FotoMagico 4.2 review: Bring together image stills, video and music to create a compelling slideshow

Image stills, video, music, all the things that go together to make a compelling slideshow. However, it’s how you put them together, whether the timing is right, the transitions appropriate and the music complimentary that determines whether it works or causes the audience to lose interest. This is the latest version of FotoMagico, a dedicated slideshow app, now with added masks. It all starts by using the libraries to drag and drop media from. There’s also file folders and if you want a location that isn’t represented then right-click in that space and select Add. It’s easy to get hold of, and preview, the media you want to use. There’s two ways of putting things together, either the storyboard mode or the timeline, though in practice they aren’t that much different.

Each frame has a default time and an animation lead in and out setting. These can easily be changed to customise the effect. The image in a frame also has a start position and end position for that frame. It means that you can pan and zoom around inside the image during the period it is on display. It certainly makes it more engaging.

The addition of feathered masks and images in stacks makes it possible to create much more elaborate slideshows than before.

There’s comprehensive text support for the titles, complete with leading and kerning for tweaking the text, but it lacks sophistication in terms of edge effects and shadows. What is good is that the text can, like the images, be moved around in the frame, so that when you come to try to line up the end position of the text it snap-to guides making it easy and quick to line up with the original position. What it doesn’t show is a specific pixel position but there are safe viewing and animation overlay guides so it isn’t a deal-breaker.

In terms of transitions from frame to frame, the ones you get are all nicely done, but there are only 19 of them so projects can start to have the same feel to them with prolonged use.

Each frame with an image has a start and end position so that you can move it around with panning and animation.

The new feature for this version is of course masks, which is where you can introduce a vignette-style effect for a basic use or add a second image to the frame. Then the mask cuts off the top image and shows the second image through. There’s a handy amount of feathering on offer but sadly, few shapes other than oval or rectangle and aside from inverting the mask, it can’t be positioned over specific areas. However, with the feathering and the fact that you can set the size and specify custom opacities for the images seen through the masks, you can achieve quite a lot and produce much more sophisticated looking results.

To round things off there’s music, video and specific chapter headings. You can tint the images with specific colours for a retro-like finish and then there’s the output options. These include saving as your initial format or exporting to YouTube, Vimeo, iPhone, iPad, AppleTV, DVD and QuickTime.

OUR VERDICT

The stacking system is a bit ungainly at times and the masks lack variation that would make this a stellar product, but there’s no doubt it’s a significant enhancement on what the app can do. It’s also, generally, very quick and easy to use, there’s lots of little guides and helpers and a wide variety of output options. Definitely worth a look.

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