I've been asked to throw together a slideshow for a wake tomorrow. Given the time constraint, it'll have to be a fairly simple affair with pics, an MP3 or two, some title cards and simple transitions / pan-and-scan / etc. I know to the resize the pics to 1000 x 750. So I think I'm set, except...
I have a question about how to render it...
I'm pretty sure they have a DVD player, so that's Plan A. I thought they could just set up the repeat feature on the DVD player to continously cycle the slideshow, but how would I burn a DVD so that it automatically starts upon repeat? Is it just as simple as not including a menu? Is there anything else I'm missing? I don't want them to plop the DVD in have it not work, or only play once. FWIW, I'm using Taiyo Yuden media (DVD-R, I believe).
But... I also think they have a laptop hooked up via HDMI If so, would that be a better/safer bet than my Plan A? If so, what should I render it as? I'm thinking I'd just throw it on a USB flash drive. I'm not sure what OS they have, so I'd need something that worked on Mac or Win. I'm assuming any Apple or Windows media player would have an auto-repeat function to allow for continious repeat. Oh, and if I'm going this route, what project settings would I use to take advantage of the HD setup (and should I resize the pics to something > 1000x750)?
I'm using PRE 7.
ETA: Another option I have is to use Adobe Lightroom to create a slideshow. It would definitely be quicker, although more limited. It can export the entire thing as "H.264 MPEG-4". Is that something I could put on a flash drive? Is it something I could suck into PRE and create a DVD from?
Message was edited by: Ed.Macke
Sorry for the gravity of your Project.
As for the Repeat function, just create an AutoPlay DVD, with no Menus, and no navigation. The Repeat on the DVD player will take care of the rest.
Just did similar for a burial services display, and then for a Live Auction Lot presentation. In both cases, the DVD players handled the Repeat just fine - no Menus, no navigation, just the AutoPlay.
PS - if you have any issues with the MP3's, just convert them to PCM/WAV @ 48KHz 16-bit, and work with those. I would also just use one of the "regular" Audio Tracks, and NOT the Soundtrack. Some users have had issues with it (and Narration), so to keep you from possibly be slowed down, I'd keep it simple.
Question 1: What could I use to convert the MP3 to WAV? I'm looking for simple and free, in that order. I use Audiograbber for converting WAV to MP3; I'm not sure if it goes backwards.
Question 2: What do you think about the non-DVD route? Now that I'm thinking of it, if they're using a HD TV, a DVD project would have the old black bars on the side, whereas a HD project could take advantage of the 16:9 ratio.
Also, if the non-DVD route would work, what would I use for project settings. I know that's hugely important because once you start a project the settings are locked in. I'd hate to pick incorrectly and find out at the end...:(
I use Adobe Audition, but it is neither simple, nor free. I believe that the free audio-editor, Audacity, can Open MP3's, and Save as WAV.
Good luck, and I would try those MP3's first, keeping the conversion in the back of your mind, incase you have issues.
Now, if you have a laptop with composite AV connections out, and the HD TV has compoiste AV connections in, you could set up an HD Project (if you do not have existing Video, or things get a bit dicey), Scale the Still Images to match the Project, say 1920 x 1080 (full-HD), and then, when edited, Export/Share to a format, that will play in a software player on your laptop. I would think that full-HD H.264 would be good for this, and then I would either use (or download and install, if you do not have it), either the free VLC Player, or the free MediaPlayer Classic HC. With the proper cables, and a setting of the Input on the TV, you should be able to get the signal from your laptop. As for the Repeat, I cannot recall if either VLC, or MPC HC have a Repeat function for playback, but will check, and report back.
For another production for a memorial service, I just Exported to H.264, Copied it over to a thumbdrive, and used the computer in the church, to feed to two projectors. The church's software player DID have a Repeat function, but as it was a Mac, I am not sure what it was. Still, things went well.
