Here is the story. My mom’s sister is dying of cancer. Her family is all coming after the holidays to see her. My mom is hoping to have a bunch of photographs put on a DVD for her and her family to watch. We used to watch slides together, but my aunt isn’t up for hours and hours of slides. This will be a “best of”, which includes only our favorite photographs and slides.
Has anybody done this? Anything in particular we should do or not do? Can anybody recommend a company that does this?
Well, you’re going to need a scanner to get the pics into the computer. You can get special scanners for slides, as well. Most consumer level DVD authoring programs have a slideshow option which is exactly what you want. You can also dress it up with music, fades other visual effects if you wanted to get fancy.
I don’t have recommendation for an authoring program except to stay away from Nerovision Express. I’ve had a helluva time with various bugs and lock-ups with this POS.
I recently had to make some DVD slideshows (on some of them, the rate at which some of the slides changed was intentionally very rapid - to give a flick-book effect).
I pursued a very contorted route:
First, I arranged the slides in Microsoft PowerPoint (this enabled me to put more than one image per page, with tiling and overlap effects etc)
I exported the PowerPoint Frames as BMP images (which consumed loads of disk space, but I didn’t want to use a lossy format like jpg at this stage)
I imported the frames into Slide Show Movie Maker - it takes a teeny bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it’s great - you can set the duration of various events (fade in, caption fade, stay, transition etc) per slide and it does all sorts of transitions; you can also add background music.
SSMM renders the whole thing as an AVI movie, which I then burned to DVD using Cyberlink PowerProducer (which is crap, but it did the job and it’s all I had).
Mangetout et al: Most of my 2500+ 40-year-old slides (of Europe, Asia, Africa, etc.) are from an Instamatic camera and have a 26(?)mm square transparancy in the standard 2"x2" cardboard frame. I would like to scan a lot of them and trf to discs but wonder if scanners will recognize the square aspect. One test scan by a friend showed the cardboard on the two sides. I assume it was set to read a 35mm width. Any thoughts on whether this or the age of the slides will be a problem. Have not used any photo mgmt software or scanners myself.
I don’t have a slide scanner, but if you’re scanning a large batch of photos, you’ll often find that the TWAIN scanner dialog will retain the selection marquee from one session to the next, so you can just insert the next one and scan again without previewing. Don’t worry if you end up with a load of photos that include parts of the frame; if they are all the same, you should be able to run them through an image processing program as a batch and perform the same cropping operation on all of them. I use Ulead PhotoImpact for this (got it free on a magazine cover) - you open an image, click the ‘record’ button, perform a series of actions on it, click the ‘stop recording’ button and you can ‘replay’ the recorded macro onb another similar image or a batch of them.
But the simpler answer is that most scanning software allows you to select the part you want to scan, so you shouldn’t be obliged to import parts of the cardboard.
Depending on how quickly you want them, how much free time you have and how much spare cash you are willing to part with, you might well find a local company (one of those Print bureaux type of places maybe) that would scan them all as a service and give you the images as computer-ready files on CD(s).