FAQ Table of Contents
Welcome to TalaPhoto
TalaPhoto was designed to be extremely simple to use, so you can accomplish most tasks just by exploring its menus and windows. This FAQ contains some important tips and background information that will help you get the most out of TalaPhoto's advanced features such as the new Timeline Music editor.
You should at least read the first two topics about the importance of PageSetup and understanding TalaPhoto's five main functions. If you have additional questions please let us know. email@example.com Or visit the TalaPhoto User Forum.
TalaPhoto supports borderless printing and many other special features that your printer may have such as custom paper sizes and margins.
It is very important to use Page Setup in the File menu to select the page size that matches the paper you've loaded into your printer. TalaPhoto uses the page size and its margins to accurately display your photos on screen. So whenever you change the paper size in your printer, you should let TalaPhoto know by using Page Setup.
To get full use of your printer's special features such as Borderless printing, it is very important to install the latest driver from your printer manufacturer's web site. Do not use the default printer drivers that come with OSX or Windows XP, nor generic printing solutions like CUPS. The printer manufacturer's driver will almost always be a better choice.
To see more detail about the print driver's idea of the current paper size and margins, hold Option (Alt on Windows) while selecting the Page Setup command.
TalaPhoto organizes a set of digital photos into a project and makes it very easy to do five things:
TalaPhoto's goal is to make it exceptionally easy to share your digital photos with your friends, family and customers. TalaPhoto is not a general purpose image editor, and so it avoids their excessive complexity. TalaPhoto makes the most common operations as simple as possible and so it's the easiest way to get your images onto paper, into a web page or into a slide show.
TalaPhoto lets you easily choose the kind of project you want to create and then automatically transforms your images to fit into that project. TalaPhoto lets you set the destination for your creative adventure and then helps you navigate there, even on autopilot.
Most other image tools let you work with individual images, but you have to know how to transform and assemble them into your desired goal. You become responsible for organizing the whole project and often manually editing each image. That's a very flexible, but tedious and time consuming approach.
With TalaPhoto you choose a project type, its image size and its overall look. Then with a single click, TalaPhoto automatically scales all your images to fit nicely and creates your finished project in a minute or two. It's so quick and easy that you can finish your project the same afternoon as the photo shoot.
TalaPhoto never, ever, alters nor moves your original image files. TalaPhoto just saves the instructions for displaying and printing your images in the project files. It's important that you also keep the original image files so that the TalaPhoto project can locate them in the future.
For each group of images we recommend creating a folder that's labeled with the event name and date. Then use TalaPhoto's OpenFolder command to load them all into the thumbnail list. You can also drag folders or images from multiple folders into TalaPhoto.
When you import your images, TalaPhoto sorts the thumbnails by the image's filename. This is helpful if the filenames contain a sequence number from the camera or added in when preprocessing the image files.
Reorder the images by dragging them up and down in the thumbnail list. Duplicate or delete thumbnails as needed. Note that the original images are never changed nor deleted even if you change or delete the thumbnails. Having duplicate thumbnails allows you to crop or zoom the same image in a variety of ways.
When you get just the right collection of images, save the project for future use. Project files are relatively small because they contain just references to the image files but not the big image files themselves. So be sure to keep the original image files too.
TalaPhoto sorts your images by their filenames when you first import them. You can also use the Tools->Sort All Images command at any time to sort your images by name or date.
TalaPhoto now provides three ways to reorder your thumbnail images; dragging, copy/paste or the new Reorder Selection command. And you can now dramatically speed up the process by selecting multiple images at the same time.
TalaPhoto supports the standard clicking techniques for selecting multiple images.
- Shift-Click will select all images between the currently selected image and the image you Shift-Click on.
- Command-clicking on Mac or Control-Clicking on Windows will add the clicked image to the current selection. Continue clicking on additional images to add them to your multiple selection. Clicking again on an already selected image will deselect it. Note that selecting images in the desired sequential order can be used to reorder them, see the two FAQ items below about reordering.
Moving, Dragging, Cut, Copy, Paste, Duplicate, Reorder and Delete
If you hold SHIFT while dragging multiple images, they will be dropped in the order that you clicked when selecting them. If you drag multiple images without holding the shift key they will be dropped in their original display order, regardless of the order you selected them.
To reorder your images you can drag them into the preferred order in the thumbnail list. Or you can manually Copy/Paste them into the desired order.
