from Picture to Story and Movie
Roy Feldman is a
top-notch professional photographer. He's also a user of Photo Story and
a subscriber to this newsletter. I was sending out routine renewal
notices a few days ago and, as usual, I use the moment to check
what's going on with the subscriber. In Roy's case I went to...
You can see he's very much into online multimedia... and I
saw him using flash files to deliver videos to all computer
platforms. That's the usual today.
This picture on the Detroit Stock Photo site
Renaissance Center with Fireboat
Detroit's Renaissance Center (G.M. World Headquarters) with the Detroit Fire
Department's boat the "Curtis Randolph" photographed from the Detroit
The original is 2500 x 1656 pixels... a great size for
a photo story, and the scene would make a good opening for some
of my backlogged personal video footage, especially a Thanksgiving Day
parade in Detroit, where the parade route is only a few blocks from the
Photo by Roy Feldman
Instead of sending a routine email renewal notice, I
opted to see if Roy would barter... extend the subscription for
limited rights to use the picture. I filled out the online form and
embedded the renewal notice in it. That set the stage for this week's
newsletter... how to use the picture in a story or movie.
was a fun exercise, which I'd like to share it with you...
The picture at the right is a link to the opening
clip for my home movie, annotated for this
Here are a few steps to make it...
- Resized the picture a
bit to align it exactly with standard 4:3 video, the same aspect ratio I
shot the parade footage at. It helped make the transitions
between pictures, stories and video clips seamless.
- Made a Photo Story that
started with the full image, zoomed into the top part of
the buildings, panned to the fireboat, and then zoomed into the
street that leads to the parade area.
- Made a custom title
overlay from the picture... by removing the river water and the
water of the fireboat hoses... turning those
pixels transparent using Paint.net. This let me see the moving water
of some beachfront video footage in back of the overlay.
- Added the snowflakes
effect to each clip, to help bring them all together, and to
help take viewers' eyes away from the water
during parts that don't use the overlay (the photo story
Here are a few notes before going into the details.
... a few notes...
Leaving for the MVP Summit... next week
at Microsoft in Seattle, followed by a 6 day vacationing stop in the San
Francisco area on the way home. I'll be skipping next week for the
newsletter, and possibly the week after that.
Movies with Vista! is a six page article in the Spring 2007
Special Edition of MaximumPC, on
bookstands now to May 29, 2007.
Starting on page 78... the article covers the
movie making process from camcorder tape to viewing it on a standard
I have a box of copies and will bring some to
the MVP Summit... one of them and a few dollars will get me a mocha in
I'm following with interest all the newsgroup and forum
posts about the problems that some users are having... but I'm not trying
to note every possible issue and work-around as I did in the early days
of Movie Maker. Now that my priority is on 'doing amazing things' with
story and movie software, rather than 'problem-solving', there's an appropriate
shift in where I'm putting my energy.
.... back to the main topic...
Using the Picture
Like most video projects I do, I make the parts of it as
separate modules... for this one, it's a photo story, a custom title overlay,
the animated water clips, and then the final assembly in Movie Maker.
For the panning and zooming of a large image such as
this, Photo Story 3 is the tool.
I resized the original from its 2500 x 1656 pixels to a JPG
file of 1500 x1875 pixels to align it exactly with the standard 4:3 aspect
ratio of stories and movies. I opted for a little distortion rather than
cropping something from the picture.
The story clip was made with 5 copies of the same picture.
All I did for each was...
- pick the points to pan and
zoom from and to
- set the starting point of
each to be the same as the ending point of the previous picture
- uncheck the default
of starting each picture with a transition... this is needed for
seamless changes in direction as the story plays
I saved the story to a 640x480 size to align with the movie
file I was heading toward.
The Custom Title Overlay... and
the Water Animation
To animate the water, I used Paint.net. With the magic wand, eraser and rectangular
selection tools, it was a quick job to remove the pixels from the water and
fireboat hose sprays.
Here's a cropped portion of the saved ..png
file... the transparent areas appear black now, but are see-though when
used as an image overlay in Movie Maker.
To animate the water, I went to my stock of video footage
and looked at beach scenes of Saugatuck, and some water fountain shots in
Chicago. I put clips on the timeline and applied the overlay, trimmed the
video clips and slowed the speed of the ripples and waves by applying the
Slow Down-Half effect as needed.
When the animation looked OK, I saved the clip to a DV-AVI
file. There were a number of rendering passes to make the overall intro clip. I
used DV-AVI for each of the interim steps to maintain visual quality.
The Assembly in Movie Maker...
This is where it all comes together. Going down the
project tracks, here's what I did...
