View Full Version : how to make movie from collage of images

08-20-2017, 04:30 PM
i have a collage of many images (.psd - all layers separate) want to be able to project it at a party - "zooming in" on each individual image in turn, with background music. HOW?? have iMovie '11 version 9.0.9 (1795) and VERY little experience with program.

08-20-2017, 07:37 PM
I don't use iMovie, but what about using Photoshop Animated GIF feature? You already have the layers. Do a Google search if you don't know how. Might be a solution for you.

08-20-2017, 10:50 PM
Thanks you, Diane, for your prompt reply. I took a quick look at the animated gif program at Adobe and, if I understand it, the gif can be used on a website or otherwise on the computer. Perhaps I am not perceiving full range of possibilities?

What I want is something that can be projected to the 150 guests at a wedding reception, much larger size than 60x90 cm and "alive", with possibility of adding background music. Right now all the images form a poster sized collage but a friend suggested converting it to be projected - as a movie, as I understood him. But I am not sure of best way to do it - ┐maybe first frame showing complete collage, second frame zooming in on one of images, third, back to collage, fourth zooming on another of the images, etc., etc. However, with my limited experience and knowledge of the program(s) to do this, I hope that soomeone can advise me best way to achieve this.

Thanks for your help.


08-21-2017, 03:18 PM
What about a slideshow created in Photos? It's very versatile and you can add your choice of music. You would need to import the images individually, then decide on order/length etc, to get the best result.


08-21-2017, 05:04 PM
I work with Premier Pro and After Effects and I am limited in my knowledge of iMovie. But I have done a couple of small projects to gain some familiarity with it.

What you want to do with iMovie will take some creative thinking. The size or length of projection will not be an issue. The projector will take care of it. But can I assume the venue has a projection system and you have a way to play the finished video? Also keep in mind if the picture looks fuzzy in iMovie it will be fuzzy on the screen. You are looking at a lot of work but it will look cool when you are done. Also adding music is easy. Just import the music and drag it under the pictures.

In order to do what you want you could do this using the crop tool. Check out this link and be sure to check out and watch some of the videos at then end.


Post back if you need more help and I will do the best I can. ;)


08-21-2017, 05:31 PM
Thanks you Badshoehabit and Lisa. I had the collage printed as a poster today and talked to the young man who did the job (ONLY Mac in the entire enterprise - no surprise - but place highly recommended.)

We talked a little about this "project" and he said he does this kind of thing on his own, at home, as the company does mostly publicity, etc., no design, etc. He says he works with iMovie and Premier. I didn't hire him, because he seemed too slow moving for my taste - not enough chispa for creativity, besides I want to learn to do it myself.

I have made a few VERY simple movies with iMovie, some starting from iPhoto slideshow (I have done a number of those - very simple with music). Now my ambition for this have grown and what I am dreaming of doing - in the next 3 days!!! - is have a finished project that will random loop all the images to music for which I will make a playlist (would that play randomly too or not - not so important as the image shuffle detail).

That is all well and good but now I have to find out HOW to get there. As soon as I get everything caught up today I will check out Premier, details of iMovie that I have never used, etc., etc. Any tips appreciated.

The party room can project - don't have details of formats, etc. yet but suppose that mp4 format should cover possibilities?

08-21-2017, 08:01 PM
Adobe Premiere Pro is not user friendly. It is a rather expensive commercial package. For what you are doing I would stick to iMovie. It is free and Premiere is not - although you can download a trial for 30 days. But with a three day timeline I would recommend iMovie since you have used it before. I am afraid you are going to find out just how much work goes into creating even a short creative video. My last one was about 5 minutes long and I had easily 30 hours in it - lots of special effects etc. It takes a ton of time. At least you have a vision. I usually have my bosses tell me what they have in mind and then I have to interpret it and come up with the total video.

Check with the party room for the format they want you to bring. They might want a DVD or might be able to play a video file. Ask so you encode with the right format.

To make the music random you will have to drop the tracks in randomly. Have fun!


08-22-2017, 09:40 AM
Thanks, Lisa for your advice and encouragement. The first time I tried iMovie - nearly five years ago - I spent 15 non-stop hours on it - for music, narration and of course images, etc. - Should probably have taken me a couple of hours most but had no idea what I was doing - trying to figure it out as I went along.

If you don't mind answering a couple of probably stupid questions: I know you don't use iMovie much but can you tell me if it is possible in iMovie 10.1.6 to make the video loop randomly? Also, about the Ken Burns effect. I have been seeing it recommended for zooming images but my only personal experience was with that first 9+ minute effort and I quickly removed it after watching preview because it cut off heads, tops of image, etc. I do want all the 43 images to be "somewhat zoomed" but not at cost of losing part of them. Perhaps zoomed is not the right word here but some are very small and I want people to be able to see and read the comments (it is a sort of "visual wedding congratulations " from people who are not able to attend physically (if you are curious enough you can see poster format at http://jmp.sh/7TBf25m ).

Have to clear up all of yesterday and previous - local server must have gone to SC to see eclipse as I had to give up working online as early as around 18:00. Should be able to really get into this by around noon and then slug away until it is finished.