However TalaPhoto now also provides the Reorder Selection command that simplifies the process to a few clicks and avoids a lot of dragging and scrolling. It's a simple two step process; first select multiple thumbnails in the desired order and then chose the Reorder Selection command.
You can reorder any number of images from any locations in the thumbnail list with these steps:
- - Hold Command on Mac or Control on Windows
- - Click on thumbnails in the desired order
- - Right-click on any selected thumbnail and choose Reorder Selection
- - TalaPhoto will reorder the images into the order you clicked them and place them immediately following the first image you clicked
Use Edit -> Add Text Slide to create a new text slide. You can intermix them with the normal image slides to create title slides, chapter markers, credits or copyright slides or a final slide with contact and ordering info.
Since TalaPhoto now lets you define the beginning and ending slides yourself, you could have a title slide showing before the slide show starts, and a credits or contact info slide as the final slide showing after the slide show ends.
Annotations and Captions both overlay text on the slide, and you can choose the font, size, style and justification options for each. The difference is that Annotations are basically attached to the cell or document, while Floating Captions are attached to the image itself. Here's a summary:
- Located at fixed positions on or around the cell
- Does not move when the image is moved or zoomed
- TalaPhoto automatically inserts the contents
- No control over wrap width, wraps at edge of cell
- Font size is relative to the size of the cell
- Any number of captions can be placed anywhere you choose on an image
- Captions follow the image as it's moved and zoomed
- You manually enter the caption's content
- You drag the handle to set the wrap width
- The font size is automatically proportional to image scaling
Switch to the WebDesigner view and use the tool palette to select the image size, background and enable text annotations as desired. Zoom each image, drag it onscreen to crop and enter the text annotation. Click the MakeWeb button to create a photo web page using all of the photos in the current project. They are automatically scaled to thumbnail and web ready images and placed into a folder with the necessary HTML pages. Move this web folder to your web server and view the index.html file to see your photo web page.
Tip: If you don't want to display the scrolling thumbnail list, then you should link directly to the TalaPhoto0000.htm file, instead of linking to the index.html file which creates the full frameset.
Each photo page now includes an Up Arrow button. By default, this button takes the user Back to the page which linked into the photo gallery. Optionally you can provide a Home URL which always takes the user to a specific page. To select your preferred behavior, click on the Up Arrow button in the WebDesigner view.
TalaPhoto selects images to be used as the background for your web pages from the Web Backgrounds folder. Place your own GIF files or JPEG images there to be included in TalaPhoto's list of web backgrounds. Your images can be any size since they will be tiled by the web browser to fill your page.
The first four cells in the WebDesigner's Background tab are solid colors that can be selected as the background color for your photo gallery. You can change these colors from TalaPhoto's preset colors just by double clicking on a colored cell. This opens up a standard color picker where you can choose a new color for that cell. Some color pickers even let you pick up a color from another open window anywhere on your screen. This would let you match the background color to a color in one of your images, or to the exact shade of your logo color.
TalaPhoto uses an HTML template file to create the photo web pages. If you know how to hand edit HTML, then you can edit this file and your changes will occur in all photo pages created from that project.
The default TalaPhoto template file is named Standard.txt and it's located in the TalaPhoto Web Templates folder which is in the user's preferences folder. It's probably easiest to Search for "TalaPhoto Web Templates" to locate it. If TalaPhoto finds more than one template file in that folder, it offers you a popup menu to choose which template to use when building your web pages.
If you want to create a custom template, you should make a copy of the Standard.txt file, edit it and place it within the TalaPhoto Web Templates folder. Then go to the Web Designer tool palette to select the desired template for your project.
Switch to the PhotoShow view and use the tool palette to select the image size, background color and watermark annotation if desired. Zoom each image and drag it onscreen to crop. Use the Timeline Music editor to set the image durations, select a transition effect, and add background music tracks.
Click the MakeShow button to create a QuickTime slideshow using all of the photos in the current project. The entire slideshow is contained in a single file so it's easy to send as an email attachment or include on a CD. Playback requires QuickTime which is included with all Macs and many Windows machines. It's also available from Apple as a free download.
The slideshow can be played in continuous mode like a movie. Or you can manually advance photos using the left and right arrow keys.
TalaPhoto's QuickTime movies may also converted to MPEG2 and burned as a video DVD using third party tools such as Apple's iDVD, Roxio's Toast or Sonic's MyDVD.
