NCH Software: Creating Slideshows with Photostage

Photostage from NCH Software is a versatile application for creating slide shows from photos and video clips. The software lets you create various effects as well as add captions, narration and music to your show. Here are a few basic steps for creating a slideshow in Photostage.

Step 1 - Select Images or Video Clips

You first need to select the images or video files that are going to make up your slideshow. To do this, click on File in the top menu bar and select Insert Slides. Photostage has a good interface with the screen divided into different panels. On the top left is a preview window, and next to it is a panel for File List. Below the preview window is the Dashboard, and below that is the Timeline with various tracks for the slides, narration and music. As you select your files, they get added to the File List. These files will be assembled in the sequence you select them. You can make a multiple selection by clicking on the first slide and then pressing the Shift key and clicking on the last slide, which will add them to the Timeline.

Step 2 - Length and Transition Effect

Photostage has default duration of five seconds for each slide, but this can be adjusted by changing the value in the Length box in the Dashboard. The software provides two transition effects which can be selected in the Effect box. One effect is the usual Fade effect, and the other is Cross-fade, which makes the slide fade in a diagonal manner.

Step 3 - Adding Narration and Other Effects

You can add a commentary by clicking the Narrate button and speaking into a mike. Each commentary is added to one slide at a time. If your commentary is long, the duration of the slide gets automatically increased to accommodate the talk time. The Zoom button will let you add a motion of zooming in and out effect to the slide. The Manage Color button gives you control over the Gamma levels and other aspects like brightness and contrast.

Step 4 - Building and Saving the Slideshow

After you are done with all the effects and edits to your slides, you need to click on the Build Slideshow button. The box which comes up gives you several options for the output format. Select the format you want and again click on the Build Slideshow button. This will create the slideshow and for saving it, click on File and select Save Project As.