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Slide Clarity - import from iPhoto


swhazlip

Question

I recently purchased Toast 7 Titanium to make DVD slide shows from my iPhoto library. I've done it using iPhoto and iDvD, but wanted to try Toast. For some reason, when I import my photos into Toast and view the disc image, the pictures are VERY blurry and look out of focus. I know it's not the originals, because I've used them directly in iDvD. Is there another step I need to take in order to properly import my photos?

 

I'm relatively new at this, so any advice would be welcome.

 

Steve H.

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I recently purchased Toast 7 Titanium to make DVD slide shows from my iPhoto library. I've done it using iPhoto and iDvD, but wanted to try Toast. For some reason, when I import my photos into Toast and view the disc image, the pictures are VERY blurry and look out of focus. I know it's not the originals, because I've used them directly in iDvD. Is there another step I need to take in order to properly import my photos?

 

I'm relatively new at this, so any advice would be welcome.

 

Steve H.

This partly may be due to the fact you're not viewing them at the correct resolution on your computer screen. If you choose "Actual size" instead of the full screen default in DVD Player then the slides will appear at their 720 (or 640) x 480 resolution. When DVD player expands the slide image to fit the display it interpolates the added pixels and that causes the pictures to look poor.

 

The reason I say this is partly the issue is that lowering a high resolution image to one suitable for a TV screen does cause some loss of picture quality and detail. Go ahead and burn a DVD with the slide show you created in Toast and see how it looks on the TV. If you're still unhappy with it post some more information such as the resolution of your original images and if you did any enhancement with iPhoto before exporting the images to Toast.

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All,

Thanks for the tips. Here's a brief update...

I produced a small slide show in iPhoto and imported into iDVD. Burned a DVD. Looks great. Took the same group of photos, created a slide show in Toast and burned a DVD. The output is completely unacceptable as far as I'm concerned. When I review the disc image in DVD player, it does help to reduce the size of the view to Normal rather than full screen, but when I burn the DVD and play it on the TV it really looks bad. I can't believe that a product that is so well known can produce results like this. I must be doing something wrong.. but I can't figure out what.. yet!

 

Thanks for your comments and help. I'll keep trying.

 

Steve

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All,

Thanks for the tips. Here's a brief update...

I produced a small slide show in iPhoto and imported into iDVD. Burned a DVD. Looks great. Took the same group of photos, created a slide show in Toast and burned a DVD. The output is completely unacceptable as far as I'm concerned. When I review the disc image in DVD player, it does help to reduce the size of the view to Normal rather than full screen, but when I burn the DVD and play it on the TV it really looks bad. I can't believe that a product that is so well known can produce results like this. I must be doing something wrong.. but I can't figure out what.. yet!

 

Thanks for your comments and help. I'll keep trying.

 

Steve

When you created the slide show in iPhoto you made a QuickTime movie. So the slide show you burned with iDVD was a movie, not still frames. iDVD also can make a still frame slide show and iDVD allows a sound track with those slides whereas Toast doesn't allow audio with its slide shows.

 

I have at times seen very good results from Toast's still-frame slide shows and at times have seen very poor results. The difference seems to involve the resolution of the photos before they went to Toast and what photo enhancing I may have done in iPhoto. If you are shooting with more than a 3 megapixel camera it may be useful to you to export the jpgs from iPhoto at a lower resolution (even as low as 640x480) and drag those to Toast. That way iPhoto is doing the downsampling of the images rather than Toast's MPEG encoder. Also, I found that too much sharpening of images in iPhoto presented an unappealing DVD slide show.

 

Also, experiment with iDVD's still-frame slide show capability. You may like it better than Toast's.

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When you created the slide show in iPhoto you made a QuickTime movie. So the slide show you burned with iDVD was a movie, not still frames. iDVD also can make a still frame slide show and iDVD allows a sound track with those slides whereas Toast doesn't allow audio with its slide shows.

 

I have at times seen very good results from Toast's still-frame slide shows and at times have seen very poor results. The difference seems to involve the resolution of the photos before they went to Toast and what photo enhancing I may have done in iPhoto. If you are shooting with more than a 3 megapixel camera it may be useful to you to export the jpgs from iPhoto at a lower resolution (even as low as 640x480) and drag those to Toast. That way iPhoto is doing the downsampling of the images rather than Toast's MPEG encoder. Also, I found that too much sharpening of images in iPhoto presented an unappealing DVD slide show.

 

Also, experiment with iDVD's still-frame slide show capability. You may like it better than Toast's.

Does the Toast DVD slideshow not make a Quicktime movie first too? I thought it did when you create the transitions etc.

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Does the Toast DVD slideshow not make a Quicktime movie first too? I thought it did when you create the transitions etc.

There are two different DVD slide show formats. Dragging photos into Toast gets you a still-frame slide show. As you play this slide show the pictures advance in a certain number of seconds, can be paused indefinitely and you can advance or go back image-by-image using the chapter skip key on the remote control. In other words, each image is its own chapter (which is why there is a 99-slide limit per title). It's like making your TV act as a slide projector. NTSC still-frame slide shows use a 640x480 resolution.

 

The more popular slide show format is to make a movie where the image is shown at 30 frames per second (NTSC) instead of a still frame. That's what iPhoto created. (Of note, iPhoto resampled the photos at 720x480 when it made that movie). To create one of these with Toast you need to use the bundled application Motion Pictures. Or you could drag in a QuickTime movie created by iPhoto or iMovie or other application that makes movies from jpegs. The advantage of movie slide shows is you can pan and zoom the slide while it appears. The disadvantage is that the picture quality is less than the still-image slide shows. I know this is the opposite of your experience, but technically you should get a better-quality picture with still-frame slide shows than with movie slide shows.

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This partly may be due to the fact you're not viewing them at the correct resolution on your computer screen. If you choose "Actual size" instead of the full screen default in DVD Player then the slides will appear at their 720 (or 640) x 480 resolution. When DVD player expands the slide image to fit the display it interpolates the added pixels and that causes the pictures to look poor.

 

The reason I say this is partly the issue is that lowering a high resolution image to one suitable for a TV screen does cause some loss of picture quality and detail. Go ahead and burn a DVD with the slide show you created in Toast and see how it looks on the TV. If you're still unhappy with it post some more information such as the resolution of your original images and if you did any enhancement with iPhoto before exporting the images to Toast.

 

I had this same concern and did a burn and the result was ok.

Why do movie DVD's look ok on the Mac, surely the principle would be the same?

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I haven't created a still slide show but have created the movie slide show in motion pictures. On the computer monnitor it looks soft and out of focus yet when played on a stand alone DVD player it is much better quality. I wish Toast could set it to play correctly on the computer. iDVD or iMovie created ones are ok both on computer and stand alone player.

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I had this same concern and did a burn and the result was ok.

Why do movie DVD's look ok on the Mac, surely the principle would be the same?

I wish I knew why the difference. It probably is due to the fact that slide shows are still frames and videos are motion frames. Each slide is a single mpg file and you can advance (or go back) one image at a time using the chapter skip button. Videos, of course, don't work that way as they have 30 frames per second (usually). Why that would make a difference in how sharply the image appears on a computer screen? I don't know.

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I wish I knew why the difference. It probably is due to the fact that slide shows are still frames and videos are motion frames. Each slide is a single mpg file and you can advance (or go back) one image at a time using the chapter skip button. Videos, of course, don't work that way as they have 30 frames per second (usually). Why that would make a difference in how sharply the image appears on a computer screen? I don't know.

 

Could it be that commercial movie DVD's have less compression?

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