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Dated: Apr. 25, 2013

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Most of us store a large number of pictures from various events, occasions and happenings on our hard drive. Occasionally we sift through them to remind ourselves of some nice events or to show the pictures to someone else. The more creative ones with a little better program knowledge will make clips, in which slideshows of the desired pictures will be shown, and maybe with music, that they will place on some site for sharing videos and in that way show their skills. The less skilled ones can do the same if the install a FREE program called PhotoFilmStrip on their computer.

Start the default package manager of your distribution and search for this program. There is a great chance that it is in the treasuries, but if that is not the case, you can download it from the official web address of the project, whereby you can choose between the classic installation version to the system, as well as the possibility to start the program through a portable application. You will need the Python version 2.5, wxPython 2.8.0 or newer, PIL library, while the Mencoder will take care of the finish rendering of the material. Although it is not stated anywhere, for audio support you will need the mplayer installed on the system.
 
PhotofilmstripIf everything went all right, when starting the program you will be greeted by a clear user interface, and because the purpose of this program is just to make clips you shouldn’t expect a huge number of options. You can mainly find shortcuts for opening an existing or making a new project, with which we start the wizard that will help us in working, and the whole job consists of only three steps. In the first we define the name of the project and place to save it, the page ratio (3:2, 4:3 or 16:9) and, if we want to set it, the length of the video. In this place you can load the audio file that will follow the slideshow, with which you define its length.
 
The next step is to input the pictures that make the whole project. The Drag & Drop and loading the whole directory method is supported. After you load all the pictures in the program you will get a timeline on which you can set various options for the slideshow. You can set the rotation and effects on a picture, as well as the way of transition (and time, if you haven’t done that in the previous step). Also, you can define the camera movement during the showing of the slideshow, and you can also write a comment that will be saved and shown as a classic subtitle file in .srt format.
 
After you set all the options the way you like it, you can get to the third and final step where you set the options for the render: Profile (VCD, SCVD, DVD, HD, FullHD), Type (PAL or NTSC) and Format (type of compression and container). By clicking on the start you start the process of finishing the final product. After the job is finished, PhotoFilmStrip will offer you to open a new video clip and enjoy your own creation.
 
Although simplicity and usability are the main traits of this program, which is the reason for the existence of the most needed options, still it would be nice to see a little bit more effect and transitions in the future versions. That is the only criticism for this very useful and interesting program.

M.B.

Now that you've gotten free know-how on this topic, try to grow your skills even faster with online video training. Then finally, put these skills to the test and make a name for yourself by offering these skills to others by becoming a freelancer. There are literally 2000+ new projects that are posted every single freakin' day, no lie!


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