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If you do not have a camcorder or any other device that can capture video clips, but want to join this latest craze of making videos and uploading them to YouTube, Facebook etc, or just for your own use at home, you can create fantastic slideshows using only still photos. These slidesows can be saved as video files and used as such. You can see them in your computer, upload them to YouTube, Facebook etc, or burn them into DVDs and watch them on your TV (using a DVD player, of course). The possibilties of fun are endless. So if you are not yet in this game, dive right in.
Let me begin by saying making a beautiful and professional looking slideshow using Corel VideoStudio Pro X2 or X3 is the easiest thing to do in the field of video making. Almost everything is automated, you don't have to do anything technical. All you need to do is bring your photos into the software and make some choices from the list of options (not technical but esthetic choices). The software will do the rest. In the last step of the process, the software will ask you whether you want to save your slideshow as a video file, or burn it into DVD, or edit the slideshow further in Corel VideoStudio Editor where you can take the controls in your hand and give finishing touches to the slideshow like a real Pro. If you choose the third option, after you are done with your own editing, you will still have chance to save the finished product as a video file, or burn it into DVD, or export it to YouTube. So don't be afraid to choose the third option and show your expertise in video editing if you already have some experience in the field. But you don't have to do that. If you are not comfortable with it, let Corel do ALL the work. The yield is still a high quality slideshow. It is like driving a car. Why use manual shift when automatic cars can take you to your destination with the same amount of efficiency?
Okay, let's get started. The first thing you need to do is to touch up your photos so that they look their best. You do that in your photo editing software like Paint Shop Pro or whatever software you are using. Since you are into video editing now, I am assuming you know the basics of photo editing, because I am not going to discuss that here. If you have some experience with photo editing, consider cropping the photo to eliminate unwanted parts, straightening it (if required), adjusting brightness and contrast, adjusting hue and saturation, correcting red eyes, correcting focus etc. Most photo editing software also give you an option of One Touch Fix or something similar. If you are not experienced in photo editing you might want to take advantage of that. The above are for improving the quality of the photos. Some people like to decorate their photos by putting frames around them. I personally do not like framed photos in slideshows, but if you like them by all means go ahead and put frames on your photos before bringing them into Corel for making the slideshow.
Now open your Corel VideoStudio Pro X2. When it opens, it looks like Screenshot #1 below.
Corel opening screen. Click on Movie Wizard.
When the software opens first make sure that on the bottom part of it, there is a checkmark in the box on the left of 16:9. If not, click on the box once to put the checkmark. Now click on Movie Wizard. Movie Wizard will open. The first screen of Movie Wizard looks like Screenshot #2 below.
Corel Movie Wizard opening screen. Click on Insert Image.
On the first screen of Movie Wizard, click on Insert Image. Let me mention here, the Movie Wizard is not just for creating slideshows. Actually, you can use it to create a video movie very quickly. In that case you would most likely click on Insert Video or Capture. But since this tutorial is about creating a slideshow, we will click on Insert Image to bring our photos to the software.
When you click on Insert Image, a new window will open up showing your computer's folders and files. You have to navigate through these folders and files to locate the pictures you have chosen and prepared to use in the slideshow. (Again, I am assuming you already have this basic computing knowledge, and I am not going to go into anymore details on this.) You have to highlight each file (photo) you want to use, and then click Open. The pictures will get in the Movie Wizard's storyboard as shown in Screenshot #3. You can add one picture at a time (and click on Insert Image again to repeat the process), several pictures at a time, or all the pictures at once. The choice is yours. But if your picture files are large, I would advice not to add more than a few at a time or even just one at a time. Whichever picture is highlighted in the storyboard, will appear in the Preview window.
Four photos have been added to the storyboard.
The one that is highlighted is showing in the Preview window.
When you are done inserting all your photos for the slideshow in Movie Wizard, click Next. By the way, you can change the order of your photos in the storyboard. Just drag and drop the photos wherever you want.
When you click on Next, the next window of Movie Wizard will open. In this window, you will make a few choices of you own, and then you will be practically done. Screenshot #4 below shows what the next window looks like.
In this window, you first choose a theme template for your slideshow.