I'm going to have to double-check with the funeral home, but I believe they said they had an HDMI hookup (I getting this info second-hand). But I'm not sure if that meant that had a cable dangling there for our use, or if they had a laptop already looked up via HDMI. It's always the details, isn't it?
Anyway, with PRE 7, how do I "export to h.264"? In the past I've played with exporting for YouTube, etc. and remembered it felt like I fell into the rabbit hole with all the choices. Since space isn't really a limitation, I'd be looking for best quality.
PrE 7 huh?
I would look into the Share settings for MOV, and if you have a late enough version of Apple's QT Player, plus PrE 7 supporting it, you should be good to go.
I would definitely check with the funeral home and ask for their direction. Someone there should know their equipment, and can tell you what delivery formats (and what method, say DVD-Video, DVD-Data, thumbdrive, external HDD, etc.) they can handle best.
I hope that I have been able to help. While I have recently done similar, the equipment in the field can be very important.
In two cases, I specified what I needed, and in the other two, the people in the field were very helpful, and had answers to all of my questions, on the tips of their tongues. Had they not, I would have had to fly with a bunch of "stuff," to try and cover all bases. I hate to do that, as it usually means doing several versions of a Project, and then filling a carry-on with stuff, that I have to explain to TSA, much of which will not be used.
Good luck, and hope you get all the info, that you need.
Yeah, I was kind of coming to the same conclusion: 2 projects to cover all the bases, 1 DVD and 1 MOV.
What would be ideal is to do one project in HD, and then be able render to .MOV and also DVD. I'd also like it to wash my car and buy me breakfast
I'm pretty sure they have a DVD player, so that's Plan A
But... I also think they have a laptop hooked up via HDMI If so, would that be a better/safer bet than my Plan A?
Go with the dvd player. I've had problems with slow and jerky playback with underpowered laptops.
Bring two disks - just in case you have problems (like somebody drops it and it gets scratched).
Thanks guys for all the advice!
So one thing I did that worked out well was to do the project as a DVD... but as a widescreen DVD project.
Although it wasn't HD quality, it was HD aspect ratio (or close to it) so there were no ugly black bars. Plus, given that most of the pictures I got from people looked like low-quality JPGs of scanned-in printed photos and camera phone shots, I don't think HD quality would have made much difference.
I created 2 DVDs (great suggestion, Peru Bob) and also exported a .MOV as a "Plan B".
Luckily the DVD worked just fine so Plan B wasn't required (although the funeral home couldn't figure out how to get the "repeat" function to work on their player so they had somebody just stand there and press "Play" when it finished... hey, sometimes the low-tech approach works too! ). But it was sure nice to have a "Plan B" without having to create a 2nd project.
But, man, I forgot how convoluted the "share" options are in PRE 7. It took me a long time to find the right .MOV export stuff, and longer still to figure out how to output it as wide-screen (had to change the screen size and PAR... ugh).
As an aside, I resized all my pics to be 1000 pixels wide. In retrospect, I wonder if they should have been slightly larger for a widescreen project - I think the 1000 px advice is for a standard DVD project. It worked out fine, though. Also no problems with MP3's
In the end, the widescreen DVDs worked great on an HDTV, and everybody got to see a nice send-off for their friend/brother/son, so thanks guys for all the helpful advice.
That is great news. Sometimes, having a Plan B in place, sort of offers a "sacrifice" to the "Video gods... "
Sort of like me "sacrificing" a golf ball into the big ravine on #8 of the Kapalua Plantation Course - I want to appease the "golf gods."
Thanks for reporting your success,
As an aside, I resized all my pics to be 1000 pixels wide. In retrospect, I wonder if they should have been slightly larger for a widescreen projec
Steve's the real expert on this but I'm sure he says in his book that all DVD output is essentially 640x480. Different pixel widths / heights provide the different aspect ratios.
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Well, DVDs are actually 720x480 (720x576 PAL). But you're right -- 4:3 and widescreen have the same number of pixels. The pixels are just wider or narrower, depending on whether the TV image is 16:9 or 4:3.
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