Creating Collections

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been using Picasa with the default set of folders on the left hand side (Albums, Folders, Hidden, and Other Stuff), but it starts to become frustrating to search for photos when you have thousands of photos and you didn’t have the time to give every single picture a caption to be able to search on! So if you have tons of pictures and want to use Picasa more effectively, so you create your own Collections to sort out your pictures between Family, Friends, Travel Vacation, Cars, Dogs, or whatever specific categories you would like to have!

Doing it this way makes it a lot easier to sort through pictures because now you can simply go to the collection and you’ll have only those folders listed in order of date without having to sort through all the other folders you might have around that same date!

To create a new Collection, choose one of the folders in the left panel and right click on it. Choose Move To Collection and then choose New Collection.

Enter a name for your collection and click OK. Picasa will automatically move that folder into the new collection which looks just like the other sections, and which you can scroll down to see.

And that’s it! Now you can start organizing your files better and making them easier to search. Let’s say you create a collection called Business Pictures and you want to see pictures you’ve taken for your business recently. Just go to the search box at the top and type in business and all your pictures from that collection will show up.

Another cool thing you can do, which I just learned is to create a password to protect a collection! So if there are sensitive pictures you have, then you really should create a collection and password protect that collection. Simply right click on the collection header and you’ll see the option “Add/Change Password”. Enter a password and verify it and now you have a password protected collection of pictures. Remember though that the pictures can still be viewed if you go through Windows Explorer.

Any questions, post a comment!

Tags: Collections

Creating a Movie

The newest version of Google’s popular Picasa program now has a feature where you can select a folder or album of pictures and create a fully compressed yet high quality slide show movie of the pictures! You can then take the small video and upload it to your Picasa web albums, YouTube, or even your MySpace account to share with family and friends. Here’s how you do it:

In Picasa, select a folder or album from the right hand pane first.

Once you select the folder, go to Create from the top menu and choose Movie.

On the Create Movie options screen, you can choose the amount of delay you want between pictures. The default 1 second I find to be very fast and you don’t really have enough time to see anything! I found 3 seconds to be ideal for me without being too long. However, if you’re planning on creating a movie of 300 pictures, 1 second might be just fine or else it might get too long.

I also found 320×240 movie size to be too small and grainy. The large size gave a much better picture than small and was not significantly lower in quality than Widescreen. The major difference is in the size of the files depending on whether they are compressed or uncompressed. I created some test movies with various options and I’ll give the results out of those below.

On the Video Compression dialog, you will have an option of Full Frames (Uncompressed) or several other compression methods. I chose DivX 6.0 Codec because it gave me extremely small files or high quality on my tests. Click OK and Picasa will create your movie and open the folder where the movie was saved to.

Here are the results of creating a movie from 10 pictures taken by a Sony DSC-N2 8MP digital camera, with 3 second delay between pictures and DivX compression:

Small: Uncompressed: 220 MB, Compressed: 3.04 MB

Large: Uncompressed: 883 MB, Compressed: 3.13 MB

Widescreen: Uncompressed: 1.94 GB, Compressed: N/A

As you can see from the table, you’ll definitely need to compress if you want to be able to share these movies with anyone! But the DivX compression was very impressive bringing the file size down from 883 MB to 3.13 MB! And there wasn’t very much difference between the compressed files for small and large. I wasn’t able to get the program to create a file for me for Widescreen compressed because of an error, but once I get that I’ll update the post.

Once you have your file, you can go to Picasa and right click the video and choose Upload to Web Album. If you use YouTube, you can post your video there and share it. Or if you use MySpace, you can create the video and then post the video by clicking on Videos under your picture:

And then click the Upload tab and fill out the form to upload your video!

Once uploaded, you can share the link with your friends and family.