Adding Panache to Photo Slideshows

Adding Panache to Photo Slideshows

No need to baffle anyone with BS when you can dazzle them with style. Make an otherwise humdrum slideshow sing? Oh yeah.

 

We all know iPhoto can do amazing things with your pictures. But while Apple’s been improving the rest of the app by leaps and bounds, the really useful Slideshow feature has been all but forgotten. So if you want something more dynamic than that whole Ken Burns effect, you may want to look elsewhere to create an animated, sound-driven presentation of your photos.

 

“What good are slideshows, anyway?” you may be wondering. One great use is as an opening credits sequence for your iMovie. Include your cast members’ names, and then at the end of this workflow, export your slideshow into an exisiting iMovie project. Slick.

 

What You Need (Level: Easy)

 

>> PulpMotion ($45, www.pulpmotion.com)
>> Images and/or video clips
>> A song for the soundtrack

 

1. Choose Your Pics and Soundtrack

 

PulpMotion recognizes libraries from other iApps, such as the photo albums from iPhoto.

 

When you fire up PulpMotion, you’ll notice that it looks like it could be a member of the iLife family (or at least a first cousin). And like iMovie, it lets you use media assets from the other iLife apps. This is extremely convenient because you can leverage the organizing and naming from other applications. It also means no importing, which usually leaves duplicate files on your hard drive.

 

You can spice up your slideshow with live and recorded video, but things can get pretty busy quickly if you’re using one of the animated themes. So for now, let’s stick with photos. Select an existing photo album by clicking on the iPhoto icon on the right side of the app window. Once you have the photos you want, you can drag and drop them into the numbered slots in the timeline at the bottom. Your photos will play back in the order in which they appear in the timeline.

 

The first slot in the timeline contains a musical note—drop your soundtrack here. Pick something to set the right mood for your slideshow. But avoid using a song you purchased from the iTunes Store because it might have DRM (iTunes Plus tracks are OK). PulpMotion won’t export an audio track if it’s protected, so we grabbed a track we created in GarageBand.

 

2. Choose Your Theme

 

Select a theme from the menu that runs along the top of the app window. We picked Dear Mom.

 

Once you have enough photos and the right soundtrack for your slideshow, it’s time to choose a theme. Themes are prebuilt animated templates that take care of all the motion graphics and placement for all your photos. Apply a theme simply by clicking it. At this point, all you really have to do is adjust your timing. You can preview your work in full screen or in the staging area by clicking one of the two preview options. And if none of the available themes are to your liking, feel free to either download some more from the Web or from PulpMotion’s site.

 

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