Slideshows are like photo albums that you can use to share events, make business presentations or product introductions, or create a personal diary. Once you make a slideshow you can distribute them to friends and family, broadcast them to the world through social media, or just keep them as memories. Working to create a slideshow is a special way to bring meaning and motion to still photos.
Making a slideshow is not as hard as you might think. And it is even easier when you use the right tools. For the purpose of this article, we suggest using FilmForth which is a free video editing application designed for Windows 10 that was made to be intuitive and easy-to-use.
You will be forwarded to the download area on the Microsoft website that assures you are getting an approved version of FimlForth.
Get to work creating your new project by clicking the [ADD VIDEO/PHOTO CLIPS] box. A dialog will appear where you can name your project, choose an aspect ratio, and choose the location to store your files.
To make a good slideshow, you need to make people want to watch it. You have to consider the topic or message, how you will use the slideshow, who the audience is, and how to present it.
For an event, like a wedding, you want to follow it from beginning to end. Doing it in order makes the special day a story instead of just a jumble of frames. If you make a slideshow to introduce a new product, you want to present what it is and what it does. Think of how to grip your audience with something interesting, cute, surprising, or with impact.
Have a clear idea of who will see the slideshow. Knowing who your audience is can make all the difference in showing them the right content. Your content should be age-appropriate. It might be a little fun or maybe even silly for friends and family, but you would want to be more on point with a business presentation. Think of the tone you want to set and keep that in mind.
Let’s face it, every picture you take won’t be a winner. At times you have to take 100 shots to get a really good image. Other shots may need to be edited, cropped, or corrected in some way to make them their best. An image might be good but too dark. It might be out of focus or have motion blur. Go through your images to select only the best ones for the story you want to create. If necessary, do some adjustments to make them better.
When cropping images, keep in mind what the final size of the video will be in pixels.
For example, YouTube dimensions in HD are typically 1280 X 720 (720p) up to 1920 X 1080 (1080p). Often you can place images into your video editing program and the software will either resize for you or offer some editing options. The more professional you want the final look and feel of the video, the more you want to control the quality of the images you use.
Bringing pictures into your video is a key addition to any slideshow. Exactly how you add images varies from product to product. With FilmForth it is a snap.
You don’t have to grab all the images at once and you can add more as you go. Your video editing program may add images in a different order than you want them to appear depending on how they were named. In FilmForth, that’s no problem. You can just click on images in the timeline and drag them into the order you want them to appear.
A different layer of creativity starts when you have content in your video project. You can control how images appear in video using duration (the amount of time a slide appears for) and transitions (how one image replaces another).
You might choose to have all your images appear for the same duration, but sometimes it is good to give the viewer more time with certain slides if there is more to look at. Slides with text are a good example of elements that might stay on longer. It can add interest to have some variation in the duration of the slides.
Controlling the duration of a slide in FilmForth is easy.
As you add slides, many editing programs allow you to control how slides transition. Options for transitions often include fades or directional movements (replacing from the top, bottom, or sides).
FilmForth automatically places a transition icon between each pair of slides. This makes working with transitions easy.
Text and sound can add detail and create a mood for your slideshow. Sound can be music, sound effects, and voice-overs. You can use all three. Text is often used to label or to make points in presentations. Combining text with voice-overs ensures the viewer hears the text on the screen if they don’t read fast enough.
Background music provides a texture that can be a backdrop to the transitions between slides. FilmForth provides a library of music that you can use with your videos. Adding it is simple.
Accessing the Add Audio mode also lets you add your own audio files.
Navigate to the Add Audio screen using steps ‘a’ and ‘b’ from the steps for “Add Music from the FilmForth Library.”
When using audio, be sure it is public domain so it can legally be used with your video. Using pre-recorded music without proper permissions can be an issue especially if you are using a slide show in public venues and for a product or business promotion.
Voice overs are just another form of sound. They can emphasize text that appears in your video or provide a narrative. Voice overs are popular for use in instructional video and product introductions where text may get in the way of visuals and other messaging.
While you can record voiceovers outside FilmForth and import them like you would other audio files, FilmForth can record your voice-overs live. This is a great advantage for timing your narrative to match up with slides.
Then you are done recording, stop the recording with the [Stop] button which replaces the microphone cording. The recording will automatically be saved and inserted into the timeline.
Text is useful in a variety of ways such as labeling screenshots in an instructional video, naming places or people pictured in slides, or creative uses like thought bubbles. Adding text directly to FilmForth is also very easy.
Slide the timeline indicator over the slide where you want the text to appear during the video.
Once you have everything the way you want it, your final step is to export your video into a usable format so you can share it. You do not have to worry about your project if you are using FilmForth. The program automatically stores the source so you can edit the presentation later. Exporting creates a new file that can be used with social media or played with virtually any video player on any device.
When the export is done, you have a complete slideshow to share or present to your audience. You can now close out of the program with your source files safely stored and your video exported for use.
We think FilmForth is a great tool for those getting interested in producing their own videos. Being free and easy-to-use while offering many great options, you can enjoy making and sharing your videos and slideshows with no risk and great creative satisfaction.
Karen is a professional writer with a background in column writing who enjoys resolving complex topics and explaining them in interesting ways.