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PapaJohn's Newsletter #107

The 307 Video Effects on my Laptop

With the Photo Story 3 tutorial for MaximumPC completed, I'm back to editing the Renaissance wedding footage and planning our trip to Europe.

The wedding videos can use a sprinkling of video effects and transitions, and I've got so many to pick from on my laptop that decided to use this issue as a good excuse to catalog them a bit better...

My HP laptop currently has 307 video effects on it. As you can mix and match as many as 6 effects on each clip, that gives me over 837 trillion possible combinations for each clip in a project. Per my calculator, there are

837,201,991,720,249 possibilities

If that's not enough, I can always make another custom one, using an xml file. This digital world of video editing is truly amazing.

Weighing in at about 1-1/2 MB in file size, this wins the prize for the largest newsletter... but it probably also wins an award for the fewest words. I just wanted a good visual catalog to scan when I'm thinking about special effects.

... before getting into it further, a few short notes...


Vista Corner... I get an error message when I try to preview a Photo Story 3 project on it. Other than that it works OK making and rendering stories, and playing them in WMP.

Another follow-up note about my first for-sale video on Google Video... submitted on May 3... the current status is still "Video is verified; stay tuned - it will be live shortly"... that's over a month now,  and still waiting.

I can use any and all suggestions about  Istanbul... anyone familiar with the Sarnic Hotel where we have reservations? Will I be able to video inside museums, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, etc...

I thought the Maximum PC tutorial was done.... but I got a last minute request to give them the story to include in the disc going out with the magazine. As a real story wasn't part of the agreement, I didn't have anything more than what was needed to take screen shots for the pictures. Of course I whipped one up.

.... back to the main topic...

Video Effects on my Laptop

Let's start by going backwards.... to get from my 307 effects to the 28 that came with the basic version of Movie Maker 2. If you know the right folder to toggle, turning the extras off and on is easy.

When I write books or magazine articles, I often need to turn things off to be able to get screen shots of selected items. We can do it in 3 steps.

Step 1 - Rename the AddOnTFX folder for MM2, the folder typically used by those providing extra effects packages, and those using custom xml files. I did it by adding 'removed' to the end of the Rename AddOnTFX Folderfolder name.

If you do it with Movie Maker open, you won't see a change as all the info in the folder goes into your system's memory as Movie Maker starts up... but, by opening MM2 after doing it, it'll skip over this renamed folded.

The 307 effects I started with went down to 58 with this one rename, but still 30 more than the starter pack of 28 MM2 video effects.

Step 2 - Rename MM1 AddOnTFX FolderRename the AddOnTFX folder for MM1... the first Adorage package for Movie Maker 2 uses that folder for its 16 effects. By renaming it the same way, the number of installed effects went down to 42.

The two new Adorage packages use the MM2 AddOnTFX folder, so they were already moved aside by step 1.

Step 3 - Rename the MUI\0409\AddOnTFX folder... which has a DLL and Extra AddOnTFX FolderXML file for 14 pan/zoom effects on my laptop because it's a Media Center Edition system.

That gets my laptop down to the core set of 28 that's on all versions of MM2. I'll skip over those 28, as I've covered them in the Zero to Hero and Do Amazing Things books... and you're more than familiar with them.

With the slate clean, I'll bring the packages back into MM2 one at a time to see which of the effects belongs to which package or file, and take pictures of them for the newsletter.

The 14 pan/zoom effects on MCE systems...

It's a handy set that I use a lot... mostly for cropping the area of interest in a clip to move something not wanted in the scene out of the way, without having to take the source file to VirtualDub for cropping.

Pans and Zooms for MCE

The first Adorage Movie Maker 2 Package... contains 16 effects, 11 of which are frames or windows of some sort. A few... the Magnifier, Streamer and The End are dynamic in that movement is applied.

Adorage - Package 1

249 of the effects are toggled off and on by renaming the main AddOnTFX folder under Movie Maker... that folder has 51 xml files, each of which having one or more effects, transitions or title overlays.

I've explored different ways of managing this library. For this newsletter, I created another folder named AddOnTFX Library at the same level as the AddOnTFX... and moved the 51 xml files to it. That results in Movie Maker not finding them at startup... and I can copy them from the library one at a time to see what shows up in Movie Maker when I do.

