Photo Story 3 - Saving Projects
Photo Story 3 is one of
those software apps that strives to a achieve an elegant clean simple and easy to use interface... and
for the most part it has done so.
But many users still have questions, and there are places where you might
be confused. One of them is the perennial issue about the differences between a project file and a rendered
Movie Maker and Photo Story are two of many software apps that have project
files separate from rendered outputs... Adobe PhotoShop and Premiere are others. We get so used to working
with graphics and video apps that 'render' the finished products from the working project environment
that we sometimes don't understand why newbies don't understand the simple concept of 'saving'... '...saving
Why don't they understand that, to save a finished story, you don't look
for a button or menu choice that says 'Save the Story' or 'Render the Story'... somehow you're
supposed to know that the rendering will be done when you use the button marked ' Next >'
on one of the working windows... sometimes when you press the button, it'll render the story, but at
other times it won't.
I used my usual approach in this newsletter... but supplemented it with
my first narrated video... a short one, but a beginning.
... before that, here are
a few notes...
I added a new logo and link to the main page of my website... the
DV Show... the site/radio show that I'm working with for regular podcasts about Movie Maker
2. Audience reaction has been positive because of the introduction of software available and used by
the masses, when their focus had previously been on the higher priced more niche audience software.
Brian, the producer, is great to work with. The two sessions we've done
so far gave me the inspiration for the narrated video for this newsletter. Brian has a professional radio
host voice... I'm practicing.
It's summertime and I'm back at our usual beach taking video footage of
sunsets and seagulls... and reading books about video.
Speaking of video software and books, I'm half way through my 30 day trial
period with Adobe's Premiere Elements. Jan Ozer has a great Visual Quick Guide Series book on it... the
software, as all of the Adobe software I've used (Photoshop, Premiere, PDF authoring), has more of a
learning curve than Movie Maker, but works well. My wife Bernadette does a lot of Photoshop and Painter
work... Photoshop is rock solid, while Painter can just evaporate without warning, at most anytime...
no error messages to read and no way to recover your work since the last save. The stability of Adobe
products is appreciated when you experience things like that.
When Movie Maker users are ready to move up to other software, they ask
what they should go to... Premiere Elements seems like a good choice.
.... on to the main topic
Photo Story Projects and
Begin a Story - or Change a Story Project
You can begin a new story or open an existing project...
You need nothing but some source files waiting in the wings to begin a new
one, but to edit an existing one you need a previously saved project... a .wp3 file.
Save the New or Changed Story Project at Any Time
At any point in the process... PS3 gives you almost too many opportunities
to save your project file... there's a clearly labeled 'Save Project...' button on every main window.
When you start a new story, the button is grayed out and non-functional.
All it takes to make it active is to import your first picture. At that
point and anytime after it, you not only have lots of chances to save or resave a project.... Photo Story
3 will try it's best to make you save the latest changed project.... short of doing it for you.
Warnings to Save Your Project
If you haven't opted to use the Save Project.... button on any of the main
pages as you build or change your story, you can't deliberately or accidentally close down Photo Story
or start another story without seeing this warning.
The software won't automatically save it for you... if you say "No", it'll
let you close down without saving the new or changed project file. A project file contains a full set
of all your source pictures and music, so it can be a pretty large commitment of hard drive space to
save the project. Think twice before you do, but then do it.
Saving or Rendering Your New or Changed Story
Photo Story reminds me a bit of Monopoly... where, every time you pass 'Go'
you automatically collect $200.
In Photo Story, every time you pass the 'Save your story'
page, you automatically get a new story. It's the only time you can get it. And, as I mentioned in the
introduction, the button you press to save or render the story doesn't say 'Save' or 'Render'.... it
says 'Next >'. The Save your story page doesn't have a save your story button or menu choice.
There's one difference with Monopoly... you always get it in the game. In
PS3, if you've already rendered a copy of the story and haven't changed a thing in it or the saving choices
on this page, then it'll go to the next page without saving or rendering again.
The change to the story could be as minor as fixing a typo in one word of
a title... you'll automatically be set to render the new story when you press the Next > button.
