I recently made a video of our wedding photos. It’s pretty easy to create a slideshow, but sometimes not so easy to share a slideshow with people (unless you host it on your website). There are obstacles, like platform incompatibilities and software requirements, that prevent some people from viewing the images. So, I decided to convert the slideshow to a video and upload it to Vimeo where family and friends could view it. Here’s how I did it….
- Create a new Album and give it a short name. The reason I say “short” is because iPhoto automatically overlays the name on top of the first slide. If the name is too long, you won’t see all of it.
- Drag each image you want in the slideshow into the iPhoto album. You can put the images in any order. Click and drag an image to put it in a new position in the slide sequence.
- Play the slideshow to see how you like it. Make adjustments if you like.
- Add music. To do this, you must play the slideshow and hover your cursor over the bottom area to reveal the options for themes, music, and settings.
— Select the music icon, which will bring a pop-up window of music that includes iTunes songs and playlists. Select “Custom Playlist for Slideshow”: this will enable you to construct a playlist by clicking and dragging into the song list area.
- Play the slideshow once again to see how the music syncs with the images. Make adjustments if necessary.
- Export the slideshow to the m4v format (movie/video format).
— Be sure you select the very first image in the slideshow to ensure that the export begins with the correct photo.
— I chose the Display option, which creates the largest size available and looks really good on a full screen.
— Deselect “Automatically send slideshow to iTunes.” Depending on the number of photos and the output option you select, the export can take up to 1/2 hour. Go grab a cup of tea! The file will be in the iPhoto Slideshows folder.
The exported m4v file that iPhoto creates can be quite large. You’ll need to compress it in order to upload to Vimeo. I use Handbrake for this compression. It’s a free, open source, multi-platform transcoder that can convert video into several codecs. Launch Handbrake and use the following settings, recommended by Vimeo:
- High Profile Preset. At the top of the Handbrake window, click on “Toggle Presets” to reveal the fly-out menu of device settings. You’ll notice that the normal setting outputs an mp4 file (see “Destination” for file name), but the High Profile setting outputs a compressed m4v file.
- Format: MP4 file. The high profile preset automatically selects the format as MP4 File.
- Video Codec H.264. This is also set automatically with the high profile preset.
- Framerate (FPS): Constant.
Vimeo recommends using framerates of 24, 25, or 30. When I changed the framerate in Handbrake, the profile returned to normal, so I left the setting alone.
- Video Quality: constant. If I changed this number, the profile also returned to normal, so I left as is.
- Once all of your settings are in place, click “Source” at the top of the window to find the m4v file created by iPhoto. Handbrake will now convert the video to a compressed m4v format. This step can take between 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. The new file will be on your desktop when complete. Be sure to add something to the name of the converted file to distinguish it from the original m4v. For example:
— Original exported iPhoto m4v file name = myfileDisplay.m4v
— Converted Handbrake m4v file name = myfileDisplay-highprofile.m4v
Upload to Vimeo
Naturally, you should play the compressed video before uploading to Vimeo, just to make sure everything is good. When ready, upload to Vimeo. Follow their on-screen prompts. The upload doesn’t take long. But the conversion to HD can take up to 45 minutes.
Notable Video Settings:
- Basic settings: select the still frame you want to be the preview “cover” for your video.
- Privacy: determine who can view the video. Some of mine are open to the public, others are viewable only by those who have the password.
- Collections: create Channels, Groups, and/or Albums.
- Video File: replace, upload, or delete a video. The replace feature is quite useful. When you make revisions to a video previously uploaded to Vimeo, this allows you to replace it with the newer version.
- Advanced: create a custom URL for the video. For example: http://vimeo.com/annekatzeff/myfileDisplay-highprofile
Add captions, subtitles, and photos. Apply a Creative Commons license.
How do You Create a Video from Slides?
I’m very curious to hear how other people transform their slideshows to videos. Please share what you’ve done!