If your are looking for a program that will produce great looking slideshows,
then Photo Story 3 for Windows might just be the solution. It is a free download
(5Mb) from the Microsoft site.
[www.microsoft.com nominally for Windows XP it can be
runs in Vista using compatability mode] Granted that all video editing
programs can accept still images and produce slideshows, not all still image
photographers can be bothered with a full video editing program!
|Photo Story 3 for Windows is intuitive (all you need to do is
follow the prompts!). An informative Help Menu can be accessed from every
1. Once the program is launched select: Begin a new story on the
Welcome screen. Click the Next button and the Import and
arrange your pictures screen appears.
||2. From this screen the Import Pictures button will open a browser
window. Find where the required pictures are stored; select the relevant
ones and click OK.
[To choose a block of pictures click on the first one, hold down the
Shift key and click on the last one. All the pictures in the block
will be highlighted. To select pictures here and there hold down the
Ctrl key and click on each image. The selected pictures will be
|3. The images are added to your slideshow and the order in which they
are displayed can be modified here. It is a good idea to add a black image
at the start and finish of the sequence. This allows a nice fade up from
black to the first picture.
From this Editing window various corrections can be made: colour; red eye;
rotation; cropping and effects such as black and white, water colour, etc.
can be added.
||4. Follow the Next button and the Add a title screen appears.
Select the image that will host the title and type your text in the text
Select an appropriate font. The colour and size can be changed, as well as
the position on the page.
Positioning may seem limited: a selection of top, middle or bottom is offered.
By using a bit of creativity and the enter key, the text can be moved to
suit. Text can also be added as a caption to describe a picture.
|5. The Next button advances you to the Motion and Narration
6. Just below the TV screen the Customize motion button takes
you to a screen that will allow your creativity full rein!
Two screens are presented: the start and end of image motion (pan, zoom,
tilt etc.) Check the box at the top left to allow you control. The display
time can be set for individual images. The two buttons at centre bottom (<
> ) will move between images.
At the top of the window are two Tabs. When the motion control is finished,
select the transition tab and choose a transition. These can be applied
individually, at random or universally. The Cross fade is my favourite.
Transition duration can also be selected. A preview can be watched at anytime.
Closing the Customize motion screen returns you to the Motion and Narration
screen where a commentary can be both written (as a prompt) and recorded
for each image.
||[The set-up illustrated here means:
each new slide will fade over the previous one
it will seem full-size but in fact only the centre-top section (here the
tips of the crane jibs) shows
over the duration you specify the picture appears to zoom back and down
until the whole image is shown
and so on throughout the slide-show.
Experimenting is easy thanks to the helpful Preview button,
|7. The Next button opens the Add Background Music screen
where you can either create music to individual taste (picking styles,
instruments and moods) or add your own selection.
Really Royalty Free Music from Newcastle Video Moviemakers would be
ideal for this!
[Australian moviemakers have no special copyright deal on music from normal
sources but the Newcastle club has - with permission - made CDs of a vast
swathe of free and royalty-free music music by Kevin McLeod. Oz film
makers should contact them via :
Readers outside Australia can download music from
8. Click the Preview button to make sure youre happy with the
result. Its not too late to go back and change or add some detail.
|9. Save your Story is the next screen to be presented.
This is where it gets technical !
Assuming that the end result is to produce a DVD; from the drop-down
box select: Save your story for playback on computer.
||10. At the bottom left select Settings.
From the drop-down box select: Profile for creating DVDsNTSC (640x480)
in the USA.
Select the destination for saving the movie. Click the Save Project
Clicking Next will prepare the video. It will be saved in .wmv format.
Two separate files are saved: a project file and a video file.
The project file allows you to go back at a later date and change the project;
the video file cannot be changed.
|11. After exiting the program the final step is to create a DVD.
To do this, almost any popular DVD creation program can be used. Nero Vision
(accessible through Nero StartSmart), Ulead/Corel DVD Movie Factory and Ulead
DVD Workshop will all accept .wmv files. Because of the relatively small
file size of slideshows, several will fit on one DVD where each can be accessed
via the DVD menu.
A Final Word: I would encourage anyone using this program to read
through the Help Files. They are well written and very comprehensive. A Tips
and Tricks page on the Microsoft website is also worthwhile. Dig out
all of those digital photos; arrange them in stories or groups of events,
convert them to interesting slideshows and burn them to DVD.
Keeping memories alive is a responsibility for all of us.
- Barry King (Newcastle Video Moviemakers)