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SmartSHOW 3D review

SmartSHOW 3D is a middle-of-the-road photo slideshow software, with little to recommend it above better apps.

SmartSHOW 3D review
(Image: © NCH)

Our Verdict

SmartSHOW 3D is a competent, if unspectacular, slideshow maker. It will do a job, but it lacks features that many other apps offer, and it's no cheaper.

For

  • 3D animation feature
  • Plenty of effects and filters

Against

  • Slideshow quality isn't great
  • A bit basic

SmartSHOW 3D is a useful photo slideshow program that makes preserving your memories fun. All of the slideshow makers in our review can help you create digital scrapbooks, but not all of them make it as inventive and fun as SmartSHOW 3D. With its wide range of engaging graphics and animation effects, beginners will find this software good for making playful projects like birthday slideshows, but it isn’t such a good fit for more serious photo projects. It is no longer part of our guide to the best photo slideshow software.

Since it was so easy to use, we had fun playing with the various 3D animation effects while testing this software. You can make photos, clip art and text elements that move independently in three dimensions. One of our favorite tools is ability to add text that burns like fire in any color you choose. There are a range of ways to transition between slides, all 131 of which have different speeds and effects. Depending on which transition best suits your slideshow, you can have your photo disappear in a whirlwind or have it dissolve as the next photo gradually comes into view. The final slideshow quality was blurrier than many of the other programs we tested, but this didn’t distract from the images.

If you want to add more playful effects to your images, you can also add falling snow, falling leaves or falling hearts to each of your photos. The program helps you customize these effects by letting you control the size of the shapes and the frequency with which they cross the screen, even the path they take across the screen. You can also choose from more than 150 templates to find the themes that best match your project. While the backgrounds and transitions are perfect for fun get-togethers, fewer options exist for serious or formal situations. Many of the graphics have an older feel to them and don’t look as modern as what is offered by top ranking software.

SmartSHOW 3D review

(Image credit: NCH)

You can add your own music to your slideshow or you can choose from a list of music that comes with the software. It also comes with basic voice recording tools. We were able to add narrations to our slideshows and used the tools to fade music out when the voice recordings came on. This program also allowed us to incorporate videos into our photo slideshow, but it cannot record video within the software like Movavi Slideshow Maker can.

There are lots of ways to show off your final creation, whether it took hours to perfect or minutes to throw together. You can convert your project into a range of file formats when exporting, and you can produce slideshows optimized for tablets and smartphones. If you plan on creating a slideshow for a party or get-together, you can use this program to burn shows onto a DVD for gifting. The software offers nine movie menu templates to choose from, which isn’t a lot compared to some programs but still gives you more options than others.

SmartSHOW is easy slideshow software to learn if you are a beginner, but it also has the sophisticated tools more advanced users appreciate. There are lots of video tutorials to get you started. You can also email questions to the manufacturer. There is no telephone contact, so you cannot get immediate answers, but we discovered that the company responds quickly to email questions.

Should you buy SmartSHOW 3D?

You have many choices for photo slideshow creators, but SmartSHOW stands out for its 3D animation capabilities and attractive templates. This program is also one of the best slideshow makers for beginners. The software doesn't have the ability to incorporate video clips, but most of the other features we checked for are included. Most importantly, this slideshow software is fun and easy to use.