What is an Audio Visual?
We define “Audio Visual” (AV) as a planned sequence of overlayed and/or merged images that have transition effects between each image. Also known as “Sound Slides” and “Diaporamas“, an AV usually includes images, sound, credit text and sometimes maps and graphics.
An AV will have a visual storyline or theme that is usually synchronized with music, sound effects, narration or any combination of these.
Whilst it utilises certain audio and visual elements commonly found in movies, an AV essentially utilises still image photography.
Video Clips are currently not permitted in your MCC Club, VAPS and APS AV Competition productions.
However, video clips can be included in non-competition AVs. For instance AVs shown in our 5th Monday ‘Show & Tell’ events and other member’s photography display events, and your own family & documentary style AVs. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between a video sequence and the rapid transition of a sequence of images. When in doubt, ask.
Keep it simple
If you are just starting out in AV production, the best advice we can give is to KEEP IT SIMPLE.
For example, a short piece of music and selected photos to illustrate an idea could easily be turned into a slideshow or screensaver using standard photo editing software options. Or you could use Microsoft PowerPoint before moving on to producing AVs with software specifically designed for that purpose.
There are many Internet sites that you can use to increase your understanding of AV production techniques and processes.
You could start by reading our AV and EDI (electronic digital image) related information on this website. You could also visit the “Important Documents” section of the Victorian Association of Photographic Societies (VAPS) website.
AV playing time
There’s a fine line between entertaining your audience and boring them to death.
In general, a shorter playing time is better and the most creative AVs are usually between 3 to 4 minutes, but it does depend on the subject matter.
For the End of Year competition AVs, the Open section has a maximum playing time of 12 minutes, with an additional section for AVs of precisely 3 mins. 21 secs. The VAPS Open section entries should not exceed 12 minutes playing time, and there is also a special section for 3 mins. 21 secs.
What software do I need?
Come along to our Audio Visual and/or Digital Group meetings and talk to others about the pros and cons of the software packages they use.
If you wish to produce complex and sophisticated AVs you will need software that meets those requirements. We have listed our preferred options below – perform a keyword search of the Internet to find out more about these products.
For PCs running Windows operating systems:
- ProShowsoftware from Photodex is available in two versions – Gold and Producer.
John Spring has negotiated a discount offer on Photodex’s ProShow. See here.
- PicturesToExeis also a strong AV contender, but is considered by some to be a little more complex.
For Apple MAC OSX machines:
- FotoMagico(current version 5.3 as at 31/1/2017) is currently the most popular advanced AV software available.
- Final Cut Pro Xis another program, but is also considered by some to be a little more complex.
- Record live audio.
- Record computer playbackon any Windows Vista or later machine.
- Convert tapes and recordsinto digital recordings or CDs.
- Edit WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP2, MP3 or Ogg Vorbis sound files.
- AC3, M4A/M4R (AAC), WMA and other formats supported using optional libraries.
- Cut, copy, spliceor mix sounds together.
- Numerous effects including change the speed or pitchof a recording.
- And more! See the complete list of features.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you don’t infringe any copyright conditions.
Using the AV equipment at the MCC
Audio Visual equipment at the MCC consists of a personal computer, a digital projector and an amplification system. The computer is loaded with Windows 7, Mac OS X and selected software.
There are a few options for showing your AV at the MCC:
- Export your AV as a self-executable file (eg filename.exe) or video (eg. .mov, .mpg4) and save it to a USB device (eg memory stick, portable hard-drive) and bring it to an AV meeting. (See dates below);
- If your AV requires equipment other than that offered by the MCC, you will need to bring your own equipment to play your AV at the clubrooms. This requires prior approval from the AV Group Coordinator;