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Old Jan 12, 2004, 12:02 AM   #1
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Default Album Creaion Software

I want to create digital photo albums on CD’s that when inserted in a PC will automatically load and run. Each photo to have accompanying visible text describing the photo. My equipment is a Minolta DiMAGE A-1, Dell Inspiron Laptop w/ WIN XP, and Microtek scanner. I have Adobe Photo Elements 2.0, Adobe Photo Album 1.0 and Roxio V6 CD maker. I like Adobe PA, especially the “TAG” feature, but it only accommodates 63 characters of text. I have approximately 2000+ slides dating from 1948 that I am now sorting (Yes, they are still in the little yellow boxes) and plan to copy with the A-1 hopefully utilizing the Olympus slide copy bellows I have owned for years. There are hundreds of B&W photos with some dating back to the late 1800’s that I also want to scan and incorporate into album(s).
Here are my questions:
1. Any suggestions for software to allow the possible large text size on each photo and create CD’s?
2. What is optimum pixel count for viewing on a computer?
3. Would a larger count be better for viewing on a TV with a suitable playback deck?
4. What quality of resolution would be best for copying color slides?
5. Any cautions, technique suggestions, etc.?

Thanks in advance for any help.
Charles
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Old Jan 12, 2004, 8:33 AM   #2
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I can't offer a lot of advice, but here it does:

For general album creation I use jalbum. It's completely free and very flexable. I don't know how it deals with the automatic CD running side of your needs. But I think it's worth looking into. Adobe makes an album creation package that I've heard good things about.

Can't help about pixel count. The scans from the slides will be HUGE. Much bigger than the output of a digital camera.

The problem with viewing on a TV is that its resolution is rather low. So I bet that pictures optimzed for the Computer won't look as good on a TV.

Can't help on tips for slide scanning. Havn't done it, although I have some slides I should get scanned before they go the way of the dodo.

Eric
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Old Jan 12, 2004, 9:13 AM   #3
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Using the Roxio Easy CD creater 6 you can make a photo CD that will auto-run when placed into any computer's CD-ROM. You can also add text and music background to it also. I make them and send them out to friends and family often.
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Old Jan 12, 2004, 9:46 AM   #4
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IrfanView which is free, allows you to create self executing slideshows which you can burn to CD or email if you resize/increase compression to keep the package size down. It might even allow annotated text but I haven't used that feature. VOX
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Old Jan 12, 2004, 10:18 PM   #5
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Since you will probably be adjusting the images and removing dust etc in Photoshop I would just do the lettering there. It is easy and you can select any size and color text you want. You can also move and adjust it after you type so it doesn’t interfere with picture elements. I do lettering on photos in a newsletter I edit and always use Photoshop – I presume the lettering in Elements works the same way.

I would shoot in raw mode and keep the originals. It is a lot easier to get the white balance etc right in the Dimage software using raw mode.

You can save the raw conversions at good quality JPG and batch convert them to screen resolution. I use a 1024 X 768 screen resolution and that is what size I would batch convert to. The images will also look great on a high definition TV in the future at that resolution.

You can open multiple images in Elements by holding the Ctrl key. Open the batch reduced images and apply the lettering. Just select “Save” and close out that image – the next will be ready.

Irfanview will do a nice slideshow once you get the lettering. I don’t think you have to buy anything. I imagine the Adobe Photo Album would do a slideshow as well but I haven’t used it.

Get a soft makeup brush and a can of air. Dust is a real problem with slides and film. Old slides seem to accumulate specks that neither will eliminate and you have to do some cloning in Photoshop. Old Ectachromes need a lot of help – learn to use selective color if Elements has that under Image>Adjustments.
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 8:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
For general album creation I use jalbum
Eric, I was just looking at "jalbum" and I really liked what I saw. One question before I download it: did you download the version with or without the Java engine? The creator claims the one Microsoft uses is too old, but I got wondering if maybe this isn't true of XP.
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 12:23 PM   #7
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The Java in XP (if there even is one, wasn't MS sued over not bundling one?) is probably very old. I would get the one that that comes with java.

I like jalbum for many reasons. In a few cases it offered stuff that other packages charged for, it usually very fast at rebuilding the album to change styles, and it come with so many styles.

It isn't perfect, but I think it's the best free one I found. By far.

Eric
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 12:32 PM   #8
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Thanks for answering quickly, Eric. Will go download the software this minute.
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Old Jan 15, 2004, 5:58 PM   #9
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I agree that JAlbum is a great program. Should go under my "Free Utilites" post under the "Editors" section.

I like how it has the built in FTP section and different skins.

As long as you have Java version 1.3.x or higher, you are alright.
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Old Jan 16, 2004, 7:54 AM   #10
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For anyone deciding to give JAlbum a try, do keep in mind that not all the "skins" (templates) are bugless. I took the time to run through each and every one, looking for those I disliked or that had glitches. It was easy to simply delete them. Also, with not much page-building experience, you can let JAlbum build the album, then you can go in and make adjustments to suit your taste. It's definitely a keeper.
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