The new version of Picasa allows you to create real films with a sober but powerful look from your best shots. As usual, this software made by Google offers us judicious and easy-to-use features. In the end, you will get a video file in WMV format (Windows Media Video, Microsoft standard) that you can easily export to YouTube or any other video sharing service. A good way to share your best moments at the end of 2008!
Start by downloading the latest version of Picasa:
Once installed, import some pictures of your Christmas holidays, the New Year’s Eve or something, of course!
Now we're ready for the rest of the operations.
Step 1 — Video editing
Start by clicking on the video icon Create a film located below the title of each photo folder. You can also use the menu Creation then Film...
A new tab appeared — and yes, Picasa uses a tab system, stupid but you had to think about it.
The interface is available in 3 main areas:
- The left sidebare: it brings together all the editing options under 3 separate tabs (Film, Slide, Images);
- The central screen : displays a preview of the video;
- The chronology : located at the bottom of the screen, it allows the various elements of the film to be arranged according to its desires;
This tab contains most of the major options. So we're going to focus on it for a little while.
A first option offers us to add an audio track. So click on the button Add... then select the one you will use as a musical background. The allowed formats are MP3 and WMA.
N.B. : you can only select one single audio track for the entire movie. It’s too bad! However, Picasa’s goal is to offer a film that can be exported to YouTube. Indeed, the video upload is limited to 10 minutes, for a maximum size of 1 GB.
However, to mitigate the effect of this limitation, the software offers us the choice between 3 possibilities of adjusting the audio track:
- Truncating the audio track : this will be automatically stopped at the end of the slideshow depending on the display time of a slide;
- Adjust photos to audio : the display time is no longer adjustable. It is the length of the sound file that will determine the time of the film;
- Scroll through the photos in a loop to match them to the audio : unlike the previous option, you now have the choice to set the time to display a slide. Thus, the photos will run in a loop until it ends. Useful for a long musical background — a symphonic suite, for example;
Let’s now choose the transition style between slides. Note that the following options will be accessible or not depending on the transition effect chosen.
The following 2 cursors allow us to adjust:
- The duration of each slide;
- The overlay effect (in %);
Let’s now set the dimensions of the video, i.e. its resolution. Think about the final medium that will be used to promote your film:
- For the Web, do not exceed 640 x 480 ;
- For a cathodic TV, 800 x 600 will suffice;
- For PC screens from 15 to 19 inches, 1024 x 768 up to 1600 x 1200 ;
- For 16:9, HD 720p and 1080p screens, all resolutions are accessible and notament 1280 x 720 and 1920 x 1080 ;
The last two options are optional and allow:
- Display legends;
- Crop the photo to avoid both vertical and horizontal black stripes (beware of visual deformations);
This tab will allow us to add text to each slide.Start by selecting a slide, then have fun typing captions, subtitles, etc.
The tool proposes, among other things, to modify the font used, its size, to bold, etc., but also to customise the display template. Try to keep a semblance of homogeneity!
You can also add a text slide via the small icon in the chronology space.
Thanks to this tab, we will be able to add images that do not appear in the current album. Several methods are available to add:
- Select an album from your photo library and click on Create a film. In short, proceed in the same way as if you wanted to create a new film;
- Select the photos of your choice, then drag and drop to the Movie Maker tab;
- Double-click on a photo;
Go back to the tab Image. New Images have appeared. To add them to the timeline, click on the green icon in the shape of more or a cross after selecting them. These will be automatically added following the slideshow.
Congratulations, the editing part is now over. You can, of course, review the set of parameters to fine-tune the set. To launch a preview, click the green color play button.
Step 2 — Export of film
Now launch the process of creating the final file. It will be created in WMV format, readable by most video players including Windows Media Player, Media Player Classic or VLC.
To do this, you only have to click on the button Create a film. Wait for several minutes, the creation time depends on the performance of your computer.
Once the process is complete, several export options are available:
- Transfer to YouTube : useful to promote your video on the Internet;
- Make a Capture : allows you to generate a screenshot at the playpoint;
- Export clip : select the beginning and end of the clip using the cursors positioned on the playbar. Then click on the above button to export the clip for the selected part;
Once the different operations have been completed, return to your photo library. Your film is now accessible and readable directly in the app. Note also the creation of a virtual folder including all the projects, entitled Films.
This third version of the photo manager by Google has seen real progress over the previous version. The trademark is required with a successful integration of all Google services. Definitely, Picasa is really indispensable!