Slide shows can be a tedious and frustrating process. I've spend hours setting keyframes, making adjustments, and then going back to make adjustments after the client has added his input. There had to be a better way.
There is. I created an animation preset that adds expressions to opacity, position, and rotation based on layer in and outpoints. I have a starting position effect control for point control, z position slider, and rotation angles for x y and z as well as a setup check box and ease checkboxes for each of properties and a slider to set the length of the transition. Using this preset there is no need to set any keyframes. It's as automated as I can make it.
Here's my procedure:
- Set up an action in Photoshop to size the photos to about 2X the composition width, make sharpness and color corrections, and whatever other adjustments need to be made in the slide show. I picked 2X because it's the most common in my workflow but you can use any size you want.
- Run the action as a batch on the images and place them as copies in a new folder.
- Import the images to AE.
- Drop them all in a timeline
- Trim them to the desired timing (4 seconds for example)
- Make sure the images are in order with the first image at the bottom and the last image at the comp
- Make all layers 3D
- Apply the preset to all images
- Place the CTI at the out point (4 seconds) of the group of layers
- Start at the bottom image, solo the layer, click setup, and adjust the final position of the image using x, y, z position, x y z rotation.
- Move to the first frame, use the first position expression controls to set the starting position
- Preview the move
- Uncheck Setup, then repeat for all other layers
- If any images should be on for a longer time adjust their out points
- Make sure that your composition is long enough to hold all of the images (10 images @ 4 seconds means minimum comp length = 40 seconds)
- Select the bottom layer, then shift select the top layer
- Set the blend mode to Alpha Add for all layers
- Use the keyframe assistant to sequence the layers with the same overlap as the transition slider (default for me is 24 frames)
- Preview, fine tune
Using this technique I recently created a 7 minute slide show with about 90 images in about 30 minutes.
Here's the preset. I've been wanting to do a tutorial before releasing it but I've been too busy to get to it. Just unzip it, drop it in your User Presets folder or browse to it and enjoy. I hope it helps.
Also check out Andrew Kramer's various tutorials on slideshows and Sure Target... Some of that may come in handy. You can of course automate everything much, much further, but that would require extensive scripting and expression rigging, which probably means you will have to hire someone who can do it or spend quite a bit of time setting it up yourself...