Friday, 31 August 2012

MAGIX Photostory on DVD

photo slideshow, MAGIC Photostory, slideshow software

Recently I have started doing video blogs (vlogging). I haven't put myself nor my voice forward yet (still hiding in my egg shell), just by adding pictures with some movie clips together as a slideshow (background music and some flying texts, that sort of gimmick), showing you how things work. An example can be found here: Candy Washer Dryer , which I made with a free software.

photo slideshow, MAGIC Photostory, slideshow software

I gladly accepted a PR's offer to review MAGIX Photostory on DVD, as it seems to be a fantastic software for vloggers. It's always nice to be able to see whether there is a better software out there in the market I can use. This one is retailed for £39.99, and this is what I made for my first test run:

Not too shabby for my first try right? (Oh gosh, that sounds like a line from Barbie musical Abby's been watching..) I was trying to show off as much as possible, but there are much more you can play with. You can add a soundtrack in the background, or record your own voice, and also adjust the timing for each feature.

photo slideshow, MAGIC Photostory, slideshow software

The installation was easy enough, and you'll see the above left screen when you execute the software. There is a slideshow wizard you can use, or start the slideshow from scratch. You can also choose whether you want it for widescreen or the basic size.

photo slideshow, MAGIC Photostory, slideshow software
Drag folder from the right to the bottom to add images to the slideshow
Featuring Storyboard mode at the bottom

Before you start, move all the images you want to include in the slideshow into a specific folder. This way, all you need to do is to open your files on the right-hand side of the software's window, and drag the entire folder to the bottom window, and everything will be included in the slideshow. What's left to do is editing and have fun.

photo slideshow, MAGIC Photostory, slideshow software
Featuring Overview mode at the bottom

The Photostory allows you to edit each image in your slideshow. You can rotate, adjust the brightness and contrast, as well as adding features to each image in the slideshow, all on the same software.

The next thing I found myself doing is to play with how an image transit to another, and the texts. They have all sorts of features, from standard to 3D, and I absolutely love the transition where the first picture will change to a 3D heart to reveal the second picture (check out the video above). You can do so much with texts as well.

The problem I had was that there wasn't any clear instruction on the best way of applying these editing to the slideshow. It took me a few tries to find the correct method. For the transition effect, simply drag the effect from the right hand window to where you would like the effect to occur.

It's a bit more complicated to add text. In storyboard mode, click play in the preview window and pause at the place where you would like to add text to the image. It will be the starting point when the text will show. Then, on the right hand side window, choose the text effect you'd like to add, and double click it. The sample should now show on the preview window. Double click the sample on the preview window to change the text.

To change the duration for all the effects, go to Timeline mode. This is also where you'll adjust the background music (imported through File tab instead of the right hand window) and recorded message.

photo slideshow, MAGIC Photostory, slideshow software

I was a bit disappointed when I found out that I had to pay for another $9.99 if I want to import a video file to add to the slideshow, which will help immensely for vlogging, but the product is mainly for turning photos into a slideshow with tons of effects, and they are great.

photo slideshow, MAGIC Photostory, slideshow software

Although the selling point of Photostory is that you can burn it directly to a DVD, you can still choose to save it as a windows media file on your computer for web use.

Overall, if you want to make an interesting slideshow for, say, your wedding (that might just be my next project) or holiday, then this is the product for you. There are 20 credits and chapter markers, 50 transition effects, 50 decoration elements (I don't think I've tried these yet!), 150 animated titles and texts and 10 effects for portrait photos. With all these features, and the fact that they have won a What Digital Camera Gold Award in 2010, you can definitely get your money worth.

You can buy Photostory from MAGIX website, or any good pc stores.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Photostory software to review; all opinions are honest and my own