NextGEN provides a platform for integrating "templates," which are alternatively gallery designs.
CAPTION TEMPLATE. Shows a caption below the thumbnail. Since the caption can affect the rendering of floated thumbnails, there is a parameter for "number of columns", to define the number columns based on your theme width. A second option is to add a ngg_gal_Columns" parameter as a custom field on the page or post. Shortcode format: [ nggallery id=X template=caption ] without space before/after brackets.
CAROUSEL TEMPLATE. Show a main image with thumbnails below. It's a pure PHP solution which doesn't require any jQuery / JS. It requires the page to reload for each image. The parameter "images" defines the number of images that will be show as thumbnails. Shortcode format: [ nggallery id=2 template=carousel images=7 ] without space before/after brackets.
GALLERYVIEW TEMPLATE. Requires third party plugin here. This is a example of what can be done with add-on plugins. This one integrates jQuery GalleryView. You'll need to install the plugin and use the template shortcode. Shortcode format: [ nggallery id=1 template=galleryview images=0 ]
[Not a valid template]
MONOSLIDESHOW TEMPLATE. Requires third party plugin here. This is another example of what can be done with third party plugins that provide additional add-on templates for NextGEN. This one offers a simple integration of Monoslideshow. For this effect, you would need to install the plugin and use the template shortcode at the end of this paragraph. Note that this template also uses an additional parameter called "preset" to provide additional display effects. Shortcode formats (in order below): [ monoslideshow id=1 w=450 h=350 ], [ monoslideshow id=1 w=510 h=340 preset='tv-swap' ], [ monoslideshow id=1 w=450 h=350 preset='sparkles' ], all without spaces before/after brackets.
[monoslideshow id=38 w=510 h=340]
[monoslideshow id=38 w=510 h=340 preset='tv-swap']
[monoslideshow id=38 w=510 h=340 preset='sparkles']