How can I create a professional slideshow in just a few minutes?

1 Start by selecting your photos

Do you have hundreds of photos and always wanted to create interactive albums to share with family or friends?

Nothing could be easier! Take a few minutes and read the following tips to retouch, add a title or a voice-over or even “dolly” moves to your best photos. Now you can transform those photo files into truly professional slideshows.

We have chosen to use the Pinnacle Studio Plus software to make this user’s guide. This application lets you make slideshows using photos from your digital camera or scanner. Images can also be copied from your digital camera’s memory card to a folder on your PC's hard drive.

2 Import and place the photos

Import and place the photos

Under the Edit tab, click on the Camera button of the trim bin to import the photos. Access your files with the Folder button. Go into the image folder, select a photo and click Open to install your entire folder in the trim bin. Drag-and-drop one of the images on to the editor.

The default duration of each photo is 4 seconds but can be made longer or shorter by dragging the thumbnail that you have placed on the editor.

3 Re-touch your photos

Re-touch your photos

Double-click the photo’s thumbnail to see the toolbox and use the rotation buttons to make sure it is correctly oriented. The red-eye correction tool is found in the same dialogue box. Click on the corresponding button and put the cursor in the viewer of the dialogue box in the area that needs to be corrected and click.

You can also enlarge or reduce the image size with the zoom slider. Use the filters to correct color, brightness and contrast by clicking on the “Add effect to clip” button. In Category, choose “Color effects, then “Color correction”.

Select and adjust brightness, contrast and color saturation gradually using the sliders.

Color correction

Question: Is it possible to capture images from videos?
Answer: Yes, by using the Image capture function from the video toolbox to capture a still picture from a camcorder or editor.

4 Create special effects

Photos can be retouched with the effects filters in the Pinnacle Studio Plus libraries. These filters are grouped together in the toolbox, under the “Filters” button and most of them can be personalized and combined.

Create special effects

For example, if color correction has already been done, click on the "Add a new effect” button to access the library. Selecting an effect adds it to the list of effects that have already been applied. Use the controls to adapt it to your image.

5 Animate using pans and zooms

By definition, photos are still images. Use the “Zoom” and “Move Image” tools to give life and movement to your slideshow. This way you can create a kind of “dolly shot” that animates your photo. This “dolly shot” can be applied to several consecutive photos to give your slideshow a video look.

Animate using pans and zooms

The “Zoom” tool and the “Move image” functions that open by double-clicking on the thumbnail of the photo allow you to pan over the photo. The beginning and the end of the animation must be chosen and the degree of enlargement and the position of the image at the start and at the finish must be set.

6 Add transitions between your photos for a livelier show

Pinnacle Studio Plus offers a large variety of the main types of video transitions. Place some photos on the editor. Take, for example, the “Center to outside wipe” transition from the “Standard transitions” list and drag it between 2 photos.

The default length is 2 seconds, but this can be changed by dragging the thumbnail. Preview the result with the playback button. Each transition can be reversed by double clicking on it to open its settings and check Reverse.

Add transitions between your photos for a livelier show

Question: Is it possible to change the default duration of photos?
Answer: Yes. This is done by simply putting the cursor on the right edge of the selected photo and dragging it to the right.


Create image within an image effects (insetting a photo into another photo)

Put a photo on the edit track. Double click on it to open the toolbox and activate the superimpose button. You can move and scale it by pulling the handles that surround it, re-frame it or create a border and a shadow. It will appear superimposed on the image on the track above it. The superimposed image can also be animated with zooms and pans.

Picture in picture

Question: Can a slideshow contain as many photos as I want?
Answer: Of course, but be careful not to make it too long and boring for the viewer. It is better to divide the photos into several slideshows, each with a theme and not lasting more than twelve minutes.

8 Add titles or text pages

Double click on the “T” track, to go directly to the Studio Plus titler. Use it to make pages of text that can be set into a photo from the “T” track. These pages can be used separately by placing them directly on the same track as the photos with your choice of colored background.

Text pages can be added or superimposed anywhere in the slideshow.

Add titles or text pages

9 Use pro techniques: background music & a voice over

2 audio tracks are available: voice-over and music.

The mixing board is used to adjust the volume of each track separately. Several preset audio filters are available in the audio toolbox. Liven up your slideshow by adding a voice-over. To do this, click on the outside right of the toolbox and then on the microphone icon.

Pro tip: Prepare the voice-over in advance, learn it by heart or read it so that it sounds convincing and avoids hesitation.

Use pro techniques: background music & a voice over

Question: How is a sound track volume adjusted?
Answer: You can mix sound directly on the editor by placing key points on the volume line of the audio thumbnail or by using the mixing board fader.

10 Menus, chapters and publishing

The editing interface is used to directly place the menus and chapters in your slideshow. A library of pre-set menus is available for you to configure to your own needs. You can also create custom made menus with the titler. Chaptering can be done automatically or manually. Then you just have to create the disk by clicking on the tab Make Film.

Menus, chapters and publishing

Did you know?

Studio Plus has a virtual assistant to help you make slideshows or videos.

Select the images, photos or videos that you want to use for your project and put them on the editor. Correct them if necessary and then launch the Create SmartMovie function in the Toolbox menu.

The virtual assistant asks you what kind of edit you want to make, if the images are to appear in the order you have established or in random order, to enter the titles and finally to choose the music.

In fact, SmartMovie will compose your presentation using the chosen style and the rhythm of the music. Different effects can be obtained by using different rhythms. These settings will enable it to add transitions and manage title pages.

All you have to do is view, save, retouch or start over.

This tutorial was made using the Pinnacle Studio Plus photo and video editing software.

This tutorial was designed to teach you how to easily create professional looking family slideshows! Go for it... All you need is a few minutes if you follow our advice on using the Pinnacle Studio Plus software.

Transfer all your photos from your digital camera to your PC’s hard drive via the USB port or by scanning your older prints. Improve them by retouching the colors, brightness, contrast or removing red-eye. Then you can add titles, voice-overs, background music, special effects, or even zooms and dolly moves to create professional slideshows with just a few mouse clicks! Now all you have to do to share your favorite memories with family and friends is to store your masterpiece on a hard drive or burn it to a CD or DVD.

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