I’ve Got A Secret – FotoMagico 4
I’ve got a secret, and it is called FotoMagico 4 from Boinx Software Ltd. I’ll share my secret as the story continues below, but first some backstory about the footage and stills used in the making of “I’ve Got A Secret” is necessary for perspective. The ugly truth is, I shot all of this material without the right lens or the right camera setup. Last weekend, I was testing a used medium format perspective correction lens designed to create architectural still photographs. It was designed to shoot buildings, not people. See below: It is a big, heavy, older “tank” of a lens. In use, it is locked down on a large ball head as it was in this case, not mounted to a video fluid head to allow for camera movements.
While sitting by the pool, playing with the lens movements and using the pool fence as my reference, a little girl began to ride her bike in circles around the pool. She had a four year old’s magical smile on her face as she circled that pool time after time, after time. It was a subject I couldn’t resist. Though I found this lens to be in serious need of a good cleaning, lubrication, and adjustment; after seeing the download, I decided the subject matter was strong enough, and the story so irresistible, that it was the right material for this review of FotoMagico 4.
This is exactly the type of creative challenge that I love using FotoMagico to solve. For a video overview of FotoMagico 4’s latest features, there is an excellent getting started video on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZuNGKdTUiY The purpose of this review is to evaluate FotoMagico as a creative tool for Hybrid Storytellers, so we will focus more on the art you can use the product to create, and the workflow process rather than on the actual product features or how they are technically used. But first, some background.
About FotoMagico 4.
FotoMagico allows you to create customized slideshows, mixing photos with movies and audio, for a storytelling effect like none other. FotoMagico brings your photos to life and keeps your audience at the edge of their seats.
I discovered FotoMagico in 2006, and purchased my first license after I saw the functions it served. At the time, there were very few options for photographers to use in creating automated slideshows set to music. Though Final Cut Pro was out, it was very complex to use as well as cost prohibitive. At that time, FotoMagico provided very basic services. It could sort and order still slides, move them in a limited “Ken Burns” style onscreen, and it allowed the addition of a background sound or music track. It was simple, easy to use, reasonable priced and functional.
Like so many other limited feature software applications that have come quickly to market and then are soon gone, the feature set of that early version of FotoMagico was for the most part incorporated directly into Apple’s iPhoto about a year later. iPhoto took the market by storm: offering a much better audio interface, allowing the use of your iTunes library, with direct editing of the still photographs. I myself switched because of the extra features and the ease of using a slideshow tool that was directly integrated with my image editor.
While iPhoto has languished in R and D, FotoMagico has continued developing the product and enhancing the feature set, though somewhat flying below the radar of photographers who could best utilize it. Unlike the very limited slideshow capability built inside Lightroom, the UI and feature toolset of FotoMagico is very robust. As a creative artist, everything I seem to want is right there, waiting for my use. This is a product that has evolved gracefully, thoughtfully through the years, with developers who clearly understand both photographic presentation to an audience and what an artist goes through creating them.
There are plenty of photo editing applications, Photoshop being the market leader and most widely known, but applications such as Aperture from Apple, and Adobe’s Lightroom also command a large audience and installed user base. Adobe Premier, AVID, and Final Cut Pro are the leading video editing suites among many others specifically designed for working with video. But while most of these applications can work with mixed media, most are quite limited in features to use in execution, or are incredibly complex in operation with a steep, non-intuitive learning curve to use them effectively.
This need is where FotoMagico magically slips into the cracks. It is a tool designed from the ground up specifically for artists to create slideshows. Simple slideshows quickly, or quite complex audio and video productions using FotoMagico 4’s extensive tool set. If you want simple, neat, and easy, FotoMagico serves the need. Want to get more complex with transitions and some cool trick moves? Again, the power of FotoMagico’s extensive tool set has been almost exactly what I’ve needed to do most anything. I have to be honest and say that I’ve only still scratched the surface of the full creative power FotoMagico has to offer. I suggest you check out their demo that ships installed with the software download. Very impressive. And you can copy/paste the same frames and transitions from the demo into your own creations as a starting point. A fantastic time saver, and very cool.
If you’re a working professional shooting a hybrid mix of stills and video of events, weddings, seniors, children, portraits, or an advanced amateur looking for an easy but pretty way to share your personal slideshows with your family, you definitely need to check out FotoMagico 4 for yourself. It is one of those $99 purchases that after you use it a couple of times, you will wonder how you ever got along before without it.
About Boinx Software
Boinx Software Ltd. is located in Puchheim, near Munich, Germany. Boinx Software develops award-winning animation, video production and photography software for the Mac® platform and iOS devices including the iPhone, iPad and iPod. Boinx iStopMotion is the leading solution for stop motion animation and time-lapse capture, used by many thousands of enthusiastic animators at home, in schools, in advertising agencies and professional animation studios.
Boinx FotoMagico, winner of two Apple Design Awards –
“Best Mac OS X Leopard Graphics and Media Application Runner‐up 2008”
“Best Mac OS X User Experience Runner‐up 2006”
– is a presentation tool for professional photographers. BoinxTV, winner of the “Apple Design Award 2009,” is revolutionary live production software that turns any Mac into a TV studio. Boinx PhotoPresenter, winner of the Apple Design Award 2005 “Best Mac OS X Student Product,” is a quick slideshow tool with a variety of pre‐built templates. Boinx Mouseposé is the indispensable mouse pointer-highlighting tool for users developing presentations, training or demos.
You Gotta See This! is Boinx’s iPhone 4 app that works off of 4th generation gyroscope technology to create amazing 360-degree photo collages. LightLoupe for the iPad provides photographers with an on-the-spot analysis of the technical quality of their photos and VGA connection capabilities for viewing photos on the big screen.
FotoMagico 4 Pricing and Availability
FotoMagico 4 is now available both from the Mac App Store and the Boinx Website for 99.99 USD.
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