Using Automator to make a slide show from Photos

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Using Automator to make a slide show from Photos

Home Message Board NMUG Genius Bar Board Using Automator to make a slide show from Photos

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  • Keith Kaiser

      I have several Photos libraries on my MacBook Air, I would like to select one that is NOT the default and then use Automator to create a shuffled slideshow from that library. The Photos app can show a slideshow but it has no way to randomize the photos, your stuck with the sort order.

      I really could use a step by step on this as Automator is not my specialty but it’s fun when working. Bonus points if you can add a playlist from Music, again Apple doesn’t give anyway to do this that I can find. Double bonus points if you can make the slide show last as long as the music. But I’m asking a lot there.

      I know there are slideshow making apps but I need this by Saturday and don’t want to try 4 or 5 to get what I need, and this project is more of a one-off than anything. Generally I don’t do slideshows.

      Any help is greatly appreciated.

      • Hi Keith,

        I believe you can do everything you want to do with iMovie.


        • I tried but am obviously not understanding how exactly. Might be easier if I had some better understanding of iMove, another app I know only by name. 😳

          • Hi Keith, I’m no expert, but this worked for me (and it’s a bit long-winded to explain in a post!).

            1 Open iMovie and choose a theme.

            2 Drag your images into the timeline in the left column in the order in which you want them to appear.

            3 Automate the slide changes by selecting all, clicking on Animate in the menu bar and choosing AUTOMATICALLY in the Start Transition field. Don’t worry about setting the duration yet.

            4 With the first slide selected, click on MEDIA in the menu bar, select MUSIC and select the track you want to use

            5 Drag the music track to each of the slides in your slideshow (tedious, but I couldn’t work out a way to do this automatically – though I bet you can!). Drop it on to each image in the main window, not the timeline. They will deposit a circular speaker icon on to each image. Needless to say, these do not get projected!

            6 Return to the first slide. Click ANIMATE in the menu bar and at the bottom of the transitions column click on BUILD ORDER. Select the music track at the top of the small window that opens and in the START drop-down menu under it, select AFTER TRANSITION.

            7 Divide the running time by the number of slides, select all the slides and adjust the running time accordingly. This may take further adjustment, depending on how critical you feel about accuracy. If you add transitions (like dissolves) this will also affect the running time.

            As I said, SOME of this might be able to be automated, but I couldn’t find the appropriate paths when I made my presentation slideshows, and the above method worked just fine (if a little time consuming). If the notes don’t make sense, and no one comes up with a better plan, if you’d like to share a brief zoom 1:1 demo, just let me know.


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