Digital StoryTelling Part III- PhotoStory

If you own a PC, you can download Microsoft’s PhotoStory for free .

To get started creating a story:

  1. Download and install the program on your computer.
  2. Once installed open the program by clicking “Start”, then “Programs”
  3. Find the icon for “PhotoStory 3 for Windows”
  4. Begin a new story by selecting the radio button and pushing the button
  5. PhotoStory is divided into five steps in order to create your digital story. Y ou can move forward or backwards between each step anytime by clicking on the "Back" or "Next" button

Start importing your pictures

Browse your computer for the images. Click on a picture to select it. In order to select more than one picture, hold down the CTRL button while adding additional images to selection. If you want to select all images in a folder, select one image, then push CRTL and the letter “A”. That will select all images in the folder.

Once you have imported all the images that you need for your digital story , you should save your project file. You then have the choice of removing any black borders that are present due to the layout and dimensions of your pictures.

Then it is time to arrange the pictures in order you want them to appear in your story. Simply click on an image in the timeline and drag it to the position you want it. Repeat this step until all your pictures are in the correct order.

After saving each image (by clicking on the "Save" button) that you edited , you are ready to move on to “Add a title to your pictures” by clicking "Next". Here you will have a chance to add the same effects as in the previous step and to add any text to any picture.

In order to create a blank or a colored slide for a title at the beginning, chapter slides in the middle or credits at the end, you can upload a plain colored image or appropriate background to be used with text.

Once all the text slides that you want to incorporate into your movie are in place, click "Next" to move on to narrating and recording your story.

Make sure that you have a microphone attached and have the image selected that you will connect the recording to. Push the round button with the red circle to start recording and the smaller button with the square to stop. Push the "Preview" button to hear your recording. If you do not like the recording just delete it.

Once you are happy with all your narration, you can add "Custom Motion" to each image. The first motion will have the effect as if a video camera is recording your image by zooming in or out, or by panning across the image. The second motion that can be added to your story are transitions between each one of your pictures. When trying to achieve the zooming in or zooming out motions, make sure you have checked off the box "Specify start and end position of customized motion".

Then drag the corners of the starting position to an area you want the motion to start out in. If you want to zoom out, make the starting position rectangle smaller than the ending position. For a zooming in effect do the opposite.

For panning across the image, make the areas to start and end the same size; just position them at opposite ends of the image. To pan from left to right (top to bottom) , position the starting area on the left (top)and the ending (bottom) position on the right. Have fun… experiment a little.

If your zooming or panning motion is too fast for your taste and does not allow for enough time to appreciate the image, you can set the timing of the length of the slide manually.

Save each picture, after you have added motion. To continue adding transitions between each picture, click on the "Transition" tab.

Click on each transition to see a preview of it on the middle window. Save any changes to each image by pushing the "Save" button.

Music can support a story greatly. It can set the tone and mood and even take the place of narrated words. You will only be able to import music files from your computer that are in the .WMA, .MP3 or .WAV format. You can also create your own music within PhotoStory. Just experiment with the settings and preview the melody before adding it to your story.

The last step of creating a digital story with Microsoft PhotoStory is to save the project file as a movie file. There is a big distinction between a PhotoStory file and the movie file (.wmv)

You can tell the difference already by looking at their icons:

This is the project file (.wp3 extention)

  • Still able to go back and edit pictures, music, transitions, text, narration, and motion
  • Larger file size

This is the movie file (.wmv extension)

  • Cannot be edited anymore with Photostory
  • Smaller file size
  • Ready to upload to a video sharing site, such as YouTube, TeacherTube or Flickr
  • Ready to share on any computer that has Windows Media Player

Once you are ready to save your project as a movie file, you can choose the settings that will influence where you can view and how large the file size will be.

If you want to present the completed movie on a full screen on a computer, you might want to choose Profile 3 or 4 for computers, so that the movie will not look fuzzy. If your intentions are to upload the video to the Internet, you might want to stick to Profile 1 or 2 for computers. The resolution is going to be good enough for a smaller window. Choosing profile 1 & 2 will help reduce file size greatly, which your viewers, who will have to download the file, will greatly appreciate.