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Old April 18th, 2005, 06:32 PM   #1
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Seeking ideas for an easy workflow – Stills on Video DVD

Well, I’ve gone and committed myself to a little pro bono project that has escalated into a rather daunting task. My niece is graduating from a small private school along with about 55 other students and I was asked to put together a DVD video from a selection of images submitted by students and faculty. As it turns out, my niece shows up today with a box of over 350 pictures that she’s collected! Once my jaw returned from it’s gravity check of the floor I realized I have a real time consuming project on my hands.

The question is… what is the least time intensive workflow to accomplish this task? Originally, I thought since most folks have a digital camera these days it would be great to have all the images submitted electronically. I could just suck them all into Photoshop, resize, crop and spit them out as individual layers and into Xpress or Premiere. So I created a website that was simple and somewhat private for people to upload images to. (http://www.fusedog.com/ra) As it turns out most people don’t have a digital camera and I need to do a serious rethink about how to best get these 350+ images into a timeline I can work with.

Here’s what I know so far:

1. Scanning is not an option. Many images are odd sizes and the most I can do at one pass is 4. Then you have to resize, crop rotate, etc. The scanning alone would take a lifetime.

2. I could set up a kind of quasi stop-motion animation table with a camera overhead. Lay out picks one at a time on some matte black foam core and roll off 10 secs or so. I have an XL2 so I could see the remote coming in handy here. Or I could lay out a dozen or so and shoot them with my EOS 1D mkII (huge resolution). Bring that into Photoshop then slice and dice into layers.

3. This is all going to be set to music so I’d like to work with assets in the timeline that are going to be easy to manipulate (i.e. slip’n slides, pushes, pulls, pans, and a gambit of DVE’s). Frankly, I don’t know if stills are easy to work with or not in NLE’s. I’ve only ever used just static shots and not pushed them around to the best of my knowledge.

4. I am guessing that I‘ll have any one image on screen for about 6 secs or so which times 300 (after I throw out the bad pics) = 30 minutes. Which is what they want.

5. I have AfterEffects, Macromedia Director, Flash, PowerPoint, plenty of lights, cameras, tripods and a bag of C-47’s if they could be of any use. ;)

6. I wonder if there is some magic program out there that could streamline this process for me. I’m ready to spend money to get this done because if I have to do it the long way it will surely cost me mucho timeo.

Please excuse me if I’m rambling. I’m still a little freaked out about all this. Any suggestions, comments, ideas or experiences on this subject would be
GREATLY appreciated.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 05:03 AM   #2
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1 & 2: why not have a photolab do this for you? Most can create CD's with digital scans from negatives or photos, usually not too expensively

3: I believe there are special programs that just exist for creating slideshows from images, perhaps it is worth to research them a bit?

4: I do know Sony Vegas can load up an image sequence like that, only problem would be to manipulate them like 3

5: Director or Flash may do some of what you want, I'm not sure. Some NLE's can load Flash fiels (I believe Vegas can do this again as well)

6: see my point 3

I'm afraid this is the best I can do...

Good luck!
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Old April 19th, 2005, 06:20 AM   #3
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As far as getting the pics into digital form there isnt really much i can help with. But scanning 300 pics shouldnt take that long on a flatbed scanner.

Another option would be to tape all pics on the wall and take a picture with a decent resolution digicam. Resolution requirted for video is low so you could probably do this with 100 pics a picture and then crop them out.

As far as creating the slideshow allthough the video editors will do it there are other products such as ProShow Gold or even the free Microsoft one (dont remember its name) that are geared towards slide shows with music and will probably be much faster in doing them.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 02:05 PM   #4
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Thanks for the ideas guys!

I think I found a workflow that is satisfactory. I did a test by laying out a stack of 25 pics on a piece of black foam core. I took a pic with the D1 mkII in RAW format (4992 x 3328 px). I started a master image file in Photoshop at DV res (720 x 480 with 0.9 px aspect ratio). I opened up the RAW image and just selected a portion of the huge image with the marquee tool, ctrl+c and ctrl+v into the DV res file. Ctrl-l (transform) to resize. Sounds like a lot but each image only took about 10secs to do! After the 25 were all there in diffrent layers I went over to Premiere Pro and imported the PSD file as a sequence. It puts all the images in a folder very nicely. I changed the still image preferences to 210 frames (about 7 secs). All I had to do is drag the sequence folder to the timeline and viola! Each image was placed in the timeline for 210 frames. Drop in some transitions and it's a done deal.

For each 25 images it takes about 20 mins from laying them out to being in the time line. That's not bad at all. About 4 hours total.

Thanks again for the great ideas!
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