The built-in slideshow function in image viewers is best for casual viewing, but you would want something fancy to present or share your memories. Magix PhotoStory on DVD 2013 Deluxe helps you create fantastic-looking slideshows and export them to videos or burn them to DVDs or Blu-ray disc.
User Interface And Features
You can either start a new project and go the manual way, or create a new slideshow with a wizard, which is easier and quicker. The wizard first prompts you to select the image format (widescreen 16:9 or standard 4:3) and the disc format (DVD, DVD DL, Blu-ray and AVCHD). You then have to specify the photos and videos to be added to the slideshows and set the display duration of each. The photos are displayed as thumbnails as you add them. Once done, you can jump in and pimp up your slideshow. You can choose from a bunch of style templates or set the effects, text boxes and background music manually. The type of fades and effects are listed and you can set the frequency of occurrence. A preview pane is located to the right.
Finally you can either choose to continue editing the slideshow or proceed to design the disc menu and burn it. The export tab give you options to save the output as a video or share it in your online album.
Creating slideshows manually is similar to using a video editing application. At the top, you’ve the preview pane with playback controls and a tabbed browser where you can add and customize transitions, effects and titles. The photos on the timeline are linked together by transition tabs. Clicking the tabs brings up a context menu with a list of transitions. Selecting the ‘More Fades’ option takes you to the Transition tab in the browser. There are more than 20 effects to choose from, and to apply a transition, drag it from the browser and drop it on a photo on the timeline.
The thumbnails on the timeline have icons for Titles, Rotations (90 degree s clock wise) and FX. The Titles shortcut takes you to the corresponding tab in the browser from where you can format the text box (font, font size and alignment). You can also apply animations such as Carousel, fade in. Typewritter and Rotation and chosen from over a hundred effects. The functions in the Effects Tab are what you’ll have to master to jazz up your slideshows. Here are some of them
This section offers controls to manually tweak the brightness, color level and sharpness. There are over 50 templates including effects such as Green sky, Negative, jigsaw puzzle, solarization, color shift etc.
These effects are categorized into Art filter (Dilate, Emboss, Quantize, Colorise) and distortion (Echo, Whirlpool, Fisheye, Mosaic, Sand). You have over 30 templates, and using them is much easier, as creating effects manually using sliders requires getting used to. You have to use markers on the timeline to mark the starts and end points of the effect. Also, you can combine and overlay effects.
View And Animations:
These effects mainly involve zooming, panning and rotation. Going the template way is more convenient because customizing and creating effects may need a lot of tinkering. Over 40 templates with effects such as pan, zoom-in and zoom-out (all in different directions) should include what you need.
This includes decorative elements (similar to clipart), backgrounds and intro/outdro effects to add some bling to your photos. Once you’re done with previewing the slideshow after adding effects and transitions, you can proceed with burning the project to a disk or exporting the slideshow to a video file. You can add more slideshows to the same project. The burn tab takes you to a disk mastering interface. You get a virtual remote control to simulate menu playback and navigation. The burn icon lets you select the disc format (DVD, Blu-ray and AVCHD) and proceed with burning the disc.
At Rs 5,100 ($94.86), Magix Photostory on DVD 2013 Deluxe doesn’t exactly came cheap. However the kind of results you can get with this software justifies it’s price to quite an extent. You’ll fin it expensive if you mostly use the wizard and built-in templates to churn out quick results, but if you create slideshows frequently and want plenty of effects and granular control, you’ll find this software perfectly tailored for you.