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PapaJohn's Newsletter #139

Movie Editing 'Basics'

This issue is another first for me.... using Camtasia Studio 3 to make video tutorials, putting into practice more of the things we can do with Photo Story, Movie Maker and online videos in general.

What are the 'basics' of movie editing? There's lots of ways to define it... for this newsletter I'll simply call it a project with 2 ingredients

1 - an opening title clip

2 - a long video clip of someone talking, where the sync between the audio and the visual is critical... but you want to pull away from the person speaking to add a few clips of interest, and then return without losing a beat in the audio/visual sync.

If you do those two things easily... you're in great shape for anything else.

Camtasia Studio 3 is a well respected product for doing screen captures. I've had it for a while, but only now getting around to learning it. After a few poor fumbled attempts to make a couple tutorials, starting with the screen capturing, I finally got around to using this approach... doing the screen capturing last.

  • write the scripts for what I'd like to say... using Notepad. The first one is about making a custom title clip for a movie, using Photo Story. The second one starts with the custom title clip and takes the movie project into a commonly asked-about area, how to add items of interest into a clip that needs well synced audio and visual tracks without losing the audio or the sync.
  • narrate the projects by reading the scripts... using Movie Maker with an empty timeline to capture the narrations.... read it as if you're seeing what you'd like, not bogged down by the reality of what is there.
  • edit the narrations using Movie Maker to remove major dead spaces and the louder higher quality Ummms and Ahhhhs.
  • add background music to the narrations, again in Movie Maker... with extra rendering passes as needed to mix the narration and the music.
  • do the screen capture sessions... with Camtasia, following along and doing in Photo Story and Movie Maker what the narration is saying.... being generous with the captured material...  having more than enough.
  • trim the excess from the video track in Camtasia to align it with the narration... taking the fat out of the visual is easy in the software.

The weak point in the process is my narration, as it has more than its fair share of Ummms and Ahhhhs. I'll work on that as I do more of these.

These images and the titles under them are links to the online tutorials. The first one about making a title clip with Photo Story runs 3-1/2 minutes, and the second one about the Movie Maker project is 2-1/4 minutes.

PhotoStory - making a title clip
PS3 Tutorial

Movie Maker - a title followed by a sync critical clip
MM2 Tutorial

When this issue goes online, I'll be deleting the issue-specific videos... for the online readers, the rest of the newsletter includes the scripts. Before getting into it, here's...

... a few notes...


Vista Corner...

It's time to jump into making custom transitions, titles, and DVD styles... Microsoft released the eagerly awaited SDK with the technical info about how to do them...

Movie Maker and Windows DVD Maker SDK

A serious user or good hacker could do them in XP... in Vista it takes a serious hacker to a good programmer. And the hacking of the custom titles are not mentioned in the SDK, so it's a community challenge to figure it out... as it was in XP. Many consider the making of custom effects, transitions and titles to be more fun and creative than making movies. For them, they're right.

Someone posted that their version of GSpot was working on Vista. I checked the 3 versions in my library and found that v2.21 works, but the newer versions 2.52 and 2.60 don't.

The Windows Media Encoder v9 package works also... at least for encoder screen capture sessions and editing Movie Maker profiles with the profile editor.

Library Training Session...

One of last night's attendees was a teacher who specializes in iMovie... attending my session to ask about some common beliefs in the Apple world. 

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

Making a Basic Movie... tutorial

Here are the scripts I read from, or improvised from...

Part 1 - making an opening clip with Photo Story

Let's go thru a quick and easy way to make a great opening title clip for a movie project... using Photo Story 3

Before starting the story, mark up a high quality still picture in Paint, IrfanView, PhotoShop, whatever.... add your title text wherever it best fits

Then import a few copies... I'll do 3 of them

---- the next screen is for text... we have it already, so move on to the window where we do motion settings

select the first picture...

  • check the option to set your own motion settings.
  • I'm going to let it open full screen, but then have it zoom into my first group of title text words... at the left
  • Photo Story picks what it thinks is a good duration.... but I'll speed it up by changing the duration
  • move to the 2nd copy of the picture, saving the settings for the first one

on the 2nd one

  • opt for your own motion settings
  • set the starting position as the same as the ending one of the first picture...
  • make the ending position the same---- to quickly get them to the same size
  • drag the ending position over to the next item of interest.... in this case one of the boats in the river....
  • go to the transition tab and uncheck the option to use one... this is important to making the change in pan/zoom a smooth one...
  • I'll go back to the other tab for a second... to change the duration to what I want... I forgot to do it when first on that screen
  • move on to the 3rd copy of the picture, saving the settings

on the 3rd one

  • opt for your own motion settings
  • set the starting and ending positions the same as the previous picture...
  • then move the ending position to the next item of interest.... the rest of the title text
  • remove the default transition.... again... it's for smooth uninterrupted changing of position between the two pictures
  • close the working window and go on to the next screen of the wizard

background music... skip it...we'll add any in the movie project

select a folder for the story, a file name, and a quality setting....

