How to Make a Photo DVD

Creating a photo DVD can be a fun way to remember an event, vacation or party. Or, photo DVDs can just be used to capture important memories. Digital photos and a photo editing program are required to complete this project.

Step 1: Converting Standard Photos into Digital

If you want to create a photo DVD out of photographs that were taken with a standard camera, you will have to scan them and import then into your computer. This will convert these film images into digital images. If a photo is too big, you may consider reducing it on the scanner so that the entire photo will be captured.

Step 2: Fix Dimensional Issues

One of the main problems with creating a montage of many different photos is that they are all generally not the same proportion. Some will be taken horizontally while others were photographed vertically.

If the program can be flipped, this is an easy solution that can be done with standard programs that come with most computers. If, however, the images have to be cropped or reduced, this will require a standard editing program. For example, Adobe Photoshop Elements can be used to do these type of simple edits.

To fit the size of a standard computer or television screen, convert all photos to the 4:3 landscape format. If pictures are too small, you should not try to expand them. Instead, try adding a border that will make it the correct size. If the photo is too large, it can be reduced. Or, crop out unneeded sections of the photo to better focus on the subject of the photo.

Step 3: Adding the Photos to the Timeline

It’s now time to open up your editing program. If you do not have one, Adobe Premiere Elements, Sony Vegas Movie Studio or Pinnacle Studio are good, relatively inexpensive programs. All of these programs have timelines.

You can import your photos into the program, and then just drag and drop them into the timeline. Try to tell a story with your photos. Putting them in chronological order is a good way to do this. You can also add transitions to better explain what is going on in the photos.

Step 4: Video Length

Within the timeline, you can designate how long the video should run based on how long each photo will last. For example, if you have 30 images and play them for 4 second each, you will have a 2 minute video. Standard video montages run between two and five minutes.

Step 5: Pick the Music

For personal home videos, you can use any type of music that you want, including copyrighted music. As long as you do not publicly broadcast these videos, you can use your favorite song. Just be sure that it is long enough to fit the length of the video. If it is not, either loop it to make it longer or cut it off at the end. Also, make sure the mood of the music matches the mood of the video.

Step 6: Make Your DVD

Render the video. Then, either use the current program if it has a DVD authoring tool or use a standard DVD authoring program, and write the video to a blank DVD.