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PapaJohn
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PapaJohn's Newsletter #142

Microsoft Expression Media


I left the MVP Summit and its surrounding parties with lots to mull over... and did some of the mulling while in Carmel for a six day post-Summit vacation. It looks like I'll be setting a new course for my website and associated writings which include the newsletters... this issue is the beginning of the change in course.

Let me start with Dean Rowe. He was on the Movie Maker team from it's inception in 1999, through the major expansion of features in MM2, and the development of Vista's DVD Maker. Read his March 12th blog entry and you'll see that he moved to the Expression team, working on a new Expression Media Encoder. What's that? Let's explore the subject of Microsoft Expression Media in this newsletter. The Microsoft site says 'Trial Available'.

Dean says they'll be releasing info about it at MIX07 in Las Vegas at the end of April. Using the link to MIX07, we see that...

"MIX is for cutting-edge Web professionals designing and building next-generation experiences"

MIX07

Here's an extract from the sponsor's page of the MIX07 site...

Microsoft® Expression® takes your creative possibilities to a new level. Whether you are designing standards-based websites, rich experiences on the desktop, managing digital assets and encoding video to reach a broad cross-platform audience, the professional design tools and innovative technologies in Expression give you the flexibility to bring your vision to reality. Utilizing the power of the Windows® Presentation Foundation™ ("WPF") and XAML, Expression tools deliver a new level of collaboration between developers and designers for better productivity and quality. Take it further with WPF Everywhere ("WPF/E" ) to deliver rich, cross-platform, interactive experiences including animation, graphics, audio, and video for the Web and beyond. Microsoft Expression Studio includes the following products: Microsoft Expression Web, Microsoft Expression Blend™, Microsoft Expression Design and Microsoft Expression Media. Take a test drive today at www.microsoft.com/expression !


I started my involvement with Movie Maker a couple years after Dean began developing Movie Maker, first focusing on 'problem-solving' and later shifting priorities to 'doing amazing things' with Movie Maker and Photo Story. I'll be following Dean and getting involved with Expression. But I'll be adding Expression to my website and other writings, not creating a new site or leaving Movie Maker and Photo Story behind.

As I'm under a non-disclosure agreement with Microsoft and the Summit is an NDA event, I'll be careful not to say anything that isn't already public knowledge... I'll start with Dean's blog entry and fish around from there. 

Here are some notes before downloading the trial version of Expression Media.

... a few notes...


Notes...

One reader thought the perspective of the picture of the Detroit skyline used in the last issue was a bit too distorted in terms of perspective, and emailed a copy with the buildings vertical.

The MVP Summit and our six day vacation in Carmel, CA after it were great. Another 4,000 pictures and 4 hours of camcorder video footage was added to our library... natural beauty and wildlife abounds in that part of the country. Here's a one minute flick showing a couple frustrated  birds trying to join their friends. They stopped trying only after the owner of the car came back to drive it away.

Vista Corner

Making Movies with Vista! the six page article is 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 video DVD.

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


Microsoft Expression Media

Of the four parts of the Expression Suite of tools, I'll focus on Expression Media. The Microsoft site provides some info, and says it's available in a trial version. I'll get a copy, install it, and give it a quick once-over.

Here's a composite image from the website info, illustrating a couple key features of Expression Media...

  • slide shows of both images and videos
  • an Expression Media Encoder that can make cross-platform files

Expression Media

For the trial version of Expression Media, the Microsoft site has a link to iView Media Pro. I thought Apple owned anything starting with the letter "i"... is Microsoft passing us to an Apple-oriented app?).

iView Media Pro

The 21 day trial is a full-featured version... the downloaded file is small, at 9MB. The file is install_iview_mediapro.exe


Items of note from the included documentation and a little internet browsing...

  • The software is from iView Multimedia Ltd... a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft, purchased in June 2006.

About iView Multimedia

Digital asset management pioneer iView Multimedia Ltd. developed iView MediaPro to help creative professionals quickly and easily locate, capture, organize, annotate, search, retrieve and present their digital content. Widely used today by professional photographers, iView MediaPro integrates seamlessly into a professional's established workflow, permitting them to streamline their processes, shortening time to market, and eliminating costs from the production cycle. Microsoft Corp. acquired iView Multimedia Ltd in June 2006 and is continuing to develop this powerful cross-platform cataloging tool into a next-generation product named Microsoft(R) Expression(R) Media, scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2007. For more information please see: http://www.iview- multimedia.com

  • It seems the software's roots are in the cataloging of digital media resources... like Photo Gallery in Vista, and like Picasa from Google. It runs on Windows and Apple computers, and uses templates to export the gallery to a website.

iView MediaPro enables you to create customized, centralized and searchable repositories, called catalogs, through which you can manage a wide variety and high volume of digital files. MediaPro supports more than 100 different file formats in cluding images, audio, video, fonts, illustrations, desktop publishing files, HTML and digital camera RAW files (including Adobe DNG, Nikon NEF, Canon TIF, CRW & CR2 and Kodak DCR).


Installing and Starting iView MediaPro...

