Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bringing Your Kids Art to Web 2.0

If you have kids there is probably a good chance that you have a lot of art work done by your kids (especially drawings) just lying around. How about doing something with it, aside from the obvious posting on your refrigerator or putting into a scrapbook? Hhave you thought about making a slideshow/video featuring their art? It is relatively simple to do and your kids will get a kick out of seeing their art in a video.

There are a variety of media programs that you can do this with. I use Pinnacle, but any number of programs will allow you to do this. You'll need a scanner, video editing program, and a dvd burning program (a blank dvd of course), in addition to a dvd player and television to watch it on (you can view it on your computer but the effect isn't the same).

In general, here are the steps that you'll need to do:

  1. Select the pictures or art work that you would to put into in your video. You'll probably want to select a large number, knowing that you might not be able to use them all. It is better to be able to edit down (or trim) then to try to stretch them out.
  2. Scan the pictures in. You'll want to set your scanner to a higher resolution (meaning larger file sizes) . Generally the more pixels you have in your scans, the better your pictures will look in your video.
  3. Select music for your video. There are a variety of themes that you might use in deciding what song to use. Maybe, there is a favorite song of your kids that would work nicely. Maybe, there is a song that just seems to match the art work, or maybe, something that contrasts the selected art work is what you're looking for.
  4. Put your pictures into your work area. You'll want to look over all the art work that you have scanned and put the ones that you wish to include and put them into the video work area of your video editing program for your initial sequence.
  5. Insert the music you've selected into your video to see if you have extra frames after the music stops or if the music continues for several minutes after your frames stop. This can give you an idea of if your song will work with the art that you've selected to use or if you want to add or subtract additional art work. You can also stretch or contract the interval between frames to match the length of your selected song. In some cases you may wish to stretch out the interval between frames or speed it up for dramatic effect.
  6. Remove your selected song. You can put it back in later but if you still need to do any editing, you could hurt the sound of your project if you do further editing with the music in your video.
  7. Edit your frames. There is a good chance that what you scanned is not how you want it to look in your video. The art might be framed in portrait and you want it in landscape (vertical verses horizontal). You might also want to crop or cut things out of the art. There are any variety of things that you might want to edit.
  8. Edit the length between your frames to match your music. If you have more pictures than your music, you can shorten the interval between frames whereas if you have more music than pictures, you'll want to stretch the interval out. If you have selected some art work that you think doesn't fit in, you can still delete it or change the sequence.
  9. Add your music.
  10. Save what you have done. You can save at various times or make use of auto save. It is very frustrating to put a lot of work on something and the program crashes. It doesn't hurt to save often!
  11. Preview your video. Make any adjustments that you deem necessary.
  12. Save your final version.
  13. Burn to a dvd.
  14. Enjoy watching your kids eyes light up and the laughter as they watch their art work come to life!
If you involve your kids in the process (or at least part of the process), they'll get a kick out of it and you'll have a nice keepsake memory for years to come. I put together a slideshow based on art work that my kids did in December and posted it on our channel at YouTube. Feel free to have a look.

What creative things have you do with your kids art? If you have any comments, I’d love to hear them.

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