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Using Photo Story 2

PapaJohn
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PapaJohn's Newsletter #65

Text in Photo Story 3...

... can be added to pictures before importing, or applied within Photo Story 3 during project editing. As Photo Story can't handle video clips, the creative use of text as part of a story is a dimension that can take on additional importance.

I always like to explore the boundaries or extremes of software. Limitations can provide comfortable boundaries or exciting challenges to work-around. The use of text in stories and movies has always been an intriguing subject for me. Let's see if I can learn anything this week and pass it on to you in this newsletter.

We'll look at two examples, each about a minute in playing time.... here are the links:

Both were made as if they were being used as the opening clips leading into a story, not as closing credits or other text effects. They are both storied; it's a rare case that Movie Maker wasn't used at all for this week's newsletter.

... before getting into them more, here are a few notes...


Notes...

The vacation was great!!! Considering how hot and humid Washington DC can be in August, the weather was perfect.

One of the many highlights was a 2 hour guided tour of the Capital... call your local congressman, preplan the time and it's all taken care of by your taxpayer's money at work.

I'm surprised the art in the Smithsonian is fully accessible to close-up and flash photography... I checked and was told 'sure, as long as you don't use special equipment' (whatever that is). A special exhibit of Winslow Homer topped off the regular galleries.

I'm back to the routine of preparing the weekly newsletters. Hopefully you were able to use the break to catch up on your reading.


My website traffic has grown to the point that I'm moving it from my son's server to the 1&1 professional service in London, U.K . The move is in process and half of the traffic has been switched so far. The rest will follow over the next two weeks.

If you notice anything unusual, better or worse, it may be due to the move.

Once fully moved, any residual links that use eicsoftware as part of them will no longer work.


ConcertThanks again to Ellen, the newsletter subscriber who provided a reference to the website with the old player piano roll music.... this time it's a link to a 1974 concert for brass band, voice and piano of music from the  Civil War Era.

The instruments used in the concert were from the period, and the download options include high quality WAV files... free to use. The 19 pieces total an hour and 10 minutes. I find that most of them are very suitable as opening background music to stories.


Mydeo LogoMydeo is a new online web hosting service for your Movie Maker and Photo Story work, the first one to show up as an option in Movie Maker since its original release with the linked neptune service option.

It supports 11 languages and 34 countries. I took out a trial subscription and went through the processes of posting and viewing.... using the same Grand Canyon video I have on neptune, so I could compare the two. I'm still doing it...  

Neptune uses it's own viewer for the interface, while Mydeo streams the video to your Windows Media Player. Neptune has a fixed fee for a period of time while Mydeo is 'pay per view'. There are some significant differences and the choice will depend on your needs. One difference is that you can save a copy of a video from the neptune service but you can't from Mydeo... ease of distribution on one hand versus protection from illegal copying on the other.

I have a new page on my website for the Mydeo service, which I'll be expanding as I get info... see > Distributing > Mydeo

.... on to the main topic


Internal Text

Adding text in Photo Story 3 is limited to choosing font type, size, color, and position. Movement or animation comes by adding pans and zooms... and beyond that I explored the set of transitions to see what interesting movements I could add.

Limiting this sample to text applied internally, and opting to do it without any pictures other than plain black, put pretty tight restrictions on what I could do..

I'll briefly summarize this 50 second sample, and go into much more depth in the second sample. This one was made by:

  • importing 11 copies of a simple plain black image
  • adding white text using the Victorian LET font to most of them (Regular, Size 16)... the exception is the graphics accent on the 5th picture. It uses the letters 'cd' in the HolidayPi BT font in yellow at the biggest font size of 72
  • setting most of the picture durations to 4 seconds and using 4 second transitions for each
  • playing with the motion settings
  • choosing an interesting mix of transitions (a Page Curl, Down Right... a Fade, To/From Black... 2 Flip Clockwise... a Rectangle, Outwards... 4 more Flip Clockwise... and then a Cross Fade)
  • adding background music, General Taylor Storming Monterey, the 14th track of the downloaded WAV files mentioned above

Internal Text Project

Obviously you would use your own words, choice of font... and personal pictures instead of a plain black background image.

Shorten the durations of the pictures and transitions for a quicker pace. Lengthen them for slower movements.


Mixing Internal and External Text

Story Frame - External TextNewsletter #15 used Paint to make text images for Photo Story... and #39 was about making text and texture with Rendersoft VRLM and Illusionae. I used Rendersoft here for some 3D text tilted to an angle.