TalaPhoto accepts music in many formats including MP3, and all the QuickTime and iTunes formats. You can easily add multiple music tracks to your slideshow using the Timeline Music editor available from the PhotoShow Tools palette. You can Add music files directly, or by Dragging or Copying music tracks from your iTunes library.
If you have purchased music from the iTunes Music Store, it might be restricted for use on a few of your registered systems. TalaPhoto shows these restricted tracks in Red in the Music List to warn you that those tracks might not be playable on other systems.
Opuzz is a great source of royalty free music and they have generously allowed me to include a few of their sample tracks with TalaPhoto. They offer a wide variety of royalty free music that you can download immediately from their site. At the bottom of the Timeline Music editor dialog, there is a link to Opuzz and other royalty free music sites.
1. Images pace the slideshow, so first make sure your images are in the proper order before opening the Timeline window.
2. Next set the desired image duration and transition times. If you want to place music with particular images then be sure to disable the Pace Slides to Music checkbox.
3. Add your music tracks and position as desired. Note: The beginning of a music track will automatically fade down any previous music track.
Here's a step by step process for using the Timeline Music editor. Also remember that TalaPhoto lets you easily experiment until you get just the right effects in your movie.
1. Since images pace the slideshow, first get your images in the proper order before opening the timeline window.
2. The timeline can be zoomed in and out to a comfortable view by clicking the up and down button just to the right of the timeline. You can also use the scroll wheel on your mouse to zoom.
3. Set the slide duration and transition times, which will be the default used by all images in the show. An image can have a custom duration by dragging its red control handle.
For simple shows with minimum synchronization of music to slides you might choose to enable the "Pace slides to music duration" check box. This option automatically paces the images to match the duration of music you add to the project.
Important: If you want to manually place a music track with a corresponding image, be sure to disable the automatic option to "Pace slides to music duration".
4. Selecting music tracks: You can search the music library by filename, title, artist, album name etc. Just start typing in the filter field and the music library will display only matching tracks. Clear the filter field to show all tracks again.
Click a music library heading to sort by that column. This can be helpful to find tracks of a certain length.
To listen to a track in the music library either double click on that track or select a track and hit Return or Enter.
Navigate around in the music library using normal keyboard commands; Home, End, Arrows, PageUp, PageDown, etc.
5. Next add the music tracks. (You may need to remove any existing music tracks.)
In the simplest case, select a track in the music library and click the Copy Tracks button. That track will be added at the end of the last music track. Repeat this step until you have sufficient music to cover all of the images. Music will automatically be faded out at the end of the movie during the black trailer image.
In a more sophisticated case, you may want to place a music track with a particular image. If the music track is already in the timeline just drag it to lineup with the desired image. To add a new music track synchronized to an image, first click that image to select it and then click the Copy Tracks button. Or use the popup menu by right clicking on an item in the music library.
Any preceding music track will automatically be faded out by the presence of the overlapping track. This makes it easy to start a new track at a particular image to set the mood and any previous tracks will automatically fade down.
Note that a music track is placed at an absolute time in the music timeline and is not actually attached to an image. If you reorder images or change their duration the music will not move and synchronization will be altered. So it's best to set the image order and duration early in the process.
6. Moving around in the timeline:
While editing your movie timeline you may want to zoom in to get an expanded view to accurately place a music track at an image. Or you may want to zoom out to see an overview of the whole show. Use the mouse's scroll wheel to zoom, or click the up/down arrow buttons, or click the circular button to toggle between zoomed in and zoomed out views.
There are a wide variety of ways to scroll the timeline left and right.
- Click an item in the music list, moves the timeline to the track start time
- Drag the timeline with the mouse anywhere the OpenHand cursor is showing
- Use the Home, End, PageUp and PageDown keys
- Drag the scrubber control just below the timeline
- Hold Shift and use the mouse's scroll wheel
- Move the Mighty Mouse's scroll ball left and right
Recenter the timeline and zoom it to fill the pane by double clicking any open area in the timeline where the Open Hand cursor shows.
7. Playing your combined music tracks.
Press the Play button to hear your combined music tracks, including the fades from one track to the next. Click Play again to stop. Or use the SPACE bar to toggle Play on and off.
During Play, the timeline will scroll and the mid point cursor arrows point to the current image and time.
After any editing, Play may take a short while to assemble your music tracks. Subsequent Play commands should start immediately.
Play starts playing from the current point in the timeline. So it's handy to first click a track name in the MusicList to position the timeline and then press Play to hear the music transition from that point on. Double clicking a MusicList item does the same thing; positions timeline to track start and plays.
