October 2007 Newsletter


Welcome to the Photo to Movie Newsletter

October 2007

Happy Halloween from Photo to Movie! It's now October, and the quickened blur that moves us from the start of Autumn to the holiday season has begun. With so much planning and so much to look forward to in the coming months it's easy to lose track of the precious moments that define every family's time together. But just remember that Photo to Movie can easily preserve any of those moments for all time, through the pictures you take and with a style you determine. In September's newsletter we showed you how to bring your vision to life with stunning clarity using Quicktime's H.264 codec. This month features an exclusive profile with a Southwestern photographer who creates beautiful landscape montages with Photo to Movie, as well as another tutorial that's sure to spark your imagination. And don't forget that Beta testing for Photo to Movie 4.1 is still active, allowing you hands-on experience with new features that enhance your pictures like never before. Later in the year you can enjoy a zoom-out revealing children crouched amid a vast field of pumpkins, or a montage capturing the transformation from responsible student to green-tinged monster on Halloween night. Use these video tricks to treat your family to a slideshow of memories viewable all year-round.

Photo to Movie 4.1 (Mac OS) -- Be a Part of the Official Release!

transition_cube_128x96.jpg transition_mosaic_128x96.jpg transition_gradientwipe_128x96.jpg transition_reflection_128x96.jpg

Beta testing for Photo to Movie Version 4.1 is well underway. The response from our users has been tremendously successful, but we'd still like a few more people to give it a try and offer their thoughts. This is your opportunity to participate in an official update that makes this already-user-friendly software even more fun to work with on any project, large or small. A few notable changes and additions to 4.1 include:

  • New transitions. A number of new transitions, including barn door, blinds, droplet, flip, gradient wipe, mosaic, page curl, radial wipe, reflection, and swoosh. Twenty nine in all.
  • Improved timeline. A resizable timeline and multiple audio and title tracks make for easier editing. It's also easier to manage your default timing preferences.
  • Improved rendering. Greatly expanded rendering capabilities include the ability to do multipass rendering for higher quality. Also render for Apple TV, iPod, and iPhone with built-in presets.
  • New media browser. New media browser includes support for browsing Aperture libraries.
  • Automatic updating. Automatic updating so that you're always using the latest version.

If you're interested in participating in the testing of this new update, please visit the Photo to Movie beta web page:


Photo to Movie User Profile -- Alain Briot


See the Navajoland movie sample.

Alain is a landscape photographer who resides in Arizona. He uses Photo to Movie to create gorgeous montages of his Southwestern imagery set to indiginous music. We interviewed Alain on his background, his work, his passions, and how Photo to Movie aids his artistic vision.

LQ Graphics: What kind of work do you do?

Alain Briot: I create fine art landscape photographs. My goal is to create images that represent my emotional response to the scenes that I photograph.

LQ: How did you get into landscape photography?

AB: I was originally trained as a painter at the Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris, then later studied photography at the American Center, also in Paris. I made my first expedition to the American Southwest in 1983, and from then on developed a life-long fascination with the Southwest. I returned in 1986 and have been here since then. I currently live in Arizona.

LQ: How do you use Photo to Movie?

AB: I created a DVD Slideshow of my photographs with Travis Terry's Native American flute music. Creating this DVD with Photo to Movie was simple and fun.

LQ: What feature(s) in Photo to Movie do you use most often?

AB: Zooming in and out of a photograph, creating titles, mixing sound with images.

LQ: Do you use any additional software with Photo to Movie?

AB: I created the Master DVD with Apple iDVD after exporting the Photo to Movie file to quicktime format. I then had the Master DVD reproduced by DiscMakers. The result is a professional DVD that is now sold in stores throughout the Southwest. This DVD is titled Navajoland and is available on my website at http://www.beautiful-landscape.com, at Amazon.com, and at other boostores.

LQ: You've written a lot on your website about the aesthetics and philosophy of art and how you see artists discovering themselves and their audience. How do you see yourself in relation to your perceived viewers?

AB: Having an audience, and choosing who your audience is, is a very important aspect of being a successful artist. I am indebted to my audience for what the support they give me, and I believe that being faithful to my personal vision for my work, as well as helping other photographers succeed in expressing their own personal vision, is the best contribution I can make in return.

LQ: It's obvious from the work you do that you've embraced digital media as acceptable tools for art forms. Can you comment at all on the ongoing struggle between the organic and the mechanical? Your photos often give the impression of bare nature but have clearly been digitized and manipulated with computers; the friction between these two elements is truly fascinating.

AB: Photography is a combination of art and science. The artistic is the inspiration and the vision of the artist. It is expressed through composition, the choice of a particular palette, and through other artistic choices. The science is the technical part: the choice of which equipment to use, which software, which camera and so on.

These two elements -- art & science -- must be balanced evenly for a work of art, a photograph in this instance, to be successful in communicating the vision of the artist to his or her audience. If one takes precedence over the other, if art or science dominate, the image becomes more a reflection of the artist's personal interests than the reflection of the artist's message.

Reaching this balance is difficult. Just about all of us start with being stronger in either the artistic or the scientific side. Becoming a successful artist starts with learning how to balance the two. It is the first step of a long journey.

LQ: Do you have any future plans for using Photo to Movie?

AB: I plan to release other DVD's following the same format I used in my first DVD: Navajoland

Thanks for sharing your work with us, Alain. If you'd like to learn more about Alain Briot's work, visit http://www.beautiful-landscape.com. In addition to Navajoland he has a book available, "Mastering Landscape Photography" which is available on Amazon.com and at many other bookstores.

Alain also welcomes your comments and questions at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Did You Know?

Create Movies with a Transparent Background


We're aware that many of our users also take advantage of other video software, such as Final Cut Pro, Apple's iMovie, and Windows Movie Maker. We encourage the use of multiple tools in order to bring your vision to the screen, and Photo to Movie has been developed for maximum ease and compatibility when transferring clips to and from other programs. Let's say, for example, that you'd like to layer your slideshow against a separate background: a floral pattern for wedding photos, for instance. This would require you to first organize your pictures with transitions and titles in Photo to Movie, and then export with background transparency. It sounds complicated, but it's really not at all.

First, while creating your slideshow, set your background color to "clear":

  • Choose "Document Info" from the File tab.
  • Click the "Background" button. A color selector should appear.
  • Make sure the Color Wheel is selected. At the bottom, slide the opacity to 0%.
  • Close the window, and click "ok" on the Document Info dialog.

After that, finish up your slideshow with photos, transitions, titles, music -- anything you'd like. And then you're ready to render with a transparent background:

  • Select "Make Movie" from the File tab.
  • Use the "Quicktime" Selection. Select "Custom" as your movie format.
  • Click on "Video" to see a list of possible codecs. There are many Quicktime formats that support transparency, but there are also some that don't. The way to determine this is whether or not the codec supports the "Millions of Colors+" setting. If you have enough disk space to work with, we recommend the "Animation" codec, set to "Millions of Colors+". This is essentially the same as an Uncompressed 4:2:2 file, and will be very large. After importing to your editing program of choice and re-saving you can delete the file to save space.
  • Click "Ok". Set your desired movie size (640x480 for DVD, or 1280x960 for better quality)
  • Click "Make Movie".

This will allow you to import to iMovie, Final Cut Pro, or Windows Movie Maker and with the help of pattern images create arrangements like the one shown below. We hope this has given your creativity the inspiration it needs to produce unforgettable slideshows.



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LQ Graphics, Inc., 7172 Regional Street #297, Dublin, CA 94568