Software and Licencing for Audio Visual Presentations

After the audio visual evening we discussed the software used to create audio visual presentations. I use Proshow Producer, which has now been replaced by Photopia (https://photopia.nl/proshow/), a subscription-based application. Beeslack recommended a utility called WNSoft PTE AV Studio 10 (https://www.wnsoft.com/en/pte-av-studio/), which can generate shows for Windows, Apple and Android devices.


Stephen Williams has also found the following free video creation applications for people interested in creating AV presentations and sends this message to members:

They are relatively intuitive, but they each have their pros and cons.  They are available as portable versions (PortableApps.com) which I prefer, or you can download installable versions directly from the provider’s websites.  Both of these struggled to work on my 7-year old AMD laptop (running Windows 10), but ran on my 2-year old i7 laptop (also running Windows 10).

OpenShot (https://www.openshot.org/)

Bright, intuitive interface (drag images, videos and audio files into the project file area, then drag down to the timeline, right click to add transitions and effects – see the quick user guide before you start at https://www.openshot.org/user-guide/).  I found that the software kept crashing, but it seemed to remember where it was when it reloaded.  However, maybe I was just trying to push it too hard.  I was unable to access the Preferences menu where I might have been able tweak the settings to stop this happening – I don’t know why, this may just be a bug with the current version.  Others might have more luck.

Shotcut (https://shotcut.org/)

This has a more cluttered interface on first opening, but ultimately the process is more or less the same as OpenShot.  Check out the short video on how to use it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtsB2iZRb9c&feature=emb_logo – this is essential even just to get going.  Adding effects are a bit more fiddly – you need to create Keyframes and how you want the image to look at both the start and end of the effect period and the software then interpolates, but ultimately this is more flexible than OpenShot.  Transitions between slides were easier to implement, but the options were more limited than OpenShot (but there are only so many garish transitions that you can tolerate anyway).  One other nice thing was that once you reopened a saved project and added more slides to the end of the timeline, as long as the original audio track was long enough it filled in the gap – with OpenShot you were left with blank audio and would need to reimport the original longer audio track.  Crucially for me the software was stable, not crashing during use.  So although it took longer to learn how to what I wanted it to do, this was the better choice for me.


Finally, Beeslack member John Barnett has drawn our attention to the website of the IAC Film and Video Institute (https://www.theiac.org.uk/),  where you can find advice and purchase an audio dubbing licence for video presentations.

 

Making Audio Visual Presentations

There is an audio visual evening with Beeslack scheduled for 4th February 2021. Last week I was asked about software for creating audio visual presentations from photographs. Microsoft Powerpoint can be used to make a presentation, but it can be tedious to use. I gave an introduction to audio visual presentations back in 2018, which you can find by clicking this link.

https://musselburghcameraclub.org.uk/2018/11/26/22-november-2018-introduction-to-audio-visual-presentations/

At the time, the recommended software to use was Photodex ProShow Gold, which was available for Windows only.  There was a Mac alternative called “Photo Theatre Pro” (which may or may not still be available in the Mac store). Sadly, Photodex Proshow is no longer available and has been replaced by “Photopia”.  The good news is the new software now works with both Windows and Mac. It has a subscription-based licence, so you could subscribe only when you need to make a show. Click the link below for more information.

Transition from ProShow to Photopia

However, if you have Windows 10, the free Microsoft Photos program also contains some of the basic elements that Proshow Gold used to have. You can combine images into a slideshow or video, add a title slide, add captions and add background music. I think this is now a better option than Powerpoint for Windows users. You can start the program by selecting the images you want to show, clicking with the right mouse button and selecting the “Create a new video” option shown in the menu.

When the program starts you will see a screen like this (which looks remarkably similar to the Proshow screen). You can drag photos from the library window on the left onto the timeline at the bottom and view your show using the preview window on the right.

I hope this helps. Have fun, whichever tool you use.