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Slideshow Movie Producer v1.8
Frequently Asked Questions

"Slideshow Movie Producer" requires Microsoft DirectX 9.0 or greater in order to function properly. If you do not have DirectX 9.0, you should download and install DirectX from http://www.microsoft.com/directx/

  1. What is a project file?
  2. How to add a new slide show to a project?
  3. How to add images to a slide show?
  4. How to add music to a slide show?
  5. Each slide show contains a lot of images, it makes navigation difficult. How to move between groups of slide shows quickly?
  6. What is a slide delay and how to specify it for multiple slides?
  7. What is effect time (transition time) and how to specify it for multiple slides?
  8. How to calculate all delays and pauses if I need to get a movie exactly 10 minutes long, for example?
  9. How to specify a certain effect for a slide or for a group of slides?
  10. How to look through all transition effects implemented in the program?
  11. How to specify a monotonous background color for a slide show?
  12. How to specify a gradient background color for a slide show?
  13. How to set a background image? What is a "floating" background?
  14. How to specify and show a comment for a slide?
  15. I have specified the font and color of my comment. How do I quickly set the same font for all other slides?
  16. Is it possible that a comment is shown not only for one slide, but continuously for several slides?
  17. Is it possible to watch the final video before it is rendered? Is there a quick view?
  18. Why are video files generated so long? Is it possible to speed up the process?
  19. What format should I select to be able to use the final video later in DVD authoring software?
  20. Is it possible to create a DVD with a menu in the program?
  21. How to buy the program? What types of licenses are there and how do they differ?

What is a project file?Q Question #1:
What is a project file?

A Answer:
The extension of project files is "*.smp". A project can consist of several slide show groups. There can be from 1 to 9 slide shows in a project altogether. Each slide show contains a set of graphic files (photos) and audio files for background music. The background of the screen (a color or an image) is specified separately for each slide show. You can move images and audio files between different slide shows by just dragging and dropping them. You can also copy them via the clipboard. Here is a sample structure of your project:

Project "MyEuroTrip"
   |- Slideshow "Amsterdam"
            |- Pictures 1          |- Music File 1
            |- Pictures 2          |- Music File 2
            |- Pictures 3          |- Music File X
            |- Pictures 4
            |- Pictures N
   |- Slideshow "Berlin"
            |- Pictures 1          |- Music File 1
            |- Pictures 2          |- Music File 2
            |- Pictures 3          |- Music File 3
            |- Pictures 4          |- Music File Y
            |- Pictures N
   |- Slideshow "Luxembourg"
            |- Pictures 1          |- Music File 1
            |- Pictures 2          |- Music File 2
            |- Pictures 3          |- Music File Z
            |- Pictures 4
            |- Pictures N
   |- Slideshow "Moscow"
            |- Pictures 1          |- Music File 1
            |- Pictures 2          |- Music File 2
            |- Pictures 3
            |- Pictures 4
            |- Pictures N
   |- Slideshow "Paris"
            |- Pictures 1          |- Music File 1
            |- Pictures 2          |- Music File 2
            |- Pictures 3          |- Music File 3
            |- Pictures 4          |- Music File 4
            |- Pictures N

While getting output video files, you can specify which should be generated and which should not. While burning these file to a CD/DVD, you will also have the opportunity to select files that should be written. You should select the checkboxes of the corresponding files. The following example shows that the files "Amsterdam.mpg" and "Luxembourg.mpg" are selected for rendering:

Rendering slideshow movies


How to add a new slide show to a project?Q Question #2:
How to add a new slide show to a project?

A Answer:
The buttons on the toolbar are used to add a slide show to the project or remove it. Or you can use the main menu:

Add slideshow

Use the new dialog box to enter a name for the new slide show:

New slideshow caption


How to add images to a slide show?Q Question #3:
How to add images to a slide show?

A Answer:
The buttons on the toolbar are used to add images to the project or remove them. Or you can use the main menu:

Add pictures to slideshow

But the most convenient method is dragging and dropping the images you need from the built-in explorer to the necessary slide show using your mouse:

Drag and drop pictures from explorer to slideshow

 


How to add music to a slide show?Q Question #4:
How to add music to a slide show?