8. Previewing your movie video.
Press the Preview button to see a miniature version of your movie. It may take a while to create your preview movie, depending on its length and complexity. Click Preview again to stop. Or use SHIFT-SPACE bar to toggle Preview on and off.
Note that once a preview movie has been created it will be used without delay during both Play or Preview modes. If the timeline is edited in any way, the preview movie is obsolete. The next time Preview is pressed the preview movie will need to be recreated, causing a short delay while it's rebuilt. Subsequent previews will be immediate, until there are further timeline edits.
9. Final build settings
Before building the final movie, select the Movie Playback Mode using the popup menu in the lower right pane. These choices determine how the movie will be played back on the user's computer. They are not used if you are burning a video DVD for playback on a TV.
Manual QT Player:
- Show the movie in the QuickTime player at normal size
- Don't automatically begin playback
- Let the user click the play button
Auto start QT Player:
- Show the movie in the QuickTime player at normal size
- Automatically begin playback
Auto start on black screen:
- Fill the whole screen with a black window
- Show the movie at normal size
- Automatically begin playback
10. Final Step
When you're ready to build the final movie press the Make Show button, either in the Music Timeline window or in the main window. They do the same thing. Follow the instructions given in the build wizard.
Slide pacing can be set in two ways.
1. If the Pace Slides to Music option is enabled, then TalaPhoto calculates the slide duration such that the slides are evenly spaced and end when the music ends. ie Fixed length music, pace slides to match.
2. If the Pace Slides to Music option is Off, then TalaPhoto uses the slide duration set by the user and fades the music out after the last slide. ie Fixed length slides, fade out music to match.
Note: If you want to manually place music tracks to correspond with particular images then be sure to DISABLE the Pace Slides to Music option.
If you want to evenly spread your images across the music, and you don't need to match particular images to specific music tracks then ENABLING the Pace Slides to Music option can greatly simplify the process.
Play plays the music tracks, Preview plays both the video and audio.
Play ButtonThe Play button's primary function is to play the combined audio tracks and move the timeline to show the corresponding image. There may be a small delay after pressing Play while the audio tracks are processed.
If a Preview movie has already been created (see below), Play will also show the preview video. But Play will not spend the time to create a new preview movie if none currently exists.
The SPACE bar is the standard keyboard shortcut to toggle Play on and off.
Preview ButtonThe Preview button's primary function is to make a small version of your finished movie, including both video and audio. There might be a longer delay before the preview starts playing since all the images must be scaled to fit and the entire movie created. This is a more accurate representation of what the final movie will look like including transitions between images.
Use SHIFT-SPACE bar to toggle Preview on and off.
Each music track is represented by a colored band that is placed on a timeline along with the corresponding images. The music tracks can be moved left and right to match up with the desired images. Drag them using the mouse or click on a track and then use the left and right arrow keys to nudge them. Hold Shift and the arrow keys move in larger steps.
If you move a track so that it overlaps a previous track, that previous track will be automatically faded down at the overlap point. This provides a very easy way to transition from one musical mood to another. Just drag the music track to correspond with an image and the previous music will automatically fade out. This is indicated by the trailing edge of the music track sloping down. ie fading out.
Music tracks that extend before the first image or after the last image are automatically trimmed.
A music track cannot be shorter than its fade in time combined with its fade out time. Such tracks will have zero duration. A zero duration track is shown as just the gray track baseline without any colored track body.
If desired you can manually trim a music track using the four red control handles. The top two control points set the fade duration, and the bottom two control points set the location of the fade. You normally won't need to adjust the track control points unless you want to fade in at some point other than the beginning of a track.
The default slide duration and transition times for all slides are set using the controls at the right side of the timeline dialog.
You can set a custom duration for an individual image by clicking on the image and then dragging its red control handle. The duration of the black leader and trailer images can be adjusted in the same way.
If you want to control the placement of music tracks relative to your images, first make sure that the Pace Slides to Music option is Off. Then either drag your music tracks to the desired position or use one of these aids to help you place music tracks.
- If an image is selected when you click Copy Tracks, the music track will be placed to start at that image time.
- If you hold Shift and click Copy Tracks, the music track is placed at the play head time. ie the center of the visible timeline.
- By default Copy Tracks places the music track at the end of the last current track.
- You can also select any of those three music placement modes from a popup menu. Right-click (control-click) on the desired song in the music library and a menu will appear with the three placement choices listed above.
