One of the best-kept secrets when it comes to making dynamic photo slide shows is Fotomagico. Fotomagico makes creating professional level presentations incredibly easy.Â I’ve been using Fotomagico since version 2.0 and since that time Boinx Software have been regularly releasing updates. Just this past week version 2.5 was released introducing some key enhancements.
Before getting too focused on the new enhancements its important to note what Fotomagico is and is not. Fotomagico is a presentation application for professional photographers. The software enables photographers to create dynamic viewing experiences with greater control and creativity than many other applications. Various display effects combined with music provide a means to wow your audience. Presentations can be exported for use on the web, DVDs, podcasts, etc. Fotomagico is an application for Apple computers (sorry PC users) and leverages Apple QuickTime. Two versions of the software are available including an Express and Pro version.
Features added in version 2.5 that are noteworthy include:
- Adobe Lightroom Support – FotoMagico 2.5 now supports the iMedia Browser framework
- Teleprompter – FotoMagico 2.5 Pro users can show their photos on one display and read their notes for every slide on another.
- YouTube Export – The Sharing Assistant feature adds a new export option, allowing to upload photo presentation videos directly to YouTube.
- Standalone Player – Self-contained movies can now be saved from Fotomagico presentations enabling a broader audience the ability to view presentations created with the software.
- Apple Screensavers – With the click of a button presentations can now be saved as screensavers.
- Watermark Layer – Custom branding slideshows is now possible with the addition of a flexible and persistent graphic layer.
I should note that in addition to the afore mentioned export features one can save out presentations via preset optimized settings for web , iPod, iPhone, AppleTV, HD, QuickTime and MP4 movies. These preset optimization settings make life very easy when you’re looking to produce presentations in a timely fashion.
This weekend I took the time to put Fotomagico 2.5 through its paces and as with previous versions I was impressed. Creating a presentation is simple. To do so you can either click and drag images to the project window from the Finder or from a pull down menu you can choose from image sets or collections with in iMedia Browser framework compatible applications such as iPhoto or Lightroom.Â The project window is intuitively designed and application menus are laid out in a very logical order. A general example of how the application works is available thanks to TroyPhoto via YouTube.
I put together two sample presentations to quickly show what is possible. The first video features some select photographs from my portfolio that were manually placed into the slideshow along with a custom watermark.
Landscape Photography by Jim M. Goldstein
Note: New link provided to higher resolution version
In the second video, photos from my recent trip to Utah and Wyoming were used from Lightroom 2.0:
I did run into one snag with the Lightroom test. Fotomagico seemed to reference libraries on the startup drive only. My main Lightroom library is kept on an external drive for the time being and as a result I was not able to pull from it. I had to track down my local library and use images with in it. At the moment there does not seem to be a way to manually designate Lightroom libraries or any other application libraries if they exist outside of ones startup drive. Although an inconvenience a work around was possible. As new versions of Fotomagico are released I’m sure this will be addressed.
Fotomagico is a great application that I’ve used in the past and will continue to use in the future. If you’re a photographer who uses Apple computers I highly recommend Fotomagico. The application has several strengths including its simplified user interface and overall ease of use. The export options provide photographers an avenue of creating content for a variety of uses. The Boinx team has proven to have an eye for the future keeping pace with modern demands. I will admit I do wish there was the ability to directly export Flash video. For the time being if in need of Flash video one will have to make due with viewing exported movies to YouTube.
All that being said Fotomagico is well worth trying, but be warned in doing so you’ll quickly find how easy and powerful the application is. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself buying a copy as the Express version is only $49 and the Pro version is $129.
[tags]Fotomagico, review, photography[/tags]