HOW-TO: Make a DVD Slide Show (Part 1)
A Heartwarming Film: "Dan in Real Life"

HOW-TO: Make a DVD Slide Show (Part 2)


In my first post we learned about how to size pictures targeted for a DVD slide show.  Now we turn to actually creating the sectional slide show videos.  In the past I had done this by creating a slide show using Microsoft Power Point and then recording the presentation using Camtasia Studio.  While this worked, recording the show was usually a pretty computationally intensive operation which limited my ability to record transitions between slides or any on screen animations because it would show up choppy.  Another problem was putting the slides to music.  Power Point doesn't always playback the slides and music at precisely the same speed, and so sometimes songs would end too early (leaving silence in the show) and sometimes the show would go too fast (cutting the song off abruptly).  When the evening would arrive for me to present my show, I would always hold my breath to see how it would turn out that day.

This time, I decided to skip the Power Point stage and went straight to Camtasia Studio.  Camtasia is a $300 piece of software that does screen recordings, video editing, and video production (I'm all about free 30-day trials!).  When creating a video, you can use several different media sources:  videos, pictures, music, and screen recordings.  I found that since I was going to be using hundreds of pictures, Camtasia didn't scale well when dealing with that many different "clips".  So I decided to produce each section of the show as distinct video projects and then have one master video project in the end which would be a composite of the smaller videos.  Lets take a look at Camtasia's main workspace view for one of the slide show sectional projects (on all screenshots, if you click on them twice, you can see them in their full size).

At the bottom of the screen is the video timeline and all the tracks that currently make up the video.  You can see each picture in the video at the bottom and can even see the transitions that I placed between each of the photos.  The middle of the screen is your clip bin from which you can add additional videos, music, and pictures.  From the left menu there are links for importing more media to your clip bin and inserting transitions between your slides.  Be sure to set up your default options before importing all your pictures.  In particular, I set the images to default to 3 seconds and the transitions to 1 second.  You can always right click on a given picture and change its length manually.

Once you've setup your default options, your set to import all your photos into your clip bin and then simply drag them onto the timeline.  By default, there are no transitions between slides.  Click the Transitions link and you'll come to a screen with an assortment of transitions to use.  I used at least a Fade transition for all of the slides and mixed in some of the others throughout the video.  Simply drag the different transitions between the photo clips.  You can also preview each transition in the right video pane by simply clicking on one of the transitions.

We now have one section of the slide show ready to produce...but there's no music yet!  And what's a DVD slide show without music?  Stay tuned for Part 3 when we look at adding music to the mix.


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