Video Slideshows

Perhaps you've seen the video I made of the pictures I took from Heemesh and Sheha's wedding. You may be curious how I made it.

Before we get into the specifics of how to make it, there's a couple of things to note about the pictures themselves. If you were take any old album and slam the pictures together, you will not achieve the same effect. They key is to use "continuous mode" on your camera! So simple!

Continuous mode means that when hold the shutter down, the camera will take pictures as fast as it can so that you get many pictures of the same event in rapid succession. This succession is what makes the set of pictures more like a video and less like a slideshow. During continuous mode, the camera locks exposure, so if you pan from a sunny area to a shady area, you'll need to let go of the shutter, and start it again once you've made the transition.

You'll notice that I didn't throw out a lot of pictures. Even if the pictures are out of focus or noisy, they still make an awesome effect. Cropping pictures in the middle of a series gives you a 'zoom' effect. Another thing to note is that if you want to show people moving, make sure you keep taking pictures with the camera held still, that is, let the people walk by you. Try not to let people pose and catch them as they're having their fun. If people start posing for you, don't tell them when you're taking the picture and you'll catch them in the 'act of smiling'.

Editing this type of video is also convenient as you can eliminate unwanted time just by removing pictures. Were this a real video, you'd introduce noticable cuts. Since this style of video is already borderline-jarring, random cuts are forgiven.

As for the process of making the video, you might have to do more research .. or you could read this thread or this thread. I'm using a linux system and used a series of command-line encantations. The key parameter was 3 or 4 frames per second. But feel free to adjust it to see if you can achieve the mood you're looking for.

If you use mencoder, make sure your images have a consistent resolution that can be divided into blocks of 4x4. Then you can use this: (no single quotes for windows, and it scales photos to 640x480 and crops them to a 16:9 aspect ratio). The output is 24 fps.


    mencoder -ovc lavc -mf fps=3:type=jpg 'mf://*.jpg' \ 

             -ffourcc XVID -vf scale=640:360,crop=640:360 \

             -ofps 24 -o movie.avi

Use double quotes in windows.

The output is 24 fps because YouTube expects video with a higher frame rate. However, Vimeo seems to handle 3 fps properly. Ideally, one would convert the framerate in separate passes to preserve quality. Leave the -ofps 24 off of the previous command and then use something like this:


mencoder movie3fps.avi -ovc lavc -oac copy -vf crop=640:360 \

         -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vpass=1 \

         -o tmp.avi

mencoder tmp.avi -ovc lavc -oac copy -vf crop=640:360 \

         -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:mbd=2:trell:vpass=2 \

         -ofps 24 -o movie24fps.avi

more help with mencoder, help specific to this kind of project, scaling, extracting audio, etc.

The original is embedded below! (Smoother version found here)

Other examples: Christian Wedding, Stage Event, House Party

Posted: April 28, 2014 | | comments

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