iPhoto to After Effects Slideshow

I’m taking a slight detour from my Final Cut Pro to After Effects tutorial series to post an application I wrote while experimenting with AE and JSON import and export. iPhotoToAESlideshow allows you to export an iPhoto album to a slideshow in Adobe After Effects.

iPhotoToAESlideshow is a proof-of-concept application and I can see it being fleshed out in many new directions including a dashboard widget, iPhoto Export plugin, etc. and the knowledge I’ve gained will definitely show up in my FCP and AE efforts.

The application itself is largely based on an Apple sample project available here with a huge assist from Blake Seely with his NSDictionary category BSJSonAdditions for the JSON and the BSRoundedBox framework for the nifty rounded box code (thanks Blake).

This is definitely beta code, give me a buzz at dale(at)creative-workflow-hacks(dot)com if you find any bugs or ideas for improvements. I also plan on open-sourcing the source once I’ve debugged and cleaned everything up.

BTW, I realize almost all of the hacks I’ve posted here so far have been OSX-centric. I’m definitely platform agnostic, but I end up being a bit of a Mac-head in my personal work. My plan is to adapt the .jsx version of the enclosed script to run from already imported photos that are selected in the project window. I’ll post those here once I’ve finished them up.

The files are available here: iPhotoToAESlideshow.dmg


  1. logicalnot said

    Even if Iphoto already have a movie export feature, it’s just great.
    To me, this soft is not for the family movie export, but in some circonstance, this may be a big saving time. It’s great!

    Congratulations !
    Thanks you for offering it for free.
    I am gonna spray the word.

    P.S. : And put it on MacUpdate.com ! And Digg !

  2. Michael said

    Great idea! I often have to generate slideshows for DVDs. Thanks a lot!
    Only problem is: I can only choose “Library” in the album dropdown. Perhaps because I work on a german system?

  3. Dale said

    Hi Michael,

    I don’t think localization and locale should make a difference. I haven’t run into this problem before. What version of Iphoto are you running? Can you do a search for AlbumData.xml? Do you get one result with the expected libraries? The library I am checking is at ~/Pictures/iPhoto Library/AlbumData.xml. Can you open that file up in a text editor and see if it looks like all of your albums are there?



  4. Jonasis said

    Is this for AE7 only? Because the soft keeps crashing after I press Save in the dialog box.



  5. Dale said

    Hi Jonasis,

    AE 6.5 and above should work. Are you running OSX (tiger)10.4+ ? That is a requirement. In the next beta, I’ll do a system test instead of crashing.



  6. What a great application! Thank you!!

    I have the Ken Burns effect on and for some reason that doesn’t transfer to After Effects. Is there a way to make that happen?

  7. Dale said

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for the feedback. The Ken Burns effect is not supported in this version. It’s definitely the number one requested feature though, and I’m taking a look at how involved it would be to add it.


  8. Michael said

    I found out why I only can choose “Library” in your nice tool: To save space on my harddisk, I moved the iPhoto Library to my external drive. If you want to include this in the next version: the path to the actual iPhoto folder is stored in ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iPhoto.plist

RSS feed for comments on this post

Comments are closed.