Saying that, as an editor, you might need to create “animated slideshows” sounds a bit amateurish, and home video-ish. I much prefer to say I have to pan and zoom some photos or, at the very least, animate stills. The Ken Burns Effect was nice for a while but ever since Apple added the term to iMovie, referring to it now sounds amateurish.

When working in Final Cut Pro there are a number of other options for animating stills. There’s FCP’s built-in Motion tab, but if you’ve ever tried to get the ease-ins and ease-outs just right on a motion path, you know how frustrating that can be. If you want to add third party plug-ins to the mix there are quite a few options. One new addition is yet another useful tool that integrates into FCP via Noise Industries FxFactory. (These guys have been adding new partners so fast it’s hard to keep up!) FotoMagico from Boinx Software is a very clean and easy-to-use interface in which you can pan/zoom and animate stills (and a whole lot more) with relative ease.

FotoMagico is a standalone application but with the FxFactory integration you get a new Generator available in FCP (in addition to all the other places FxFactory is usable). Edit that generator into your timeline and you can then choose an existing FotoMagico document you have saved or open FotoMagico itself and get to work on a new session. As you can see from the screen grab above once you get back into FCP there’s also some options to tweak the playback of the animation without going back into FotoMagico. Now you’ll need the $149 FotoMagico Pro for this FCP integration but if you compare the Home to the Pro version you’ll see there’s quite a lot of Pro features in the pro version.

The controls while in FotoMagic are very clean and very easy to use. You can certainly do more than just still images from your iPhoto library (there’s Lightroom and Aperture integration as well) including QuickTime movies and audio support. The interface is one thing I really like as it’s very simple, great for a fast trip into the application to get a quick result. You can get an idea of that interface in the image at the top of the Home version’s webpage. The best way to decide if FotoMagico is right is to try the free demo.