Create a DVD slideshow with iPhoto and iDVD

LCD Monitors displaying slideshows in businesses and schools are all over the place. Ever wonder how they made these slideshows? Ever want to make one of your own?

You can easily create video slideshow DVDs of your vacation, holidays or birthday parties. All you need is iPhoto, iDVD, a blank DVD and the following tutorial.

Creating the Slideshow:

– Open iPhoto and click on the plus sign at the bottom.

– Choose “Slideshow” from the choices on the top.

– Name your Slideshow and click “Create”.

Choosing your pictures:

Go through your iPhoto Library and pick out the pictures you want in your slideshow. Don’t stress about what order they are in, you can always rearrange them later. You can either select them one by one, in groups or all of them. Once you select your photos, drag them to your slideshow on the left column.

You will know you did this right if there is a green circle with a plus sign and a red circle with the number of photos you selected inside.

Customizing the slideshow:

Rearranging – Along the top, you will see the pictures included in the slideshow. They are in order from left to right. To move them around, click and drag the photo to it’s new place. It’s very similar to moving icons around on the dock. Use the slider underneath the pictures to scroll through all of them.

For the next section, click on the “Settings” button at the bottom of iPhoto. The settings dialogue affects the entire slideshow, as opposed to the “Adjust” button which only deals with the selected slide(s).

Slide and Transition speed – The slide speed adjusts how long each slide stays on the screen for. I recommend a reasonably quick speed unless the images have a large amount of text inside or are meant to be looked at for a long time. Transition speed is how long it takes one slide to transition into the next. You may want to play with this and watch how it affects your slideshow. Remember, some transition effects are better if you choose a quicker setting while others are nice when slowed down. It’s up to you, so play around with the transitions and their speeds until you find something nice.

Image formatting – In order to format the images correctly, you will need to know where your slideshow is being shown. iPhoto can format images for your Mac’s display, a standard 4:3 ratio television, and a 16:9 widescreen television. Choose the slideshow format at the bottom of the Settings dialogue. Next, towards the middle, checking the “Scale photos to fill screen” will fill the entire screen with your picture, however, it may cut out portions of the photograph. For best results, you should format all pictures for the display you are using before putting the images into the slideshow.

Ken Burns Effect – The Ken Burns Effect is the perception of motion by either zooming in, zooming out or sliding the image in any direction. Basically, the slide will move while it’s being displayed. If you want this, check the “Automatic Ken Burns Effect” checkbox. If you just want the picture to sit still on the screen, uncheck this box.

Music – If you’d like to add Music to your slideshow, first decide whether you would like the music to repeat itself while the slides play (More slides than music) or if you would like the music and slides to fit together. I’d recommend trying both and seeing which one you prefer as it really depends on the length of song music you choose and the amount of slides you have. Once you pick this, click “OK” to close the Settings dialogue and click the “Music” button at the bottom of iPhoto. This will load your iTunes library and allow you to pick which song(s) you would like in your slideshow.

Note: If you use a song purchased from the iTunes library, and it is authorized for your Mac, you won’t be able to use the song on other computers. Remember this when transferring slideshows. Since we are making a DVD in this tutorial, it’s not such a concern.

Now, watch your slideshow and make sure everything is perfect. When you are finished, go on to the next step.

Exporting to iDVD:

To send your slideshow to iDVD, click “Share” on the Menu Bar and choose “Send to iDVD”. It may take a few minutes while iPhoto prepares your slideshow for iDVD. Once it’s done, iDVD will open up.

Note: If you have a single picture selected, iPhoto will ask you if you want to send the single picture or the whole slideshow to iDVD. Choose “Send Whole Slideshow”.

Creating the DVD:

Once iDVD opens up, you will see the familiar “Revolution” theme. You may change this if you like but for our purpose, we want a DVD that just plays the show over and over again. Since we exported our slideshow from iPhoto, it’s already set up for us. Now, just a few tweaks and we’re good to go.

– Click on the “DVD Map” button at the bottom.

Slideshow DVD

You will see three squares. The one in the center is the DVD Menu. On the right is our slideshow and on the left is the autoplay square.

– Drag and drop the slideshow (right square) into the autoplay square.

Slideshow DVD

– Click on the left square and choose “Show Inspector” from View on the Menu Bar.

Slideshow DVD

– Check the checkbox next to “Loop Movie”.

Slideshow DVD

– Preview the DVD to make sure everything looks good.

– Choose “Burn DVD…” from File on the Menu Bar or click on the burn icon.

Slideshow DVD

– Insert a blank DVD when asked.

– Burn the DVD.

This tutorial was meant as a basic introduction to iDVD. With iDVD, you can create all sorts of intricate DVDs with different menus, chapters, pictures and themes. If you’d like more information, I highly recommend reading either iMovie ’08 & iDVD: The Missing Manual or iMovie ’09 and iDVD: The Missing Manual by David Pogue.

Comments are closed.