It works well enough for the average Mac user, but if you want true control over zooming and panning you’ll need to graduate beyond iMovie and the choices are slim without spending some money. That brings me to Photo to Movie, which I used years ago, but stopped using.
Moving Movies From Still Photos
Photo To Movie’s claim to fame (beyond onerous upgrade costs with nominal new features) is the ability to create classy-looking movies with zoom and pan controls by using static photos.
Drag and drop a bunch of photos onto the timeline and you’re just about done. Photo to Movie provides ‘Ken Burns’ like movement to each with a transition between the static photos.
But that’s just the beginning of the feature list. Transitions, zooms, pans are smooth and professional and come with granular controls, but you can also add customized titling– text– anywhere on the photo. And audio to match the transitions.
Photo to Movie moves the iMovie user into professional level territory, and with good photos, a fast Mac, and some taste, the resulting videos can be near 1080p broadcast quality.
Right from within the app you can create a moving slideshow within minutes. Photos from iMovie and Aperture are available with a click. Photos can be dropped onto the viewing timeline, drag and drop style. Each transition between photos has finite controls, and each photo has controls for movement and location on the photo– pan or zoom.
Plus, each photo can be matched to a music or audio timeline.
The functions I love the most are the granular controls over transitions, the timeline scrubber, and, of course, the real time preview option.
There’s more going on here than the Ken Burns effect in iMovie. Photo to Movie has a learning curve because, well, there’s much to learn. Thankfully, the developer has plenty of YouTube instruction videos so you can see how to put each effect into use.
It’s all point and click, of course, but you’ll need to know what to click, when to click, and why to click, so the video tutorials are highly recommended. Photo to Movie’s interface works much different– other than the timeline– than another favorite photo to movie app, Fotomagico, which is more expensive.
There’s also a Windows version, and a try-before-you-buy option, but you’ll need to give it some time as there is much to learn, and though the first slideshow movie won’t take long, the extra effects take awhile to master.