Create Slick Slideshows with digiKam

It’s easy to dismiss digiKam’s slideshow functionality as a feature of no particular use. After all, most photographers prefer to publish their photos using the photo sharing service of their choice. But the slideshow feature can come in handy when showcasing photos on your machine is the only option. Running a simple slideshow in digiKam is as easy as selecting the desired album or pictures and choosing View → Slideshow → All (or Selection). However, digiKam has something even better: using the View → Slideshow → Advanced Slideshow command, you can create rather impressive slideshows with smooth transitions and soundtracks.

The Advanced Slideshow dialog window is split into four sections. In the Main section, you can specify which photos you want to include into the slideshow as well as configure the transition and playback options. Using the available options, you include all photos in the current album, or limit the slideshow only to a specified selection. Choosing the Custom option allows you to hand-pick the photos you want and specify their order. When you choose the photos for the slideshow, digiKam conveniently displays the total number of photos and the slideshow’s duration time based on the delay between images. If you are using a fairly modern machine with a decent card, you can enable the OpenGL transitions in the Video subsection and select the desired transition type from the Transition effect drop-down list in the Playback subsection (the Ken Burns effect is always a good choice). If you don’t use the OpenGL transitions, you can enable options in the Content subsection. Here, you can choose to display a progress indicator, file names, and captions. Enabling the latter allows you to select the font for the captions and tweak its settings.

To spice up the slideshow, you can add a soundtrack to it in the Soundtrack section. You can add as many music files as needed, and the Time comparison subsection displays the current length of the added music tracks and the duration of the slideshow.

Once you’ve configured the slideshow settings, launch it by pressing the Start Slideshow button. And if you need to pause the show, adjust volume, or jump to the previous or next slide, move the mouse to the upper-right corner of the screen to access the slideshow controls.

Freelance tech writer covering Linux and open source software.

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Posted in Open Source, Photography, Software
8 comments on “Create Slick Slideshows with digiKam
  1. Anders Lund says:

    I use slideshow quite often, for display on projectors or screens at venues where I take pictures.

    Slideshow can be navigated by keyboard:
    SPACE pause/unpause
    PgDown/PgUp goes to next/previous image. The slideshow is paused if it wasn’t.
    ESC will stop the slideshow.

  2. Mark says:

    Does it allow you to export the slideshow as a movie file – so that it can be played back on other computers or devices not so fortunate as to have Digikam installed on them? I know it’s a bit old hat – but it means that you could put your usb stick in a new-ish TV or other device and show it etc etc… No need for a pc.

    • Pete says:

      I was wondering exactly the same thing. Sadly from all the info I’ve checked so far this doesn’t seem possible ATM. I work as a volunteer where taking photographs of our work is an important aspect of what we do and the ability to export a slideshow to portable media would be extremely helpful for information sharing.

      Any chance the devs may be able to introduce such a feature in upcoming versions?

      BTW, only started using Digikam a couple of days ago and very impressed with how well it works and how easy it is to understand/learn its capabilities. Well done!

  3. Jerf says:

    Advanced slideshow is a great feature. However, I expereince two annoying bugs using it. The first one is that for some reason the exif orientation tag is not read, which causes portrait oriented photos to be shown on their side, i.e. rotated. And the second one is that if the Ken Burns effect is used, the space and PgDown/PgUp hotkeys do not work. Actually, no controls work with this effect except for the Esc key, so it is impossible to pause/skip photos etc, you can only exit.

  4. awolff says:

    It is fine if you just want to play an album in the given order.
    What is really missing: Saving slide show for more complex shows.
    Currenlty you have collect and reorder every time again and again – close to useless if you want to show only some of an album.

    • Gigi says:

      I agree that even Advanced Slideshow is in fact just a basic slide show tool. Saving and loading the slide show set up is a must. Individual timing and transition selectable for each picture would be even better.

      Running a slide show from individual full res pictures is of higher quality and more flexible than rendering it to video.

  5. orazio says:

    It would be good when we have multiple screens (for example, main screen and videoprojector) to be able to select on which screen do we display the slideshow
    Thank you very much for this smart software!

  6. Vini says:

    I am very dissapointed with the slideshow tool. It works great unless I want to prepare a slideshow (a selection from an album, not all of the photos) and show it later – there is no tool to save the selection and other settings. Very frustrating!

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