As you can see, the theme template options are all on the left side of the window. Actually there are more than your eye meets at the first glance. Click on the downward pointing menu under Theme template. A dropdown menu will show the four categories under which the theme templates are arranged (see Screenshot #4). They are Home Movie, Slideshow, HD-Home Movie, and HD-Slideshow. Click on each of these categories to see what are the options available under each. The category names are just names. You can choose Home Movie category even if you are making a Slideshow. Similarly, you can choose HD-Slideshow even if you are making a SD-Slideshow. Just see which theme template you like best. To choose, click on the thumbnail of the template, then click the Play button under the Preview window. The template along with your slideshow will play out. If you don't like the template, choose another. Do this until you really like something. If you are in a hurry for some reason, just choose anything! It will not really affect the slideshow. But people try to choose something that matches the tempo or theme of the slideshow.
Once you have chosen your theme template, you should add a beginning title and an end title for your slideshow. To do that first rewind your slideshow in the Preview window by clicking on the third button from left under the Preview window. Then click on the Play button again. When your theme template's first frame starts playing click on the Stop button. You will see the text of a generic title there. In the example shown in Screenshot #4, that text is Story Theater. Click on that generic title. Then double-click on the right side of the last letter of that title (after the 'r' of Story Theater). The cursor will start to blink which means now you can erase the existing generic title and add your own title. So Backspace all the way to erase the generic title, and then type in your own title. To make your title look fancy and unique, click on the button labeled T on the right of the Title line. This will bring up Text Properties dialogue box where you can change the font face, font size, font color etc. and also can make your text vertical or at any angle. You can also add shadow to your text here and remove animation of the title if you like. Be creative, and make a title that will catch attention of people. Don't forget to hit OK in the Text Properties dialogue box when you are done.
After taking care of the beginning title, move the jog-slider all the way to the right to see the existing generic end title of the theme template, such as End or The End. Then do the same as above to add your own end title, such as 'Thanks for watching', 'Produced by XYZ' or whatever.
The next thing to do is to add music to your slideshow. You will notice that Corel aleady has music added to your selected theme. If you do not want music, uncheck the box on the left of Background music. 99% of people like some background music in their slideshow, but may be not the music Corel has already added. No problem. Click on the button to the right of Background music line with music notation on it. This will open the Audio Options dialogue box. To add your own music from your computer, click on the button that says Add Audio in the Audio Options dialogue box. This will open up the Open Audio File window showing your computer's folders and files. Navigate through them to find the music file you want to add, highlight it by clicking on it, and then click Open. That music file will get added to your slideshow. Easy.
One last but very important thing still remains to be done on this Movie Wizard screen - that is to adjust the duration of your slideshow. To do that click on the button with the picture of a gear on the right side of the line that says Duration. That will open the Settings window. See Screenshot #5 below.
Settings window.This is where you adjust the duration of your slideshow.
You also select or deselect Smart Pan & Zoom in this window.
One important thing to do here before you adjust the duration of your slideshow. Notice on the top part of the Settings window, the box in front of Smart Pan & Zoom is already checked. That means Smart Pan & Zoom will be applied to each and every picture of your slideshow. Most people like that but I personally don't like it for two reasons: 1. Because it looks monotonous, and 2. Smart Pan & Zoom sometimes cuts off important parts of pictures which I might want to keep. I add Pan & Zoom manually in the pictures in VideoStudio Editor so I can have complete control over where I want to add it and what kind of Pan & Zoom, and where I don't want it! The choice is yours. If you want to go my way, uncheck that box and do the final editing of your slideshow in VideoStudio Editor. (Please see my Beautiful and Famous Sens slideshow to understand what I am trying to say. It is a simple slideshow I created completely by hand in VideoStudio Editor - not using the automated Movie Wizard program at all. See how attractive the slideshow looks. You will definitely want to see it till the end, and not quit in the middle, unless you are a racist!) Alternatively, keep that box checked and let Corel automatically put Pan & Zoom in every picture for you.
Now about adjusting the duration of your slideshow. Corel gives you all the choices here.
Your slideshow is actually done at this point. Now it is a question of what do you want to do with it? When you click on Next, the Movie Wizard's next window will open which looks like Screenshot #6 below.
Movie Wizard's last screen.
You are now given three choices and they are all self-explanatory.
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Copyright © 2010 Silabhadra Sen