PapaJohn's Newsletter #26 - November 6, 2004
Maker 2 and Photo Story 3
'Photo Story 3' and 'Movie Maker 2' Working Together
Since Microsoft's announcement of Photo Story 3 last week,
I've been expanding the new website section for it. My focus will
be on MM2 and PS3 together rather than on Photo Story 3 by
itself... how to get the best from both, using them
to do things you can't with either one by itself. I'll roll
that focus into my newsletters too, starting with this one.
I've been reading rave articles and
posts about Photo Story 3, and others from those bumping
into startup issues or wishing it had more or better features.
The issues being uncovered by users moving to PS3, Windows XP
SP2, WMP10, and MM2.1, all over a short period. That's the
way software evolution goes. All software has good and poor
features, strengths and limitations. We learn about some by reading,
and some by experimenting.... I check the items and share the
information with you...
The sample for this week's tutorial
is a 50 second video clip, the kind you'd use as the opening clip
of a vacation video. It's a Movie Maker 2 video that uses a Photo
Story 3 source file, but wraps it with the newspaper text
animation and a couple video clips. I rendered the
sample at 640x480. Start by taking a look at it:
Before getting into the tutorial, here's a
few notes about some things going on...
This Issue is the last for
those who don't convert their free subscriptions to a paid one. See
the main page of www.papajohn.org for a link to sign
paid subscription is for 52 issues, not a calendar
you'd rather send a check instead of using PayPal, send an email to PapaJohn@CharterMi.net and I'll
send you my address. About 1/4 of those signing up have opted to use a
• I mentioned last week that I'd be checking the
proDAD Adorage package for Movie Maker 2, with special effects and
transitions. I found it very well done and I'll be adding link(s)
to it on the website.... maybe going even further than
• One of the issues users will face with Photo Story 3 is that
the version of the Media Series 9 Image codec used to render the wmv file is
v2. You can see it by checking the properties of a saved video. Photo
Story 2 renders videos with properties that show an earlier version.
What does that
starters, if you're using Sonic's MyDVD 4.5 to make DVDs, you'll notice
that stories from PS2 can be used fine but stories from PS3 won't
work. You get an error message. A report from someone using MyDVD 6 says they
import fine with that
written to Microsoft and Sonic to get some info about which versions of Sonic's
DVD software support the new version of the codec, and if there will be a patch
for users of MyDVD 4.5.
....on to the topic of the
Photo Story 3 with Movie Maker 2 -
The strengths of Photo Story 3
include it's ability to zoom into a specific point on an image, and
the way it optimizes the video quality... using as many pixels as
possible from a high quality source file. The tutorial example will
illustrate these features.
Movie Maker strengths include it's ability to combine
a Photo Story with other video clips... and its great text
effects. Have you ever met someone who doesn't love the neat newspaper text
animation? We'll use an even better take-off on that animation.
Let's put together the clip you viewed at the beginning. First
the theme. I've seen many posts asking how to make a video in
which a dotted line appears on a map to show where
you're going or where you've been. A good subject for an intro to a
travel vacation video.
Step 1 - Round up Source Files - I wanted a
large image... lots of pixels.... because I know how well Photo Story 3 can
handle them. With the travel theme in mind, I rounded up
a few things from my book and clip libraries:
The 1875 edition of a Chambers encyclopedia in
my family room had a nice map of the Eastern part of the
United States... the part that includes Kalamazoo. I scanned it at full
size and got a 2550x3523 pixel image. I figured it was OK from a copyright
standpoint to use a copy of a 129 year old map.
Two avi files downloaded from the Internet
Archives... file #07924 'Great Railroads at Work' and #10150, a
documentary about the Civil War.... I wanted a couple
train clips with audio. When I downloaded them,
the web site offered two file formats - Divx avi and MPEG-2. I see
that the options are changing with time, but still basically Divx and
MPEG-2. The Divx files acted a little quirky in Movie Maker, but I got
through this small project without having to convert them first.
