If the Ken Burns Effect in iMovie3 intrigues you, but you’d like to do more with it, you should take a look at StillLife. StillLife does similar things as Ken Burns in iMovie3, but with many more options. For example, you can pan along a curve, add multiple “shots” to an image, and even rotate the camera (careful, you could make your viewers quite ill with too many spinning photos!).
The interface is very iMovie-like, complete with a drawer containing images, a timeline and soundtrack bar at the bottom of the screen, and a preview window showing your edits and the end result. You drag images from the Finder into the drawer, and then from the drawer to the timeline, then apply “shots” (pan/zoom/twist effects) to each image. You control the speed of the effect with a “Move” slider, as well as how long each image appears with a “Hold” slider. You can even attach multiple sound tracks (complete with automatic audio fadeout at the end of your string of images).
StillLife supports a few unique export features. First of all, you can create a slideshow very easily by just dragging a number of images into the program and selecting Format -> Like ScreenSaver. When you then export to the video format of your choice, you’ll have a standard slide show in a matter of seconds (no pan/zoom effects, just slides). More useful to me is the “Export as iMovie Project.” When you use this format, StillLife creates a new iMovie project, with each slide (and its associated pan/zoom effects) as a new clip in iMovie. This makes it really simple to then go in and add really nice transitions and title effects to your animated slideshow.
At $24.95, StillLife is a bit pricey as a replacement for something you can get for free – but its feature set goes well beyond what you get with Ken Burns in iMovie. You can try the program for free, but any exported video will have a “StillLife” watermark applied in the center of each frame until you register.