I left all the DLL and other files in the folder. Without the xml files that call on them, they aren't involved.

Let's run down them in alphabetical order. I'll include links to the websites for each...

The recently released Adorage mm-maker 03 xml file has 44 effects.

PapaJohn Effects

Custom xml files go in this folder too.

As the xml files can be for transitions or title overlays also, I'll spay paint those in the file list that are not for video effects.

Lots of XML

For the xml files that are for effects, I'll copy them into the AddOnTFX folder one at a time, and take snapshots. Some are pretty well represented by their thumbnails. Others are better seen by new snapshots of what the effects look like on the sample file that comes with Movie Maker.

The Adorage #3 one was covered above. Let's go down the rest of them in alphabetical order...


The FunPackFx.xml has the snowflakes effect...

HitTheBongo does as professional a job on special effects as anyone. Here's his Symbol Set 1.

Hit The Bongo

Persian Gal Effects
Two of the Persian Gal's xml files are for effects... they are made by going to the Editing Movies > XML - Persian section of my website and copying the xml code. 

One of them is a Picture-in-Picture effect with the clip that it's applied to being 1/4 size in the upper right.

The other says it's Whatever You Like... it takes your transparent Logo.png file and overlays it on the clip.

Rehan's PIP+ package includes 8 dynamic effects and an overlay flower wreath. The 4 pan/zoom ones have too much action for me to show them any better than his thumbnails.

Rehan's PIP Plus

Pixelan has a number of packages for Movie Maker 2... I have 9 of them on my laptop with video effects. Here's the visual listing of what's in them.

Bonus Filter Pack

Pixelan Bonus Filter Pack

Bonus Pack

Pixelan Bonus Pack

Contrast Pack

Pixelan Contrast Pack

Filter New Pack

Pixelan Filter New Pack

Filter Pack

Pixelan Filter Pack

Frame Pack

Pixelan Frame Pack

Pan Zoom New Pack

Pixelan Pan Zoom New Pack

Pan Zoom Pack

Pixelan Pan Zook Pack

Plus TransFX

Plus TransFX

Conclusions and Closing

The forums at have lots of custom xml code being passed around... there's no conclusion or closing, new ones keep being developed and shared. There isn't a centralized complete library of the custom developed ones.

Next week's issue will be similar but about the video transitions on my laptop. 

I look forward to comments and discussion about this and other newsletters on the forums at:

Windows Movie

Have a great week...


Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 3 -
Photo Story 2 -

Products and Services

I'm involved in many things that support users of Movie Maker and Photo Story, and adding more regularly. Some are free and others reasonably priced.

Radio and Podcasting

theDVShowTheDVShow is the only weekly Podcast having more useful information about desktop video editing and production than anywhere else on the Web. Digital video editing, nonlinear editing, streaming media, software releases, tutorials, business tips, technical help, download of the day and news on the latest products to make everything easier. It's where professional and consumer desktop video users go to stay on the cutting edge.

Call the phone mail machine to get your technical question answered on the air... call (206)-203-3516

The radio broadcast is from Boston, and the website has downloadable podcast files. The June 19th 2005 podcast was the first 'bi-weekly' show with a segment about Movie Maker 2.

Do Amazing ThingsBooks and Magazines

Movie Maker 2 - Do Amazing Things (with its online companion on, published by Microsoft Press...

Movie Maker 2 - Zero to Hero - with support on the publisher's forum - Friends of Ed

MaximumPC's winter 2005 quarterly special... had a 7 page tutorial 'Make a Killer Home Movie with Maker 2'. The special edition of the video made for it is now on my website as a file download.

The November 2005 edition of Maximum PC had a well done reworked 6 page reprint of the same article, starting on page 42 after the Happy 20th Birthday article for Windows.

I just finished a 5 page tutorial about Photo Story 3 for an upcoming issue... the sample story will be included on a disc in the magazine.

Virtual DubLearning VirtualDub - published by Packt Publishing in April 2005, is the first book about VirtualDub software. I wrote the introductory chapter about downloading and setting up the software: VirtualDub, VDubMod and AVISynth.


Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 3 - - the site's 3 goals are: Doing Amazing Things, a detailed tutorial for PhotoStory 3, and helping you solve Movie Maker 2 problems.

PhotoStory 2 - - a detailed tutorial about using the earlier version.

