In this article, I’m going to describe how you can use Pinnacle Video Spin to take those photos that mean so much to you, and convert them into your own movie that really expresses the emotion that the photos represent for you. With special effects, a meaningful audio track and even a voice-over track if you wish, you can transform static photos into a movie that will impress.
Using Pinnacle Video Spin to Make Your Own Movie
You don’t have to pick up a video recorder to create a meaningful movie. Even if you only have photos, the Pinnacle Video Spin software has enough features so that you can use voice-over audio, special effects and music to make your movie interesting and fun to watch. In this article I’m going to guide you through the simple process to make your own movie from just the photos you may have buried away on some directory on your hard drive. Go ahead and dig those photos out, choose a cool soundtrack that expresses best how you feel about the people or events in those photos, and let’s get started.
The thing I really like about Pinnacle Video Spin is that everything is organized in areas of the application that are very easy to follow. In this case, the upper left corner of the application contains the area where you insert your media into the movie – including (from the top button downward in the photo above) video, transitions, titles and text, photos, sound effects and music. As you click on each of these items, you can choose from preloaded files (like the titles or sound effects that are included with Pinnacle), or you can bring in your own file. In this case I brought in an MP3 song.
Loading your selected media into your actual movie tracks is as simple as clicking on the file in the upper left of the application and dragging it down into the “My Movie” track area. Once you drag it in, the background music file will show up on the bottom track as shown above.
One reason I prefer loading the music first is because it gives you a timeline that you can use to determine how long your movie needs to be if you want it to end when the song ends. In this case the movie consists of a picture slideshow, so you click on the photo icon and the application will present you with a series of preview thumbnails when you’ve selected any folder that contains pictures.
The upper right side of the application is where you’ll find the preview window. Click on a photo thumbnail, and this shows you a larger view. Click on an audio file, this is where you can play it. Click on a video file, and this is where you’ll preview it.
To create a photo slideshow alongside the music track, you just grab the photos that you want with your mouse, and drag them down into the movie timeline wherever you want them to show up. As you can see above, the width of each image as it appears in the timeline represents how long that image will appear on the screen. If you want to know exactly how long, just look at the time scale above it. Keep in mind that when you’ve selected the “My Movie” area at the bottom of the application, the preview window displays your entire movie, so if you want to preview what you’ve already created, even before you’re done, just press the play button.
If you just throw a bunch of photos in the timeline with background music, you’ll have a decent movie, but it won’t seem very professional. The images will switch abruptly from one to the other with very little grace. Instead, click on the transitions button and drag your preferred scene transition into the timeline. In the case of pictures, the transition will give you a nice flow from photo to photo. If you chose fade (my favorite), as one photo dissipates, the other one appears. There are 5 pages of cool transitions to choose from. These apply to videos as well, and good transition from one scene to another is the sign of a good movie maker – so choose and place your transitions carefully!
Finally, when you’ve finished with your movie timeline and you like how it plays out in the preview window, you’re ready to “produce” your final movie. Pinnacle Video Spin provides you with a lot of options. When you click on the “Make Movie” tab, you can either export your movie to a file, or to the web. The file formats depend on whether you run the free version of the software or not, as many advanced codecs are not included in the free version. However, if you are just creating movies for the web, then go ahead and click on the “Web” button and you’ll find that you can easily export your new movie to either Yahoo! Video or YouTube.
Do you use Pinnacle Video Spin to make your own movies – if so, what do you like or dislike about it? Do you have some other favorite free movie creation software? Share your insight in the comments section below!