Enhance your slideshows with the best software and Web services

Discover the best software and Web services to enhance your photos with multimedia presentations and share them with friends.

At the time of the silver, share photos consisted primarily to compose
beautiful album that ended on shelves gathering dust. Oldest will also
recall evenings slides. Pleasant for the host proud to show his works,
they were sometimes a nightmare for guests. Since the advent of digital
photography, things have changed. Now there are dozens of ways to share
your photographs: the Internet on their television, a digital photo
frame, or printed on all kinds of media, etc.

The good old slideshows of yesteryear have also changed significantly.
They are now multimedia and animated with sound and text. As long as we
give ourselves a little trouble, you can turn an ordinary presentation
of photos in a real short movie, with the pace, which will capture the
audience. To achieve this type of presentation, there are two
solutions: the traditional software to install on your PC or, which is
increasingly in the era of broadband connections, service on the

Choose software that does everything

In principle, slideshow software is similar to video editing software.
The purpose is also the same: create a movie that is then sent to
friends via the Internet or burn these images on a DVD to be played on
a standalone player. In fact, most video editing software is quite able
to make slideshows, simply replace the video with photos. If you have
Windows Vista or 7, the simplest solution is to use the free Windows
Live Movie Maker to download. With Windows XP, you can make slideshows
with its old version, Windows Movie Maker (the only difference is the
word Live). It is only less rich in effects and less convenient to use.

Work on your editing online

The alternative is to install a free tool that does not necessarily
stamped Microsoft. But these programs are quite rare and offer limited
solutions, sometimes volatile and often quite severe. Only Picasa 3
software for managing photos from Google stands out. It showed
simplicity and efficiency, although not as complete. For example, the
burn must be conducted with third-party software that handles the

Along with this software, it is now possible to make slide shows
directly on websites. Moreover, most sites that host photos (Flickr,
Picasaweb…), those specializing in prints online (Photoways,
Photoweb, MyPix, etc.) or even some instant messaging software (Windows
Live Messenger) offer slideshow functions.

With the democratization of high-speed sites to create slideshows are
also enriched. Their online services are now as much or more than free
software. They offer additional advantages such as web hosting to keep
your photos safe from computer failure. We may also share in the blink
of an eye its creations with his contacts at the end of the world, or
to integrate its Website or a blog…

Small flat, some services are only partly free. The free version is
generally quite limited in features, duration of use or quality (low
resolution slide, film limited to a few seconds…). To lift all these
restrictions, you have only one solution: pay!

Important points

Conversion, a necessary

For patent reasons, the MPEG-2 codec based DVD-Video format is not
free; the free slideshow software (unlike paying marketed by specialist
publishers) must encode videos in other formats: Windows Media Video,
MPEG-4, DivX, etc. To convert standard DVD-Video, one must often go
through a third party program like DVD Flick or your usual burning
software (Nero, Roxio, etc.).


Short for coder/decoder! With this software installed on, the PC allows
programs that use it to read and/or recording audio and/or video in a
particular format (MP3, DivX, MPEG-2, etc.).

Create and share a slide with Windows Live Movie Maker

Free and easy to use, the latest video editing software from Microsoft
is also suitable for creating slideshows and handles it all up burning
the DVD-Video. Is this ideal? Not quite, because this software has two
important limitations. First, it is incompatible with versions of
Windows prior to Vista. Then, it is fully functional after installing
Windows Vista or 7; you must add a pack of video codecs to give it the
ability to manage the burning to DVD-Video.

Step 1: Install a codec pack for Vista

If you have Windows Vista, download and install a codec pack. Go to http://www.techarena.in/download/cod…codec-pack.htm,
click Download "K-Lite Codec Pack". Recover then pack in its basic
version by clicking on the link and then install it on your computer.
If you have Windows 7, skip this step.

Step 2: Download and install Movie Maker

Download "Windows Live Movie Maker". Then click the file to begin
installation, but be sure to uncheck the boxes in the first dialog
boxes: they offer into changing your browser settings for the benefit
of Microsoft products and the installation of Windows Toolbar. Simply
select Movie Maker.

Step 3: Importing photos and music

1. Once installation is complete, go to "Start", "All Programs", and
finally to launch "Windows Live Movie Maker". On the "Home" tab in the
top menu, click "Add videos and photos". Select the folder containing
your images.

2. In the Movie Maker interface, they appear as thumbnails with the
left, an overview of the assembly. The location of each photo can be
changed by dragging and dropping. To see more images, go to the "View"
tab on the menu miniature sizes. Take the opportunity to choose a video
format adapted to the screen where your slideshow will be broadcast
(4/3 or 16/9). Back to the "Home" tab, click "Add music" to import a
soundtrack for your slideshow.

