The ProShow Blog

Tips, tutorials & inspiration for making slideshows

Creating a Slideshow for Instagram using ProShow

Make a video for Instagram using ProShow

From time to time we get questions about how to create slideshows in ProShow Gold or ProShow Producer and upload them to Instagram.

On the surface, this seems a bit like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.  Firstly, there is a very short 15-second limit for videos on Instagram, and secondly, Instagram does not support uploading videos directly from your computer to their website.  These roadblocks are not show-stoppers though. With a little creativity on your side, you can create a succinct and captivating slideshow.

PART 1: Creating your slideshow in ProShow

To start off, open ProShow Gold or ProShow Producer and click the “Blank Show” button on the New Slide Show window, then change the Aspect Ratio to Custom and choose 1 x 1. This will cause your show to be the square shape that Instragram requires. Enter your desired Show Title and click Create.

New Slide Show

The next thing to do is to insert your images in your show.  With the 15-second limit in mind, you’ll probably want to choose no more than 10 images. Here’s an example of how to create a fast-paced 10-image show:

  1. Drag 10 images into your slide list.
  2. Press Ctrl+A to select all slides, then press Ctrl+Alt+1 to scale the images so that they fill the full slide area.
  3. While all slides are still selected, change the slide time on any slide to 1.25 and the transition time to 0.25. The other slides should automatically change to these times as well. slidetimes
  4. Apply transitions from the “Slides and Pushes” section of the transition chooser, many of which work particularly well with the short transition times.  In my example I’m alternating between Push – Up, Push – Right, Push – Down, and Push – Left.
  5. To give your show some extra visual appeal, you may want to add a small amount of motion to each image. To do this automatically, select all images in the slide list again (Ctrl+A), then go to the Slide menu and choose Randomize > Motion Effects > All Effects.
    Randomize Effects
  6. Choose a fast-paced song to  add to your show and drag it under the slide list.
  7. Double click on the soundtrack are or go to the Show > Soundtrack menu to open the Soundtrack window. Check “Fade Soundtrack at end of Show”, then set a custom duration of 1.5 seconds.
  8. Go to File > Save, then choose a file name and save your show somewhere on your system (e.g. My Documents).

Now that we’ve created our show, we need to publish it to a video file that’s specifically formatted to be uploaded to Instagram.  This can be done natively in ProShow Producer, but ProShow Gold requires the Devices Plug-in to make an appropriate video.  In ProShow, go to Publish > Video for Web, Devices, and Computers. Click the [+] button at the top of the presets list to create a new preset, then enter what’s shown in the following screenshot:

Click the Save button to finalize the Preset, then click the Create button in the Video for Web, Devices, and Computers window. Choose a filename for this MPEG-4 video file and save it in a location that you’re familiar with and can get to easily. The video will begin rendering and should complete quickly due to its short length.

PART 2: Uploading your video to Instagram

After the video file has been created, we need to get it onto your mobile phone or tablet in order to get it into the Instagram app. Try the following steps for an iOS (iPhone, iPad, etc) device. The steps for an Android device may be slightly different but the concept is the same:

  1. Create an email addressed to yourself (or whichever email address is used on your mobile phone or tablet), then add your newly created video file as an attachment. Send the email.
  2. Open the email on your mobile device, download the attached video, then view it.
    taptodownloadfullsize   downloading   savedwithtext
  3. While viewing or playing back the video from your email, click the button at the bottom left of the screen, then choose “Save Video”.
    savebutton    savevideo
  4. Open the Instagram app on your phone, then click the button in the bottom middle to enter the picture-taking mode.
  5. Click the button at the bottom left that represents your Camera Roll.
  6. Choose the video that you saved from your email to your Camera Roll in step 3. Since it’s the newest, it should be the first one in the list and show an indicator that it’s 15 seconds long.  Click Next at the top.
  7. You can skip the Filters section if you’d like and click Next again.
  8. Lastly, write an optional caption and click the Share button at the bottom.

After this is done, your video will be uploaded to your Instagram account, ready to be viewed!

Short Instagram videos are a great way to showcase a ‘teaser’ of a longer slideshow or announce a new product or service. What are some of the ways you use videos on Instagram?


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Alex is the Product Technology Manager at Photodex. He is an avid music fan and spends his free time going to concerts, perusing record stores, and archiving his ever-growing collection of music videos.