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New Version of Slideshow Pro Has Ken Burns Panning

Published: 19/06/2009
By: larry

I just got a Slideshow Pro newsletter announcing Slideshow Pro for Lightroom version 1.4.6. This version introduces a significant new feature: Ken Burns Panning. Slideshow Pro calls it Pan and Zoom. I updated my version of Slideshow Pro and changed my slide show for our rental property to use Ken Burns panning. It took just a few minutes to set the new Pan/Zoom parameters in Lightroom and rewrite the slide show to my site. I've decided to not crop as tight in the future when creating stills for this kind of slide show.

My main reason for bringing this up is that I get a bunch of questions and discussion about which slide show engine to use in general and with Lightroom in particular. Because previous versions of Slideshow Pro didn't have panning you had to use Monoslideshow if you wanted to get that video effect. With the addition of panning in this version Slideshow Pro has pretty much everything you could want or need in a slide show engine: Automatic operation, music, Ken Burns panning, display of real video clips and complete control over almost every aspect of the look of the slide show attributes. I think Slideshow Pro is now the only slide show engine you'll ever need. I now kicks ass!

It's worth repeating that 90% of the world considers Ken Burns panning over still shots as video. Tourfactory goes so far as to advertise Ken Burns panning as a "video tour". This is, of course, not video, but it's hard to tell the difference. The way to tell the difference is, this looks better than most video because you can easily take out barrel distortion, straighten the walls.

13 comments on “New Version of Slideshow Pro Has Ken Burns Panning”

  1. Thanks for the info. I am looking for a new slideshow "engine" for my site. Can I ask, on average, how long does it take you to create a slideshow in slideshowpro? The software I use takes me about 5 minutes to create a tour. I am considering buying lightroom and slideshowpro so I was wondering how long it will take.
    Additionally, do you use the director? I currently upload the photos to an image folder and my slideshow reads from there. I am under the impression I could do the same thing. I would appreciate any feedback you can give.
    Also, I love the site. Keep up the great work.

  2. James- If you use LR to manage your photos creating a slide show takes only minutes to create a slide show. Creating the first slide show in LR will take longer because there are a bunch of slide show parameters you choose in LR but after you create one slide show that looks like you want you can create a user defined template that saves all the parameters that you like and the next slide show creation is just one click and the time it takes to FTP the slide show to your site.

    I don't use the director version of SSP because I create all of my slide shows from LR but I hear good things about director. I know many readers of this blog use the director version of SSP. Which is best for you all depends on your workflow. If LR is at the center of your workflow, that's a great choice for making slide shows, but if LR isn't in your workflow... perhaps directory is better... Hopefully there's a director user that could comment on that workflow.

  3. Just to clarify our use of the term "Video Tour"... we refer to the AVI file that our system produces as a Video Tour - not any of our flash-based viewers. In both cases, we use the Ken Burns transitions, but we only use the term "Video Tour" when the output is an actual video file.

    This distinction is critical because it relates to how the content is published. For example, can your slideshow be uploaded to YouTube? How many cell phones are capable of viewing it?

    From my perspective, photographing real estate is a two part process - capturing great images, then getting those images in front of people that could potentially become a buyer for the home. Like a bird with only one wing, having only one part of the equation covered just won't fly.

    As the old saying goes... you can have the most beautiful photos in the world, but if no one sees them, what's the point?

    That's why we have gone the extra step to produce an actual video file - for the whole new world of synidcation points that open up with true video.

  4. I'm tempted to replace my ken burns videos with this tho. The quality per byte should be far better for this kind of flash slideshow compared to a flash video. I'm having to use a rather high quality setting on the FLV encoder to avoid compression artifacts on my videos, leading to rather huge movie files. It makes a lot of sense to just send the individual pics and have the client render the ken burns effect.

  5. Herb- Thanks for the clarification on Tourfactory video. You make an excellent point about the fact that having a video file of a tour opens up a new world of syndication points.

    Jakob- Don't leave it to your Realtor client to "render the Ken Burns effect"! I know of only 1 or 2 Realtors in a 1000 that will be able to do this. Provide a product to do it. Like Herb says above creating the images is only half the job. Presenting the image and getting them in front of prospective buyers is the other half of the real estate photography job. Realtors need help with both.

  6. Larry, I think Jakob was talking about a different kind of client.
    I believe he was refering to 'client side scripting', eg flash, running in your browser.
    What he means is that a high quality video file can be huge, but if your slideshow sends a flat jpeg and instructs the 'client', ie your browser, to pan over that jpeg as it displays it then the file size is drastically reduced whilst quality can be maintained.

  7. Hi Larry,
    On your example slideshow for your rental, you have a "web banner" you designed. I remember you had a post about that at one time but I couldn't locate it, do you know where that post resides?

  8. Forgive my ignorance, but is this program designed specifially for creating slideshows on the RE Photographer's website, or for the REP to send (the slideshow) of a photo shoot to the client (realtor).

    Or both??



  9. Jon- Slideshow Pro can be used for either purpose. You will see many photographer web sites that use SSP as a component on their sites to create galleries and many real estate photographers use it to create slide shows for the Realtor clients.

  10. Hi Larry,
    I am having trouble with the banner aspect of the project. Specifically, I have designed it in photoshop but I am unable to make it "it's own web page" so the link on SSP will see it. I have a hosting company and ftp server but I am not knowledgeable about designing a single web page (with the banner on it-which is what it should be I believe). Would you save it as a html file in photoshop? Should there be some indexes of some sort to make it functional?
    Thanks for your help!

  11. Hi Tom,
    You are not making a web page with the banner.jpg you create in Photoshop. All you do is FTP the JPG to your server and then use the URL link to it in the Lightroom header pointer.

    For example the header I use in the slideshow:

    is a JPG file that I've FTPed to the same directory as the slide show:

    Then I've used this link just above in Lightroom to point to the banner. The JPG can be anywhere on the internet, it doesn't have to be in the same folder like I did. I just keep the banner in the same folder as the slide show or I'll forget where it is.

    Hope this helps.

  12. Hi Larry,
    I am interested in generating "video" files for use on YouTube such as you have written about recently. I hava a copy of DVD Slideshow Builder by Wondershare that generates files compatible with YouTube. It basically strings together a series of jpgs & can do subtitles & soundtracks. I would like to be able to add banner images as jpg files to display agent's contact info, listing address, price, etc. I have no idea how to go about doing this, do you have any tips or can you point me in the right direction?



  13. Cal- What you need is a video editing program. On the Mac iMovie 09 will do this, on Windows Adobe Premier Elements will do the job. Slideshow Builder by Wondershare may do this to but I'm not familiar with it so I can't say for sure. Basically what you need to do is be able to edit a movie and add titles and or frames in the movie that are stills that have the agent info to the movie.

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