Those were interesting times, but I’m altogether glad that Kodachrome and Kodak slideshows are mostly history.
All we Mac users need to create a decent slideshow of photos is iPhoto. That is, if you don’t mind boring the pants off anyone who watches the slideshow. iPhoto just doesn’t do much beyond the Ken Burns effect. How do the professionals create classy slideshows with moving text, motion images, and even a matching soundtrack?
This funny named app is the best way I’ve found to create professional level photo slideshows from static digital photos. It’s called FotoMagico. Think of this as Final Cut Pro for photographers. Photos are dropped onto a timeline, and each element can have separate duration, transitions, and effects, including zoom in and out, panning left or right, up or down, even photo rotations.
This is the basic interface with dual photo windows (for text animation and photo motion), and the timeline.
Unlike iPhoto or iMovie, FotoMagic gives you more granular controls over slides, movie clips, audio, and color. You’ve seen text moving onscreen in a TV commercial, right? That’s actually easy in FotoMagico.
FotoMagico applies similar movement to video clips dropped into the timeline. Yes, that’s right. Video clips.
Got a 1080p video clip? Drop it into your 1080p photo slideshow. Photo clips and video clips can be moved on the timeline with simple handles to match a specific spot on the audio timeline (would like to see audio scrubbing, though). If you want, FotoMagico even lets you narrate the slideshow live using the Mac’s built-in Mic or any sound source.
All of these professional level features are possible through multiple transparent layers which can hold photos, text, graphics, and videos. FotoMagico is smart enough to understand chapters and lets you create templates to be used with other photos. Finished slideshows can be shared direct to YouTube or Vimeo, and processed for DVD, QuickTime movie, iPhone or iPad, or as a standalone player.
The completed video quality has improved dramatically in recent years. My only other complaint has to do with the upgrade pricing. FotoMagico is better than ever, and rock solid dependable, but I miss audio scrubbing which is necessary to time audio and photos.