Categories Multimedia

Create a photo slideshow with Windows DVD Creation Tool

The Windows DVD Creation tool, in English DVD Maker, allows you to create DVD videos with menu. Thus, you can create stunning DVDs from your movies saved through Windows Media Center or generate photo slideshows that will then be readable from any living room DVD player. Step-by-step explanations.


Before starting, check that you meet the following conditions:

  • Only Home Premium and Ultimate editions have Windows DVD Creation tool;
  • One or more blank DVDs;

Step 1 — Importation of the various media

Start by launching the tool of Creating Windows DVDs by entering the first letters of the latter in the search field of the start Menu.

Then pass the home screen if it is displayed.

Now we're on the import screen. You can choose between adding photos or videos, knowing that many formats are supported.

Capture décran - Ajout des éléments photos / vidéos
Screenshot — Adding Photo/Video Items

So click on Add Elements then select the photos and/or videos of your choice — usually located in folders Images and Videos. Once selected, click on the button Add from the dialog box.

The software limitation is expressed in time and not in size as shown on the icon. Advantage or inconvenience, it depends on the situation.

At the bottom of the window, enter a title in the field provided for this purpose — in our example it is “Summer Feasts”, and then click on the link Options.

Let’s now set up some essential options for our slideshow:

  • Choose DVD playback settings: it’s up to you to see according to your needs, although it’s best to start with the DVD menu;
  • DVD height-width ratio: with the advent of HD screens for both TV and PCs — especially laptops, I advise you to opt for a 16:9 format;
  • DVD burner speed: choose without hesitation for speed slow in order to avoid any engraving errors;
Capture décran - Paramétrage des options du DVD
Screenshot — DVD Options Settings

To validate all settings, click on OK. We're back on the main screen, now click on Next.

Step 2 — General presentation parameters

This is where we will define the menu style to use, the musical background that will accompany your slide show, the different texts that will appear on the home screen, etc.

Let’s first choose a menu style from the examples provided in the right column. In our example, we opted for the theme Photographs.

Click now on Menu Text. Have fun personalising the different texts according to your desires — the preview being generated in real time on the right side of the window.

Once finished, click on the button Change the text.

Now let’s go to the module Menu Customise. Again, it is up to you to act as you please and according to your needs. To validate the operation, just click on the button Change the style.

Let’s end with the most important module of all: Slideshow.

Many of you asked me how to create slideshows on a musical background without being limited — as in Picasa. Here, flexibility is needed.

Capture décran - Ajout dun fond musical au diaporama
Screenshot — Adding a musical background to the slideshow

Just click on the button Adding music... then select all the tracks of your choice. Using the buttons Mounting and Downhill, you can easily change the listening order — to go faster, hold the key Maj pressed down to select multiple tracks simultaneously — making them go up or down faster.

If you want the slideshow to hold on the sound background — useful to pass a complete music album, then check the box Change the duration of the slideshow depending on the duration of the music.

If this box remains unchecked, then you have the option to choose the display time of each slide using the drop-down list entitled Duration of the image.

Two last optional options can be set:

  • Transition : the only way to know the effects is to launch a preview via the button provided for this effect at the top left of the window;
  • Use scrolling and zoom effects for images : useful to deal with the problem of display borders, here again do tests via the function Overview ;

To validate all operations, click on the button Edit slideshow.

Step 3 — DVD engraving of the slideshow

You are now ready to start engraving your project. First of all, launch a last preview or go back to the previous steps using the blue arrows that allow you to navigate between the different screens.

When you are sure, insert a blank DVD into your burner — rewritable DVDs are allowed, useful for testing purposes, and then click on the button Engrave.

Capture décran - Personnalisation du DVD
Screenshot of screen — Customisation of DVD

2 main phases constitute the engraving process:

  1. THEencoding : depending on the number of photos and videos (which may require conversion), the power of the processor, be patient. 45 minutes is often a minimum;
  2. The engraving : this phase usually triggers around 70 % of the process and takes several tens of minutes. Once again, let the software do and do not interrupt the process. A simple click on the cancellation button and the entire process must be restarted;

At the end of the engraving process, you will be asked if you want to make an additional copy — only the engraving phase will be repeated. If you refuse, then the whole process will have to be relaunched next time. Therefore, to save time, you will be able to use burning software to copy the newly created DVD — Nero cares about it via the DVD copy function.

Finally, note that it is possible to save the project via the menu File.

To go further

A DVD is nice but it’s even better to store it in a beautiful case with a custom jacket and it’s doubly better if your burner uses Lightscribe technology. Interested, then read the following 2 tutorials:

You are now familiar with the method of creating a musical slideshow to be engraved on a DVD and played on any DVD player. I hope it will meet your needs especially as it does not require the addition of third-party software, as the Windows DVD Creation tool is provided natively in Vista. Enjoy!