The first two video clips were
from the renderings to get the animated water scene, and
mixing it with the photo story. During the assembly I split it on the
timeline at about the 10 second point... to apply some zooming out effects
from Pixelan to the first part of the clip... ending it at full
screen. It stayed full screen until the photo story started its
zooming and panning.
The snowflakes effect was added to each of the video
clips. It was a Christmas parade and the snowflakes across all clips
help visually integrate them.
The parade clips got the Pixelan Crop All 2% effect... to
get rid of flaky 7 lines of pixels at the bottom of the clips. The
camcorder was a Hi8 and the bottom of all my footage when imported to DV
shows bottom artifacts. The 2% effect zooms in just enough to
move them out of the way.
The transitions are simple overlapping
The audio associated with the video is
silent until the parade clips begin.
The audio/music track starts with a copy of
the fire engine clip from the parade, significantly lowered in volume. The
2nd clip is another copy of the same but with slightly higher volume as the
zooming toward the city begins. The 3rd clip is normal volume. In all I was ramping
the sound of the fire engine and parade up as the visual moved more and more
toward the city streets.
The title overlays are the words you see in
the sample clip, added just for the newsletter. The custom overlay used to
animate the water had already been folded into the opening clip in an
earlier rendering, so you wouldn't see it in this assembly step.
My personal parade video would of course be much longer...
just a couple clips to show you how the opening flows into the parade itself.
and Closing... and What's Next?
Being a 'do-it-yourselfer', it's a
rare treat for me to use such a professional picture. I
sent Roy the link to the video to show him how I used it... thinking it would
give him a chance to have any second thoughts about me using it. We're
still good, at least until he reads the newsletter. Thanks again Roy!!!
What's next is the MVP Summit...
lots of mingling, learning and partying.
Have a great couple/few weeks!!
I look forward to comments and discussion about this and other
newsletters on the forums at:
Have a great week...
Movie Maker and
Photo Story 3 - www.papajohn.org
Photo Story 2 - www.papajohn..org/PhotoStory2/PS.html
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
TheDVShow 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
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.
Movie Maker 2 - Do Amazing Things (with
its online companion on www.papajohn.org ), published by Microsoft Press...
Movie Maker 2 - Zero
to Hero - with support on the publisher's forum - Friends
Learning 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.
A large percentage of book sales are of electronic
copies. The Packt
Publishing Website page for the book provides a full
table of contents and chapter summaries... and a link to a full free
online copy of Chapter
3, Capture Preprocessing.
A six page article Making Movies with Vista is in the Spring 2007 Special Edition (page 78), on bookstands now until May
29, 2007. It covers the movie making process from camcorder tape to
viewing it on 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 - www.papajohn.org - the
site's goals are: doing amazing things, providing a detailed
tutorial for PhotoStory 3, and helping you solve Movie Maker
It's been expanded to include the version
6 of Movie Maker in Vista, along with the new Photo Gallery and DVD
PhotoStory 2 - www.papajohn.org/photostory2/PS2.html -
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
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
Movie Maker and Photo Story forums at Windows
Movie Maker 2 forum at SimplyDV.com
Newsgroups are wide open for all to
view and post... moderation is collective by the participants.
Windows Vista newsgroup - microsoft.public.windows.vista.music_pictures_video
Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup - microsoft.public.windowsxp.moviemaker
Photo Story 2 newsgroup - microsoft.public.plus
Photo Story 3 newsgroup - microsoft.public.windowsxp.photos
Movie Maker/Photo Story newsletter. The subscription is
$20 for 52 issues, and a link to subscribe is on the main
page of www.papajohn.org or the Products and
Topics for upcoming newsletters
(always subject to change):
Mar 24 or
31? - #142 (open)
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.
email to suggest a topic...
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.
Adorage packages for Movie Maker 2 are additional sources of very
professionally developed transitions and effects. Here are links
Package for Movie Maker - Volume 1
Video Effects -
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
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
With more info to manage, consider
additional tools that help.
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
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.
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 about how to use it.
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 N eptune and the
Distributing > Neptune page of the website, where there's a developing
tutorial about how to use the service.
... and mydeo is
the preferred video streaming service. Many of the video samples
for newsletter are on it.
sized photo stories stream as well as or better than movies.
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:
April 19 and May 17
has a large screen overhead projection system... and individual laptops for
each attendee. You learn by doing, with some coaching.
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 www.papajohn.org
2/Photo Story training
and support services start at $75 per hour - send an
email - PapaJohn@CharterMi.net and I'll help you
determine your needs, and work with you to plan and implement
combo website/video packages - check the Living Projects section of the website
for samples of what you can expect for the online portion of
2007 PapaJohn; Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in
the United States and/or other countries.
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
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.
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