On this page ...
PictureToTV by PictureToTV is
a little bit spartanic but the results and effects this application
offer is simply stunning! It's an easy to use application
to create a VideoCD or Super VideoCD
In this short guide I'll show you how to create your own
Photo-VideoCD or Photo-Super VideoCD, which you can playback
on your PC and on most standalone DVD-players.
Note: not all DVD players
are capable of playing VideoCD or Super VideoCD.
Note: All screen shots
are based on version 1.40. Different versions might appear slightly
Note: Read the disclaimer first!
PictureToTV (personal edition) can be bought
for app. $39. The SVCD (higher resolution) plugin
is app. $14. In a bundle package it's app $49.
There is also a business edition, but knowing the price is app.
$300, I don't think many people will go there.
You can also download the trial version. The
trial version is fully functional. However, it will print the words "EVALUATION COPY" on
all created videos. This will be removed upon registering the software.
For more details see the PictureToTV
Installation of PictureToTV is
a pretty straight forward process. Double click the file p2tv140.exe file
(for version 1.40). Follow these steps:
PictureToTV: Starting the installation
PictureToTV: Setup wizard
PictureToTV: End User License Agreement
Check "I accept the agreement" and click "Next".
PictureToTV: Where to install?
Optionally you can first change
the installation path to the path you wish to use. However I would
recommend keeping the
PictureToTV: Which menu do you want?
Optionally you can first change the menu to a new
name or select an existing menu, not recommended though.
PictureToTV: Additional shortcuts?
Here the setup wants to know if you do need additional
shortcuts (on your desktop and/or in the quick launch bar located next
to the Windows Start button).
I would like to recommend un checking both options.
The next screen informs you what setup will do.
again. After that, PictureToTV will start copying files and thus install
PictureToTV: Installing files
Once completed this window appears:
Optionally you can check "Launch
PictureToTV", this will
start PictureToTV once you click "finish".
If you don't want to have PictureToTV start instantly, then make sure
you uncheck this option.
Now click "Finish". PictureToTV is installed.
Installing the Super VideoCD plugin
make sure you installed
Super VideoCD (SVCD) plugin is OPTIONAL.
You either have it when you bought the package deal (getting
PictureToTV + SVCD plugin) or you bought the SVCD plugin separately!
If you have done none of these two options, then you can skip this paragraph!
Now locate the Super VideoCD plugin
installation file. Mine was called p2tvsvcd.exe, double
PictureToTV: Installing the SVCD plugin
The installation process is again
pretty straight forward.
A screen will now appear, welcoming you
to the setup.
Again, a window will ask you to agree
with the license agreement.
Check "I accept the agreement".
The next window will ask you where to
install the plugin. Setup therefore needs to know the ROOT directory
by default this is C:\Program
Files\PictureToTV\, unless of course you selected another
directory to install PictureToTV in
during the PictureToTV setup.
Setup now wants to know in which windows
start-menu you want a shortcut to "Uninstall SVCD plugin".
Simply ignore the question and click "Next".
Finally a window indicates that it's ready
to install the plugin.
Quickly after that a window confirms that
the installation has been completed.
Running PictureToTV the first time
OK, let's start PictureToTV.
Either this already happened because you checked the option "Launch
PictureToTV" during setup or you will have to click the windows
start menu (START - PROGRAMS - PICTURETOTV - PICTURETOTV).
At the first time you start PictureToTV you
will get this screen:
PictureToTV: First time start - register
or try first
Option A: For those that want to try the
trail version first, click "Register Later" (this
question will show each time you start PictureToTV until
you register it).
Clicking "Buy Now" will
bring you to the PictureToTV website
where you can register and pay. You then will receive a registration
Option B: For those that have a registration
key: click "Register
Now". A window
appears asking you to enter your email address and your registration
PictureToTV: Enter e-mail address and registration number
After entering e-mail address and registration
key, click "OK". A new popup window will inform
you that your 're registered now.
Either way, the PictureToTV screen will
now open, showing you the "Tip of the day".
