October 2008 Newsletter


Welcome to the Photo to Movie Newsletter

October 2008

Happy Halloween from the Photo to Movie newsletter! Any witch sighting in your area yet?

The holiday season will soon be upon us, and for those of us with digital cameras, Halloween may offer the most photogenic moments. A young Harry Potter opens a small bag on a neighbor's doorstep, and an elongated blade slices chunks from a pumpkin to form a ghoulish face. You capture the memories, and with Photo to Movie, you can retell their story with sound effects, narration, music, and motion for everyone's benefit.

Telling stories is a large part of what our software is for. In this month's newsletter we'll show you a number of ways you can enhance your tales -- with tutorials on the basics of editing and creating motion paths. We also talk to one Photo to Movie user who has created a documentary film using only postcards for visuals! And, perhaps best of all, we show you what's up next for Photo to Movie in the exciting release of version 4.2 (there's still time for BETA testers)!

So don't forget to pack the camera this Halloween, or to save some room on your memory card -- this month's pumpkins are next month's pie!

Photo to Movie User Profile -- Peter Moruzzi


See the full profile and example movie

Peter is an architechtural historian from Los Angeles, California. He uses Photo to Movie to create unique video documentaries -- such a history of Palm Springs told through postcards (a clip from this video is linked in the snapshot above). We interviewed Peter on his background, his work, how Photo to Movie has helped him, and what he's currently working on.

LQ Graphics: What kind of work do you do?

Peter Moruzzi: I'm an architectural historian and author. My first book, "Havana Before Castro," was just published.

LQ: What is your background?

PM: I was born in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1961 and raised in Hawaii. I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and later attended the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, where I'm now an acknowledged expert on mid-century Modern architecture and design.

LQ: How do you use Photo to Movie?

PM: We (Jeff Komori and I) used it to create a documentary based primarily upon vintage postcards of greater Palm Springs. It was then transferred to DVD and is sold on the Palm Springs Modern Committee website and at the Palm Springs Visitors Center. To date we have sold over 2,000 copies.

LQ: How has Photo to Movie benefited you in your work? Has it allowed you to do anything you couldn't do before?

PM: Prior to Photo to Movie we had been unable to successfully create a professional quality documentary that had the level of movement required to make the story interesting. Combined with the application's audio capabilities, it was a relatively easy process to create a 50 minute piece utilizing over 250 images.

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

PM: Pan and zoom.

LQ: Obviously the documentary you made could not have been made the same way using motion pictures -- I imagine that the archival footage of Palm Springs and any modern dramatizations simply would not have represented the essence of the place like these postcards do. Was that part of your reason for choosing to tell this story through postcards?

PM: Postcards are a much richer source for depictions of obscure and long-gone hotels, restaurants, night clubs, bars, retail stores, and other tourist destinations than are available in films (of which there are very few related to Palm Springs). With Photo to Movie we were able to tell a fuller, more compelling story with movement and narration than we could have possibly done with bits and pieces of archival film.

LQ: Talk a little bit about your workflow. Was it difficult to digitize all of the postcards and recalibrate them for the screen?

PM: I scanned all of the material using my home scanner.

LQ: Another prosumer triumph! Talk about some notable reactions to your movie, perhaps from individuals who were in Palm Springs much closer to the beginning.

PM: At our big documentary debut we had a standing room only audience of over 400 people at the Camelot Theatre in Palm Springs. The event was covered in the local paper and we sold about 150 copies of the DVD that night. Many audience members were seniors who recalled much of what was depicted and described. They were delighted by the documentary and responded by purchasing many DVDs.

LQ: What are your future plans for using Photo to Movie?

PM: I have just written a book titled "Havana Before Castro: When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground" that is selling very well. It contains over 500 images and begs to be made into a Photo to Movie documentary similar to Desert Holiday.

LQ: Any other final thoughts about using Photo to Movie?

PM: Without Photo to Movie we would not have been able to produce such a visually appealing documentary at such a reasonable cost.

Thanks for sharing your work with us, Peter. If you'd like to learn more about "Desert Holiday" or about "Havana Before Castro," please visit the corresponding websites.

Desert Holiday

Havana Before Castro

Photo to Movie Professionals -- Join our User Profiles!

One of the great things about Photo to Movie is that it can be used by practically anyone with the desire to tell a story through pictures or photographs -- home enthusiasts, family shutterbugs, and digital professionals. You saw one example of that above in Peter Moruzzi's profile.

