Maximum # of Images

With a simple fade in between each image, a music track throughout, not High Quality, NTSC, 16x9 and burned through Toast, what’s the maximum number of images I should expect to squeeze onto a single layer DVD?

Is 200 within reason?


That totally depends on the duration of each slide. It’s about the overall duration.

What would be an appropriate time between images, 5 seconds? What’s the norm?

I don’t think there is a “norm” per se – it really all depends on what you want your presentation to look like. Although, 5 seconds IS a “safe” and “popular” value :wink: Plus, it also gives you a little leeway in making adjustments. And it also depends on what type of transitions you want to incorporate, and how THEY look. You don’t want a transition that seems to last forever, and at the same time you don’t want one to go so fast that it’s almost unnoticeable.

My wife and I have created slideshow presentations of our trips with the following basic steps. But this works for us. Your mileage may vary.

We usually create shows that are approximately 30 minutes long. Too much longer and people get bored. Too much shorter and they begin to wonder why they were asked to view the show in the first place. We pick the music that we want to use and find the track length. Then assume a 5-second display per slide to figure out how many slides we need. If what we’re trying to get across requires more slides, we adjust accordingly. Or vice versa – we cut some slides. We let FotoMagico calculate the correct slide duration length based on the track length and the photos – then examine each slide length for that musical track. If it’s too much less than 5 seconds, we need to cut some slides, or find different music. If it’s too much longer than 5 seconds, then we can add some photos to fill that track to bring the duration length down. Once the slides are in order, we start thinking about transition effects and how long we want those to last. If we have to lengthen a transition, then we need to adjust the duration of the slides that surround that transition.

It’s a lot of working with the timing to get what we want – give some here, take some there – until we’re happy with the results.

If you start off with 5 seconds per slides and you want to add some transitions, then you have some seconds before or after where the transition can occur and not look “forced” or too fast or too slow. If your slide durations are shorter, pictures come hot and heavy and you don’t have much time to play with to allow a transition to be enjoyed.

It takes time and patience to keep track of the timing and playing around with what you have, until you have what you want!!! But it’s a lot of fun when it finally comes to fruition, you show it to people, and they go “Wow! That was GREAT!!!”

Thanks Stan. What I’ve been handed is a senior class banquet slideshow to put together. It consists of about 75 slides (grad portrait and baby pic) and music. These will also have a title (students name) on each grad shot. The audio (music) list is about 12 songs and I can use whatever I want from those 12 or even add to it if I have to. I’ll also be doing an extended version for home viewing. That will consist of about 100 slides (candids only) and music. I’d prefer both shows on a single DVD. Nothing wild as far as transitions as I don’t want it to be “dated” so-to-speak. Also, I’d rather people not pay so much attention to the transition as if that is the show itself.

"If we have to lengthen a transition, then we need to adjust the duration of the slides that surround that transition. "
Is there a sort of a rule of thumb ratio that you would go by or just feel?

Also, if you’re unsure of the screen size that you need to make the show for what would you go for? The first show as I said would be at a banquet and the second show for home use, but of course both shows in the end will be for home use also. Television? Std?, Wide?, 720 or 1080?

Thanks again.

Hi, Ynot –

Let me say that our most recent presentation (my wife’s trek doing the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal) lasted approximately 34 minutes and consisted of 432 slides. It easily fit on a single DVD.

No rule of thumb regarding the length of a transition. It’s difficult to nail this kind of info – I just took a quick look at the presentation and slides average from 4.5 seconds to almost 5.5 seconds, with most “dissolve” transitions lasting 1.5 seconds. Due to the number of slides we had, along with the overall length of the presentation and the music tracks involved, the slides do pump out rather quickly. It really depends on what you want to do and who your audience is. Some old folks can’t assimilate data as fast as younger folks so you may want to slow the show down. Young kids today live in a “fast” world, images flashing before them at breakneck speed. So you might want to speed it up. It really is a personal thing – YOU’RE ACTUALLY PRODUCING AND DIRECTING A MOVIE!!! You might be making the next “Avatar” or “Titanic”!!

As for screen size, I could probably use some help on that one myself. I created the show using my 22" monitor as a guide, and it plays well when shown directly out of FotoMagico on the computer, and also on our 17" MacBook Pro laptops. When I burned the show to disk, some of the text (using 2-lines created in TextEdit and saved and imported as RTF files) resulted in getting chopped off (the text WAS placed near the very bottom of the screen). You really need to know HOW you are going to present the show – seen on the computer’s own monitor, projected using a digital monitor, burned to DVD and played on a DVD player, burned to DVD and played using the DVD player from within the computer? These all affect how the final presentation will look.

Since most homes are now owning flat-screen HDTV’s, you can probably choose settings for wide-screen. Along with that, 720p would be compatible with most of those TV’s as well. The absolute BEST way to view a FotoMagico presentation is directly off the computer. Once you go to DVD you lose quality – there’s no way to avoid it. We don’t have a Blu-Ray burner or player yet, so I can’t speak for that. But I’m told the quality of the images in Blu-Ray are excellent.

You can always save a show to an 4-8 GB USB-Stick! Or load it up to e.g. Vimeo ( and send the link to your friends. If you own a Vimeo Pro account, they allow you to store 5 GB per week and you even can send a password and allow your friends to download the original file uploaded by you!

I think nowadays distribution is better done via the internet avoiding physical carriers like CDs or DVDs!

Hi. I have made a sideshow for a memorial to be projected on a screen. To preserve quality do you think saving it to a USB stick is the best option and then showing it through a laptop? If so, how do I transfer it onto the stick? Thanks!

If you can use a Mac to present it, export it as a standalone player to the USB drive. If it might not be a Mac, create e.g. a HD export to the stick.