(with mini-tutorial about using them)
This week's topic will have some fun
with text clips, using a project file to pass messages to
other Movie Maker 2 users.... and in the process of doing
it, reiterate a couple sometimes useful points:
• Project files don't need
to always have .MSWMM extensions
• Project files can be sent to others, viewed by them, and
taken further... edit the project and send it back or forward
Fun yes, but sometimes useful....
Some are working on a surprise movie to celebrate a special
occasion. Secrets are easy when the other person isn't a
computer or Movie Maker user who can see and check the files
on your computer. Dropping the .MSWMM extension might help.
Attached file for this week -
Messages passed in project
files might be just for fun... I’m not concerned about anyone
reading anything I write. In the world of computers and
internet communication, I always assume that anything I
put into an electronic message can show up some day in the
wrong hands. So I never type anything that I'd regret or
feel embarrassed about.
This newsletter is just for
the fun of it, and for some learning. But you might have
reasons to use it for other things.
Before getting into it, here's
are a few items about things going on.
• Windows XP Service Pack 2
has been out for a while with the beta version of MM2.1
in it. I've been studying it a bit and preparing a new website
page that covers installation, new features, and new issues
(none so far). The only way to get the beta of MM2.1 is
to get the full installation package for the beta of SP2.
I downloaded the latest one
a few days ago to refresh my MM2.1 beta files.... a 277
MB download file with 67 folders and 2,122 files. Big download
and lots of time just to get a handful of MM2.1 beta files.
But broadband is great; as big as it is, the download was
easy and quick!!!
The release of SP2 and the
MM2.1 update in it is getting closer. I'm just doing homework
to be ready, and I'd appreciate any feedback from those
of you exercising the new version. All of the main MM2 files
are new revisions and most of the interfacing files that
MM2 relates to are also updated. I'm sure we'll bump into
new things as we go.
• I started writing for
http://www.lockergnome.com this week, in a new media
channel (which I don't see yet from the main menu). I made
a couple posts to test the waters, but I'm not yet comfortable
there, simply because it's a new website to me. For now,
I'm just fishing around a bit to figure out how best to
post and write to it.
• I'm seeing a low level change
in the complexion of the e-mails I receive. The requests
are less for help starting and running Movie Maker and more
for pointers about how to make better movies from an artistic
sense. My current website goals don't include how to make
better movies, but I'm currently rethinking it.
To help me think about it,
I added a couple new pages this week using info from Justin
Murphy, a writer and avid user of Movie Maker. His approach
to writing about Movie Maker is from the artistic end, not
the technical. I'll see if this takes the site down another
to the topic of the week
Issue #6 of the newsletter
covered some aspects of text clips, working with them in
a project. This issue is more about - inter-project and
inter-user items, topics I explored a bit more fully when
writing hacks for the new O'Reilly book.
live only in project files.... you can't import or export
them.... a rare exception to the rule that clips need to
come into a collection first, and then from there into a
But you can copy a text clip
from one project and paste it into another. A project file
with your favorite text clip styles in it could be a valuable
part of your library.
A newly saved project
file needs to have the MSWMM extension, but only
when saving it for the first time. Once saved, you can freely
rename the project file, as I did the one attached to this
I changed the .MSWMM extension
to .FUN.... just for the fun of it.
Newsletter12.FUN still looks
like a pretty normal file name. My favorite is naming it
www.microsoft.com - it's a link to
you know where in this newsletter, but a project file with
the same name would work fine with MM2.
Text Message Project
Let's kind of work backwards
in this tutorial. You know how to add text clips to Movie
Maker, so let's make it a bit interactive, using a little
text project as an exercise. It's the Newsletter.FUN file
attached to this newsletter.... it's not a virus and has
no spyware. It's just a renamed project file.
Let's see if anyone's filters
wipe it out or quarantine it. Drop a note if so, and I'll
send it to you differently.
Opening the Message
(Opening the Project in MM2)
Double-clicking or otherwise
trying to open the attachment will result in Windows XP
not knowing what software to open it with. There
isn't an association between .FUN and any program.
If Movie Maker 2 is open, close
it.... it's easiest to drag and drop the attachment....
right from your copy of the newsletter to the MM2 icon on
your desktop (I'm assuming you have an icon there). Note
that, even without the .MSWMM extension, MM2 will recognize
it as a valid project file and open up with it on the timeline.
I find that it’ll open quicker
and easier in Movie Maker 2 than a comparable note would
open in Word if it were a Word document.
If you don't succeed at opening
the project via drag and drop, then save it to your hard
drive, open MM2 and the project file as you normally would.
To get over the hurdle of it not having the .MSWMM extension,
use the drop down for file types and change it to All files.
Reading the Message
To read my message, preview
I know you'll see the text
clips as they are embedded in the project file.
I'm pretty sure you'll hear
the audio clips as I've used some from the pinball game
that comes with Windows XP. If by some chance yours are
not in the same folder/subfolder as mine, you would hear
nothing and see the big red X's indicating missing source
Here's what the project file
looks like on the timeline. Pretty simplistic.
See that the text clips on
the timeline shows the beginning of the clip... in English,
even for the clips that are viewed in Webding fonts on the
The project could be lots
more complex if I also used text clips on the video track.
You can make all kinds of interesting videos by using text
clips on both the video track and the title overlay tracks,
Responding to the Message
Change the notes in the project
if you want and sent it back... no, it's not another poll
and I don't expect more than a few back.
