November 24, 2009 Leave a comment
This round is all about the extras that are included with both of these free programs. For this post, I am going to take a look at some of the extras included with Google’s Picasa, and then do a later post about the extras included with Live Photo Gallery. To say that both of these programs are completely free to use, they both include some fantastic extras for you to make use of. I am going to concentrate on the ones that I feel are likely to be the most useful to new users.
The new version of Picasa now includes name tags, and this feature is very useful because its such a time saver. As soon as you have installed Picasa and it has finished loading in all of your photos stored on your computer, it begins to scan all of them for peoples faces. You can add a name to a persons photo and then Picasa will find all other instances of that named person and ask you to verify if those photos are of the same person or not You can confirm them all or individually. I personally love this feature and it really works well, saving you the trouble of sifting through all of your photo collection to name individuals included in them. However, do note here that Picasa will find every person’s face in every photo that you have stored! Luckily you can choose to tell it to ignore any that are superfluous.
Creating a Collage.
Another useful feature included in Picasa is the ability to create a collage of a collection of your photographs. To create a collage, you simply select some photos or pictures and then click on the Collage icon at the bottom of the viewing area. You can scramble and shuffle the pictures, change the background to either a plain one or have one of the pictures as a background. Each picture included can have a frame or not, and you have complete control over the finished size of the Collage.
Geotagging in Picasa.
Another very useful included feature is geotagging which is made so easy to do in the new version. If you have a photo that was taken at a particular place or spot, just click on the Places icon and a world map will load on the right hand side of the viewing screen. You can then move and click until you arrive at the town/city or area where the photo was taken. Then all you do is just drag and drop the chosen photo into the map to geotag it. You can add as many shots of that area/building etc as you want just by dragging them to the map area. Each photo geotagged is then assigned a small red ‘flag’ on the right hand lower side to denote that it has been geotagged. Its so easy! Again, I love this feature.
Making a Movie
You can take a collection of pictures and easily create a movie out of them inside Picasa. This feature is ideal for a collection of photos of a trip that you made or a day out for example,or as in my demo a theme. You can add some music to the movie from your music files, decide on the title and the fonts used for it, choose the transitions between each photograph, play it through and then edit it until you are satisfied with the result. You can also add some captions to individual photos when you edit it.
Unfortunately I have not been able to include the completed video in this post to show you as I had lot’s of problems trying to get my video file uploaded to YouTube, in fact I had to give up trying in the end as I do not have unlimited uploads/downloads. This uploading videos area definitely needs sorting out by the Picasa bods as it appears that I am not the only one who has experienced difficulty in this area. Let’s hope that I have better luck in my next post when I’ll be taking a look at the extra features available in Live Photo Gallery.
TG EDIT. Have now managed to get the video uploaded to YouTube by cheating and using Windows Live Movie Maker instead. So the enclosed video is made with Picasa but uploaded with Movie Maker. I have not altered it in any way.