Photoshop Elements has an easy to use Slide Show Editor that is really quite powerful. One of its features is the ability to apply pans and zooms to your still images, commonly called the Ken Burns Effect. Many other slide show programs also include this feature, for example Photo Story 3 by Microsoft. However, I find PSE’s very easy to use, so it is my personal choice for making slide shows.
One of the prime ways I use to share the pictures I take is to make a slide show, and then burn it to a DVD for viewing on a widescreen high definition television. PSE cannot actually burn the DVD, but it can produce a video file that can then be imported to a typical video editing program for the burning of the DVD. If you also have Premiere Elements, there is even a more direct way to produce the DVD that is compatible with players attached to your TV.
However, what has been somewhat frustrating, is PSE, even PSE 7, does not directly support producing borderless wide screen or 16:9 aspect ratio .wmv files. It does support producing DVD quality .wmv for standard 4:3 aspect ratio DVDs. Questions on how to do this with PSE frequently come up on user forums. The following link is to a recent discussion on this topic.
After participating in some of these discussions and trying various experiments with PSE 7, I have come up with a series of steps that at least work for me for making a .wmv file in the Slide Show Editor of PSE which can then be imported to a video editing program for burning the DVD which will be borderless when viewed on a high definition widescreen TV. True there is certain level of loss quality that results from making the intermediate .wmv file, but frankly I can’t see it, the final results look great on my wide screen TV.
Ok, with that as a background here is what I did.
- Resize/Crop the slide show images to a 16:9 aspect ratio. I used 1920×1080 pixels.
This not only gets the images to the right aspect ratio, but it tremendously reduces the image file size which will make rendering the slide show movie a lot easier and quicker. You do not need anything near your camera’s image resolution to produce a high quality DVD.
- Put a checkmark in the Landscape option in the Slide Show Preferences dialog.
When you start a new slide show the Slide Show Preferences dialog pops up. See the figure below. As it turned out, this was the key to producing a borderless DVD.
- After you have designed your slide show, and are ready to share/produce or output it, select Output > Send to TV > Widescreen High Definition (720p) to produce the .wmv file.
This is not the recommended output format for producing DVDs as described in the slide show editor.
- Open Premiere Elements (PRE) or another DVD burning program such as those from Nero or Roxio etc, and import the .wmv video file from the above step.
- In PRE Burn the DVD using the WS 720p preset. Similar profiles are presumably in other DVD burning programs.
The advantage of the above approach is all of the transitions, pan/zoom effects etc that were easily generated in the PSE Slide Show Editor are maintained.
I still have some details to work out regarding things like how to handle portrait images, what if the images are not cropped to a 16:9 aspect ratio, and how best to handle extreme zooms. But at least the above process results in a very good quality DVD that plays on my widescreen TV without the borders.
Until next time.