Leave a Reply to Maigret Cancel reply

  • Raph

    It is true that the possibilities of this soft are interesting. It is simple and meets (in my opinion) the needs of the majority of people.

    On the other hand, I have a problem with encoding. I created a DVD project to burn the program ‘Roots and wings’ dedicated to the Reunion Island. I recorded the show on my Freebox, retrieved the file on my PC. Then to create consistent chapters, I used Windows Movie Maker, in which I split the file into several parts. Each part is saved in a Windows Movie Maker project file. I then added each of these files to the DVD creation tool. Everything goes well, the simulation is OK, my menus are impeccable. On the other hand, when the encoding/gravure phase is launched, the ‘fige’ encoding is approximately 60 %.
    Do you have any idea where this problem might come from? Thank you.

  • @Raph : I've had this kind of problem before. Try to restart the PC and then resound the operation. Indeed, if there is no problem during the preview then everything should work. If this still doesn't work, try to create only one file with Movie Maker and then import it into Windows DVD Creation.

    Good luck!

  • @volleau : this tool requires a version of Windows Vista, at least Home Premium. It is called Create DVD Windows — DVD Maker in English, and works in relation to Movie Maker — also embedded by default in Vista.

  • Alex

    Good morning,

    I came to your article looking for help with my problem. I'll tell you if you might be able to help me. In the encoding phase, my software stops at 57 % by telling me that my decoder is the problem. I don‘t understand, it’s been a week since I bought this computer with vista and I haven’t installed anything special yet. If you could help me, I'd be very happy. Thank you

  • @Alex : are there any videos in your slide show? If so, what is the format used? It seems to me that I already had this mistake, I think I can help you with these 2 questions.

  • @Alex : maybe the problem comes from here. You should try to convert the videos to WMV with Windows Movie Maker and then sound the operation.

    If it still doesn't work, I should be given the full error message.

  • @Alex : you have to import the videos into Windows Movie Maker and then export to a file on the computer. A wizard will start, among other things, to adjust the quality of the file and its format — opt for Windows Media Video.

    Once the export is made, you have to go back to Create Windows DVD and then restart the encoding.

    Otherwise, try editing your movie or slideshow in Movie Maker and send it directly into Windows DVD Creation via the module provided for this purpose.

    This error is really difficult to diagnose. The tracks cited here may not be the right ones. Could you give me the full message or even resound the operation? A reboot of the PC can sometimes solve such problems.

  • Alex

    Good morning,

    That’s it, I did it! I changed the format in windows movie maker and more encoding problems.

    Thank you very much.

  • Melanie

    I just made a rather loaded slideshow (photos + videos) and after checking the preview that everything works, I launch the engraving and there hic encoding blocked at 0.8 % by telling me unspecified error... Can you help me?

  • Jess

    Hello I have a problem with the “Windows DVD Creation” tool. So that’s actually everything happens wonderfully the dvd is ready but when you watch it, the photos appear and the music scrolls with about 6 minutes apart! So, the first music is launched and then as soon as it’s finished, big white for 6 minutes. Then the second music starts in turn! It’s horrible! Please help me! Thank you in advance

  • Cecile Poulin

    Hello, I created a dvd with Windows DVD Creation and I put 4 pieces of music. The first piece plays at the beginning of the presentation and then when it is finished, there is no sound left during almost all the slides of the photos. Towards the end of the photos, the second piece of music begins and stops at the end of the photo scroll. What to do to hear my four pieces? The duration of music pieces and slideshow lasts the same time.

  • Babette

    Hello, I did as indicated to create my photo slideshow, but when I ask for an overview, a message appears “cannot create the snapshot” that I have to do?

    I've done it four or five times and always this message. Thank you

  • jfcousineau

    Good morning,
    Thank you for the tips for use. However, I encountered two problems using Windows DVD Creation that I failed to solve and I thought maybe you could help me:
    1- I made a slideshow.avi (finalised on Pinnacle) in 16:9 format and wanted to burn it to DVD with the menu proposed by Create DVD Windows. I specify that this slideshow works properly on the living room drive from a USB stick. Now, once the burning is done, when I insert the DVD into the player, if the menu appears well on the entire surface of the screen, as soon as I click on “reading” or “scenes” of the menu, the displayed image shrinks in 4:3 (with the resulting image distortions) for the duration of the slideshow. I specify that when creating the slideshow, I checked well, ratio width height: 16:9 in engraving options. Can you tell me how to ensure that the engraved slideshow retains its original qualities?

    2- How to modify the proposed chapters in the Windows DVD Creation menu so that they start where I want it? (I note that the original.avi slideshow has no menu, no chapter)

    Thank you in advance for your help