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 story.
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 what?...'
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.
used my usual approach in this newsletter...
but supplemented it with my first narrated video... a short one, but a
... 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
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
Photo Story Projects and Stories
Begin a Story - or Change a
You can begin a new story or open an
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
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
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.
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
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.
Have a great weekend...