Running the executable creates a c:\Program Files\iView Media Pro 3 folder. In addition to the main files, it has sub-folders of Documentation and Plug-ins. I installed it on my MCE XP laptop, not on my Vista system.

On startup, it offers to search your computer or let you select specific folders or files. Here's the results of it doing the automatic searching, which it limits to My Documents folders.

The app has 3 tabs... first the List view

List

The Thumbnail view...

Thumbnails

The Media view is a player of a selected item... in this case a VOB file

Media


Make MenuMaking Things...

You'll find lots of things to explore from the menu, as you drill down into things that appeal to you.

I'll pick the Make option from the main menu and show you some of the slide show and HTML Gallery options, and touch on the Contact Sheet...


Slide Shows

Run Slide Show

A slide show can have up to 16 images/videos playing at once. The 16 shown below right are two photo stories, 2 wmv videos, and 12 still pictures.

It works on my laptop having 16 videos running at once, but it's too much of strain to have them all playing smoothly....

Slide Show Options

Set the duration per slide (up to 60 seconds), background color, transitions (10 to choose from... or none or random), scaling and various other options.

Save Slide Show as Movie

I selected JPG files and the feature worked fine.

Another more agressive test, this one with 16 WMV files as inputs. It sort of worked but mostly didn't. It said it finished successfully, but the MOV file it made opens in the Quick Time Player, but plays a set of thumbnails that are not animated. It's too small a file to have all 16 videos in it.

Save Slideshow as Movie - ErrorA third test, with various video file formats ran into something and gave me this message.

It was starting to add one of the VOB files, so maybe there are limits on file types you can include in a slide show when saving it as a movie. Moot point as the one that was successful isn't animated.


Web GalleryHTML Gallery

Here's a feature I like... whipping out a good looking video gallery on a website.

I selected 16 random videos, opted for the Darkroom Special theme (one of 14 themes), tweaked only a couple things, and saved the gallery...

Impressively, I copied the files to my website, and here's what I got. Click the link or the image to check it out.

Website Gallery

there are some size/aspect ratio issues... but it looks like a great easy start for an online gallery


Contact Sheet

The feature makes JPG images (one of about a dozen image formats) of the thumbnail views (or the list view)... with options to add a header and footer.

The file saving process is really quick and the contact sheets good looking.


File Conversion

There's one more feature I want to show you... the main menu > Action > Convert Movie Files

Note the absense of WMV as a choice... in a Microsoft product. Hey, they've only owned the company since last June. I don't think the WMV format is going away.

Each of the format choices gets you a dialog box to choose settings... sometimes with more than you expect.

To illustrate, opt for the QuickTime format... press the Settings button... then the Filter button... explore the choices such as in this Special Effects 'Lens Flare'...

Convert Video

I didn't stop to render any file conversions... this newsletter issue has grown enough... time to wrap it up and get it in the mail, a couple days later than usual.


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

We know what's next... MIX07 at the end of April... to find out what info Microsoft will be releasing about Expression Media and the new Encoder.

The trial version of iView MediaPro doesn't have anything that looks like the screen shot of the Expression Media Encoder... this note from  Sean Alexander, another member of the Expression Team, explains why.

I found the note at http://discussms.hosting.lsoft.com/SCRIPTS/WA-MSD.EXE?A2=ind0701a&L=wmtalk&T=0&P=2969

Date:         Thu, 4 Jan 2007 10:12:52 -0800
Reply-To:     WMTalk < [log in to unmask]>
Sender:       WMTalk < [log in to unmask]>
From:         Sean Alexander < [log in to unmask]>
Subject:      Re: MIX 07 and Microsoft Expression Media Encoder
In-Reply-To:  < [log in to unmask]>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;


Hi Sanj.  Expression Media Encoder is a part of the Expression Media
asset management product announced late last year (details at
http://www.microsoft.com/expression).  It is not designed to replace
Windows Media Encoder, rather is a tool optimized for the compression
and publishing of video with "WPF/E".  It's not currently in the
downloadable version (Expression Media was previously known as iView
MediaPro) though we're working to make it available for evaluation in a
later release.

I'll be at MIX07 J.  Also I'd like to again encourage those with
suggestions on what additional topics they'd like to see covered at
MIX07 to shoot me a line.  We're published the first round of sessions
and are looking for feedback on others.
 

Thx

Sean
 

The interest in video is all over the place... our Sunday newspaper today had a front page picture that was blurry, to simulate movement.... with a note to go to their website to see the picture as a video. Everyone wants to do videos, even a newspaper!!!!

Have a great week and enjoy your video work...

PapaJohn


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

Windows Movie Makers.net

Have a great week...

PapaJohn

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 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 www.papajohn.org ), published by Microsoft Press...

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

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.

Virtual Dub

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.


Magazines - MaximumPC

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.


Websites

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 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 - 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 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 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


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  www.papajohn.org or the Products and Services page.

Topics for upcoming newsletters (always subject to change):

#143 -  March 31 (open)

#144 -  April 7 (open)

#144 -  April 14 (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 topic...


Software

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


Music

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 about how to use 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 N eptune 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.


Training

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 www.papajohn.org

Movie Maker 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 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 Microsoft.com
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 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 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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