Last night I refocused some of my ADD into working with the images I scanned in New York. Because I scanned them at such a high resolution, I wanted to know if I need to reduce the image size or change the file format to work with the program I’ve got (iMovie 5.1). Doing a little reading, I found some advice online that scared me away from using iMovie to do the photo montage work altogether. Apparently when still images are exported to DVD from iMovie, the program throws out every other line of resolution so that the images show up onscreen without flicker. This obviously tosses half the image quality of the photo, which is less than optimal. I was also impressed but not excited about the photo manipulation tools in iMovie, so I followed some other advice and found two applications that look promising: Still Life and Photo to Movie.
Still Life is a nice little application, set up like a Quicktime window with a little timeline below. You can add “shots”, essentially keyframes for pans and zooms, and add in fades. It also allows for the layering of music tracks, although I haven’t fooled with this at all.
Photo To Movie is a step above Still Life; It opens up with a timeline view at the bottom and features adjustable panning and zooming, something iMovie and Still Life lack. It also has an adjustable background color, something I couldn’t find in Still Life—which makes using scanned photos much easier. Best of all, it took about 3 minutes to be up and running in this application. In a half-hour, I had four photos positioned, panned and scanned, titled (no small feat with multiple subjects in each picture) and ready to go. I’m most likely going to spend the $50 on the full featured version of this program after a DVD test later next week—I’m putting Photo To Movie up against iMovie in a head-to-head duel.