Thanks so much for your help.


08-22-2017, 10:30 AM
Question #1 - Video loop random. A video plays in a straight line from beginning to end on your timeline when encoded. If you want it to appear random you will have to create that on your timeline by mixing up your picture segments. Select a couple and copy/paste them father down in the timeline and repeat. (I hope that makes sense!)

Question #2 - You can control and aim the zoom with the Ken Burn effect. I played with it and zoomed where I wanted and enlarged the area if I wanted it bigger. Try messing with it some more and manipulate the inner guide. You can shift where it zooms to by moving the guide around. The link I listed above does not make that clear but since I do that in Premier all the time I guess I just grabbed the guide and moved it where I wanted it to go. The lines and endpoints can be moved around.

I will take a look at the picture when I get to work and give more input.


08-22-2017, 12:38 PM
Lisa - you are wonderful. I suspected that the loop sequence had to be fixed - thanks for confirming. but I really like your suggestion of peppering sequence with a few repeats. Wonderful and easy to do.

I will definitely play around a bit with the KB and if I can't get it right for this one, maybe for my next little crazy project - in about ten years or in my next attack of looniness(-:

08-22-2017, 03:04 PM
I downloaded your collage and I don't think KB will work for you but - Oh, hallelujah! Photoshop sees it in layers!!! This makes it so much easier. It will be a lot of work but it will be easier. If you don't have Photoshop you can download a free trial (http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/free-trial-download.html?promoid=GXUTM) unless you have the separate pictures or the app that created the collage. But you can take each picture and create an individual jpeg (unless you have those files) and have them appear as singles.

Then you can tweak the pictures to move as you want them to. I am finding iMovie very limited as to your choices of how you can move picture but with some finessing I think you will get a good result. Also you might want to create a blue matte (a jpg picture) that matches the color of the background of the collage and fills the whole screen area to float the pictures in. In case I didn't mention it - you can have layers of tracks for the pictures in effect stacking them. Post back if you have questions or if I am not making sense. ;)


08-22-2017, 04:16 PM
Hi, Lisa. Thanks for looking at the file. All was done with Photoshop and I have the file of each of the 43 images separately, so that not a problem BUT when I test loaded to both imovie and iphoto, 37 of the 43 images, which are not squares, came through with the white surround - in spite of its being transparent in original (one big reason for using .psd). Looked around for a solution, didn't find anything that seemed reasonably doable - however, I had thought about background of some kind for each image so wound up putting each one individually onto its own background. Used the one from the poster but placing images in different areas of the gradients. A few I gave a different bg (like black for the mariachis dressed in black, e.g.) Just now finished that - intentionally cropping size at random, just in proportion image/bg. Thought that might be more flexible for different situations of projections Maybe a matte as well would be a good idea, to avoid blank screen? Could use original of bg, as is or larger??

I do have a couple of questions: you refer to jpeg - is it better to use that than the psd for the movie? or maybe png? or other? In two of the images in print the text is virtually illegible and fuzzy in a couple of others, so I want the best possible definition. Maybe the projection will take care of that? Not sure I know how to get that into imovie but haven't checked operational info yet.

Other question, not sure I understand about layers of tracks.

Think I will take a short break - will check later, after looking at imovie.


08-22-2017, 08:17 PM
1. If you can use psd files that is better. jpeg files have all the layers flattened but it produces a smaller file size. I doubt iMovie recognizes the layers which Premiere will so transparent areas are transparent. If the are is white I would change the white color to a blue that matches the background color. You can do that with the magic wand selection tool and the paint bucket both in Photoshop.

2. If the text is fuzzy it will project fuzzy. You will have to play with changing to a different text that is thicker - or you could add the text in the video instead of on the picture.

3. What I mean by tracks is a stacking of layers. See the picture.



08-28-2017, 08:53 PM
Thanks for all your advice, Lisa. Wasn't able to realize my grandiose visions - due mainly to "quality" of the collection of photos and my lack of expertise. I finally finished with two iPhotos slideshow versions and two iMovie versions. Downloaded Premiere Pro trial and tried that - you told the truth, that it is not particularly user friendly! But I persevered and it was not going too badly until addition of audio. For some reason two of the four mp3 songs for background were pretty well trashed, in spite of being quite good in both other videos and in sources of each. After a dozen or so attempts, I gave up on it before I could tear ALL my hair out!

Program seems very good but beyond my skills - unless I were to spend a few years honing them, then maybe (-: One thing that really was annoying is that all kinds of Adobe files kept popping up all over the compu - I will probably be finding them for the next hundred years! or maybe not - trial was only for 7 days and will have expired by now.

Will see reactions of wedding party on Friday.

Thanks again.


08-29-2017, 09:15 AM
If nothing else, you will realize just how much work goes onto any video/movie you will watch. Most people think you just throw it together in a couple of hours because it looks so simple to them. After looking at the collage you shared I realized it would be very tricky to get some of them to look good as they were very small. However, I am sure whatever your final product is will be wonderful! ;D

Thank you for letting me how it all came out.