Online Support - Forums and Newsgroups

I'm a regular on many online forums and newsgroups, the key ones being:

Forums are open to all for viewing, but require registration of those who want to post. Moderators actively participate to ensure the forum discussions move forward and stay on track.

Movie Maker and Photo Story forums at Windows Movie Makers

Movie Maker 2 forum at

Newsgroups are wide open for all to view and post... moderation is collective by the participants.

Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup - microsoft.public.windowsxp.moviemaker

Photo Story 2 newsgroup -

Photo Story 3 newsgroup -

Weekly Newsletters

Movie Maker 2/Photo Story newsletter. The annual subscription is $20 and the link to subscribe is on the main page of my Movie Maker website at:

Topics for upcoming newsletters (always subject to change):

#108 - June 17 - Video Transitions

#109 - June 24 - open

#110 - July 1 - open

Newsletters issued more than 6 weeks ago are posted by Rob Morris to an Archive Site on his Windows Movie Makers' website. Links from my website pages to specific newsletters make it easier for viewers to see the content of both while browsing a topic.

Drop an email to suggest a newsletter topic... I can use more requests rather than fewer.


Add-On Transitions and Effects

Transition Maker 2 (TM2) is a utility for the ultimate in making your own personal and custom transitions for Movie Maker 2. It's a joint product from Patrick Leabo, the programmer, and myself.

I've beta tested some of the Pixelan packages and think very highly of their people and products.

ProDAD's Adorage packages for Movie Maker 2 are  additional sources of very professionally developed transitions and effects. And here are the links

TransiitonsEffectsPackage for Movie Maker - Volume 1

PapaJohn's Transitions - Volume 2

PapaJohn's Video Effects - Volume 3

Personal Database

With more info to manage, consider additional tools that help.

My personal database has been an ongoing project over many years, and is now available to others. A tutorial about using it is on the Managing > Personal Database page of my site, and more info is in the database package itself.

It's free for the asking to regular newsletter subscribers... send an email request and I'll return it with the zipped file, which is less than 1 MB.

To others it's $10. To order, use the button on the top of the Managing > Personal Database page.

Online GalleryNeptune Gallery

An online gallery that fully aligns with the main priority of the website is the 'PapaJohn Expert Zone' at neptune.

Check it at Neptune and the Distributing > Neptune page of the website, where there's a developing tutorial about how to use the service.


In conjunction with the Portage, Michigan library, I offer two free training sessions about Movie Maker and Photo Story, an intro session and a workshop. Scheduled sessions are:

(Summer Break... will re-start in October)

The classroom has a large screen overhead projection system... and individual laptops for each attendee to use. You learn by doing, with a little guidance from me.

Other fee-based services

If you can't save a movie because your project has become too complex, e-mail a copy and I'll divide it into manageable sub-projects, and provide detailed instructions about how to render the parts and assemble them into your final movie. $49.95 (no cost if it's not the right solution or doesn't work) - for details, see the sidebar on the Problem Solving > Can't Save a Movie page of

Movie Maker 2/Photo Story training and support services start at $75 per hour - send an email - and I'll help you determine your needs, and work with you to plan and implement them.

Wedding combo website/video packages - check the bottom branch of the Movie Maker 2 website for a sample of what you can expect for the online portion of the package.

© 2006 - PapaJohn: Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

About John 'PapaJohn' Buechler from
John 'PapaJohn' Buechler John "PapaJohn" Buechler, of Kalamazoo, Mich., goes by PapaJohn online. An avid user of Movie Maker since its first release, and a regular supporter of the community of Movie Maker users, John received a 2003 MVP award from Microsoft for that support. In March 2003, he started a comprehensive website about Movie Maker 2 at He maintains the website, writes books and articles, teaches, and provides support services - all for the community of Movie Maker 2 users. An engineer by formal education, John is a computer database and multimedia expert by business and personal experience. He co-authored the first book about Movie Maker 2 and is actively working on a second one. You can find his advice in the Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup and in the Windows Movie Makers Forums.

This newsletter is republished with permission of John "PapaJohn" Buechler.
Please note that this is an archive of newsletters and some information may become outdated. PapaJohn, and the webmaster of this site, provides this information "AS IS" with no warranties.

Visit - PapaJohn's Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 2 Newsletter Index



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