Personally I don't like these
tip-thingies but some users might find these very helpful!
PictureToTV: Tip of the day
After closing the "Tip of
the day" you
will basically see this window:
PictureToTV: Start screen
controls and areas
Before we start creating our first picture
(Super) VideoCD, you might want to familiarize yourself a bit with the
It might be an unusual interface but it really isn't. Actually it's the
most down to earth, but functional complete, interface I have seen so
far for this type of application!
There are basically 4 areas (I defined
them myself so nomenclature might not match PictureToTV's);
PictureToTV: The areas we'll be working with
1. The Album Area
PictureToTV: The album area
Here we can navigate through our albums.
By default "Album 1" (A) has been create to let
you start working straight away!
In area (A) all
your albums, for this particular VideoCD, are visible.
In this area you will also find some controls
for working with albums (B).
Below you see a short explanation of the buttons shown;
|Add an album
|Delete selected album
|Edit the name of the selected album
|Moves the selected album on position up
|Moves the selected album on position down
2. The Album Content Area
PictureToTV: The Album Content Area
In this area, you will see the actual
content of an album, meaning: the pictures of your album. Later on we
will see more about this area as we start adding pictures.
The arrow indicates additional controls for this particular area. The
controls reflect actions on items in an album.
|Rotate selected image clockwise (90 degrees)
|Rotate selected image counter clockwise (90 degrees)
|Preview selected image (with effects etc in separate window)
|Remove selected item from album
|Toggle the view to either list view or thumbnail view
Note: list view refreshes faster, thumbnail view show you the image
3. The Generic Controls
PictureToTV: Generic controls
The generic controls area is for navigating
through the application.
|Click this button for adding files to your albums
|With this button, the ability to add music can be accessed
|Allows you to set the default transition effect for the selected
|This button allows you to select en create navigation menu's for
|Guess what! This allows you to set the type of VideoCD you want
and allows to to burn the CD
|Shows you a preview of the entire VideoCD, including menus.
4. The File Area
PictureToTV: The File Area
This is the area where we get our content
from for populating the Albums.
Tip: Also keep an eye on the progressbar
indicated by arrow D. It shows you how full your VideoCD will be!
and (B) together work
in a similar fashion as you already might know it from the Windows
On the left (A) you
can select a folder, on the right (B)
you basically select files. From (B) you can either drag pictures
to the "Album Content Area" or you can click the -button
in order to add a selected image file to the active album.
|Here you select the filter to apply on
the content shown in (B). This means that if the filter is "Supported
Image Files", than in
(B) you will only see images. Optionally you can set this to "All
Files" thus showing all files.
is an indicator which gives you an estimation on disk space used
on the (Super) VideoCD you are currently creating.
|This is a real must for
applications like this: by checking the options "Store
original pictures", PictureToTV stores
the original pictures in a separate folders. This is great because
the original pictures can then later easily being accessed to make
high quality hard copies.
Creating you first VideoCD
Now that we are familiar with the interface,
it's time to create our first Photo (Super) VideoCD.
Like I said before; the quality of VideoCD is excellent, so most of us
will be very happy without the optional Super VideoCD plugin.
Tip: For more
information on the differences between VideoCD and Super
read the Video Formats page.
As of this point I assume you just started
seen in "Starting PictureToTV for
the first time".
By default one album already exists, called
"Album 1". Keep in mind that you can create
multiple albums. So it's not a bad idea to start the entire process by
sorting/organizing your images. Already thinking in terms of "albums".
Note: For each
Picture VideoCD (use the "File" menu) you create
you can save the project file for easy retrieval later on.
Step 1: Populate the album
The first thing to do, I guess, is to
populate the first album with some pictures.
Note: You cannot create an album within
Simply use the file area to locate you
images. Drag items (files) from the File Area to
Content Area as shown with the red arrow in the screen shot below,
by left clicking the image (keep the left mouse button pressed). Move
the mouse over the Album Content Area and
release the left mouse button. You can also select multiple items either
by pressing the SHIFT key,
selecting from image to image (range). Or by using the CTRL key,
selecting individual images. Repeat this step until you think your album
is filled with images
as you see fit.
