Creating a Custom Video

Should none of the other sharing options be sufficient for your needs, you may want to consider exporting your slideshow to a custom video file. Please note, that this is not for the faint of heart, as quite a bit of QuickTime knowledge may be required to obtain good results.

Select Custom Video... from the Share menu. An assistant appears that guides you through steps necessary to create a custom QuickTime or MP4 movie.

If your slideshow has missing images or audio files, you will first see a page that lists the missing files. If you used DRM protected audio files (songs purchased from the iTunes Music Store), these will also be listed.
The use of DRM protected audio is not recommended as it cannot be exported to QuickTime movies. We recommend that you burn protected songs to an Audio CD in iTunes and re-import them back into iTunes. This strips the DRM protection from the audio files and will lead to minor loss of audio quality, but the resulting audio files can be used without any restrictions. Please refer to the iTunes Help for details on burning Audio CDs and importing songs.

Step 1 of 4: Select Options

Select the rendering, video, and audio options for your exported movie. Rendering options are video size (width and height), framerate (frames per secoond), and a few options settings. Video settings are codec and file format, plus a few codec dependent values like bitrate. Audio settings are again codec, sampling rate and codec dependet values like bitrate or bitdepth.

If you only specify the width or the height in the render settings, the missing value will be calculated automatically. If you specify both the width and height, then this size will be used, even if the aspect ratio does not match the aspect ratio of your slideshow. In this case you will get radio buttons that let you choose whether you want to letterbox or crop your slideshow to make it match your export movie size.

If you specify both width and height, you also get the option to enter a custom pixel aspect ratio, which may be necessary if your exported movie is indented for video output, which often requires non-square pixels (anamorphic formats).

Frame rates between 1 fps and 60 fps are supported. Using a higher framerate improves quality of motion, but rendering times are significantly increased.

There are several video and audio codecs to choose from and each is slightly different. A discussion of each one is beyond the scope of this documentation. Please note that some prior knowledge with video compression settings is required to achieve good results!

Once you find good settings that lead to acceptable results you may want to save them for later access. Choose the Save Preset… command from the Settings popup. Specify a name for the preset file. Then, you can recall these settings by simply selecting the name of the preset from the Settings popup.
Boinx Software Support can help you with specific questions about how to use FotoMagico, but due to limited resources will not be able to help with general questions about video compression settings. You may want to contact Apple Support in this case.

Step 2 of 4: Choose Destination

Specify where the exported QuickTime movie will be saved. FotoMagico will suggest a reasonable filename, but you can also specify your name and location. Please make sure to select a folder that has enough free disk space and write permissions.

If you choose a folder which does not have the correct permissions or if the volume does not have enough free disk space, then an alert will be displayed at the bottom of the assistant and the Start button will be disabled. In this case you need to choose a different folder or different volume.
If none of your volumes have enough free disk space, you need to attach another external hard disk or free up some space on your internal hard disk by deleting stuff you do not need anymore.

Step 3 of 4: Exporting

Once you click the Start button the exporting will begin. Exporting is usually done in 4 steps: Preparing, rendering video, rendering audio, and compressing video. A progress bar for each step is displayed at the bottom of the assistant. Depending on the duration of your slideshow this can take quite a bit of time, so you may want to do this overnight.

Step 4 of 4: Finish Up

The slideshow has been exported to a QuickTime or MP4 movie file. You may now further process it in QuickTime Player or other video editing applications like iMovie or Final Cut Pro. Click the button 'Open in QuickTime Player' to open the movie or click the button 'Reveal in Finder' to locate the file.

Provided that you used the correct settings, you can also create a DVD with iDVD, Toast Titanium, or DVD Studio Pro. Simply drag the exported movie file to your DVD authoring application of choice and proceed from there.

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