A Possible Confusion Point
There are 2 working windows with special features that could cause confusion:
the picture editing window for special effects, and the motion settings
window shown below are just slightly smaller than the main PS3 working windows... and have a
Save button on them.
This is to save the picture or motion/transition changes you make in the
window, not to save or re-save the project file or the story.
A Little Narrated Video...
With the first two radio/podcast sessions under my belt, I thought I'd try
narrating a captured video session to illustrate the points covered in this newsletter.
I found the radio sessions easier, probably because the main commentator
was with me in a two way dialogue... this narrating a video thing has you all alone talking to your computer.
Here's the link...
it's a 4-1/3 minute video on the
neptune hosting service...
#62 Narrated Video
Conclusions and Closing
I used the Windows Media Encoder to capture the Photo Story
3 video, and imported it into Movie Maker to add narration... with another pass to add background music.
I'm starting to think of other places where similar narrated videos might
be much better than text and pictures, or a great supplement to it... like a Picture-in-Picture tutorial,
the most looked at newsletters... or using xml files to add a logo or overlying picture. Maybe using
a utility like TMPGEnc.
Let me know what you think about the approach and any suggested topics.
I look forward to comments and discussion about this and other newsletters on the forums at:
Windows Movie Makers.net
Have a great weekend...
Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 3 -
Photo Story 2 - www.photostory.papajohn.org
Products and Services
I'm involved in many things that support users of Movie Maker and Photo Story, and adding more regularly.
Here's a list of what's available. Some are free and others reasonably priced.
Radio and Podcasting
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 the downloadable podcast files. The June 19th
podcast included the first of 'semi-monthly' segments about Movie Maker 2.
Movie Maker 2 - Do Amazing Things (with its online companion on
Movie Maker 2 - Zero to Hero - with support on the
Friends of Ed forum
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
my website as a file download.
Publishing of Birmingham, U.K. issued the first book about VirtualDub. The last word
I got on it was this
press release, along with a note that my copy is 'in the mail'.
contribution was the introductory chapter... I'm happy to b e part of any effort that helps join the
worlds of Movie Maker and open source software.
Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 3 - www.papajohn.org
- the site's 3 goals are: an online companion to the Do Amazing Things book, a detailed tutorial for
PhotoStory 3, and helping you solve Movie Maker 2 problems.
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 W
indows Movie Makers
Movie Maker 2 forum at
Newsgroups are wide open for all to view and post... moderation is collective by
Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup -
Photo Story 3 newsgroup -
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):
#63 - July 23 - Utility Review - Audacity
#64 - July 30 - open
#65 - August 6 - open
Older newsletters (more than 6 issues ago) are posted by Rob Morris to an
at his Windows Movie Makers website. Links from website pages to specific newsletters make it easier
for the website viewer to see the content of both while browsing a topic.
Drop an email to suggest a newsletter topic...
Add-On Transitions and Effects
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.
Version 2 was released a week ago and I'm still working on updating the online tutorial.
routinely beta test the Pixelan
packages and think very highly of their people and products.
ProDAD's Adorage package for Movie Maker 2 provides an additional source of professionally
developed transitions and effects.
your personal information is more of a challenge as hard drives get bigger and the internet more robust.
My personal database has been an ongoing project over many years, and is now available to others.
Info is on the Managing > Personal Database page of my site, and in the database package itself.
It's available free to regular newsletter subscribers... send an email request.
To others it's $10. To order, use the button on the top of the Managing > Personal Database page.
An online gallery that fully aligns with the main priority of the website is the
'PapaJohn Expert Zone'
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.
in conjunction with the Portage, Michigan library, I offer two free training sessions
about Movie Maker, an intro session and a workshop. The upcoming scheduled sessions are:
Monday - July 18 - 6-7:30 - Workshop
Monday - August 15 - 6-7:30
Monday - September 18 - 6-7:30
Other fee-based services
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 - 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 $50 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 - starting at $2,500 + travel expenses. See
or the bottom branch of the Movie Maker 2 website for a sample of what you can expect for the online
portion of the package.
Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other
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