When considering the best software packages to convert your digital images into slideshow presentations it is important to choose one that will cover all your requirements whether you are a beginner or an advanced user.
As a beginner you will be looking for ease of use and the possibility to use a “wizard” – a simple menu driven option – to create impressive slideshows quickly and easily. The ability to add background music to the slideshow and even commentary recorded easily via a microphone will be essential. Once you have the basics have been mastered, the software should then to offer a range of sophisticated features and functions in order that you can get the maximum benefit from your digital images and photographs.
Images can be uploaded from digital cameras of course but it is important also to have the facility to use images that have been scanned into the PC and this feature is an absolute must when considering which package to go with. Some packages also limit the number of images that can be used in a presentation. This is not helpful when designing large presentations so ensure that you choose one that offers the option to include an unlimited number in your slideshow.
Think about how easy it will be to organise your all your images, sounds and music into the final presentation. There are packages on the market that can split presentations into smaller files or “chapters” which allows you to stay organised at all times. These chapters fit into a “timeline” which is an excellent way to lay out your presentation in much the same way as movie director will have scenes in a film script. The timeline allows the use to align all the object such as images and music against a point in time and synchronise flow of sounds and images.
Music and sounds that can be faded in and out by defining the volume with the slideshow also add a professional touch to the finished article.
One of the most important factors in creating exciting and impressive slideshows is the number of different ways in which individual “static” images can be moved around the screen to create the impression of animation on the screen. Not only a single image at time but even collages of several images! It is almost as if the photos are living! Make sure that you select a software package that enables you to take an image (or even just part of that image) and make it move through complex movement paths including rotation, zooms and camera pans. Fine tuning of these functions will produce an extremely professional-looking presentation.
A good slideshow is not just about the images but also the text to accompany the pictures. The very best slideshow packages will allow you to use a huge variety of effects on your text to make it fade in and out, fly across the screen around or even through your images, transitioning between the effects and adding many text features such as 3D. All the time you need to be able to control the timing of these effects for the most professional finish.
Once your slideshow is completed it is absolutely vital that it can be easily burned onto VCD or SVCD for playing on a PC or better still onto DVD so it can be watched on a television. If you can find a single package that does all of these things and is simple to learn and use through a series of tutorials then you will creating fantastic slideshow presentations in no time!