March 2011 Newsletter


Welcome to the Photo to Movie Newsletter

March 2011

Welcome to the March 2011 edition of the Photo to Movie newsletter! This month we're including a tip about fitting your photos to match the length of your music, a reprint of our article from last year about using adaptive and motion blur, and a call to action for testers, tutorial videographers, and localizers.

In this newsletter:

  • Fitting Your Photos to Music
  • How adaptive blur and motion blur make your slideshows better
  • Suggestions, Testers, Tutorial Writers, and Localizers Wanted
  • Photo to Movie 4.7.3
  • Recover Your License Key Online
  • Special Deals Mailing List
  • Newsletter Archive
  • Notices

Lost Your License Key?

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You should purchase Photo to Movie now by clicking here:

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Fitting Your Photos to Music

We get asked this question frequently on our tech support email address, so we thought we'd give a quick tip on how to fit your photos to the duration of your music.

You can automatically stretch on shrink the duration of the photo portion of your movie to match the duration of the audio portion of your movie.

First add your desired photos to your document. You should plan to add about 12 photos per minute of audio. For a typical four minute song, add approximately 50 photos.

Next add your song. Again, for a moderately paced slideshow, look for a song that's approximately long enough so that there are about 12 photos per minute.

Next, select all of the photos in your timeline. The easiest way to do this is to select one by clicking on it and then choosing the menu item Edit > Select All.

Finally, choose the menu item Audio > Fit Photos to Audio to adjust the duration of the photos.

All durations in the photo track will be stretched or shrunk proportionally so that the overall duration matches the duration of the audio tracks.

How Adaptive Blur and Motion Blur Make Your Slideshows Better

Reduced flickering/flashing in your slideshow is a benefit of Photo to Movie. Your slideshows will look better.

Photo to Movie has always included a feature called adaptive blurring for reducing flickering/flashing in your movie due to aliasing effects.

Slow motion movement on photos with lots of detail such as a photo of a tree or water from a distance will show this problem most severely.

In the past, adaptive blur processing had to be enabled on a document-wide basis. Photo to Movie 4.7 includes the ability to control this processing on a photo by photo basis.

In addition, Photo to Movie 4.7 introduces a feature called motion blurring.

Scaling Photos

When Photo to Movie scales down a photo from it's full size, it must choose which pixels from the original image to use in the final scaled image. As Photo to Movie creates motion by smoothly moving and scaling the key frames, it is possible that a bright pixel in the source image will be chosen on one frame but not on the next frame. This leads to a flickering/flashing effect (the bright pixel will be included every other frame, leading to flashing).

The solution in Photo to Movie is to perform processing to make the selection of pixels in the original image consistent from frame to frame. It does this by blurring the original photo just enough to blur out a pesky bright pixel, but (ideally) not enough to make the photo look blurry.

The processing does come at a cost, however. Even though Photo to Movie is only doing a slight (approximately 1/2 pixel) blurring in the photo, it "softens" the photo. Some users would like to retain the original sharpness of their photo.

The flickering problem is most pronounced on slow movement; photos displayed with fast motion (i.e. key frames are wide apart) do not have as much of a problem since the problematic bright pixel will be separated by several pixels in the final movie, so the eye won't pick out any flickering.

Adaptive Blur

In versions prior to Photo to Movie 4.5, adaptive blur had to be enabled on a document-wide basis. You changed it in the Make Movie dialog with the 'Higher Quality' vs. 'Faster Export' menu item.

In Photo to Movie 4.7, you can control the adaptive blur for each photo. If a photo needs to be sharper and the motion is fast enough, you can completely disable it for that particular photo.

The default setting is still Medium (which corresponds to the setting in earlier versions). But you have the option of setting the adaptive blur processing to None, Light, Medium, or Heavy on a photo by photo basis.

In Photo to Movie 4.7, you can access this setting by clicking on your photo in the timeline. Then in the inspector, choose the 'Photo' tab and select your desired adaptive blur setting. The individual photo setting is not available in versions prior to Photo to Movie 4.5.