I have a bunch of choices for quality... those that came with Photo Story, and the custom ones I've added.

render the story...

watch it before closing Photo Story.... as you can easily tweak it some more by using the Back button... making your changes, and rendering it again right over the first one.

You've got your opening title clip for the movie... a great custom one from your picture, with your own words...

Part 2 - Let's use the title clip and make a movie

first add the title to the timeline

select a video clip... something that has audio/video in sync...we'll use Sabina in her hotel in Florence

  • pick a spot to cut the clip and insert other items...
  • a couple still pix of the breakfast area
  • a video clip of the bus ride from the hotel to the City Center

zoom in and out of the timeline as needed to keep things in perspective

we've split the audio of Sabina talking, so let's use another copy of her clip... this one on the audio track... not split

the sync is there for the first part of her talking... but we lost it for the last part by putting other clips in the middle.

now our job is to re-sync the last part... by trimming it as needed... let the other action happen as she talks, and then pick her up again for the rest of the story...

the goal here is to align the right end of the video clip and the audio one.... when they finish at the same point, the movie is fully in sync.

zoom into the timeline as far as you can and the alignment will be perfect...  and easy

here's the finished project.... one thing I should do is mute the two split segments of Sabina talking, leaving the audio of the bus ride and the full clip of her talking on the audio/music track...

the syncing is so good that you won't notice if both clips are playing together.

Conclusion and Closing... and What's Next?

Camtasia is another building block in my multimedia software toolbox. It works great... but as you see I've opted to use Movie Maker to capture and edit the narrations, and fold in background music. Maybe Camtasia does it as well or better, but I'm comfortable with the familiar software.

If there's any topic you would especially like to see illustrated and narrated this way, let me know and I'll be glad to include it in an issue.

Have a great week!!


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 anything and everything that supports the 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. The frequency of radio Q&A sessions about Movie Maker has fallen off as submitted questions are minimal.  Maybe Vista will perk it up a bit.

Do Amazing ThingsBooks

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

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.

Magazines - MaximumPC

An article for a soon-to-be-published issue about Vista .... is in the final stages of printing/distribution. It'll be about the movie making process from camcorder tape to viewing a standard video DVD.

The 2006 Summer Special edition included a 7 page tutorial about Photo Story 3.

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

The 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  on my website as a file download.


Movie Maker and Photo Story - - the site's goals are: doing amazing things, providing a detailed tutorial for PhotoStory 3, and helping you solve Movie Maker problems.

It's been expanded to include the version 6 of Movie Maker in Vista, along with the new Photo Gallery and DVD Maker apps.

PhotoStory 2 - - a detailed tutorial about using the earlier version. It's been a long time since I've updated anything on it, but it still gets pretty good viewer traffic.

Online Support - Forums and Newsgroups

I'm a regular or moderator 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 Vista newsgroup -

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

Photo Story 2 newsgroup -

Photo Story 3 newsgroup -

Weekly Newsletters

Movie Maker/Photo Story newsletter. The subscription is $20 for 52 issues, and a link to subscribe is on the main page of or the Products and Services page.

Topics for upcoming newsletters (always subject to change):

#140 - Mar 3 - (open)

#141 - Mar 10 - (open)

Mar 17 - skip a week... for the MVP Summit and some post-summit vacationing

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 topic...


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 , including the new packages for Vista, 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. Here are links

TransiitonsEffectsPackage for Movie Maker - Volume 1 

PapaJohn's Transitions - Volume 2

PapaJohn's Video Effects - Volume 3


I use a lot of professional background music for movies and stories that was created by Randon Myles, and act as his agent in selling tunes individually. 

There are 62 tunes available from 4 of his many albums... at 99 cents per tune (MP3 or WMA format). Here's a Sample - 45 seconds from 'Groove 2'. The 4 albums are: In the Fields of the on-Feretin , Music for Film Volume III, the Emerald Way, and the Fourth Door.

I don't have a full set of online samples yet, but if you hear something you like in one of my videos, there's a good chance it was done by Randon. Send an email if you are interested.

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.

On my list of things to do is a video tutorial showing users tips about using it.

Online Galleries Neptune Gallery

neptune Mediashare is the preferred file download service for Movie Maker users... there's a  'PapaJohn Expert Zone' where I keep many of my samples and personal videos. 

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

Mydeo... and mydeo is the preferred video streaming service. Many of the video samples for newsletter are on it.

Normal sized photo stories stream as well as or better than movies.



In conjunction with the Portage, Michigan library , I offer free training sessions about Movie Maker and Photo Story, an intro session and a workshop. Upcoming classes are 7-8:30 PM on:

March 29, April 19 and May 17

The classroom has a large screen overhead projection system... and individual laptops for each attendee. You learn by doing, with some coaching.

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 Living Projects section of the website for samples of what you can expect for the online portion of a package.

2007 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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