A couple pictures from my stock library, one the
'Do Amazing Things' book cover, and the other a picture of
our old station wagon as we took for a family vacation
in 1980... to drive around the country in 30 days.
A copy of the news.png file from the
c:\Program Files\Movie Maker\Shared folder. This is the image used by Movie
Maker 2 when you apply the newspaper text animation. I'll tweak it a bit for
Step 2 -
Prep Source files - the map and
newspaper files needed some prepping before using in the story or
movie. I needed to mark up the map picture to show the path followed. And I
needed to customize the news.png file.
Map Pix - The starting unmarked map image
is east-00.jpg. I opened it in Paint and added markings using the
paint brush, one stroke at a time, saving a new image after each
stroke. I numbered the new files from east-01.jpg to east-10.jpg.
I didn't go all around the country with the map pictures as I would have if it
was for real... but I'd break the clip up and use a segment at a time as
the movie progressed. The 1875 map didn't show the interstate highways we
took... it highlighted the railroad tracks, the reason I used video
clips of trains.
By numbering them in sequence, I can drag them as a
batch and drop them into Photo Story's film strip, and they'll go on in the
Create Set of Map Images -Marked
news.png - After last week's newsletter, Tim
Bartel emailed to say you can revise the news.png file
in the c:\Program Files\Movie Maker\Shared folder, and Movie Maker would use the
revised image in the newspaper text effect..... you sure can!!! I wanted to
demo what Tim found.
Before you try it, be sure to make a backup
copy of the original file so you can go back to it.
I opened the news.png file in Paint and tweaked it a bit,
adding some text and two pictures. I used IrfanView to open
the 2 pictures and then did a copy/paste from it to Paint.
In retrospect, I probably should have converted the two pictures to
sepia-toned in IrfanView, to better fit with the old railroad theme.
As soon as a picture is pasted into Paint, move and resize
it before doing anything else.... or you'll find it fully pasted into the wrong
spot or at the wrong size. If you accidentally do that, just do an Edit >
Undo in Paint, and return to IrfanView to start over.
Step 3 - Make a Story with the
series of map pictures. Drag and drop the pack from your file manager into
Map Pictures in Photo Story
I didn't do anything more in Photo Story
than tell it what place on the map to zoom into - Kalamazoo, and where to
pan from there. You can see from the above figure that I used 2 second durations
for most of the pictures... that controls the pace that each added
mark is revealed as the video plays. Looking back, I probably should have
used 1 second intervals rather than 2, but you get the idea.
The saved story was 41 seconds in duration, a 2.2 MB
file... no music or text because I can do those better in Movie Maker,
just zooming and panning. I saved it using a 640x480 profile.
Step 4 - Make the Video
Clip in Movie Maker 2.
Here's the timeline view of this tutorial project. I used
a railroad clip at the beginning and end, and the Photo Story between
When previewing, I thought the markings on the map were going
too slow, so I split the story on the timeline and overlapped the two clips
a bit to help move it along.
The Timeline in Movie Maker
I used the newspaper text animation twice. It's a new thing to
play with so I wanted to show it off. If this was the intro of a real vacation
movie, I'd probably use just the first one... in fact I'd do the whole
thing over using the real vacation route and theme rather than a made-up
I want to
thank those who signed up for the free subscription but opting
not to continue with the paid one. Your encouragement over the past 6
months, and your responses to the poll I took in issue #10, have
helped me define what the newsletter is evolving into.
For those who
are continuing, I appreciate your willingness to pay for some information
when there's so much of it freely available on the internet. I really
enjoy doing these newsletters and haven't missed one issue in 6 months. No
matter what the topic, it forces me to refresh my setup, test it some more,
and learn it more fully, as I write it sitting in a big cushy
chair at Barnes & Noble. With a smaller subscriber base, it'll be
easier for me to cover the topics you most want.... as always, continue to send
Have a great week...