A Answer:
The buttons on the toolbar are used to add music files to the project or remove them from it. Or you can use the main menu:

Add music to slideshow

Similar to adding images, the most convenient method is dragging and dropping the files you need from the built-in explorer to necessary slide show using your mouse:

Drag and drop music files from explorer to slideshow

 


Each slide show contains a lot of images, it makes navigation difficult. How to move between groups of slide shows quickly?Q Question #5:
Each slide show contains a lot of images, it makes navigation difficult. How to move between groups of slide shows quickly?

A Answer:
The following buttons in the left part of the main window are used to quickly navigate between groups of slide shows:

Navigation between slideshows
In this example there are 5 slide show groups. Clicking the corresponding button will move you to the first slide of the slide show you need.


What is a slide delay and how to specify it for multiple slides?Q Question #6:
What is a slide delay and how to specify it for multiple slides?

A Answer:
A slide delay defines how long this slide will be statically displayed on the screen for those who watch it to have a look at it. This delay is specified in seconds and can be a fractional number. Select the slide you need, enter the delay and press [Enter]. The delay will be set for all selected slides. It is possible to apply the specified delay to all slides in the slide show or all slides in the project. Besides, you can specify a delay using the main menu or the popup menu of the current slide. It can be specified separately for each slide.

Delay for slides

Delay and transition time diagram


What is effect time (transition time) and how to specify it for multiple slides?Q Question #7:
What is effect time (transition time) and how to specify it for multiple slides?

A Answer:
Transition time defines how long transformation from one slide to another will take, i.e. it is effect duration. Specified in seconds. It is recommended to specify it within the range from 1 to 3 sec.


How to calculate all delays and pauses if I need to get a movie exactly 10 minutes long, for example?Q Question #8:
How to calculate all delays and pauses if I need to get a movie exactly 10 minutes long, for example?

A Answer:
You can automatically calculate slide delays in the program. To do it, add all slides, specify the transition time, specify the necessary movie length and click the "Calculate" button.

Custom length of slideshow


How to specify a certain effect for a slide or for a group of slides?Q Question #9:
How to specify a certain effect for a slide or for a group of slides?

A Answer:
You can use either the main menu or the popup menu to select a certain effect for a slide or for a group of slides:

Transitions style

But the most convenient way to do it is drag and drop the effect you need to selected slides:

Drag and drop transition style to slides


How to look through all transition effects implemented in the program?Q Question #10:
How to look through all transition effects implemented in the program?

A Answer:
Select the "Transitions" tab in the right part of the window and you will see the current effect in the lower part of the program. The current effect is constantly played there. It means that if you move through the effect list, the program will immediately start playing each effect you select. In case you move through slides in your project, the effect specified for the current slide will be played there. Effect #1 will be played there in all other cases.

LIst of transitions

There is yet another way to look through all effect one by one. To do it, add not less than 70 slides to a slide show, select them and you can use the main menu to specify all effects one by one for them with one click. After that you can watch the effects in a real slide show with actual photos and with any resolution.

Sequentally transitions


How to specify a monotonous background color for a slide show?Q Question #11:
How to specify a monotonous background color for a slide show?

A Answer:
To do it, you should set the background type as "Use Color set" for the selected slide show and specify the same color for each corner of the screen, e.g. blue:

Background color for slideshow


How to specify a gradient background color for a slide show?Q Question #12:
How to specify a gradient background color for a slide show?

A Answer:
The background color can be a gradient one and it can be transformed between colors specified for each of the screen corners. Like this, for example:

Gradient background color for slideshow or: Gradient background color for slideshow

To select a color, just click the color corner you need

You can also specify a dynamically changing gradient color. To do it, specify a time interval for colors to change. Colors will change in the following way:

  • Lower right = gets color from lower left
  • Lower left = gets color from upper left
  • Upper left = gets color from upper right
  • Upper right = gets a random color

Thus, the gradient will change its direction and color set from time to time.

