MacMost Now 319: Exporting iPhoto Slideshows as Video

Learn how to create artistic photo slideshows in iPhoto that can then be exported as video files. You can then email these video files, create a DVD or upload to a video sharing site.

Video Transcript
Gary Rosenzweig: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now, in today's episode let's learn how to create video slide-shows in iPhoto. So recently I have run into a lot of people that have been trying to use iMovie and other programs to create video slide-shows. These are just slideshows that you can save-as to videos so you can make DvD's or send them to friends. Well you can use Iphoto to do this and a lot people don't know it, so let's take a look. So you can create a slide show in iphoto by selecting photos and clicking the slide-show button, but that's not what we want to do here. We want to create something that's going to appear on our list on the left, and we can export it. So we want to select some photos, and we want to click the plus button at the bottom here, we do that and we want to select "Slide-show", and we want to make sure it says, "Use selected items in slide show." Hit create, and the slide show will be created and will appear here on your left; at the top you'll see all the images in your slide-show, and you'll be able to rename your slide-show if you like over here. Now we can change the settings in our slide show. Click the settings button here at the bottom, and you get this little control here, you can change the number of seconds for each slide show, you can change the length of the slide-show to fit the music, you can change the type of transition - and there are a lot of different options if you want to use transitions. You can go ahead and change the caption, all sorts of different things here. Even the aspect ratio of the final slide show, so let's go and create one for standard television, 4:3. You can also change the settings for each individual photo. So this photo here that's selected, we can change it to use a special effect or something else. You can also change the transition, and even set a Ken Burns effect for this particular photo. Down below here we can change the music and select music from Garage Band or from our collection. Now if you like you can choose a theme, which will create a variety of special effects throughout. So, for instance, you can choose a scrapbook theme here, and then you're going to get a very interesting looking slide-show. And now you can also change the order of the photos here at the top, you can change all of these different settings keep going back to it. Even if you leave the slide-show, and go back to your photos you can always return to the slide-show here, to continue to edit and work with it, to get it just like you want. Previews here allow you to preview full-screen, or inside of this window. Now the great thing about these slide-shows is you can export them as video. So you can go into the export area by clicking this button and you can choose to send-to iTunes or you can choose a variety of different sizes of video to send out. You see you can even do a very large size right here which is perfect for importing into, say, another program like iMovie, and you won't lose any resolution. Or if you know you're going to be exporting for a certain size you can choose that one. You can also choose custom export, which will allow you to choose from a larger variety of things, like say, for your Apple-TV, or you could just use just plain quick-time movie and then set each of the settings for video and audio individually so you can create the type of movie that you want. One reason you may want to bring the resulted video into iMovie is so you can add subtitles to each of the images in iMovie very easily, you could also add narration to your entire slide-show in iMovie and then export that again. Whether you take it directly from iPhoto or bring it to Imovie first you can still upload to sites like YouTube, or mobile me, or even create a compact version to e-mail to friends. So while you certainly can use iMovie, or even Keynote to create slideshows, a lot of people overlook this basic functionality in iPhoto, so check it out! Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 29 Responses to “MacMost Now 319: Exporting iPhoto Slideshows as Video”

    wilson Abrego
    12/18/09 @ 3:21 am

    everething works jut fine ’till i want to sync with my iphone 3g don’t know why little help !!!!pleaes

    wilson Abrego
    12/18/09 @ 4:02 am

    Hey just forget about it .

    I found the way how to do it.


    wilson Abrego
    12/18/09 @ 5:02 pm

    OK What should I do to e-mail it ?

    Help please!!!

    1/16/10 @ 9:32 pm

    It Looks easy but you cannot expert the theme with the photos, for instance you selected scapbook as a theme but when you export slideshow to quicktime video or directly to idvd it will no export the scapbook theme which is frustrating, all you get is a black background with your photos jumping from one to the other, so if you know of a way to export the scapbook theme as well as photos please notify me regards Deke.

      1/17/10 @ 12:51 am

      You definitely CAN export a slideshow to a video with the theme. I just tried it to confirm. I created a new slideshow in the left sidebar. Then I pressed the theme button at the bottom and chose “scrapbook.” Played it to see it in action. Then I pressed the big Export button at the bottom of the window. Chose a resolution and it exported as a .m4v video with the scrapbook theme.
      Perhaps you set up a slideshow and then chose to export just the photos from it instead of the slideshow itself?

        6/9/11 @ 9:21 am

        I have the same issue. Maybe I am confused by step 1: “Create a new slideshow in the left sidebar.” I am good at taking an event or libray and hitting the “Slideshow” button at the bottom (on version ’09), and getting it just how I want it, but when I stop it and send to iDVD, I get only the music and picures but not the theme such as “Scrapbook” Just now I went to “Export Slideshow” and it seems to be working, (VERY slow with 557 photos), but aren’t I supposed to be able to go straight to iDVD and burn?

          6/9/11 @ 9:42 am

          I can’t remember exactly how it was in 09 (have been using 11 for so long). But you don’t want to just hit the Slideshow button. That kinda creates a temporary “quick” slideshow. You want to select the photos, and then look in the left sidebar at the bottom for the + button and create a slideshow there. In 11 There is a “Create” button at the bottom right, but in 09 I think it is a + button. Or, try File, New, Slideshow.

          6/9/11 @ 10:44 am

          Never mind. I actually watched the video, which I should have done first. Thanks for the site!