Step 4: Quick movie-making

If you’re in a hurry, opt for the automatic movie-making: click the
menu "AutoMovie", the software will then generate a slideshow with
transition effects and fades. It will do more than to add a title
before burning to DVD. You can also use this option to side work and
refine your slideshow by changing a few sequences manually. By default,
automatic mode, the interval between the pictures sits on the duration
of the music.

Step 5: Customize your slideshow

To change the display time of one or several selected images, go under
the "Edit" tab and choose the menu duration, time that suits you,
between 1 and 30 seconds. Any interval on the duration of photo display
reduces the duration of the sound, which then ends with a fade to avoid
a sharp cut.

Step 6: Animate your edits

1. In the "Animations" tab, you will find two types of effects. On the
left are the transition effects. They determine how your images are
sequenced: slide, fade, overlap… Select an image or a group of photos
and judge for rendering various transition effects, move your mouse
over the symbols. The preview is done automatically.

2. To apply the effect you want, simply click on it, which will
highlight (an orange border appears). If you want to remove the effect,
select "No transition" in the "Transitions" menu. To see what effects
are applied to your images, just to show the bubbles information, a
simple overview with the mouse.

3. The effects of movements are in the menu called "Pan and zoom". You
can add motion to your slideshow by creating zoom effects and movement
in the sequence of images. They can be used alone or coupled with those
of transition. Their principle use is identical to that of

4. The next tab, "Visual Effects", to add special effects to your
photos, negative effects, changing colors, etc. They apply throughout
the duration of display pictures. It would be useless to abuse if you
want us to take your shots.

Step 7: Add titles and comments

1. On the "Home" tab, you can finally add titles and captions to your
presentation. Three formats are possible. The title creates an image
containing additional text. You can put the beginning of the film or to
submit sequences or chapters. The captions will appear as text
superimposed on your pictures. Finally, the generic as its name
indicates, close your slideshow and displays such as a mark.

2. To place a legend, select the relevant thumbnail and click on the
legend. Same for the title panel text is inserted just before the
selected image. Basically it is positioned only at the end of the

3. The textual elements appear as an orange band below the thumbnails
of your photos. To move, just drag them in and click the left mouse
button. To edit the contents, double-click on it, which shows the
"Tools text" tab. It can change shape, size and font color, etc. You
can resize the text block and its position directly in the preview
window by clicking on the handles located on its periphery. The
"Effect" menu lets you animate text.

Step 8: Burn the DVD

Once satisfied with your editing, return to the "Home" tab to start
burning the DVD. In the "Share" menu, select "DVD". Movie Maker, to
save the file, launches "Creating Windows DVD" module. You can then add
a menu by selecting a theme that is proposed. When ready, insert a
blank media in your drive and click "Burn".

Design a DVD slideshow with Picasa 3

For those who have Windows XP and cannot benefit from the latest
version of Windows Live Movie Maker, Picasa 3, Google stands out as a
simple and effective tool to quickly make slideshows. Only drawback, it
does not directly burn a DVD slideshow. It will therefore, if one
wishes to make a disc for his relatives, enlist the services of some
other software. We choose DVD Flick.

Step 1: Download and install Picasa

Download the latest version of Picasa.
Install the program and run it. When you first start, it will index
your images under the file formats that you have chosen. The duration
of the operation depend on how many pictures you have in stock. Wait
until the end of the operation.

Step 2: Import your photos

In Explorer (on the left side), scroll to the folder containing the
photos you want included in your slideshow. In the main window in the
top left of the folder containing the images, click "Make Movie", which
is symbolized by the image of a piece of film.

In the window that opens down, the film presents the images you
selected, arranged in a sequence identical to that of your original
folder. To change the place of an image, called slide, simply select it
and move with the mouse while holding down the left mouse button. To
delete, right click mouse and select "Delete".

To add an image in the "Images" tab, click "More". Select the image to
import and below, click on the "Back to Movie Maker". The image is
added to your selection in the top left. Add it to your slideshow by
simply dragging and dropping.

Step 3: Add titles and captions

Once your image selection is complete, select the "Slide" tab. Here you
can add captions and menus to your presentation. Put yourself on the
slides you want to comment and type your text in the left frame. You
can modify the simple style and font color. The Style menu lets you
choose the layout of text on the image.

Alternatively, place the slide text; for example, add a generic set
your slideshow or chapters. Move to where you want your text in the
film and, quite to the left, click the "Add a new slide". As for the
captions, you can customize the font and format your text.

Step 4: Audio-visualize your slideshow

Then select the "Movie" tab. In the first menu, click "Add" to import
the audio file that will illustrate your slideshow. In the menu, three
options are available to you. If you choose to truncate the audio
track, the track will automatically cut off abruptly at the end of your
slideshow. Adjust the photos with the audio; the display time of each
slide will be automatically allocated to cover the entire duration of
the song. Finally, the last option sequence repeats your slideshow as
many times as necessary until the end of the song.

