to insert 4:3 pictures, otherwise, it won’t look so nice. Well, don’t worry, here’s a step by step tutorial helping to do that.

Step 1: Begin with Theme -> Customize, and set a 3:4 scene size of theme.

Step 2: Set Template with empty frame. Then drag the width and height at the same place. For example:

Step 3: Export and back to Theme. Select the one made just now.

Step 4: Start to make a slideshow. 1) Browse. Click the folder where your photos are stored, and then add them to the story line. 2) Apply transition effects to photos. 3) Publish.

BTW, in this way, you can also create a slideshow with other scale photos. Regards!

Related tutorial: How to make a slideshow theme:

Christmas photo presents
How to make homemade video

Monday, May 22, 2006

How to create a video slideshow(5)

Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder supports video formats like AVI, MPEG, WMV and RM. Click the New button and select New video slideshow, then choose your favorite videos burnt. Repeat the above steps if you want to add more video slideshows. If you want to rename a slideshow, you can select the slideshow first, click on its name and you will be allowed to change the name.

After then, edit the videos as follows:
1.Select the video file you want to edit, then the right part appears videos settings. In the Basic Information section, you can see the Width, Height, Total length and Frames per second information of the select video file.

2.In the Effect Settingssection, you can adjust the brightness and the contrast of the video file by either dragging the adjusting bar or set the values.

3.In the Control section, you can use the control bar to do the following:
There are two bars as you can see from the above figure. They are capture bars that are used to capture a part of the video file as the current video slideshow. Drag the bar on the left to set the beginning of the video file to be captured and drag the bar on the right to set the end of it. You can see the Begin Time and the End Time under the control buttons.

4.Click the Camera Logo to set the current frame as the thumbnail image of the current video slideshow.

5.If you want to keep the original sound of the video, click Keep Original Sound. Or don't check this option, you can add your own audio file to the video file by click the Add button. You can also delete, Edit, and Play the selected audio file, and apply Fade in and Fade out effect to it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Creat a slideshow theme

I think some of you may have used Wondershare Flash SlideShow Builder. The software includes quite a lot of templates, which are nice and easy for beginner to use. But, are you interested in making your own style one?

Step 1: Use Theme Designer of the software. Start with opening Movie, then template, and ending movie last.

Step 2: Background mode. Choose the background mode – color or picture, that’s up to you! But color is a little humdrum. Usually, the opening movie should be attractive. So, in my opinion, it’s better to choose picture background mode. You can use the inside pictures (800*600), and of course, your own pictures (support bmp, jpg, jpeg file) are allowed.

Step 3: Clipart. There are eight sorts of clipart – Animal, Daily, Environment, Festival, Human, Text, Work and Other. More than 300 clipart can be chosen from. What I want to mention is that all the clipart are made with swf file. It means you could view the butterfly flying, the stars winking, etc.

Step 4: Text. Write down your presentation of the theme or the slideshow. Choose your fond font, size and color, and then drag it wherever you want. BTW, don’t forget to pick a text effect. For example, Fade, Zoom, Flying and so on.

Step 5: Template – photo frame. Select a photo frame or just let it empty. You can also drag the frame and scale it. Then set width, height, font, color, size of description text.

Step 6: Preview, Save and Export. After doing that all, you can click Preview to get a look at your artwork first. Then save it for further modification. The last step is to export it as a slideshow theme, so that it can be used again and again.

All is finished. Do you enjoy the process? Last but not least, enjoy yourself!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Toner = Airbrush on Soft Light Mode Layer

Step One: Create a blank layer above the Background. Set the blank layer's blending mode to Soft Light.

Step Two: Grab a Soft Round 65 Airbrush with the tools top Options Opacity and Pressure set to 100%. Use the numeric keypad to vary the Opacity percentage, if using a mouse. If using a Wacom Pen, set the Other Dynamics to Pen Pressure. Sample a lighter shade from the existing hair by [Mac: Option click on hair], [PC: Alt left click on hair] to sample the color, which will set the foreground color. With the Soft Light layer highlighted, start painting the dark roots in the image window.