To me, the real power of a video slideshow, compared to still images or straight video, is the emotion that it elicits. That emotion is guided by the music so the video slideshow creation workflow should include the music, not as an afterthought, but as a primary step that guides the rest of the process. My preferred video slideshow software is ProShow by Photodex. I use ProShow Web as the starting place for many of my shows because it allows me to play around with different kinds of music at the beginning of my slideshow creation process.
As I get started with a show, I choose 10 – 20 photos from the collection that I’ll be using. If there are going to be different chapters in the show, I will go through this process for each of the chapters. When uploaded to ProShow Web, picking a theme for the image styles and transitions is next. This is also an important idea stage for me, but that is for another post. After choosing a theme, it’s time to play around with music. ProShow Web has a fantastic music library that spans multiple genres, classical through techno styles.
ProShow helps you out by organizing music selections into categories. If you don’t know where to start, go with “Tempo” – Fast, Medium or Slow. Tempo is a basic music concept and although you can think of it as energy, there is more to it than that. Slower paced music can churn up deep emotions which is a different sort of energy.
When I say play around with the music at this stage of the workflow, I mean it. Try several different selections. The time you spend to get the music to fit is going to be well worth it in the long run. I will often pop two different pieces into a show and then determine if one is better than the other by viewing the result. How do you know when you get it right? You’ll know. You’ll feel it.
For the Mother’s Day show below, I played around in the ProShow Web music library until I got it down to two selections. This show contains past and present photos that I got from my friends and family. One style of music just didn’t seem to work until I found “New Beginnings,” a 3 minute piece by Grand Slam Music. The Genre is “Pop” and the tempo is categorized as slow. This slow piece, however, has some faster segments and I loved the way that this change of tempo guided emotions up and down through the show.
I usually download to ProShow Producer and customize my shows but you wouldn’t need to do that. There are enough editing tools in the web version that you can publish straight from there to Facebook, YouTube and more. You can also share straight from the ProShow interface. ProShow Web allows you to use their music library royalty free so you can share your shows without worries about infringing on copyrights. (Different subscription levels allow different publishing levels.)
Here is a link to the Mother’s Day Show on ProShow Web. http://web.photodex.com/view/c9gd8bm4
Below is the final version on YouTube.