Double click on the downloaded template... a WP3 project file.
That'll open Photo Story 3 with the project in it. Go forward a few
windows until you get to one with a project Preview...
Running the preview is the key
to hacking/editing the pictures in the template.
To make the preview, Photo
Story 3 takes copies of all the files from the project file and puts them
in a temporary folder on the C drive... pictures, music, and
narrations. The file names are just sequential numbers, not related to the
original files you imported. The file numbers are in the sequence they are
This picture shows the folder path to the temporary
files on my XP laptop, slightly different than the path in Vista that we'll see
in a minute...
There's a project-specific xml file
also in the project, which exists in the temporary folder for a split
second, just long enough for the computer to read it and put its
contents in memory... then it promptly deletes it. That's why you don't see
the xml file in my snapshots. We don't need the xml
file to change the pictures or audio files.
The next time you save the open story,
the project file will be made from these temporary files. Now is the
time you can do what you want with the pictures, customizing them to align with
the subject of your story.
Leave Photo Story 3 open as you edit the
temporary files using other software. If you accidentally close PS3 before
you save the project, this set of temporary files will be deleted.
To prevent such an accident making you start
over, you can copy the files you want to edit to another folder, fix them there,
then copy them back over the temp files.
Edit any of them using Paint, Paint.net,
IrfanView, Photoshop... whatever tools you use.
This next picture shows the path to the temp files
on my Vista laptop. Note the slight differences from XP... 'AppData' is an added
Now we're looking at the 'enhanced'
pictures. For this demo I added overlay images to the corners of those
in the template, added text to the final image, and tweaked the motion settings
and duration of the final picture, The motion settings were tweaked
in Photo Story.
After editing a picture, save it
directly over the temporary one. If it doesn't ask for permission to
replace it, you've done something wrong and the new picture won't be used in the
project.... the names have to remain as you see them in the temp
At this point you can do as much editing as you
want. Enhance or change the narration and background music files
This snapshot shows me saving the last picture,
having used IrfanView to add some text.
When finished, go back to
your still-open Photo Story 3 window. Save the project and the changes
will be folded into it. If you haven't made any changes within PS3,
do something to be sure it thinks the project should be
repackaged. It's not aware of the hacking you're doing on the sidelines. I
usually move one of the pictures on the film strip to the right or left one
place, and then back to the starting point. That's enough for it to repackage
If you want to keep both the starting and new
projects, do a save as and give the new project another name. The newly
saved project will have the original motion settings but with the edited
pictures instead of the originals.
When you close the project... the temporary folder
and its contents are erased.
Conclusion and Closing... and What's
Changing images in what I call a Photo Story 3
template is pretty easy. The hardest thing was getting over a 'permission'
hurdle or two in Vista to get access to the temporary files. Photo Story 3
doesn't lock the files as it makes them... but you might run into other
permission type issues. I got past it by my usual hacking around in the security
I think countdown clock templates... and many other kinds
of templates... have lots of uses as openings for
stories. As stories are not videos with lots of motion, the use of the
transition 'Wheel' for this clock opening adds an illusion of video-like
movement. Unlike in Movie Maker, the transitions in a story can fully overlap
the images. Once started, the wheel transitions keep moving through the 10
The kinds of story transitions are limited and you
can't add third party ones or create custom ones. It's an
opportunity to use your creative talents in making the most
with what is provided. Enjoy!!
For other templates, and more clock ones as I roll them out, see
the website's Photo Story 3 > Do Amazing Things page.
Have a great week....