Posted Friday, May 14, 2004

More on Creating Photo Montage Movies

Responding to my recent tutorial on how to create a photo montage in iMovie, a couple of readers wrote to remind me of additional options. I cover both of these options in the new edition of my book, but while its ink dries and its DVDs do whatever it is freshly replicated DVDs do, here's a quick summary.

Photo to Movie. This magnificent little program from LQ Graphics automates the creation of montages. Drag a set of photos into Photo to Movie, and you can create pans and zoom, complete with transitions, titles, and soundtracks. Photo to Movie out-performs iMovie's Ken Burns effect in several ways. You can hold on part of an image partway through a pan/zoom move, and then resume. You can create keyframes that enable you to create complex camera moves -- for example, zoom in partway, pan, then zoom in some more.

And unlike iMovie, Photo to Movie provides ease-in and ease-out options: you can have the speed of your pan/zoom moves build or slow gradually, yielding a professional look. When you're done, export the results as a movie than you can bring into iMovie, Final Cut, or iDVD.

Photo to Movie costs $49.95. A free trial version is available for downloading from LQ Graphics' Web site, and is also included on my book's DVD.

Moving Pictures. This program is included with Roxio's Toast 6 Titanium, and was also created by LQ Graphics.

Moving Pictures doesn't have all of Photo to Movie's goodies -- you can't, for example, create a complex motion path across an image. But Moving Pictures shares its cousin's ability to quickly throw together great-looking montages. Drag photos in, choose and tweak pan/zoom settings, and you're done.

iLife is better with a side order of Toast, and Amazon is currently selling Toast 6 Titanium for $54.99 (after $20 rebate) -- half its list price.

Buy the book. While you're shopping, pre-order The Macintosh iLife '04, the latest edition of the original digital hub book. 288 full-color pages, plus a two-hour instructional DVD that also contains GarageBand loops, essential AppleScripts, iDVD themes, iMovie effects, and more. All for $20.99.