Step 5: Add transition effects

The following menu allows you to choose a transition effect. Picasa 3
does not allow the possibility of varying effects between each slide,
and the one you choose will apply to the entire sequence. Just below,
the two sliders are used to define the time that each slide will remain
displayed and the duration of the transition effect (fade two images).
These settings can be customized between each slide, unless you chose
to adjust all the audio in the previous step.

Step 6: Complete Slideshow

Before exporting your slideshow, select the menu size, the size will be
the final video sequence. The smaller sizes are intended for sharing by
e-mail or Internet, HD Ready and Full HD display on the TV screen if
you have a compatible media player with Windows Media Video. For
playback on standard DVD, it will transcode the video with DVD Flick,
the best way is to export it with the best quality possible so that the
second encoding is the least destructive possible. Click "Create a
movie" to start encoding. You get a video file in WMV format, saved in
the default directory "My Documents/My ImagesPicasaFilm". It will be
named the original folder with your photos.

Step 7: Burn with DVD Flick

1. To burn the image to a compatible DVD player, download the program DVD Flick on www.dvdflick.net. Install the program and run it.

2. In the right menu, click "Add title" and select the video file
created with Picasa. Then click "Project Setting". On the "General"
tab, type the name of your slideshow in the "Title" field. In "Target
Size", select the media of your choice, in our case 4.3 GB DVD. Under
the "Video" tab, go to "Target file" and then select "Encoding Pal
Profile: Best".

3. Finally, under the last tab, "Burning", check "Burn project to
disc". Name your DVD in the "Disc Label" field. Select your recorder if
you have more and burning speed to match its performance and that of
the medium. Click "Accept" to save your settings and close the dialog
box. Insert a blank disc into the drive and click "Create DVD". The
software first re-encodes the video into the format specific to the DVD
video disc and severe in the aftermath.

Assemble and deliver online slides with Vuvox

Many sites can directly create online slideshows and free, just like
Vuvox. This site accepts the creation of slideshows in three modes:
Express and Collage Studio. This method incorporates some features of
the first two without being fully realized. Also, in this manual, we
will develop the first two services.

Step 1: Register

On the home page, www.vuvox.com,
click the green button "Try Vuvox now". Register it by clicking on "Get
a free account" at the top of the page. Choose a username and type your
password and your e-mail. If you do not want your creations to be
public, select "Unlisted", and agree to the terms of service "I agree
to the terms of use Vuvox". Finally, click "Join now". Thereafter,
simply click on "Sign in" to identify you.

Step 2: Switch to express

To quickly put together a photo gallery, click the "Create" tab, then
select "Express". To download your photos from Picasaweb or Flickr,
click the tab corresponding to your online album to the top of the
page. In the textbox, enter the username of your account Picasaweb or
Flickr. Press "Connect".

Step 3: Choose a style

Your public albums appear in the left margin. Select one, the
thumbnails appear in the bottom of the screen and are automatically
displayed on the right side of the page. Choose the style of your
slideshow, click on a thumbnail in styles, for example "Tree". Select
one of the variations of style in the same manner. You can test and
several genres. Confirm your choice by clicking on the button "I’m
done!" And now you’ve made your slideshow.

Step 4: Share your slideshow

Want to share your creation by retrieving the web address? To do this,
click "Link". To send e-mail, click "Email". Or click on "Embed", to
get the HTML code and export your slideshow on your blog or website.

Step 5: Improve your editing

But you can go further by adding text or music. From the "Create" page,
click the yellow button "Collages", and then click "Create a new
collage". The software offers the choice between a manual and
automatic. But for now, there is no difference between the two! So
either click on the "Upload" button one or the other, then select "Add
to New collection" in "my media" and enter a title. Click "Continue"
and select files. Select photos stored on your computer.

You can also import photos from Picasaweb or Flickr by clicking on the
tabs at the bottom of the screen. Simply click on a picture in the
bottom frame for it to appear in the top frame. To delete a photo from
the space reserved for bonding, drag the bottom that shows your images.

Step 6: Insert text

Click on the letter "A" at the top right corner of the screen. In the
margin to the right are the options to choose the font, size, paragraph
justification, can add a frame (shape), the border width (border), and
finally their opacity. You can check the minutes of a police watching
the box "Click or drag to add text" that varies as and selections.

Once your choice made, drag the box where it says "Click or drag to add
text" on the selected picture, or straddling two photos. Under that
appears on your photos, select "Enter text", and then type your
comment. To reposition the text block to the desired location, click
the icon anchor entitled "Click and drag to move text box". The black
arrows are useful to put the text in the first or second place compared
to the image. A click on the little black arrow next to "More" can
bring up the color palette, select one. Click on the block to preview
the result.

