Our love affair with all things digital has resulted in many terabytes of storage space, whether of the local variety or that situated in the virtual expanse referred to as the Cloud, being taken up by our personal collections of digital photographs. While readily available via various approaches, it does seem rather wasteful if these representatives of our personal memories are left to gather a form of digital dust, caused by faded memories, through the lack of use. MAGIX believes it can help provides a means of keeping these memories fresh with its Photostory Deluxe software which is now in its 2017 version.
Installing the MAGIX software does, like other products from the company, provide alternatives such as selecting the appropriate destination and whether to go with a Standard or Custom option. You can select whether you include modules for Design, Transitions, Menus, Slideshow maker, Soundtrack maker, Movie templates, Title effects and Sound effects along with the main program. In total you could need 9.31GB of hard disk space and have plenty of time to kill. Nearly an hour was taken up by the installation on my Windows 7 test machine.
As is MAGIX's usual practice, Photostory Deluxe 2017 requires the entry of a lengthy serial number. This piece of information consists of a string of 35 numbers split into blocks of five. The serial number is located on a piece of card forming par of the packaging. Its entry will activate the software and instigate an online procedure to register the product using an existing or creating a new account.
In a similar way to the previous edition of the software, the 2017 version opens with an overlaid menu that offers choices of going with a new project, empty project or existing project already under development. There is also an option to view an online tutorial which could appeal to those new to the product. As well as the introductory tutorial, there are others available that cover topics such as Movie templates, Base based editing and Shot match. Shot match is a new feature in this version of the product. This feature will attempt to automatically match the colours and tonal values of two separate images for a more smooth appearance. You can also turn on settings to crop photos to fill the frame and use an aspect of 4:3.
A wizard is available to lead you through the initial steps when opting to create a new slideshow. This wizard allows you to select the photos used in the slideshow. Your initial choice will be limited to the My Photos folder but it is an easy task to drill down and select a folder of your own choosing. With the images selected, a slideshow will be automatically created with or without accompanying background music. While this automatic creation will be a fairly basic offering, combining visual effects and background music, you can then undertake manual editing which will introduce the user to the program’s main interface.
Headed by a familiar Windows-style menu and tool bar arrangement, this interface opens, by default, in Slideshow mode with areas designated as Monitor, Media Pool and Arranger. Using these areas you can view the current state of the slideshow, select from available media including animations, design or effects plus access the slideshow in storyboard and timeline modes. You can add animated titles, transitions and effects using templates, while viewing the results immediately plus add blur and ambiance effects seen for the first time with this version. There is also support for 360 degree photos and videos plus 4K and 3D content.
When creating a slideshow you have the ability to combine up to eight tracks made up of photos, videos and music. Image stabilisation is available through the use of proDAD Mercalli V2 technology. Photostory is compatible with all camera formats including HEVC although this latter feature will require fee-based activation. The software supports a range of import / export formats including AVI, MPEG1/2/4, H.265, WAV, MOV, JPEG and BMP with the addition of DVD and Blu-ray for exporting.
When the slideshow is created to your satisfaction you can switch to Burn mode. You can transfer your project to the appropriate media with a wide choice of menu styles that are customisable. Further options are available to save the slideshow to a computer, export it to a mobile device or upload it to the Internet for sharing with others.
Photoshop Deluxe 2017 combines easy-of-use with some excellent results. The product has been priced at £54.99. Minimum specifications call for a 2GHz processor with 2GB of RAM and at least 2GB of hard disk space running Windows 7 and later.
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