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Friday, December 14, 2012

Review: FotoMagico 4

FotoMagico 4 from Boinx Software is the brainchild of computer engineer and passionate photographer Peter Baumgartner. The software helps you to create impressive digital slideshows using pictures and videos that you can easily share by choosing one of the many export presets for iPad, iPhone, web or DVD.

I've been making slideshow videos in the past by importing pictures in Avid Media Composer and FCP and using keyframes and all kinds of different controls to animate the pictures. With both editing applications I've run into different problems when trying to use it for this purpose. With both you have to control everything with lots of keyframes and filters which leads to great render times before you are able to see any results. FotoMagico 4 on the other hand is specifically tailored for fast and easy creation of professional looking slideshows that will help you to tell your story. And it's not just for pictures. You can also add videos, making it very versatile!

After install, you can watch an introduction video to quickly help you get started
After installing FotoMagico 4 you will be presented with a quick start video explaining you all the basics and help you get started using the software for the first time. I found this to be very helpful and can recommend anyone to watch it before diving in.

FotoMagico 4 is easy to learn and fun to use
When you start FotoMagico 4 for the first time you will notice that it can work together with your Aperture or iPhoto library. Making it very easy to start immediately with creating your first slideshow. Simply drag and drop any picture, video or audio file on the timeline or storyboard and you'll have a slideshow ready in no time. You can even ask FotoMagico to automatically match the slides to the music! So even when you have no prior experience using this kind of software you will have an impressive looking slideshow instantly. But if you're like me and want to have full control over settings, you can find all the options you need exactly where you would expect them to be. Leaving you completely free to unleash your own creativity.

Very easy to control the start and stop of your animations
The thing I really appreciate about FotoMagico 4 is the way you can control the start and finish of your virtual camera (animation). I often used the copy & past geometry functionality to be able to make more subtle camera movements. When making adjustments at the start or finish position of the animation, you'll be presented with helpful guidelines so you are certain that your movements remain perfectly horizontal or vertical. Reversing the animation, changing the order of appearance and swapping pictures without changing any of the other settings, is also very easy to do. You can also use up to 6 layers of photos (transparent PNG images are also supported), videos or titles to complete the look of your slideshow. You can also add narration to your slides.

Lots of professional looking transitions to choose from
It's very easy to add or change transitions between slides and you have many effects to choose from. One other thing I like to mention, is that there are no render times. Everything you change can be played back instantly without compromising playback quality. This makes it very tempting to keep playing with the settings and see if you like the new results.

Export settings
Once you've finished your slideshow you can choose between many different export options. You can export to iPhone, iPad, AppleTV, DVD, YouTube, included standalone player or create a Quicktime movie.


I decided to get my hands dirty and create a slideshow with FotoMagico 4 with some of my randomly picked photographs. The resulting slideshow can be seen here:


FotoMagico 4 is really easy to use and you can have as many or as little control over your slides as you please. The automatic features of FotoMagico 4 are really impressive and give you great results instantly. Creating videos by using pictures has never been easier or fun with true professional results.

FotoMagico 4 (requires Mac OS 10.7.4 Lion, or later) can be downloaded from Mac App Store for $99.99

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