Tips for making a "movie" out of many still photos

Hey there,

trying out Shotcut, and have barely any video editing experience, especially not in the past 15 years :wink:

I have a folder with a couple hundred photos, all from a weekend exploring a part of a city.
As a first project with this software, I thought I’ll make a sort of movie out of it, where I might add some music here and there that fits the scene.

Since it’s almost all still images, but they are all 4000x3000 px, and the person to watch this does not have a super high definition TV anyway (grandma of 80y), one thing I thought I could do to make this slightly more interesting than just switching between a bunch of still images with a certain time interval: How about, for images that lend themselves to it, zooming into the image at one side, such that it will be 100% (instead of shrunk) on the target screen, and then sliding it to the other side, with a certain speed - so one can see the whole thing in full detail.

Can I do this in shotcut? How?

Any other things one could do to spice things up a little?

I think you’ve got the right idea. I find, when working with static images it works well to always be gently zooming in or out and or panning to always convey a sense of movement.

To do that with Shotcut, it’s easy. Use the scroll/pan/zoom filter and set some key frames. It should be easy to find a Youtube video showing how to do that.

Thanks, I’ll look for those.

How are the audio capabilities of Shotcut? Are things like having music fade in/out/crossfade, and speech over it, where sometimes the speech needs the music to get less loud, to raise back to normal after speech, etc - easy to do things?
Or would it make more sense to do that in a dedicaterd multi track audio/music production software that I’m used to?
Then again, there are interdependencies - sometimes it would be the image that requires a certain time to appreciate the content, dictating the amount of time and the music has to be made to fit, sometimes it’s the other way around. So I guess I couldn’t just finish the video material and then load the rendered video into a DAW and do all the audio editing - as it will probably turn out that the video also needs some timing modifications here and there again.

Hi, I find the audio capabilities of Shotcut more than adequate for music soundtracks on videos and like yourself I do my own soundtrack for my videos. Other peoples workflow may differ but mine is basically as follows.

  1. Do a edit of the footage, place in timeline, complete the visual aspects of the video. One important thing I find is to leave approximately 2 seconds of each video/image clip beyond the in and out points so that can can increase/decrease a clips length if you need to for timing etc.
  2. Sit down in front of my DAW and run the video, whilst composing the soundtrack. If you want precise timing use the frames counter as a stopwatch etc. Record the soundtrack using the DAW, I generally find it easier to try and the soundtrack at a constant volume and use Shotcut to alter the volume later. Once happy export it as a WAV file (lossless so less decoding required).
  3. Add the soundtrack WAV file as an audio track. If the timing is not precise you have leeway to lengthen/shorten clips without worrying about running out of clip/image.
  4. Using the Gain filter and keyframes on your soundtrack to increase/decrease volume of audio as required.

The best analogy I can think of is that the Gain keyframes is a remote control of the audio fader, you can control when it goes up/down. Same for crossfading across 2 tracks, place the Gain filter on each track then use keyframes to crossfade the audio.

Do this and let Shotcut do all the work. All you need to do is add music later.

In response to your question about the slideshow, here are some rules to follow.
For more than ten years I practiced the “Slide show” with Proshow who went bankrupt.
The main rule is no more than 6 to 7 minutes long, a show that is too long diverts the viewer’s attention and opens the door to conversations.
Transitions yes but moderately, it is the default of beginners is to put too many transitions.
Each view should not exceed 2 to 3 seconds except reading a text or explanations on a given view.
Not too much zooming or de-zooming, give life or movement to a view with judicious movements.
The music gives the atmosphere is the most important point in its choice and it is not easy to find the right music.
You must first create a story board to give the editing a meaning to the story that you want to convey to the viewer.
It is also necessary to intersperse cinematographic videos with the images to give interest to the editing.
Here are some basic tips, there are many more.
Shotcut is very well designed for this kind of editing, I don’t regret
to have abandoned Proshow which was very efficient and at the top in its category, now with Shotcut I discover another universe that of the video which is another very interesting world and I thank its designers and all those who participate in its development. point without forgetting the authors of tutorials and the followers of the forum who give advice on its subject and answer generously to the questions asked.


Thanks for all the tips. I’ll be off for a couple days where I won’t read here, so don’t take this as me not being interested.

I’m definitely going to add either some explaining text sometimes, or narration, or perhaps some of both depending on the situation. The rather small target audience isn’t so good with English, but a lot of signs and explanations are in English. Perhaps me saying something about a place, giving some context, might prevent people from starting to talk instead of watching :wink:

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