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PapaJohn's Newsletter #3 - Plug-ins, Video Footage and Zooming
Thanks for your comments about last week's issue about audio. I have 3 suggested topics in my backlog, so I'll cover them all this week and clear the slate for future suggestions.

The 3 topics:

  1. "How about a chat about the available plug-ins for MM2, like Transition Maker.. plus any others, are there any others? Their uses etc."
  2. "Do you have any resources for royalty free, stock footage.... and/or video samples in the public domain?"
  3. "How to zoom into a portion of the full video stream. My original capture had insufficient zoom so I'd like to pull in and enlarge a bit. The video will be viewed on computers, so there is plenty of room to work with here."

Special Notices

I've been using the Stereo Mix option on my laptop more and more, to capture audio/music directly into my projects.... from any source that is playing it on the computer (WMP, iTunes, IrfanView, Dell Jukebox, Toshiba Media Player are the ones I use on that computer).

But my other computers don't have the Stereo Mix option in the narration window. I'd like to cover it in a newsletter, but if no-one else has the option, there's no sense doing it.... I'd appreciate your feedback about if you do or don't have the option.

An email back is fine... if you visit , I started a poll about it.... and so far, with only 5 votes in, half have the option and half don't.

..... there's something about my goal to publish these on Friday nights. Maybe some weeks, but not 2 of 3 so far. So I'm changing my goal to Saturday nights.

Available Plug-ins

First off, there are downloadable extras that are not really plug-ins..... some users are confused when they install some packages, expect to see them in their MM2 collections and don't. Microsoft's Creativity Fun Packs fall into this category. The sound, image and video clips they install are put in folders on your hard drive and need to be imported as usual into MM2. I don't consider such things as 'Plug-ins'. They are just free source files.

Other packages go into Movie Maker's working folders and appear automatically in the usual collections. The Microsoft Window Fun Pack 2003 is an example of that... the snowflakes and snow type transitions are in the special effects and transitions collections after installing the package. I consider these to be 'Plug-ins'.

The Transition Maker 2 utility falls into the Plug-in category, but the user can spend months using it to create custom transitions and never roll them out to MM2.... once rolled out (in TM2 it's called 'publishing') the custom transitions automatically appear in the normal collection, so at that time it's a 'Plug-in'.

As I learn about available extras and plug-ins that are specifically made for MM2, I add info and links to the Setup > Software page of my site.... they are in the 'Additional Software' section.

Transition Maker 2 is an exception because I sell it, so it gets special treatment by being on the first page of the site, and has its own pages for the full tutorial about using it. A programmer named Patrick is the developer and we are in partnership selling it.... so I'm glad you asked. Purchase it at:

And then there's the subject of making your own. Microsoft provided 'hooks' into the MM2 software such that you can make your own special transitions and effects. These would be 'Plug-ins'. The main page on Microsoft's website is:

There's a number of users who are exploring this area. The place to check for most of the discussion is Rob Morris' site: 

I add info and links to my Editing > Video > Transitions and Effects pages as things develop. One post at Rob's forum this morning was from Rehan, who has just released his beta version of a pan/zoom package similar to the one from Pixelan... I checked it before it was released and found it works well. I also do beta testing and checking of Pixelan's new packages as they are developed.

Special effects and transitions have a great use in slide-show type videos, but should be used very sparsely in movies. Be careful in movies... the goal is to WOW them with your content, not your special effects.

Royalty free, stock footage.... and/or video samples

It takes a long time until copyright periods expire.... I think it's 50 years for video. Two biggies that I know of are....

The Internet Archives, one that I use a lot - files can be freely downloaded and used. The video files are available in two file types: lower quality smaller Divx encoded AVI files, and higher quality MPEG2 files.

I use an ftp utility to go into their back room and get copies of the files I want. That lets me do batch downloads. The site has info to help you set it up. The front door would be their website menu at.

The BBC announced their intention to place lots of video online for similar use, but I haven't used it yet and don't have a good link to it.

I'll be keeping my website references to only those places that provide or show videos made with Movie Maker 2. There's lots of other places to go for clips and footage, and I won't be trying to make a big list of links.

Here again, Rob's forums include one called 'share your Movie!!!'

Zoom into a portion of the full video stream

To zoom into a clip, use the Ease-In special effect included in the MM2 basic installation. It's limited to going toward the center of the image and doing it over the length of the clip. It's not a cropped segment.

The pan/zoom effects package from Pixelan lets you pick from a number of different starting and ending positions.... but with no diagonal ones included... it has some cropped areas to pick from.

Rehan's newly released package does essentially the same as the Pixelan package.... but includes diagonal and customizable positions.

You can apply a special effect up to 6 times on the same clip.... so it's an additive zooming in process by adding the same one a number of times.

And you can use the zooming feature of PhotoStory, save the video and use it in MM2... that also lets you pick from a number of directions, including diagonals. If you have a high quality image, that's the best way to get a high quality clip in your MM2 project... but it's limited to working with still images. PhotoStory doesn't handle video clips.

Finally, if you want to crop a really specific segment of a video, you might be better off using Virtual Dub... there's a link to it in my Setup > Software page.

I look forward to any discussion items at the forums, and whatever the next topic(s) will be.


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PapaJohn's Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 2 Newsletter Index

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.



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