Dynamic gradient background color


How to set a background image? What is a floating background?Q Question #13:
How to set a background image? What is a floating background?

A Answer:
To use an image as a background, you should specify the name of an image file for the selected slide show and select the background style as "Tiled" or "Stretched". You can also make the background float, which means that it will smoothly float in the specified direction.

Background Image for slideshow

Move Background Image

 


How to specify and show a comment for a slide?Q Question #14:
How to specify and show a comment for a slide?

A Answer:
To do it, you should enter the text of your comment in the corresponding field, specify the necessary font, and make sure you select the checkbox to the left from the input field. This checkbox means that the comment will be displayed. You should also specify how long the comment should be displayed. Comments can be displayed for less time than slide delays last. It can also be displayed during transition from one slide to another.

Comments for slideshow

 


I have specified the font and color of my comment. How do I quickly set the same font for all other slides?Q Question #15:
I have specified the font and color of my comment. How do I quickly set the same font for all other slides?

A Answer:
To do it, you can use the menu opened in the panel where you entered the text. If you need to specify the same comment text for several slides, you should select them and press [Enter] - the text will be applied to all selected slides. You can specify the rest of parameters for several selected slides at once in the same way.


Is it possible that a comment is shown not only for one slide, but continuously for several slides?Q Question #16:
Is it possible that a comment is shown not only for one slide, but continuously for several slides?

A Answer:
Enter the comment text the way it is described above and select the "Show during delay" and "Show during effect" checkboxes. After that apply the comment to several slides coming one after another. Thus, it will be displayed continuously for several slides or for the entire slide show.


Is it possible to watch the final video before it is rendered? Is there a quick view?Q Question #17:
Is it possible to watch the final video before it is rendered? Is there a quick view?

A Answer:
Of course, you can watch the slide show before the final video file is generated. To do it, press [F9] or click the corresponding toolbar button. You will see a dialog box where you can specify some viewing parameters and then enjoy it.

Preview slideshow


Why are video files generated so long? Is it possible to speed up the process?Q Question #18:
Why are video files generated so long? Is it possible to speed up the process?

A Answer:
The process of generating a video file requires high processing rates. Video and audio streams are encoded during this process. That is why it is important to have a powerful processor, preferably Pentium-4 or Athlon-64. However, less powerful processors will still generate video with the same quality, but it will take them a bit longer. You can speed up the process if you select lower quality or resolution, but we recommend that you do it only for preliminary results. The final movie should be made with maximum quality.


What format should I select to be able to use the final video later in DVD authoring software?Q Question #19:
What format should I select to be able to use the final video later in DVD authoring software?

A Answer:
There is a special format called "MPEG-2 with DVD extensions" for DVD authoring. It is recommended to use this format, but you can use regular MPEG-2 encoding as well.


Is it possible to create a DVD with a menu in the program?Q Question #20:
Is it possible to create a DVD with a menu in the program?

A Answer:
The current version does not have this feature. It is only possible to prepare video material that can be later used to create DVDs with menus. This feature will be added in future versions of the program and you will be able to create full-featured DVDs with navigation. Now you can just write a file of the "DVD MPEG-2" format to a DVD and most players will be able to play it without any problems.


How to buy the program? What types of licenses are there and how do they differ?Q Question #21:
How to buy the program? What types of licenses are there and how do they differ?

A Answer:
Three main license types:
1. Personal License - allows you to use the program on one(1) computer for personal noncommercial purposes. For instance, at home.
2. Business License - allows you to use the program on one(1) computer for any commercial and noncommercial purposes.
3. Advanced Business License - allows you to use the program on three(3) computers for any commercial and noncommercial purposes.

Additionally, you can purchase a "Site License", if you are going to use the program on more than 3 computers. The price is settled individually in this case. Contact us by e-mail to discuss it.


Download the latest version:
http://www.al-soft.com/smp/smp_setup.exe

 

 
 


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