Tip: You can also use the Windows Explorer
to drag images/pictures from. simply drop them on the Album
PictureToTV: Drag images from the File Area to the Album Content Area
Note: PictureToTV supports BMP, JPG, PNG, TIF, PCX, PGM, PICT, TGA, WMF,
and even EPS formatted pictures. Most digital camera's
use JPG (JPEG) images, where as most scanners tend to use TIF (TIFF)
You can also change the order of the items
within the Album Content Area by dragging
one or more items to a different position (ie. drop the files in front
of the image where you want them to appear).
Step 2: Rename and Add Albums
After populating the first album, you
might want to rename the "Album 1" (later
on this can be optionally made visible when creating the menu). Click
the name in the Album
Area and press the rename button ().
Now enter the new name of your first album.
The next step is to create a new album.
Click the new album button () in the Album Area.
If you want to, you can already give this
new album a new name, using the rename button ().
An existing album can also be deleted. However, when you populated the
album you want to delete (): be aware that the images within the album
will be removed as well (not the actual files!).
The order in which albums appear can be
changed by clicking the album you want to move and then using the up
and down ()
Now repeat step 1 for the newly created
album(s). Keep repeating steps 1 and 2 until you have included all your
pictures or until the CD is full (see the progress bar at the bottom
of the screen).
Tip: You can
also drag images from one album to another. Simply open the source album
and select the files you
want to move to another album. The drag the selection over the album
name in the Album Area and release the mouse button.
3: Advanced features - Adding Transition effects to an Album
Adding transition effects (the effect
used when going from one image to another) is pretty straight forward
and can be done on two levels.
One level is to apply an effect on all items within an album, the second
level is to apply effects per individual image.
To apply an effect on the entire album,
click the "Effects" button in the Generic
Controls Area. You will now see the File Area change,
showing details on effects.
PictureToTV: Album Effects, drop
down list box and preview
PictureToTV offers some excellent transition
effects. In version 1.40 I found these (great)
effects in the drop down list box:
Zoom In, and finally
I have to say that in particular the "Old
Film" effect is really cool!
From the drop down list box you can select
the effect you would like. On the right you will see a preview.
On this page you can also manipulate timing.
When you're done selecting and setting
the transition effect, simply click the "Import"
button in the Generic
4: Advanced features - Adding Transition effects to an Image
You can also add a transition effect
to a single image. Personally I'm not in favor of mixing effects, but
hey: it's great to have it anyhow :-)
In the Album
Content Area you can double
click an image from which you wish to alter the transition effect. Double
clicking the image will show something like this in a new window:
PictureToTV: Effects for individual images
Here we see some great settings we can
apply to a single image. To start with what we came here for: the Transition
Effect. This specifies the transition between this image and
the next image in the album. You can also adjust the playback time of
Another great thing is that you can specify
Crop Size, so you can determine which part of the image is being displayed
in the VideoCD.
PictureToTV: Crop Size and moving it around
The Crop Size slider changes
the visible area of a picture. As you can see in the first screen shot
above, the invisible area is much lighter than the visible area (the
square). When clicking the visible are with the left mouse button (and
keeping the mouse button pressed) you can shift the visible area to a
more suitable place.
When clicking the "Add Text
the text options appear.
PictureToTV: Text Controls
The text controls are explained in the
|Switch to TEXT mode, so you can enter text (click somewhere on
the picture and start entering text.
|Switch to MOVE mode, allows you to position your text anywhere
on the picture
|Font type selection
|Alignment selection (left, center, right)
|Font style (Bold, Italic, Regular)
|Font color (click it to open a color selector)
|Click here to leave the text controls
|Go to previous image in the album
|Go to next image in the album
|Close this window
Step 5: Advanced features - Add music/sound
So after adding images, albums, effects
and maybe even text, we now come to the option to add music. This is
optional! So you don't need to add sound. It does however
cheer up the entire slide show!
