Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Making Photo Movies

I had some free time the last few days so I decided to turn some of my photo collections into movies.  Clients, heck EVERYBODY, love these photo movies.  I’ve done them before using a few different kinds of software and services. 

I am a complete Mac-a-holic, so of course I had to try iMovie.  iMovie is cheap.  The newer version doesn’t seem quite as intuitive as earlier versions, however.  And after doing a few, they all seem to look the same.  Still, I was fond of the output.  You can do basic linear editing, add a music track, and include narration. 

Pummelvision was a way of creating very fast-paced short photo videos in a snap.  Sadly, they are no longer around.  I was smart enough to save one video I did with them and upload to You Tube.

A quick check of the web will show many other so called “Animoto Killers.”  One that I'm going to play with is ProShow Web.  I see it can directly take photos off of Flickr, Zenfolio, Instagram, Dropbox, and Facebook, etc…  What's the catch?  The free version limits you to 15 photos and produces a low resolution video.  There are a lot of style choices here.  But if you want to include more photos and high resolution, you have to pay.  UPDATE:  Since I published this blog, the folks from photodex.com who make ProShow upgraded me to a "premium" account so I could make a longer movie.  Without any instruction, I was able to pull in photos from an album I had on Flickr, made a few adjustments including syncing the music to the photos, and out popped a photo video.  It was pretty fast.  

Animoto is another service that many photographers love.  Hey, it’s quick, that’s for sure.  But if you want ANY additional services, like royalty free music and more style options, you will pay and it isn’t cheap.  This version produces videos that are 360p, which is not high definition!  I use the educational version of this online program, which is free.  So for free, I won’t complain.  I just want more options!

Here are three Animoto videos I recently produced.  The key benefit?  SPEED.  I did these videos in about ten minutes, from exporting photo from Lightroom to Animoto.

I created my latest photo video with a program called FotoMagico.  After watching a video tutorial, I was set to work on my first video.  It seems a bit more powerful than iMovie.  I like having an output that shows high definition photos.  With Animoto, for instance, you will pay for high definition output.  There are a ton of royalty-free and FREE musical beds for your video.  And, as a former radio broadcaster, I like narrating my videos too.  A feature FotoMagico has is the ability to narrate while your slide show is rolling.  If you make a mistake, stop, and delete that narration track and start over again.  You can also stack photos in interesting ways.  Go to their website and see some other examples. 

More of my photo videos are at http://jamesgordonpatterson.com/photovideos.html

Next up for me is my first photo book with Blurb.  Some nice features include being able to get an ISBN number and sell on Amazon!  Also, you can work directly through Lightroom to Blurb or use their software.  Their software is a bit more powerful, so I’m going to use that. 

Until My Next Adventure, 

See You On Down The Road!

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