Making a Christmas flash album is not hard and can be a great gift to give out at Christmas or any other holiday that is a cheap alternative to buying expensive gifts for everyone. Flash albums can be made in many different ways and from many different programs, making it easier to figure out a way that works for you. Microsoft PowerPoint is a great way to start if you don’t know how to use more complex programs and can be converted into DVD format and put on a disc that your friends and family can put right in their DVD player and watch. Macromedia Flash is another great program that is easy to use if you take time to learn a little bit about it. You can also now find programs that are made specifically for photo albums and slide shows that you can make the album in and then burn it right to DVD. You can also make an album and email it to everybody for a special laugh here and there. I have looked over and used PowerPoint, Macromedia Flash, and Adobe Premier and have found that of the three PowerPoint is easiest to use, while Macromedia Flash is easier to convert and email, and Adobe Premier is best to use with video and pictures if you are using both.
The first thing that you need to make sure of when you begin on a Christmas Flash album is that you have every photo or image that you are going to use ready and in a compatible format. Once you compile all of the images that you want in your album it is easy to convert them to the form that you need them in with a program such as IrfanView or another converting program. You can also open them in Photoshop and then click on save as and save them as a different file format. Once you have everything in order to begin making your Christmas Flash Album it is always best to put them in the order that you want to use them in by using a notebook or directions in a Word document as to how you want them organized. This not only makes your work easier, but keeps clutter and problems from occurring as often.
The next order of business is to find music or audio to add to your album. There are a few things in this step that you need to consider. First make sure that you legally have the audio that you are going to use and that it has not been illegally downloaded in any way so that you can’t get in trouble in any way. Next you need to make sure that you have rights to use the music in the album as well as making sure that you have credits at the end of your flash album that gives credit to the rightful owner of the audio. This not only covers you from getting in trouble with plagiarism, but also assures that you won’t get sued in anyway. Many people think its no big deal to just use a song that they hear on the radio or that they have on a CD, however people get caught and in trouble for things like that every day and even if things might be ok, you want to do the right thing.
The last thing that you really need to think on and make sure of is the fading effects that you use between photos. You may want to mix it up and use a different one each time by having one fade out and the next spin in, however keeping some kind of consistency is the best alternative. Make sure you set it so that it fades in slowly, but not too slowly so that you don’t make it look bad by it going so fast, and don’t bore your audience by it creeping by. You can add slides that have words so that you can label each part of the album as to what it is, or put little notes to grandma in like “do you remember burning these brownies grandma?”
Use some creativity, but be consistent in what you are doing because you don’t want people to walk away from watching your flash album and be thinking “what was that about”. Good music, good photos, and good effects will make a great flash album, so be sure and try to make sure that you watch your work a few times to find anything that may be wrong with it.