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PapaJohn's Newsletter #108

The 551 Video Transitions on my Laptop

Last week we looked at the 307 video effects on my laptop to see which package they came from. This week we'll do the same thing with the 551 video transitions.

With only one transition style allowed, the number of possibilities is much fewer than the 837+ trillion possible combinations of video effects.

Let's take the same approach, first renaming the AddOnTFX folders to go all the way back to the basic transitions included with Movie Maker 2, and then turning things on one package at a time to correlate the transitions with them.

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


Vista Corner... it's now available to the general public for downloading... or by ordering a disc. I tested the generational loss issue a couple days ago and found that the 27th frame is still missing when rendering to a DV-AVI movie from a DV-AVI source file. The issue is one I've been studying for over 3 years, and it isn't resolved in Movie Maker in Vista.

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 almost 1-1/2 months now.

The Maximum PC issue with my 5 page tutorial about Photo Story 3 is the Summer Special, which will be on newsstands in the United States on July 18th. The disc with the magazine will include the story.

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

Video Transitions on my Laptop

Let's start by going backwards.... to get from my 551 transitions to the 60 that came with the basic version of Movie Maker 2.

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 551 transitions I started with went down to 162 with this one rename, 102 more than the starter pack of 60 in MM2.

Step 2 - Rename MM1 AddOnTFX FolderRename the AddOnTFX folder for MM1... the first Adorage package for Movie Maker 2 uses that folder for its transitions. By renaming it the same way, the number of installed effects went down to the basic 60.

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

The MUI\0409\AddOnTFX folder renamed last week to remove 14 pan/zoom effects didn't have any transitions associated with it.

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

The first Adorage Movie Maker 2 Package #1 has 102 transitions, with semi-generic group thumbnails, with the same thumbnail used for each transitions within the group. Here's a picture of the 6 thumbnails and the names of each transition in the group.

If you have favorites in the Blur, Color-Blur and Plain groups, you need to note them somehow.

Adorage - Package 1

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

I've explored different ways of managing this library. For this and last week's newsletters, 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 the moved xml files in alphabetical order. I'll include appropriate links to websites...

The recently released Adorage mm-maker 02 xml file has 30 transitions.

PapaJohn Effects

Custom xml files also go in this folder

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

Lots of XML

I'll copy the xml files for transitions into the AddOnTFX folder one at a time, and take snapshots of the thumbnails associated with it. 

The Adorage-mmaker-02.xml file is covered above. Let's go down the rest of them in alphabetical order...

The Blaine-Barn Doors is an example of a custom xml file made by copying and pasting the code from a forum post.

It doesn't have an associated customized thumbnail, so it uses any of the built-in thumbnail numbers from the MM2 library. In this case Blaine's choice is pretty good for how the transition works.

You're on your own when it comes to making and using these custom xml files.

The next one, Blaine-Blue Screen, is another custom one from a post. I have a habit of naming the transition after the person I got it from.

His posted xml code on the forum had it named 'Bluescreen'... I changed it to 'Blaine-Bluescreen' so I can know who to check with if I have questions. The name that shows up in the collection in MM2 isn't the file name... it's the internal name used in the xml code.


My current xml files like these come and go as I check code from forum posts. If I like the transition, I copy the code to my personal database for future use.

Transition Maker 2

The next two, DPL0 and DPL1 xml files, are sample packages included in Transition Maker 2 (TM2). If you don't know by now, it's a transition making utility programmed by Patrick Leabo and sold my myself through my website.

There's a full online tutorial about using it on my website... the Editing > Transition Maker 2 > TM2 Tutorial page.

Not only does TM2 create the needed transparent png graphics files, it creates a set of unique thumbnails to illustrate them. There are 24 transitions in DPL0 and DPL1... here's some of the thumbnails for DPL0.


The Winter Fun PackFX 2003

...has two transitions, both about snow. They come from Microsoft but were made by Pixelan, as you can tell by the logo name.

GF1.xml is another set of 19 transitions made by Transition Maker 2. It's a sample set to help you see what kinds of transitions you can make.

The Editing Movies > XML Persian Section at .... has some xml code to copy and paste into your own files. That's how I made these.

The Persian-Chroma.xml file has 5 custom transitions with the code in the Persian section of the website. Note that I use Persian in both the file name and the internal transition names, to know where they came from. As most custom xml, the icons are generic and not illustrative of what the transitions do.


Persian-Compositing.xml has one transition... and another generic thumbnail.

Persian-Transparency.xml has 9 transitions... shades of transparency in 10% increments from the fully opaque to the fully transparent end of the scale.

PIP-720x480-standard.xml and PIP-720x480-widescreen.xml are two that I made and used since the early days of custom xml files, before I started naming them with the one they came from... I'll go do it now. My Grand Canyon and other PIP examples were made with these xml files.

Rehan's PIP+ package includes 8 dynamic Picture in Picture transitions, each using the same thumbnail.

Rehan's PIP Plus


Has a number of transition packages for Movie Maker 2... I have 10 of them on my laptop. Here's my visual inventory.

BonusIII M Pack

Pixelan Bonus Filter Pack

BonusII Pack

Pixelan Bonus Pack

Bonus Pack

Pixelan Contrast Pack

Cool FX New Pack

Pixelan Filter New Pack

Cool FX Pack

Pixelan Filter Pack

Energy FX Pack

Pixelan Frame Pack

Particle FX Pack

Pixelan Pan Zoom New Pack

PIP FX New Pack

Pixelan Pan Zook Pack

Soft FX New

Plus TransFX

Soft FX

Pixelan SoftFX

The set of transitions from the Microsoft Plus!_Trans FX Package


PapaJohn Bluescreen
The Transparent - Do Amazing Things Orange R230 G147 B74.xml file is another of my personal ones, not fully labeled with my name. I'll do it now.

Inside it's labeled as a bluescreen transition... which it is kind-of, except for an orange color.

Conclusions and Closing

The packages are the easiest to use... then comes Transition Maker 2 which needs more computer skills and understanding about what's going on.... and then custom hand coding your own xml files, for the geek in you.

The forums at have lots of custom xml code being passed around... there's no conclusion or closing, new ones keep coming out for sharing and inspiration. There isn't a centralized complete library of the custom developed ones. Get the ones you like and use them.

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.

My new 5 page tutorial about Photo Story 3 will be in the Summer Special edition of Maximum PC, on newsstands July 18th.... the sample story will be included on the disc in it.

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):

#109 - June 24 - open

#110 - July 1 - open

#111 - July 8 - 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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