    Lou Gold
    3/25/10 @ 6:27 pm

    When I export the video, it is not placed anywhere. I find it ONLY in the iPhoto application but I can’t access it to export to iMovie or to attach to an email or upload to youtube. The folder called iPhoto slideshows is completely empty.

    what now?



      3/26/10 @ 7:59 am

      When you export using File, Export, you get to choose where you want the resulting movie to go. Put it on your Desktop or your Documents folder to make it easier to find later if you like.

        6/28/11 @ 6:26 am

        Gary: Please help — I have created a slideshow with > 100 photos and some music, etc. Each time I try exporting to iDVD or a folder on my desktop, however, the export process takes an exceedingly long time (perhaps due to the heavy images?), but then — much worse — I receive an error message and the process doesn’t seem to go through. We have an iMac from last year running near-current versions of all of the relevant programs. Seems as though others have had this problem as well. All I’d like to do is to burn a DVD of the slideshow for viewing on standard DVD players.

          6/28/11 @ 12:23 pm

          Perhaps a photo is corrupt or missing? Music? Hard to say without a first-hand look. Just try re-building the slideshow and see if that helps (easy if you put all the photos in an album first).

            6/28/11 @ 2:32 pm

            Thanks, Gary. From what I’ve now read, if a Mac is set up to go into sleep mode, and the Mac sleeps during the export process (which can happen depending on how data heavy the slide show is and how long the export process takes), that can gum up the works. Have to adjust the settings so that it doesn’t go into sleep mode.

              6/28/11 @ 2:48 pm

              The export was taking that long (or your sleep time was that short)? What happened when you turned off sleep mode and tried it?

    7/10/10 @ 10:24 pm

    Hey man, great job with this video. I was messing around with I-photo trying to make a slide show but having problems exporting it with music. I searched online and found a lot of people with the same problems and many different ideas about what was wrong.

    Then I found your site and realized I was doing everything all wrong. After watching your video I was able to complete the project very quickly. Thanks a million…


    3/5/11 @ 7:38 am

    Great instruction, straight forward, easy to follow and I had my slideshow to video in about 2 minutes. Thanks from a VERY new mac user.

    7/30/11 @ 3:19 pm

    Hi, GAry~
    I n assigning a Theme ot my slideshow, it will not apply the music I select:it continually replaces the selection with one on the ‘sample’ or default list- even when the slideshow plays correctly, after I export it ( and it has even burned onto DVDs with incorrect music and default settings- i.e. loop song- not music/ slide fit to music….) ARRGH!!!
    It appears if I use the music songs provided with the program ( samples/ defaults) it is fine,but trying to add my own music, it is a no- go and mac replaces my music with the first in the sample category…
    Please help. Thank you.

      7/30/11 @ 3:50 pm

      Odd. Perhaps the music you are trying to add is a format not supported? Just a guess. Maybe try converting it to a standard .mp3 and see if that works.

    11/16/11 @ 9:21 pm

    The video is very helpful however, when I open up my iPhoto, there is no plus sign at the bottom of my screen. Am I doing something particularly stupid? In my defence, I am a relatively new user to the MacBook!

    Grateful for your help.

      11/16/11 @ 11:58 pm

      This is an old video. Look in the File menu to create “New” things.

    12/2/11 @ 5:04 pm

    Exporting a slide show from iPhoto always fails at the last second with an error message :OSSstatus error -9459. Why is that?

    MacBook Pro
    2.4 GHz Core duo
    OS X 10.6.8
    4 GB RAM
    iPhoto 8.1.2

      12/2/11 @ 6:30 pm

      Searching for an answer it seems it has to do with display sleep. Turn off display sleep in your Energy Saver preferences and see if that works.

    12/31/11 @ 1:45 am

    Man, thank you very much for this comment.
    I was going crazy with my iPhoto, cause it was the sixth time that i just got a file with a black screen – sometimes white -, with any photo or sound, and just, and all because I was exporting from a Album and not a Slideshow Presentation.
    Thanks for the hint about this tiny detail.

    The Jazzcat
    3/27/12 @ 11:07 am

    Hello Gary,

    I have created slideshows in Iphoto and I have selected music to go along with them. If a tune is 7 minutes, I expect a 7 minute slideshow when I export it to a movie. What happens is that the slide show turns out to be 2 minutes and 43 seconds. Why am I having this problem when exporting the slide show to match the length of my music?

      3/27/12 @ 1:33 pm

      Not sure. Experiment. Try setting it so slides are X seconds long and then doing the math to get it to the right length. Maybe make it in iMovie or Keynote for more control.

    9/7/12 @ 5:55 pm

    How do I save my slideshow to a DVD?? Can you please gave me step by step instructions?? I don’t have IDVD just the iPhoto application. thanks so much

      9/7/12 @ 6:05 pm

      You can’t create a DVD without DVD creation software. So you’ll need iDVD, if you can get it. Or an alternative, like the apps in the Mac App Store or something like Toast. Or, just find a better way to distribute the video than DVD.

    11/4/12 @ 12:23 pm

    hi Gary, Great info. For some reason though, my iPhoto doesn’t have the “Export” button on the lower section. Any idea why? I can export from the File menu, but it doesn’t give me the options for exporting.

      11/4/12 @ 12:35 pm

      This video is from 2009, so it would have been for iPhoto 09. You probably have iPhoto 11. Things are in a different place, but the options should still be there. Look around for it while creating a slideshow.

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