Monday, April 16, 2007

How to Create Your Memorable Photo Slideshow

A photo slideshow should be an artwork of your memories and emotions which can be captured in a photograph. But it is a great challenge to create an effective and memorable slideshow. To make slideshow awesome, you should make it to be appropriate for the setting; the elements in the slideshow should be coherent to each other and fitting to theme. Below are the four parts of creating your memorable photos slideshow which may help you a lot. They are choose the proper slideshow software, collect the photos and videos, make photo slideshow with special effect and choose the way to share photo slideshow.

Choose the proper slideshow software
The first thing you need is slideshow software. Be sure to pick one that gives you a lot of flexibility. People will be fussy about what it looks like, and so should you when creating your own! There are many free programs that can help you get the job done. If you're using a Mac, you can produce slide shows with iPhoto, which comes free with all Macs sold in the past few years. If you have a legal version of windows XP, you can get a free program, Microsoft Photo Story 3 for Windows XP. Photo Story makes it easy to add special effects such as transitions, panning and sounds. And Picasa is also free software download from Google that helps you organize all the photos on your computer; edit your photos with a few simple clicks and share your photos with others through email, prints and on the web.

If you want to get some more professional results, you’d better to buy the powerful software. It is hard to find the proper one from so many similar programs. ProShow Gold is a great choice. Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder is also one that is very good. Wondershare apparently has more options as far as implementing video, while ProShow is more focused on photos. Both are capable of photo and video, however. ProShow also enables you to host your videos online through them for free, and Wondershare provides many different options for format such as MP4 for iPod, WMV for Zune, AVI for youtube, etc. ProShow Gold runs at around 70 USD, where as Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder costs 50 USD. Check out their websites for more information on both, but I recommend Wondershare and I use it for my work. Besides the most popular software above, there are also some other ones, such as Ulead CD & DVD Pictureshow, MemoriesOnTV, Arcsoft DVD Slideshow, etc. They are all good at some aspects and better than most of the similar software.

Collect the photos and videos
Then you need to collect photos and videos that are of much importance for the photo slideshow. And the collecting step varies from slideshow to slideshow, depending on who you do the slideshow for. If you do it for you or your family, you should pull out of all the photos and videos that mean something to every family member. You should make everyone to share their photos and videos. If you also do it for someone outside the family, you need to get photos and videos from them. It is easy if they only give you the photos and videos they want to be in the slideshow.
If not, you have to go through the photos and videos they give and pick out the ones you think that are of much meaning for them.

Once you have all of the photos and videos, you will need to put them in order. Chronological order is a great way to organize family photos. If you do the slideshow for someone else, asking them who know what order will be most effective to help you with the order will be a wise choice. If the slideshow is acting as your portfolio, it is better to group the photos and videos both by subject and by quality. The same rule applies to photos and videos as it does to writing: finish with your strongest. So put what you consider your weakest set first, and finish with the strongest set. The end is what people remember the best.

Make photo slideshow with special effect
Next, you can perfect the photos and videos by editing them with various special effects. You can use kinds of frames, masks and clipart to make photos more attractive, add text to give the photos some funny descriptions and edit the photos with pan/zoom effect, etc. You can use the video edit function to trim the video, add the caption and frame to the video, and change the original audio with your favorite music, etc. Once you have your photos and videos in place with great effects, you are on to the step which is transition effect and video effect. You can easily to add the pre-designed effect such as zoom and rotation to the video or just customize video effect at ease. You should remember that transitions should be simple, smooth, and quick. Anything else will be distracting and is at high risk of appearing tacky.

Music is the next step. It will never be too more to emphasize the importance of the music in a slideshow. You should make sure that the music does not take away from the slideshow, but complement it. For example, if your grandparents asked you to make a slideshow, would you put the Hip-Pop music in it? No, you wouldn’t. It will be better to make a piano playing in the background of a slideshow. Soft music is a must for the family memory. If you make slideshows for some triumphant party, the inspiring music will be better. I’m not a big music listener, so ask someone else if you can’t find the right music. After you choose the proper music, you have to edit it such as cropping it to sync with slideshows, making sound effect such as fade in/fade out, etc.

Choose the way to share photo slideshow
The last step is creating a final product. With most programs, you have several options to choose from. You could make a DVD to play on TV. If you do this, you have to make DVD menu which you can make easily from various attractive pre-designed DVD menu templates or just customize your own one. You could make videos in different format such as MP4, WMV, 3GP, which are ideal for the popular mobile devices such iPod, Zune, 3GP cell phone. Then you can enjoy the slideshows on the go. Also, you could make videos in WMV, AVI format which you can upload to youtube and other online share sites. It is a great option for that you can access it from wherever you present and share it with the friends all over the world. Which option you choose? It’s up to you and your needs.

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