Encore has an automated slide show function. It will do random transitions, or pans and time the show to a soundtrack. But it is not speedy.
PPRO or AE can be used for a more customized but more manual effort.
Muvee seems to have just what I need for this project. It is not a plugin, but runs locally and is only $79.99. I just need it for this one project, but I can definitely see myself using it to make some pretty cool home movies via stills and stills to video... And exports QT HD files.
Version 8 just came out - www.muvee.com
Thanks for your input!
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I have a program that is about 5 years old, but still on the market - is both a stand alone program, and a plug-in, Canopus Imaginate.
Its a wonderful progam, about $100 , problem is that they never provided any HD option.
Since I'm now a Mac user, I use Photo to Movie which is a $50 program. There is also a Windows version - not as good as Imaginate, but does the job.
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If you have not looked into ProShow Gold, or their Producer, you might want to give them a look.
As Curt points out, Encore does have a SlideShow feature. Personally, I find it rudimentary, at best, but it does do some neat things. I still do all of mine in PrPro (still looking at ProShow Producer), and by hand, as I treat each image as unique.
I just downloaded Pro Show Gold 4.0 demo. It has so many more feautures, but is more like learning another piece of editing software! Muvee is just kinda one-click with some templates, but you-get-what-you-get with it, and no real options to make changes, etc.
It's good to have a few option to automate some of this stuff. Even with the export from one and import into another piece of software, it still saves a lot of time and gives me some good ideas! I will definitely buy one of these.
Another option, and one that I did not consider is Photoshop Elements. If you use Photoshop, much will be familiar. One feature that PSE has is a SlideShow builder. Much is Big-Button, but much can be tailored to suit. It does a pretty good job, by most accounts. One limitation might be its ability to Export for inclusion in an NLE. It is designed to interface with PrElements and has a rudimentary version of Adobe Dynamic Link. One can just transfer the SlideShow to PrE and can then "Break Apart" the SlideShow for more Video editing, like inserting AVI's, Titles, and even authoring to DVD/BD.
If one does not go that route, I believe that the only AV Export option from PSE is .WMV. This is not an ideal format, and none of the CODEC's will be ideal for additional editing either, as this is designed for streaming and is a delivery-only format.
Still, with those caveats, it might do what you want, and is relatively inexpensive. It's also on sale now, from many certified resellers. The current version is PSE8. Actually, one might be able to pick up the combo pack, PSE & PrE, for less than what most SlideShow programs would cost. This might be especially true, if one found the previous combo, PSE7 & PrE7.