The image above is a great example of a problem image. Try downloading the original image, dropping it into a Photo to Movie document, and putting two large key frames on the photo (I used 3118x1753 for each). Then render using a high quality codec such as QuickTime/Animation to a video sized 852x480. Try it with adaptive blur enabled and disabled. You'll spot the difference right away.

Link to original photo on

Motion Blur

In addition to adaptive blur, Photo to Movie 4.7 also includes a document-wide setting (in Make Movie) for adding motion blur to your movie.

Motion blur is done by taking every movie frame and splitting it into several shorter (time) frames and then adding all of those frames together. The effect is that in areas with a lot of motion, you get a blurring effect similar to what you would get with a physical movie camera. In areas with little motion, there is little or no blurring. It gives a more natural look to the motion in your slideshow.

The effect is enabled in the Make Movie dialog and it defaults to 'disabled'.

Here is a sample frame from a movie with motion blur enabled on a fast rotation. Notice the center of the image is not blurred; but the edges, where the most motion is occurring, are blurred.


Wanted: Suggestions, Testers, tutorial writers, localizers

We're putting the finishing touches on the next major version of Photo to Movie 5. This will be a free upgrade for Photo to Movie 4.7 users who purchase now or have purchased within the year prior to it's future release date.

Send comments and suggestions to

We're always interested in constructive comments and suggestions for features in Photo to Movie. The new version is going to be truly outstanding, but comments and suggestions from users are always useful to help us plan where to put our development resources.

If you're interested in being a beta tester for the upcoming version, please sign up on our beta testing list here:

Beta Testing Signup.

We know there are some users out there who are really good at making video tutorials on YouTube. If you're one of those people and interested in making some tutorial videos for Photo to Movie, please contact us at

And finally, if you're a localizer who wants to help bring the menus, dialogs, and other text to your local language, please contact us at

Photo to Movie 4.7.3

Photo to Movie 4.7.3 is the latest version available.

If you're using Photo to Movie 4.5 or later

The easiest way to upgrade if you have a license for Photo to Movie 4.5 or later is to use the menu item Check for Updates... available under the Photo to Movie menu on Mac OS and under the Help menu on Windows.

You can also download the new version here:

Photo to Movie 4.7 Download

If you're using Photo to Movie 4.2, 3.5, or earlier

If you're using an older version of Photo to Movie, you will need to purchase an upgraded license key to get the improvements in Photo to Movie 4.7.

You can download the new version here:

Photo to Movie 4.7 Download

Here are some of the new features since Photo to Movie 4.2 (Mac) and Photo to Movie 3.5 (Windows):

  • YouTube Upload. Added YouTube panel to Make Movie dialog.
  • Video Clips. Support for adding video clips to the timeline (Mac OS only).
  • iDVD Integration. Added iDVD panel to Make Movie dialog (Mac OS only).
  • Graphic Objects. Added ability to add graphics similar to how titles are added.
  • Title Linking. Added ability to link titles and graphic objects to specific photos.
  • Photo Labels. Added ability to automatically label all photos with name, date, time, etc.
  • Title Editing. Added ability to change font and color of multiple titles at once.
  • Title Alignment. Added ability to align multiple titles or graphic objects to each other.
  • Title Backgrounds. Added a panel for setting title backgrounds.

And remember that any purchase or upgrade includes free upgrades for at least a year (including Photo to Movie 5, when it is released later this spring).

You can upgrade here:

Photo to Movie Upgrade

All purchases have a 30 day money back satisfaction guarantee.

Recover Your Lost License Key Online

Have you lost your Photo to Movie license key? We can send you your latest license key to the email under which you original purchased or registered.

To retrieve your Photo to Movie (or Motion Pictures) license keys, visit our website and enter your email address:

Recover Lost License Keys

We also offer other support for using Photo to Movie on our newly redesigned Training and Support web page:

Photo to Movie Training and Support

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 early December -- 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.

Sign Up for Discounts

Newsletter Archive

All of our previous newsletters are available on our website. Check them out for tips, news, and information items.

Browse through the Photo to Movie newsletter archive


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

Copyright 2011. LQ Graphics, Inc. All Rights Reserved.