There's no limit to the places and kinds of text you can import for a story.... scan text from a book or cover, take a snapshot of text carved in sand on the beach, make it digitally in Paint or Photo Shop...

Font sets on your computer aren't all letters and numbers. I'm using the HolidayPi BT fonts in the two stories for this newsletter. Here's some of the characters in the font set... there are more in the stories.

D   E   FIJ KL

Other fonts on my laptop that are all or partly graphical include Marlett, MSOutlook, MS Reference Special, MTExtra, Old Dreadful, Webdings and Wingdings.

My goal for this sample story was to use imported pictures with text already on them, and add more text inside Photo Story.

Here's the filmstrip in the project, with the pictures numbered. Let's go through them one at a time.

PS3 Project

1


1

Used Paint to make a red picture with white text "Newsletter 54.... Text in Photo Story 3"... but my initial number was wrong, as this one is 65, not 54.

Rather than redo the still picture, I tried to correct it using PS3 text positioned directly over the external text. The positioning controls in PS3 are so limited that it didn't work, so I spelled out the number 'Sixty Five' and positioned it as best I could over the wrong number. 

Even then, it wasn't a good fix. The only right way to do it would be to redo the image in Paint. Using external and internal text on the same picture isn't an exact thing...

Customized Motion Settings - the selected area starts and ends in the same position, and the picture is displayed for 4 seconds.

The transition is the default Cross Fade set to display for 1 second. As it's the first picture in the story, the fade is in from black.


2
2

I used IrfanView to take a snapshot of the first sample story in progress, and save it as a JPG file... to import for the #2 position in this one.

Customized Motion Settings - the selected area starts with the full picture and zooms to the upper right.

The picture is displayed for 7 seconds.

The transition is Split, Vertical to make it appear like red curtains opening at the start of a stage performance... the transition displays for 3 seconds.


33

A plain black JPG image, with text added in Photo Story 3. Fixing spelling errors or changing the text is easiest when it's done within the project, as noted in picture #1. If you can do the text inside PS3 or outside, do it inside. 

Use external text for WOW effects that you're pretty sure won't need changing.

Customized Motion Settings - the selected area starts with the full picture and zooms to the lower middle. The picture is displayed for 4 seconds.

The transition is Reveal, Right displayed for 2 seconds.


44

I made a larger 3D text image with RenderSoft VRLM and saved it in 3 segments, with some final cropping with IrfanView.

Customized Motion Settings - the selected area starts zoomed in at the upper middle, and ends at the lower middle. The picture is displayed for 4 seconds as it pans down from top to bottom.

The transition is Flip, Clockwise set to display for 4 seconds. As you can see in both samples for this newsletter, I'm enjoying the Flip transitions option.

 

 


55

Another copy of the same 3D text image as #4.

Customized Motion Settings - the selected area starts with a zoomed in part of the upper middle, and ends at the lower middle.

The picture is displayed for 4 seconds.

The transition is Flip, Clockwise set to display for 4 seconds.

 


6

6

A plain black picture... applying the letters in Photo Story, using 'cd' in the Holiday font, regular with the largest font size of 72.

Customized Motion Settings - It starts with a large crop of the 'text' and zooms into an area as tightly as I could make it go.

The picture is displayed for 4 seconds.

The transition is Flip, Clockwise set to display for 4 seconds.

 


77

Back to another segment of the 3D text image.

Customized Motion Settings - It starts and ends in the same position, a fairly tight crop of the upper middle. The picture is displayed for 4 seconds.

The transition is the default Cross Fade, automatically set by PS3 to a duration of 1 second.

 


88

Another copy of the same 3D text image used for #7

Customized Motion Settings - It starts zoomed in tightly to the word 'with' and ends up zoomed out just a bit at the bottom middle. The picture duration is automatically set by PS3.

I used the preview display option a lot, within the Motion settings window. It works great and helps considerably when fine tuning where to set the starting and ending positions. 

The transition is Flip, Clockwise set to display for 4 seconds.

 


99

Another cropped segment of the external 3D text image, this one saying 'Welcome to my Story'.

Customized Motion Settings - It starts in full and ends up zoomed into the text. The picture duration is set to 4 seconds.

The transition is Flip, Clockwise set to display for 4 seconds.

 


1010

Another copy of the picture used for #9.

Customized Motion Settings - It starts where #9 leaves off and zooms in a bit more as it moves toward the right. The option to have a motion setting such that a segment starts at the same position that the previous picture finishes is another great one for Photo Story. It's the only way that seamless changes in motion directions can be achieved. 

The picture duration is set to 4 seconds. The transition is Flip, Clockwise set to display for 4 seconds.


