Photo Montage Theme for Newbies


LiveSet Making Machine
*** Not responsible if you screw up you user presets *****

This was done very quickly by me to show an example of how one would
mimic the Apple iPhoto style where the photos drop and stack on top of
each other.

These presets are more of an example and need to be touched up but it
gets the point across. Install them with your other user presets (XP pro
and Windows 7 have them in different locations but they are similar in
AppData/ NewTek/SpeedEdit/Spline Presets to assist in finding them).
Helps to know you have the right folder by making a user preset if you
did not already. That way where you see your preset, you know the folder
is correct.

Once you have these installed, open a HD 1080 project like normal and
add four images (please try and resize to the projects max resolution).
The images should load in butt up against each other and the duration to
5 sec unless you changed the pref setting (please change to 5 sec for
this tutorial).

01) Select all the images and enable overlay

02) Deselect all and select image 1

03) Open Tool Shed/ user Presets, select DropPhotoLD01 (LD is because
I designed them for landscape and not portrait but it is OK for this
test) and then press apply

04) Do the same for the following three images using presets 02-04

05) Now drag image 2 down so that it is in layer 2, then drag image 3
to layer 3 and image 4 to layer 4

06) Select image 1 and then hold the ALT key down then drag image 1
till it reaches the end of where image 4 is on the time line (20 sec if
using default 5 sec for image)

07) Select image 2 and drag it to the end then image 3 to the end
(holding the ALT keys extends the out point and does not stretch the
animation key frames)

08) If you system is background rendering, then wait till it finishes
and then press play (or you could just slide the time line to view it
while it renders)

09) You should see four images drop and stack on each other with a
white frame around them

10) Now move to last viewable frame of the time line (press END key
and then left arrow key to back up one frame)

11) Goto file menu and select render still

12) Select a folder and give it a name and also change the type to
TARGA (I personally like TARGA for this)

13) Load the render still targa image to the end of the time line

14) Drag images 5-8 into the time line

15) Repeat above steps except this time only extend the out point of
the targa image and apply no preset (this is the back ground for the
next four images)

16) Again if background rendering is going on, wait till it finishes
and press play

What you end up with is a nice photo montage theme that looks a lot like
the Apple iPhoto styled one. You could also repeat the process over and
over. Example press end key to get to end of eight image time line using
above steps and then left arrow key to show last viewable frame and then
render still again. This now gives you a new back ground and you can
start over with DropPhotoLD01 and so forth and so on to make a 100 image
drop photo stacked theme montage.

Edit each clip after the preset is used by only moving the position (use
the position window in control tree) on the last position key frame to
add variety to the drop location. Also add some ease in to them so they
start to drop slow and then accelerate for the final position. You
would also want to open a project size for other resolutions like
720x480i and change the drop position of each preset and then make new
ones adding maybe SD to the end of the name. Same for 720P projects or
any other project you use.

PS feel free to modify, make correction, critisize and ask for more info on portion that needs more explanation.


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LiveSet Making Machine
Moderate/Advance Level

Another example of a photo montage theme. This was done in SE2 and took
advantage of the new sub-project capabilities.
You need:
Tileable image for the background
Photo frame image (my frame is an old book cover with the center cut out)
Your photo

-Load the tileable image, then overlay the picture and then the frame. -Size the
picture and frame to your desire
-Select all three layers and make a sub-project
-Hold CTRL and drag out a copy of the sub-project and then repeat to make three
sub-project clips
-Enable overlay on all 3 sup-project clips
-Key frame the first to slide to the left
-Key frame the 2nd to slide to the right and then slide up
-Key frame the 3rd to slide up as well
(use the video clip as a reference for the key frames location)
-Create new user preset for all three and name them PhotoMov01 - 03
(keep this for future use)

If you want more than three pictures, just key frame the third to slide up at
the end and then CTRL sub-projects 1 -3 and move them to the end, after three.
This now gives you a total of six images. Drill into each sub-project and use
inherit to change the images. On the last sub-project clip (end of montage
animation) use the preset you made for three, PhotoMov03. This will make it's
end animation not slide up. Also make a preset for the 3rd sub-project clip if
you made it slide up (if you added images) and call it PhotoMovEND.

because the background is a tiled image, you give the illusion of one giant
background with photos in frames positioned through out it with a camera moving
right and then down to reveal each image.
Very easy to mix and match the motions with a tiled background image. There are
a few sites that have free tiled images and a few Photoshop tutorials on how to
tile an image. I personally use imageSynth by Luxology to create sophisticated
tiled images which I use often for LW image textures.

Feel free to criticize, comment, ask more questions. I did not post any files
associated with this one so as to push the learning of Speededit2

PS The background image and the old book image came from this great site;

Take care,
Jose Burgos
Last edited:


New member
Question Jose

:)Great work Jose

How large a file was your average image when bringing them into Speed Edit 2 and did you have to save them in a lower resolution before making your photo-montage? I have had the problem that most of my digital images (jpgs) are more than 4meg large and they will crash speed edit 2. Do you have the same problem or not and do you have any suggestions?

Rod Carter


LiveSet Making Machine
Thank you :)
I batch scale the images to the project size before hand unless I am zooming in on a image and then I may leave it as a mega pixel image. Leaving the image at mega pixel size only unnecessarily taxes the SE2 with no image/quality benefit. Pan/Zoom stuff is different.
PS In the example above, the background image was at a high resolution but not that high and all images were pre scaled to project resolution.
Take care,


New member

I don't really bother with SE or VT5 for montages anymore. It is much easier to use ProShow Producer and use the creative style packs for 20 bucks to create a nice custom montage.
I do most of the project in producer, 3D stuff in After Effects and some motion stuff in SE.
it would be nice if SE had a useful plugin app to easily put together creative looking montages.
It is sort of a shame that we don't get updated DVE packs for SE or VT5..No HD DVEs is sort of silly, you would think that the company that makes Lightwave could easily create themed content packs on regular basis for the system?

Sample of a Proshow montage I did


I wonder if Newtek has one person solely in charge of SpeedEdit development and marketing.
It doesn't seem so. There is just so many things that could be added and enhanced that would make it a viable product. Even as an oddity, with a different approach to video editing. As most people are directed to the normal film approach to editing, SE is more applicable to animation control of the clips.
:rock: In my view, at least.


LiveSet Making Machine
SE is more applicable to animation control of the clips.
:rock: In my view, at least.

I would agree and SE2 allows me to create an "original" custom production where as most of the "canned" solutions are usually not for me. I like to take ideas from them and then do it myself with total control which SE2 allows me to have.

Ty Whitaker

Friend of Prince of Space
Been There Done That

I love it that whenever my FinalCut editor shows me a new geewhiz effect, I can say "That old thing? Jose showed me how to do that on SpeedEdit ages ago! Need me to modify it for you?"
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