There are many different ways to share photos with family and friends, from handing out prints to creating albums on Facebook. But if you want to inject some life into your latest holiday snaps, why not turn them into a photo slideshow that people can watch on a DVD player?
With Windows Live Movie Maker and your PC’s DVD burner, your Advent PC has everything you need to create your own photo slideshows. The only extras required are the photos and a blank DVD to capture the finished results.
As well as letting you burn a basic slideshow, Windows Live Movie Maker also has functions to add captions, special effects and a soundtrack. There’s even an Automovie option, which lets Windows Live Movie Maker do all the hard work for you. But where’s the fun in that? Read on to find out how easy it is to make your own personalised slideshow.
1. Start your project
Windows Live Movie Maker is already installed on your Advent PC. To open it, click ‘Start’ followed by All Programs > Windows Live > Windows Live Movie Maker. Now click inside the box marked ‘Click Here to Browse for Videos and Photos’, to open the Add Video or Photos dialogue box.
2. Get pictures
Browse the folder containing your photos. Either press [Ctrl] + [A] to select all photos in the folder, or hold the [Ctrl] key as you click on each photo you want to add – you’ll see each one highlighted, so you know it’s selected. When you’ve finished, click ‘Open’ to add them to your slideshow. Use the ‘Add Videos and Photos’ button to add more pictures.
3. Change the order
If the photos aren’t displayed in the correct order, you can click and drag each photo to exactly where you want it to appear on you slideshow. To add a new photo in a certain place, click to where you want it to go on the storyboard and click ‘Add Videos and Photos’ to select it.
4. Display time
By default, each photo in your slideshow will be displayed on screen for five seconds. You can change this and either pick a set display time for each photo in the slideshow, or you can pick and choose different times for different photos (handy if you’re camera shy but want snaps of other people to stay on screen for longer).
To select all photos press [Ctrl] + [A] and for individual photos, press [Ctrl] and click on the actual photo. Now switch to the Edit ribbon, then click the ‘Duration’ drop-down menu. Change the number of seconds you want the photos to be displayed for.
5. Add captions
Captions let people know what’s going on in each photo, which is great if you’re sending discs to family and you won’t be around to explain. To add a caption, switch back to the Home ribbon, select the photo and click the ‘Caption’ button. A text box will pop up and you click inside it and type your caption. You can stick to descriptions or add funny comments but don’t make them too long as there won’t be time to read them.
6. Modify your captions
Use the options on the Format ribbon to change the font, colour style and transparency of the caption. Make sure the text is large enough to read easily. Click and drag the caption to reposition it over your photo then select a different picture and repeat the process to add its own custom caption.
7. Choose transitions
A transition effect allows you to move between pictures courtesy of fades, swipes, dissolves and other professional-looking effects. It’s a good idea to apply one transition to all of your photos, so press [Ctrl] + [A] to select them all, then switch to the Animations ribbon.
Roll the mouse over a transition on the Transitions section (click the dropdown arrow to its right to see them all) and you’ll see a preview of how the effect will look on the selected photo. When you’ve found an effect you like, click it to make it the default effect for your slideshow.
8. Add some music
Spice up your slideshow by adding music. Switch back to the Home tab and click the ‘Add Music’ button. Select a track from your My Music folder. If your slideshow is long, you can add more tracks and use the ‘Fit to Music’ button on the Project tab to make sure your slideshow ends when the music does.
9. Music effects
Select the Options ribbon under Music Tools. Here you can change the volume of the soundtrack music, as well as setting start and end points for each track if you want them to differ from the default. You can also choose to fade the music in and out for a more polished sound too.
10. Test your slideshow
Save your slideshow by clicking the ‘Menu’ button in the top-left corner of the Windows Live Movie Maker window and choosing, ‘Save Project’. Click the ‘Play’ button underneath the main preview window to see how your slideshow looks, and make any changes until you’re completely happy with the finished results.
11. Save your movie
Click the ‘DVD ’ button under the Sharing in the Home ribbon. Choose a location for your slideshow and give it a name, then click ‘Save’. Wait while the movie is saved to your hard drive. When this is done, Windows DVD Maker will open: click ‘Next’ followed by ‘Burn’ to create your video DVD .
12. Share your DVD
Once ejected, your DVD can be played back on any DVD player, which means that people can watch it on their TVs. Well done – you’ve turned a collection of snaps into a professional slideshow with the help of your PC.