Making videos from still photos

Viewing 21 reply threads
  • Author
    • #58527

      Hi Everyone,

      This is a real 'entry-level' question I'm afraid. I want to make videos from still photos, but with smooth transitions so that the still photos almost look like a movie. An example of what I mean is this YouTube video:

      Could anyone tell me what kind of software I would need to make a video like this.

      Thanks in advance!

    • #207161

      It looks like the "Ken Burns Effect" where you pan and crop the photos to give the illusion of movement. It's relatively simple to do and most entry level editing programs can do this.

    • #207162

      Assuming the photos are already in electronic form, most any editing app will work.  iMovie, Final Cut, Adobe Premiere, etc.



    • #207165
      AvatarAviv Vana

      Yup. this is the basic transition (called dissolve) that any editing application would have. You could probably even do this with a powerpoing/keynote type of software now that I think of it. Just export your final as a movie to be played where ever you want.



    • #207166

      The basic way to do this is use photoshop or similar software that will let you work with layers. If you use Premiere or After Effects (better) you take the sections 'cut' out from portions of the photo stacked on top of each other in layers to make the image move. There are plug-ins and software that you can use to make the layers faster, the principle is the same. Trick is you only have so much room to make elements move in the foreground to make the effect look good. There are lots of tutorials about how to do this. When done well it's a really good effect.


    • #207172

      If i understand correctly you are wanting is both the motion across the still photo (Ken Burn's effect) as well as the actual transition between still photos (dissolve or crossfade)


      Putting the still photos into motion is accomplished by using EVENT PAN/CROP


      Transistions from one photo to the next can be accomplished in several different ways.



      Indeed most decent video editing software can handle this.


      I use Sony Vegas Pro, and it is quite easy to accomplish both of those tasks. I'm sure that Sony Vegas Movie Studio can also do this.



      You will need the photos in digital form and preferably at a decent size. I generally make sure that my photos are at least as large as the resolution of the video. So if I am making a 1920 x 1080 I make sure that my photos are at least 1980 and I often use 300 dpi or 150 dpi resolutions.  Someoene who does this all the time can probably give you more accurate information as to the actual settinga that will work best for your photos.



      I use Adobe photoshop to adjust my images to get them all the same dpi and approximately the same physical size.


      You can find "how to" videos showing you how to do thsi effect for most editing software packages. Do a search on youtube and I'm sure you will find them.


      Good luck!

    • #207173

      I use Sony Vegas Pro 11. For years, I used to pan/crop/zoom all of my stills by hand in Vegas. Very time consuming, even just to produce a video slide show 3 minutes long. Last year, I discovered a plugin for Vegas made by VASST, called Still Motion. With this plugin, I can simply choose the stills that I want to use in my timeline, choose the type of transition, even choose how it pans, and tell it to fit it all in the time of the music/audio file, and click a button, and it does it all for me. Then, I can just watch it on my timeline and tweak any adjustments I want to make. Saves me a lot of time and effort. Depending on what NLE you use, this or a similar VASST plugin may work for you. 

    • #207174
      AvatarStu Neal

      Everyone is right, most editing software can do the moves with pan and scan.(After effects can also be used). And they can make the transitions. You can even use Photoshop to create layers which will give the image a 3D look and can be used to focus in on a specific part of the scene. But there is some artistic craft involved. Timing the moves to the music, not putting a bunch of pulls or pushes back to back, the speed of the motion can determine the energy of the scene. Remember your telling a story, it's not just a slide show with moves.

    • #207178

      Do you already own any video editing software?  Which one(s)?


      The beauty of montages is that they offer plenty of room for creativity.  Many, if not most, editing platforms will allow you the effects you mention.  Don't forget you may also use titles to describe the photos you're presenting as well.


      I would also recommend you research royalty free music, to accompany your montage.


      Good luck!!

    • #207179

      Everyone else has given good answers, so let me add my nickel's worth.


      Using stills is a great way to learn how to use an NLE (non linear editing) application and the editing process in general. If you have used Powerpoint to create presentations, you know how boring they can be. NLEs, even entry level apps, usually have boatloads of effects that can turn a dull slide show into a glittering presentation.


      If you don't have easy access to raw video, editing with still images is a great way to start. That's what I did some ten years ago and am glad I did. It helped learn the editing process immeasurably. 

    • #207193

      Be sure to check Pro Show Gold which is designed to do exactly what you want.

    • #207196

      Hey, you mean that you want to make a video frmom photos? 

      That's probably easy to achieve with ShowBiz, a user-friendly video editor that allow you to create your own video from either photos or videos in minutes, 

      You can add transitions, special effects, subtitles and so forth to your videos with the help of intergrated editing tools, I used it to make my home movies, works good for me. 


    • #207201

      Right, I use Windows Movie Maker and Sony Vegas and the both do that.


      Its pan / zoom combined with transitions.

    • #207213

      Sony movie studio is capable and is reasonably priced and I believe you can get a free download to try it. If that works out for you you can later graduate to Sony Pro.

    • #207286

      Have you heard of animoto? Upload your photos and it'll do it all for you!
      iMovie has a nice ken burns effect that's super easy to use too πŸ˜€

    • #207291

      to created a video from your still photos, the best option is adobe photoshop CS6 it has a feature of video creation. If you want an easy to do you can sign-up for animoto.

    • #207313

      Definitely, depends how hard your willing to work/how much time you want to spend.

    • #207472

      hey, I suppose this should be pretty easy to achieve with Windows Movie Maker, just a video made from still photos.

    • #207479

      It can be done in Windows Movie Maker, but that app is very rudimentary. It won't give you as much flexibility, and quite frankly, it will look like it was made in Windiws Movie Maker. For the best, polished results, you'll want to use a 3rd party NLE, like Vegas, Premier, or if you're on a Mac, Final Cut. Premier can also be used on a Mac. 

    • #207508

      I just did a slideshow for a Sweet 16 that is made up of 90% still photos with motion. It took me a couple of months but that is because I made it very complicated by creating layers in Photoshop, saving each layer as its own photo, and then having layers  appear and disappear.  It also allowed me to have  a picture with a static background have moving clouds and then dissolve into water and have someone surf by. It is one of the most complex things I ever did. I used Newtek's SpeedEdit to do it.  I did not use any canned, templates. Each picture was painfully adjusted. Check it out here:

    • #207566

      Some video editing software randomly creates a Ken Burns effect without having any control as to the starting frame and ending frame. If you can find an editing software that allows control such as iMovie, you can use it to zoom into or from a subject you want to highlight. Just don't go crazy with the effect. A little bit of movement always beats lots of movement. And you don't have to use it in every frame either.

      Also, select appropriate music. The sound bed in the trucker video is way off unless it's for a particular effect. On its own, it doesn't work. Finding a correct music background is an art and the music must fit the clip. Using music from your iTunes collection might work for personal projects but for common distribution, it could be banned in certain countries or even here in the U.S. If the work is for commercial use, even for a non-profit or other cause, it needs a license. Alternatively, you should look into royalty-free sources. Royalty free doesn't mean free, it's that it's easier to use the clips you buy or for which you're licensed for public distribution.


    • #208126

      There're plenty of those kind of video editing software, smartpixel producer is the one, with it you can import the photos and add music and effects in the video, it's quite easy.

    • #207205

      However, Windows Movie Maker is very rudimentary, and will probably not yield desired results. But I do agree that Vegas is a good tool for video slide shows with smooth panning. It's good by itself, but even better with the VASST Still Motion plugin. 

Viewing 21 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Best Products