11

11

A plain black image with a capital E gives you the witch in the Holiday font set... applied in PS3 using the largest font size.

Customized Motion Settings - It starts zoomed into the whole witch and zooms into her head.

The picture duration is 2 seconds. The transition is the generic Cross Fade with the duration time set by PS3.


12

12

An external picture made in IrfanView... using all the letters of the keyboard as I went through the Holiday font set from a to z, and then again in capital letters... red letters on a plain black background.

The size of the image is a healthy 6000 pixels wide by 200 pixels high. This kind of text effect couldn't be done in Photo Story itself, as the font size won't let you get down that small. 

Customized Motion Settings - It starts zoomed in at the left and moves a bit to the right. The picture duration is 4 seconds.

The transition is Flip, Clockwise set to display for 4 seconds.


13

13

Another copy of the same picture used for #12.

Customized Motion Settings -starts where the previous one left off, and moves a bit down and to the right.

The picture duration is 4 seconds.

The transition is Flip, Clockwise with PS3 automatically setting the duration. Why is this and some others automatically set by PS3? Because I missed them as I went through the project... my preference is to set the durations myself.. But, if it looked good in the end, I left it.


14

14

A 3rd copy of the picture used for #12 and #13.

Customized Motion Settings - It starts where the previous one left off, and moves a bit up and to the right. The picture duration is 4 seconds.

The transition is Flip, Clockwise with a duration of 4 seconds.


15

15

The 4th and last copy of the same picture used for #12, #13 and #14.

Customized Motion Settings - It starts where the previous one left off and moves the rest of the way and more tightly focused to the right, to finish the sweep of the graphic characters from left to right.

The picture duration is 5 seconds.

The transition is Flip, Clockwise with a duration of 4 seconds.


16

16

A plain black image with my URL applied in Photo Story...

Customized Motion Settings - It starts in full and zooms into the word papajohn. The picture duration is 10 seconds.

The transition is Flip, Clockwise with a duration of 4 seconds.


Conclusions and Closing

Photo Stories are limited to sill pictures. Although these samples really don't tell a story or part of one, I hope this newsletter shows that animation by creative use of PS3 motion settings and transitions can make your audience feel they're looking at a movie... don't let it be the high point of your story. Mix such text effects with your personal pictures.

External and internal text move in tandem... if you add text inside PS3, it goes onto the image before the motion settings are added... at times it doesn't matter if the text is added to the picture before it's imported or within PS3. Of course it's lots easier to edit the text or change fonts if you do it within PS3. 

External, or a mix of internal and external, is the way to mix font types, sizes and colors. Photo Story text is limited to one choice per picture.

You can't rotate internal text, nor can you make it 3 dimensional... apply such effects to pictures before importing them.

Last but certainly not least is your background music... just as the role of text is elevated because you can't use video clips, so is your selection and use of your background music.


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 2 and Photo Story 3 - www.papajohn.org
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. 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 included the first 'bi-weekly' show with a segment about Movie Maker 2.


Do Amazing ThingsBooks and Magazines

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

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  on my website as a file download.

Learning VirtualDub - published by Virtual DubPackt Publishing, is the first book about VirtualDub software. I wrote the first chapter about downloading and setting up the software: VirtualDub, VDubMod and AVISynth.


Websites

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.

PhotoStory 2 - www.photostory.papajohn.org - a detailed tutorial about using it. It's not a problem-solving site.


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 SimplyDV.com

Newsgroups are wide open for all to view and post... moderation is collective by the participants.

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 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:

www.papajohn.org

Topics for upcoming newsletters (always subject to change):

#66 - August 20 - neptune and mydeo hosting services

#67 - August 27 - open

#68 - September 3 - open

Older newsletters (more than 6 issues ago) are posted by Rob Morris to an Archive Site 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... I can use more requests rather than fewer.


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. Version 2 was released a week ago and I'm still working on updating the online tutorial.

I routinely beta test the  Pixelan packages and think very highly of their people and products.

Adorage

ProDAD's Adorage package for Movie Maker 2 provides an additional source of professionally developed transitions and effects.

Personal Database

Managing 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.


Online Gallery Neptune Gallery

An online gallery that fully aligns with the main priority of the website is the  'PapaJohn Expert Zone' at neptune.

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


Training

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 - August 15 - 6-7:30 - Workshop

Monday - September 19 - 6-7:30 - Intro to Movie Maker

Monday - October 10 - 6-7:30 - Workshop


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 $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  Jill-MarkWedding 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 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

 

 

Download more Movie Maker Effects!



Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.