The download and installation is a
usual .msi file... what many don't understand is where the items go during the
The snowflakes video effect shows up where you
expect, in the Effects collection. The two new transitions, Snow Burst and
Snow Wipe, are in the Video Transitions collection. They have Pixelan's
name on them, so you know where Microsoft got them from. I used the effect
throughout these samples, and the two transitions at the end of
The installation also creates a new
c:\Documents and Settings\(User Name)\My Documents\My Videos\Windows XP Fun
Pack\Winter 2003 folder, with 4 sub-folders containing 7 'WMA Music Tracks and
Music Transitions', 10 JPG 'Pictures', 92 WMA 'Sound Effects', and 8 WMV 'Video
Animations'. To use the clips in Movie Maker, import them into your collections
3 sample videos...
some comments about them...
The first is standard aspect ratio and
the other two are widescreen... to align with the three widescreen
high definition wmv clips used to supplement the visual material in
the pack. They were the ones I mentioned finding on the 'Digital Video
Compression' book disc, and are not included in the Winter Pack.
The sound files in the Winter Pack needed so much playing time that I figured
you'd get bored seeing the same pictures over and over.
The opening 15 seconds of each video is
the same... a black still image with snowflakes and one of the Pixelan
Ghosting effects, just to see how those effects would work in that case...
not very well. Scrolling upwards is a graphic png file made
with Paint.NET, with the movement done by a custom xml title overlay
file. If interested, see the Moving Overlays section of the website's Edit
Movies > XML - Persian Section > Script Types > Custom Overlays
It's fun to listen to the sound effects
on the timeline as they play in alphabetical order over a pretty
randomly selected set of video/picture clips. Most of the associated
visuals and sounds don't work together at all... but some are
surprisingly better matches than I would have planned.
In parts 1 and 2, each sound effect is
labeled... try not to think of the titles as having anything
to do with the visuals, which are just in there for filler material. I tried it
with just blackness, but something doesn't see right about watching a completely
Part 1 - Some Sound
16 of the sound effects play in alphabetical
order, from Applause 1 through Fire in
The video track shows the 8 video animations
followed by the 10 pictures.
Part 2 - More Sound
The remaining 76 sound effects go from Firecracker Bang to
Wind. They're all labeled by the subtitles.
For things to watch as you listen to the sound
effects, there are the animations and pictures again, along with high def clips
of pinball, race cars, and snowboarding...
The high-def clips are muted so you hear only the
Part 3 - Holiday
This part uses the 7 music clips in the pack, and
shows the snowflakes, snow burst, and snow wipe special video effect and
The last visual in this part is a picture of
an alley, a video effect from one of the Adorage
Conclusion and Closing... and What's
There are other fun packs to explore also... last night I
was playing with the settings of the Winter Ice Storm
visualization in Windows Media Player. I turned the background to a plain blue
color, maximized the snowflakes, turned off the icing, and was able
to do a blue-screen capture of a heavy snowfall.... using the
Have a great week and happy holidays to everyone,
however you celebrate them!!