Do you use Photo to Movie for your business? Has our software, coupled with your creativity, allowed you to take your art or photography to new heights? Then you may be interested in participating in our user profiles, published several times a year in the Photo to Movie Newsletter.

If you're interested in being interviewed, be prepared to provide a short (one minute) clip of your work in Photo in Movie, in 640x480 format or better (preferably quicktime). Contact us for more information.

Video Tutorials for Photo to Movie 4.1

All editions of Photo to Movie come with an extensive user's guide, and the website's FAQ answers many of the technical issues that can arise as you strive to create your first slideshow. For those who'd like to see a hands-on primer, however, slideshow basics are now offered in a series of video tutorials on our website! These also serve as an excellent introduction to Photo to Movie 4.1 for anyone wishing to see how the interface of the program has been updated.

Introduction Video: Watch a basic slideshow with music being created right in front of you, from opening the program to exporting your movie file.

Timeline Video: Watch the timeline being manipulated for maximum convenience and learn how to best use it while making your own slideshow.

Motion Paths Video: Ready to get more fancy with your slideshows? The Motion Paths tutorial will walk you through the process of programming movement and mimicking camera pans and zooms with your images.

Photo to Movie Video Tutorials

Hopefully these tutorials will give you the tools you need to dive into Photo to Movie 4.1 for yourself. Good luck, and have fun!

Photo to Movie Evangelists Wanted

If you're using Photo to Movie already and you like it, please consider posting some honest and positive feedback in various public forums. Positive comments on sites like VersionTracker.com and the Apple Discussion Boards help attract new customers which in turn allows us to continue our rapid pace of development.

If there is something about Photo to Movie that you don't like and it prevents you from posting positive comments about the software, please let us know. We're actively trying to make Photo to Movie a positive experience for everyone who uses it and we value your feedback.

Photo to Movie (Mac OS) 4.2 Still BETA Testing!

Beta testing for Photo to Movie Version 4.2 has begun! For all the Photo to Movie experts out there, this is your chance to take part in the actual software development process -- we calibrate new updates based on your feedback ! We're very excited about many of the new features and improved functions, such as

Title Effects: A new title rendering system has been added along with the ability to add title effects. Before, only fade in and fade out were available. Now you can choose to animate your titles into and out of the movie. The current in and out effects include Fade, Move, Scale, and Typewriter. Give them all a try by selecting a title in the timeline, clicking on the effect tab, choose either Effect In or Effect Out, and setting the desired Effect. Then play the title in the timeline.

Gather Media: You can have Photo to Movie copy your photo and audio files to a common folder for archiving. Use the menu item File > Gather Media... You'll be asked to choose a folder and once all the files are copied you'll be asked to save your modified Photo to Movie document that includes references to the media files in their new locations.

Alternate Aspect Ratios: You can now render movies at aspect ratios other then 4:3 or 16:9. Most users will not need to do this, but if you do, set your aspect ratio in Document Info to 'Same as Movie Size'. Then set the Movie Size on the right. Your key frames and final movie will have the aspect ratio width:height.

Fit to Audio: Menu item Audio > Fit Photos to Audio (Shift-Cmd-F). This instantly stretches or shrinks your photo track to match the duration of your audio track.

Quickly Move Between Photos: Use Cmd-[ and Cmd-] to move selection to the previous and next photos.

Contextual Menus: Right click on a photo in the timeline to open it in an external editor or reveal it in the Finder.

Performance: We're working hard to improve performance in this version. This new version addresses this issue by making thumbnail processing more seamless and taking less CPU time and using optimized OpenGL more frequently than CoreImage. Please let us know how things are working on your particular machine!

Stability: Photo to Movie 4.1 and 4.2 both include a crash reporter that sends crash reports directly to our servers. If either of these versions crash on you, please re-launch the software and submit the crash report. We examine each crash report carefully to figure out what went wrong. The Crash Reporter has led to numerous fixes in the last few months that have dramatically reduced the number of crashes.

To download the beta version and read about the new features, please visit

Photo to Movie Beta Homepage

Special Deals Mailing List

Due to numerous requests, LQ Graphics now has a special mailing list for special deals, offers, and discounts on LQ Graphics products and 3rd party products.

This is a great way to SAVE MONEY on software. We're negotiating with several other companies to offer special DISCOUNTS to our customers on their products. We expect the first special offer to be available in late October -- SIGN UP NOW.

This special deals mailing list is opt-in only. You must click on the link below and check the appropriate box to be included.

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