In order to add music, first click the
"Music" button in the Generic
Controls Area. Now the File Area again changes.
An empty list appears. Use the Add button
to add music. A dialog appears and allows you to select music files (supported
types are WAV, MP3 and OGG).
In the File Area you will also see the playback
time of the album and the playback time of the music. This way you will
be able to see if the music is to short or to long. You can add multiple
pices of music.
The music you add here will be applied
to the current album.
Music can be played with the play button
() or removed with the remove button ().
Step 6: How to create a menu
After doing all this work, it would be
nice to have a nice navigation menu. Let's create one. Click the "Disc
Menu" button from the Generic
Controls Area. This time not only the File Area but
also the Album Content Area changes.
Compared to version 1.30 the menu options are strongly improved and offers
PictureToTV: Ready to create a menu?
The File Area changed.
Here we can select a predefined menu template. You can select our own
background image if you want to (click "Browse" to
use a different image, or click "Default" to
use the default menu background
for the template).
We can also add some music to the menu
(either select "none" or
click the "Browse" button next to the "Menu Music" field
to select a file).
In the Album
Content Area, we now see a preview of the menu. Using the arrow
buttons (left and right) you can select the menu page you want to edit
(each menu page can be edited individually - changes will reflect in
all menu pages!). Clicking the "Edit" button,
you can customize the menu view to your needs.
PictureToTV: Editing the menu
In this window you can move the menu thumbnails
and the menu arrows. You can also edit the album numbers and album text
layout (font etc.). As we have seen in Adding
Effect to individual picture,
we can here also use the "Add Text" button to add text to the menu page.
Step 7: Previewing
Before you continue with the next step,
it's a very good idea to preview the VideoCD.
Note: if your PC is too slow, it might
not be able to keep up and show some minor glitches - don't worry, it
won't show in the final VideoCD.
Click the purple "Preview" button in the
Generic Controls Area to activate preview.
PictureToTV: Preview the VideoCD
The controls on the right represent the
remote control of a DVD player. Click the number of the menu and press
the play button.
Step 8: Burning it to a CD
OK, so our compilation has been completed,
now it's time to burn the (Super) VideoCD. Click the "Burn
in the Generic Controls Area. Again
File Area and Album Content Area change:
PictureToTV: Ready to burn the CD
In the section "Video Option" you
can select the video system format (see Video
Formats for details): PAL or NTSC.
If you have the Super VideoCD (SVCD) plugin, you will also be able to
select either VCD or SVCD.
The "Burn Settings" allows you to select
the CD-writer and the writing speed.
Optionally you can have Nero burning Rom deal with the burning process
(check "Use Nero" - this only appears in case
you have Nero installed on your PC) or have PictureToTV simulate
the burning process (check "Simulate first").
This last option is useful when you have never ever burned a CD with
CD-writer. To make sure the computer can keep up
with the burner.
In the lower part of the screen you can
either select to just "Generate new video" file,
"Generate new video and burn into CD"
will do the same and after finishing the video fie will also brun it
existing video into CD" burns a video file you have created
Commonly one selects "Generate new Video and burn into CD"
- this will generate the required files and burn it on CD.
In the "Save to, then burn
from video file:" field, you can enter the path and filename
where your VideoCD image should be stored. This is useful when you
want to burn multiple
copies of a VideoCD. Click "Set" to browse
for a new location - make sure there is at least 800 Mb of disk space
available on the disk you selected!
Once you have set and done this all, you
still might want to verify if you checked "Store original
and see if the size indicator is not exceeding the limits of what might
fit on a CD. After that click "Start".
A dialog will show the progress on generating
the video. This might take some time, depending on the speed of your
PC, the selected filters etc. After that the burning process is started.
When the VideoCD is done you will see this popup:
So that's basically it. I recommend
playing a bit with the effects and such. Working with PictureToTV sure
was fun to me!