Feb 082013

It wasn’t so long ago that making a movie like the one below would takes hours, days, maybe even weeks to put together.  It would also take some very expensive and specialized equipment.  Now, with Picasa’s face recognition feature, it’s just a single click on a button called Face Movie!

Just select the pictures, click the Face Movie button, add music, and voila! Here’s a movie of my Mom’s beautiful smile thru the years!

Select Pictures from a People Album

You need to have Face Detection turned on and some faces identified in People Albums in order to use this feature.  If, at some time in the past you decided you didn’t want Face detection, you can turn it back on with Tools –> Options –> Name Tags –> Enable Face Detection.

Assuming you do have a few People Albums, take a look at the buttons next to the thumbnail of that person, you will see 4 buttons. 

  1. imagePlay – to play a slideshow of all the pictures of that person,
  2. imageCollage – to make a photo collage using all the pictures of that person
  3. imageMovie – to create a regular movie of the pictures of this person
  4. imageFace Movie – to create a special movie where the person’s face appears in the same spot when transitioning from one picture to the next


So, just click that button and you will be taken to the Movie Making page, with all the pictures of that person selected (or whatever pictures you pre-selected.)  Here is where you will see a few options also.  All the pictures have been placed on a timeline.  First you’ll want to click the green play arrow and take a look at the movie, then you might try playing with a few of the settings. 


Add Music

You’ll definitely want to find a piece of music and ‘Load…’ it into the Audio Track.  Notice the audio options to truncate the music, Fit Photos into Audio, or Loop Photos to Match Audio.  They each have their place.  If you have an audio clip that is the right length for your number of pictures, then Fit Photos into Audio is great, your pictures will end exactly when the music ends.

If you intend to upload your movie to Youtube, you’ll need to be careful to choose a copyright free track.  I found mine at www.freestockmusic.com

Arrange Pictures

You can drag pictures around on the timeline, you can even remove them by clicking the X at the left.  You can also create title slides by clicking the icon above the red X.

The Finished Movie

When your movie looks good, finish it by clicking the Create Movie button.  This will produce a .wmv file completely independent of the original pictures.  You can copy that .wmv file to any computer device, or you can burn it to a DVD movie using something like DVD Maker.  You can even upload it to Youtube, with the handy button provided.

Geeks on Tour Members should watch the following videos for more info:

  1. People Albums: Viewing Faces or Entire Picture
  2. Naming Faces
  3. Make a Movie

  8 Responses to “Personal History in a Face Movie”

  1. Excellent suggestions.

    When I purchased our laptop Picasa 3 was downloaded into the programs. When I click on the update the answer is always “no update needed,” you are updated. How do I get Picasa 3.8?

  2. Rose – you might not have the latest update to Picasa. Face Movie was added in version 3.8

  3. Geoff, I too have noticed that Picasa does not use all the faces selected in a face movie. I don’t know exactly what the rules are (and can’t find any info elsewhere) – but, there is a slider on the 3d tab of face movie options for number of pictures. Make sure to slide that over to the maximum, then click ‘Apply’ to make the change. I find it still bounces back to a lower number, but you can keep trying. It also helps to specifically select the photos you want before clicking the Face Movie button.

  4. I have face recognition turned on but the icon you refer to does not appear. How do I get that to happen?

  5. Such a useful article – I had no idea this option existed. I’ve already tried it a few times and like the results but each time, I notice that Picasa transfers only some of my selected photos to the Movie Making screen. I cannot detect any differences between the photos and they’re all selected from the same People Album and would really welcome some advice on why some photos are used whilst others are not.
    Thank you so much for helpful articles.

  6. Just great ! You added another dimension of fun and joy to your very fine program. Thank you.

  7. How totally adorable, I do not remember seeing this option before. I created a very short face movie with my grandaughter to see how it would work. Can’t wait to share the idea, just need to remember that when you choose a piece of music be sure and truncate it or you get a much longer movie than you want! Thanks for the tip

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