You may want to change the audio level of an individual music track to match the level of other tracks or to achieve a dramatic effect or to set the mood. While in the Timeline Music editor, you change a music track's audio volume by double clicking on the track's Level% and editing the value directly in the Music List. You can also change a track's level in the Music Library to affect future uses of that track.
The Level% ranges from 0 to 200%, with 100% being the default level found in the actual audio file.
Yes, TalaPhoto allows you to freely intermix image slides, text slides and video clips within your PhotoShow movie.
The Fade to/from Black transitions at the beginning and end of the slide show are now optional. To add them go to the Edit menu and chose Add Text Slide -> At Begin & End. Your slideshow will now have the same length and fade to black transitions as in prior TalaPhoto versions. Use the Timeline Music Editor to change any slide's duration as desired.
You may want to save a default project with the first and last slides set to your liking, and then use that project to create new projects.
TalaPhoto creates a high resolution yet compact QuickTime movie of your Photo Show. These movies can be up to three times smaller than comparable movies from iPhoto. This can be important if you want to post them on the web, email them or save them as a movie file onto a CD or DVD.
For best playback quality on a computer you should use Apple's QuickTime player, available as a free download for both PCs and Macs.
To retain the best quality and avoid scaling artifacts, show the movie at Normal size and do not use Fullscreen mode. When authoring your movie, select a movie size that will be large enough to be shown at Normal size.
To add dramatic impact and focus attention on your movie, enable TalaPhoto's AutoPlay on Black Background option. This will fill the entire playback screen with a black background and then play your movie at normal size.
First author your slide show in a size suitable for DVD, 640x480 is a good starting point. If the DVD will be played back on a TV, consider including a safe area so that your images won't be cropped by the overscan around the edges of most TV monitors. TalaPhoto makes it easy to include a safe area, just use a movie size where the image cell size is smaller than the full frame size. There are several preset choices that include a safe area border and it's easy to create a custom movie size.
After you've built your PhotoShow there are a variety of ways to make a video DVD from TalaPhoto's QuickTime movie file. On a Mac, two good tools are Apple's iDVD 6.0 or Roxio's Toast 6.1 or Toast 7. Be sure to use these versions or later. On a PC you can use Roxio's MyDVD Plus 7. We have also had reports that MyDVD 6 works. Do not use MyDVD 8, Roxio is working on reported bugs with their new version.
If you would like to use a DVD burning program that doesn't support QuickTime files, an alternative is to use QuickTime PRO to Export the TalaPhoto movie to another video format, such as AVI or MPEG4.
While in the MultiPrint view, you can change the layout of the page using the tool palette, but you cannot manipulate the individual photos. If you need to crop or scale a photo, do that first in any other view, and then switch into the MultiPrint view. Also note that for maximum display speed, MultiPrint uses low resolution images onscreen. However your printouts are always done using the original high resolution image files yielding maximum quality.
TalaPhoto's Image Levels dialog let's you easily adjust improperly exposed photos to bring out surprising detail. Since the onscreen image is updated immediately you can just drag the sliders around until you get the best image.
Or you can use the level distribution histogram to guide you. Drag the Black Level slider so the meaningful histogram data starts near the left edge of the chart. Similarly drag the White Level slider so the data approaches the right edge of the chart. Check the image as you do this to make sure you don't blowout the highlight areas. Finally adjust the Midtone slider to bring out image details in areas of general interest.
Click on the center marker for each slider to reset it to the neutral position.
Click on the histogram chart to view the transfer curve instead.
TalaPhoto randomly selects a startup image from the Startup Images folder. Place your own JPEG images there to be included, or remove the files to have no startup image.
Hold Shift while using the arrow keys to move the view faster ie by 8 pixels
Hold Shift during launch to delete the old Preferences file
Hold Shift when opening the Help menu to see registration and logging commands
Hold Shift while rotating a QuickPrint image to also rotate the page
Right click or Control Click on an object or an area to see its contextual menu
Use the Scroll Wheel to Zoom In and Out of images and the timeline
Drag a Thumbnail out of TalaPhoto to export a picture
Click on a size display to change it from English to Metric units
The Center and Fill button now toggles between cropping the image to fill the cell and alternately showing the full image even if that leaves blank areas.
For best printing results, be sure to install the vendor specific print driver
Please send your questions and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
The latest version of TalaPhoto is always available on our web site. http://www.talasoft.com
Please visit the TalaPhoto Users Forum where users share their experience.