Turn Photos into Music Videos with SmartSHOW 3D

Smartshow Featured

Back a mere 20 years ago families would share photo albums manually by pasting printed photos in books (actual books, if you please) or doing photographic slide shows – photographic transparencies in a projector. This was either a joy or torture, depending on the photographer. Some keen amateurs would even compile music, two projectors and a crossfade unit to make the experience more rich and audiovisual.

In the modern digital age, such presentations have fallen out of favor, and commonly people just share photos by posting them on social media or showing them to each other on their phones. But how can you share your photos with older folks in your family who may not have those same tools for sharing? The answer is the clever DVD and video making tools in SmartSHOW 3D that allow you to share slideshows in many different formats.

Note: This is a sponsored article and was made possible by SmartSHOW 3D. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.

Works Smart

SmartSHOW 3D photo slideshow software is a next-generation app, which takes your family’s snaps or product photos and compiles them into a rich audiovisual presentation. This output is shareable on social media as a video, or you can encode it onto a DVD to share it with those who don’t have access to a computer or smartphone. You can even go old school and share them via a video projector.

Smartshow Main

The software itself looks much like a simple video-editing program, with a timeline down the bottom for sequencing the photos, tabbed tools up top, and a preview of the slideshow to the right.

The tool tabs are:

  • Add – add photos, video clips, GIFs etc. to your show
  • Animation – add animated moves to your photos
  • Transitions – set how the screen changes between photos
  • Music – add background music from a library of 200+
  • Create – make the finished product into something you can upload, send or turn into a DVD.

It’s all very simple and easy to understand, and previewing effects and applying them is just a click or double-click.

Quality Shows

Making a slideshow with SmartSHOW 3D is very easy. Use the Add tab to add a group of photos, using Shift or CTRL to add more than one at a time, then drag them to the timeline. You can also add a whole folder of files with the “Add Folder” icon.

The software will automatically insert transitions between all of your photos, picking them for you randomly from the choices in the Transitions tab. There are many transitions to choose from, from standard fades and pushes to complex wipes and animations.

You can then go to the Music tab and add music, either your own or from the couple hundred built-in tracks in the music collection.

Smartshow Music Collection

Click the Create tab and save it as a video or DVD.

Smartshow Create

That’s it in a nutshell, but there are hidden depths. Almost every effect or transition has settings you can tweak, and everything in your video can be adjusted to your taste.

For example, if you click each transition in your timeline, you can switch it with the choices in the transitions tab: click once for preview and double-click for replace.

Smartshow Transitions

By default, all the photos in your slideshow are stills, framed for full screen. In the animations tab, you can add additional motion to each photo, to make it a little bit more interesting. For example, in amongst the motion, 3D, nature and “complex” animation options (combos of the above) you have a really lovely “Ken Burns” effect, named after the famous rostrum camera operator and documentary filmmaker. His trademark effect was to apply subtle camera moves to still photos in a film to make them more interesting. Now you can, too.

Smartshow Kenburns

There are a ton of really interesting effects, as with most things in video slideshow software “less is more” – but there is so much more there if you want it. There are some very flashy effects and 3D photos twirling about, but the subtle ones are my favorite. They add interest without being too distracting and allow you to see the photos, which is kind of the whole point.

Smartshow Collage

To be fair, all the transitions and animations I tried were not too flashy at all and were in fact really tasteful and professional, which is unusual in this type of picture slideshow software. Most importantly, in style they are very modern, which again is very refreshing, as in the past I’ve had to suffer through many really clichéd and boring transitions and effects in video software. This suite’s effects are bang up to date.

I also loved the templates, which you can populate using a secret wizard in the file menu: Make 5 Min Slideshow. This reveals a set of fully designed templates for you to choose from, containing animation and titles and transitions, all of which are really rather good and quite varied in tone. And most importantly, as I said before, you can adjust all the parameters to suit your taste, even with the pre-built templates.

Smartshow Templates

Action Packed

SmartSHOW 3D by AMS Software is professional slideshow software, a utility which turns stacks of boring photos into lively audiovisual presentations, and it’s good for anything from showing your holiday snaps to granny, to engaging business presentations and even (dare I say it) documentary films in the Ken Burns mode. It’s versatile and easy to use, and for what it does, really not expensive.

This slideshow software for PC is available as a trial, but full versions cost just $39.90 for the standard version and $59.50 for the deluxe version, which adds video clips and DVD burning to the features. SmartSHOW 3D slideshow software is fully compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

Phil South Phil South

Phil South has been writing about tech subjects for over 30 years. Starting out with Your Sinclair magazine in the 80s, and then MacUser and Computer Shopper. He's designed user interfaces for groundbreaking music software, been the technical editor on film making and visual effects books for Elsevier, and helped create the MTE YouTube Channel. He lives and works in South Wales, UK.

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