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kenburns is a keyword for the Ken Burns effect named after Ken Burns. It takes images and zooms and pans it in a slow effect that really pulls focus into the image. Exampes of such an effect are found in Apple's slideshow screensaver, or GLSlideshow on Linux.


image.jpg : duration : subtitle : kenburns : start zoom : pan start : end zoom : pan end

As you can see, the values are quite flexible for their input. For the panning positions, you can specify a preset (topleft, bottomright), a percentage (40%, 60%), or a pixel value (300, 450). Because of the values that can be passed, you have granular control over the entire effect. The syntax is very similar to the crop effect.

zoom can be one of the following:

  • n% ( set image size equal to n% of original image size)
  • imagewidth (set image size equal to original image width)
  • imageheight (set image size equal to original image height)

Location can be one of the following:

  1. x1,y1;x2,y2Pixel locations of the top left and bottom right corners
  2. x%,y% (location in percent of image size from the left and top of the video window) Example:
  3. keyword:
















Making life easier

Most people won't want to bother with adding all of these specific values into a slideshow with a large number of images. It would be nice if this utility would make some assumptions about tasteful defaults from a few inputs. Using dir2slideshow, you can specify the transition effect and duration, as well as the duration of the kenburns effect, so now it is just a matter of placing values of sensible zooming and panning of images.

dir2slideshow 0.8.0 has an option (-k) that enables a random kenburns effect.

There is a PHP script that can be run from a webserver that will allow you to upload your output file from dir2slideshow and have it populate itself with kenburns effects (with editable options). I would recommend using this over hand-configuring the input file. The resulting output is dvd-slideshow ready!

This script is located here: [1]