Step 7: Cropping a photo

Click on the icon representing a pair of scissors on the yellow frame
of the selected image. "Cutout Tool" window offers several tools while
clipping. Select, for example, the icon "Polygon selection". Clipping
the image in the formats you want. If your first test was inconclusive,
click "Reset" and try again. Click "Invert Cut-out" to reverse the
image trimmed. Finally, click "Save". To add a comment on a specific
area of an image, click on the picture, then click the icon for
"ADD-Hot Spot".

A blue box appears, position it on the part of the image you wish to
comment and use the small gray square to adjust the size to the
selected area. Press the "+" button to display the "add details"
options. Enter in the text field, a title for this "hot spot" (enter
title hots-spots). Click on the icon "text", and then type your caption
in the textbox.

The tool also allows to add a video to associate a link to the image
area or specify a price. We chose to stop there and click "Save". Once
your slideshow is completed on each zone and appear a little commentary
+ on which the viewer can click to read the content.

Step 8: Paste-tighten the picture or not

You are again on the window "Untitled Collage". Choose the mode of
transition between two photos manually. You can stick them against each
other or separated, or varying size. Just for that, use the handles of
the yellow frame around each photo.

Step 9: Add music

Click on the icon music note at the top right of the screen. The
procedure is identical to that of downloading pictures described above.
Once the song is downloaded, go to the bottom of the screen, and in the
"Show my" menu, select "Audio". Click and drag the audio file in the
right margin of the upper part of the screen.

Step 10: Publish your creation

Click "Publish" at the top of the screen to the right. Check "Make this
Collage public" if you want this bonding can be seen by all. Otherwise,
check "Leave as Draft". Finally, click "OK". In the next window that
appears, the tool offers, as in step 4, to share your collage on
Facebook, to export to a blog or send it by e-mail to your friends.

Step 11: Find your files

On the home page, login by clicking "Sign In". Click on "Get me
started", then check the location of your pictures (Picasaweb,
Flickr…). Click on the "My Media" tab to the left of the page
Collect. In "In MyBox", you will find all your files.

Five other sites to create slides on the Web

Slide: a silver lining (www.slide.com)

The free registration is required for same access to this toolbox
rather complete. The slideshow created here may appear as a magazine or
puzzle bubbles. Style chosen, can add items (see Skins), background
color, music to dig inside the free site and legends. Only one problem,
the space reserved for entering text is small, but you can type the
text beyond the frame, blindly somehow. The full text typed appears at
dissemination of the slideshow.

Imageloop: beautiful effect styles (www.imageloop.com )

This site, which has the air of nothing, can create multiple effects.
For example, scrolling through pictures in different ways (in a cube, a
heart, collage…) or change the part where the slide appears, the
color screen and photo size. It still lacks the music and the ability
to add captions.

Fliptrack: music! (www.fliptrack.com)

Click the "Slide" tab shows the top of the homepage, register and
upload your pictures on your computer by clicking "Browse". You can
then select a subject where you want to upload photos. The choices are
not always very original or very sober. In contrast, the range of
options is complete, and can add captions, titles and even a summary,
overlay elements such as hearts or iPhone, determine the speed of the
slideshow, and finally choose a piece of music from the catalog, rather
well-stocked site or from your own computer. Finally, Fliptrack offers
a wide range of links to share slideshows: Facebook, Blogger, MySpace,

Animoto: for just 30 seconds (http://animoto.com)

On this site the free version is limited to 30 seconds for the video
created from your photos. These can be commented and complimented with
music from a catalog of Animoto or her computer. The result is ready in
two minutes flat: Photos circling on themselves, no other frills. And
in Animoto you have the grace to keep them. It’s very simple, effective
and hopping!

Kizoa (www.kizoa.com)

It is extremely easy to create slideshows with Kizoa. An assistant
explains every step approach to follow. During registration (free), the
user is given a private space and may contain email addresses of his
relatives. These will then receive an email inviting them to open an
account on Kizoa. Please understand that you can pass the address of
your slideshow without your relatives are obliged to register for

Creating a slide show takes place in seven stages. First, download your
photos stored on his computer – not more than 1 GB of data. Then you
must select the images that constitute your slideshow by dragging in
the film shown at the bottom of the screen. The tool lets you choose
the styles transitional place between two photos, one can, for example,
choose to display the next picture from top to bottom or left to right.
Freedom is also available to add effects to a photograph as one that
allows a ripple photo rendering rather convincing. However, the
animations are more kitsch. You can also add text and music.

Finally, the "Settings" tab is used to determine the display time of
each photo, transition speed and the background color slides. In short,
the tool is almost complete. We only regret that many options are to be
successful, as the possibility of using its own MP3 files or even some
effects. In addition, the free version allows just share your slideshow
on Kizoa. To save your creations on your PC or burn your movies on DVD
and have an unlimited storage space, you must subscribe to a term of
two years for a total of 39.90 euros.


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