Creating a video slideshow from photos is easy. Import your image collection into Photo Story (or Windows Movie Maker), choose a music track to play alongside the slideshow and render. Photo Story can even add that famous Ken Burns Effect that you may seen in some documentary videos on the History Channel.
The other alternative is to use a web application like Animoto that creates impressive MTV style videos in seconds. All it requires is a web browser and, unlike Photo Story that works only with local pictures, Animoto can even pull images directly from Flickr, Facebook, and other online photo sites.
The Problem with Photo Slideshow Software
While creating slideshows from scratch is simple, things get complex when you need to edit an existing photos slideshow. For instance, it might take lot of effort if you need to make small edits like changing the transition from fade to dissolve or replacing a couple of pictures with another set and so on.
Enter Stupeflix – it’s an online service that makes the task of creating and editing photo slideshows almost as simple as writing a basic HTML web page.
To get started, first upload all the images to Stupeflix and then add text captions (optional). Click generate and your slideshow video is ready for download in QuickTime MP4 format.
The interesting part is that Stupeflix, in addition to rendering the video, also creates a text file that describes every single part of your Slideshow so if there’s anything that you need to change later in the Slideshow, simply edit this text file and re-render the video. Here’s an example:
Before: <image filename="labnol.jpg" duration="10.0" effect="kenburns" /> After: <image filename="labnol.jpg" duration="5.0" effect="explode" /> <image filename = "blue.jpg"> <transition type="crossfade" duration="1.0"/> </image>
The initial version of the slideshow had the Ken Burns effect applied to an image with a duration of 10 seconds. With a simple edit, I could change the duration and also replaced Ken Burns with a new “explode” effect.
Not just that, it’s also possible to add new media files into the slideshow from the text file itself as I have done in the case of blue.jpg image.
The default web interface of Stupeflix won’t let you upload non-image formats but you can hack the XML file and insert a video file in your photo slideshow as in the following example:
<effect type="explode" duration="10"> <video filename="http://example.com/wedding.mov"> <filter type="alpha" duration="5"/> </video> </effect>
To learn more about these slideshow tags, check their Dev Center.