There are only two choices
of animations that give you lots of space for text. The
Scroll, Perspective choice is a good and fun one, the Star
Wars’ titling animation effect. It'll take over 150 words.
The other choice is the Ticker Tape option. The other choices
are very limited in the number of characters that fit....
but you can mix clips and animations as you want to, if
the goal is entertainment and not passing a message.
For a bit more secrecy, use
the same text clip but change the colors of the text and/or
Double-click on the text clip
on the timeline to re-open the title wizard. Opt to change
the text font and color. The Scroll, Perspective usually
has white text on a dark blue background (when on the video
track). The easiest change is to make the background white.
White text on white background will look like a pure white
The Ticker Tape uses white
text on a red band… but it gives the text a slight shadow.
So making both text and background the same color will still
result in a readable message due to the shadow… use it if
you want to tease a bit without having it totally hidden.
For even more secrecy, change
the text font to something like Web Dings. This figure shows
what a Scroll, Perspective message looks like when using
that font. I’ll make it black on white so you can read it.
The recipient doesn’t need
to know the font you used. He/she just needs to use the
Movie Maker 2 title overlay wizard to change it back into
something more readable, or just read the clip in the title
Other fun fonts to use are
WingDings, WingDings 2, WingDings 3, Technology, and Symbol.
And, if the message still isn't
secret enough, just add a few pictures to the timeline so
it really looks like you’re editing a movie project. Adjust
the duration of the text clips so they flash by in less
than a split second, when it takes a minute to read it normally
in the wizard.
The person receiving your message
can extend the clip's duration, change the color, change
the font… or just double-click on the text clip to read
it in the title wizard. Only he or she will know it’s a
secret message (hopefully so if it's secret).
And we started this exercise
using a Movie Maker project file as the carrier of the message,
not a saved movie. As Movie Maker project files can only
be opened and read by someone who has MM2, you’ll be safe
from the prying eyes of others who don't use MM2.
I put a lot of thought into
text clips.... I'm doing a wedding video next month and
I'm working on the perfect text clips - the font, the size,
the color, the degree of transparency, the alignment....
all those things.
Once I have the perfect text
clip, I'll copy it into my text clip project file, which
is simply a personal library of text clips that I can copy
and paste from the library file to my movie project.
As the project file is small
and has all that is needed, emailing is a perfect way to
share with other Movie Maker 2 users who you are close enough
with to share such things.... not the words, the styles
of the clips.
And if you're into secret messages,
they should be pretty safe from those who don’t know how
to handle the renamed project file.
I look forward to comments
and discussion about this newsletter on the forums at
Have a great week!!!
Movie Maker 2 -
Photo Story 2 -
I'm involved in many things
that support users of Movie Maker and PhotoStory, and adding
more daily. Here's a list of what is available to the public.
Some are free and others are reasonably priced.
Movie Maker 2 - Do Amazing
(with its online companion on
Movie Maker 2 - Zero to Hero
(with support on the Friends of Ed forum)
The 14 hacks that I wrote for
a new O'Reilly book about Windows Media Hacks are submitted
and in the editing phases.
When ordering these books or
anything else from Amazon, I'd appreciate you using the
links on the main page of
www.papajohn.org - I get some income from Amazon that
way, and it doesn't cost you any more. It'll help keep most
of my services free.
Movie Maker 2 -
- two goals: to help you solve problems, and to be the online
companion to the Do Amazing Things book... and currently
thinking of another goal of movie making and editing styles.
PhotoStory 2 -
- a full tutorial about using it. Not a problem-solving
Online Support - Forums
I'm a regular at many online forums and newsgroups, the
main ones being:
Movie Maker 2 and PhotoStory
2 forums at
Movie Maker 2 forum at SimplyDV.com
Movie Maker newsgroup at
PhotoStory newsgroup at microsoft.public.plus
Weekly Movie Maker 2/PhotoStory
2 newsletter. Subscribing is free via the link on the main
Tentative topics for upcoming
newsletters (subject to change): A series of primers about
utilities used in conjunction with Movie Maker and PhotoStory.
#13 - A Primer on Using IrfanView
with Movie Maker
#14 - A Primer on Using Paint to Make Text Images for PhotoStory
#15 - A Primer on Using Virtual Dub with Movie Maker
#?? - Windows XP SP2 and Movie Maker 2.1 (the week it is
released, whenever that is)
Older newsletters are archived at:
Transition Maker 2 - a utility
to make the ultimate in personal and custom transitions
for Movie Maker 2 -
I routinely beta test the
Pixelan packages and think very highly of their people and
products: Their SpiceFX packages of additional transitions
and effects for Movie Maker 2 are available at:
If you can't save a movie because
your project has become too complex, I'll divide it into
manageable sub-projects for you and provide detailed instructions
to render the parts and assemble them into your final movie.
$49.95 - for details, see the sidebar on the Problem Solving
> Can't Save a Movie page of
Movie Maker 2/Photo Story
2 training and support services start at $50 per hour -
PapaJohn@CharterMi.net and I'll help
you determine your needs, and work with you to plan and
Maker 2 and Photo Story 2 Newsletter Index
About John 'PapaJohn' Buechler from Microsoft.com
||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
www.PapaJohn.org. 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
Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup
and in the Windows
Movie Makers Forums.
newsletter is republished with permission
of John "PapaJohn" Buechler. To subscribe
to PapaJohn's Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story
2 newsletter click here:
Subscribe to PapaJohn's Newsletter.
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