I love it when the real world meets the book-writing world, as it did last week when I was finishing up the slideshow chapter for my O’Reilly Lightroom Adventure book
Derrick Story was down from Sebastopol and we were in my studio office organizing a new Adventure slide show for an on-line presentation. We were using Lightoom’s Slideshow module, of course. With the module it’s really easy to create a simple, yet elegant, slideshow complete with transitions and sound.
I especially like being able use image metadata for captions, which is really important when you have hundreds of slides–which we did– taken by different photographers who all need to be credited. It’s easy as long as all the images have at least one of the IPTC fields filled in properly. (You add and delete metadata in Lightroom’s Library module Metadata tab.)
Here’s how to add a photographer’s name (or other image information) to each slide based on the metadata:
1. In the Lightroom Slideshow module, select Edit from the toolbar (shown below).
2. Select the field containing the caption information you are after. (We selected Creator.) A preview appears at the top of the Text Template Editor dialog box.
3. Run your slideshow. Lightroom “grabs” the IPTC data from each image file and displays the text wherever you placed the field on the master slide, at a size and font of your choice.
Ok, we did this and created this great looking slideshow that ran really well as long as it was within Lightroom. But then, when we went to export the slideshow, trouble.
Lightroom only exports a PDF slideshow, which is very limited to say the least. Lightroom’s smooth transitions, for example, aren’t honored, nor is sound possible. A PDF slideshow was not the right way to go.
What to do?
Well, we came up with a great workaround. I have Snapz Pro X loaded on my Mac which I mostly use to capture screen shots for my books. We set my computer screen to 800 x 600 pixels and “recorded” the slide show using Snapz Pro X’s video capture at 15 frames a second. Derrick edited the QuickTime movie in QuickTime Pro–adding a Flash intro– and we had a movie that can be viewed anywhere.
Ok, so, you need SnapzPro X with video capabilities and you’ll have to pay extra (around $69 from Ambrosia Software) but darn, it sure made the Lightroom’s slideshow module a lot more useful.
BTW, you really don’t need QuickTime Pro, but it comes in handy if you want to edit or resize your movie. It’ll cost you another $29.99 for Windows and Mac. (I use SnagIt for Windows but only for screen shots. Maybe someone can share information about a good Windows video capture application that’s reasonably priced.)
Here is a link to the finished
PS: How many of you want Adobe to include a QuickTime export option in Lightroom? Raise you hands and let Adobe know! (And if you are from Ambrosia Software…. your vote doesn’t count!)