Technology How To

How to Use Windows Photo Story

Thursday, February 3, 2011 2:26 pm

Photo Story is a fun, interactive application that allows users to make a presentation and add narration using digital photos. Music, transitions, and effects can also be added, creating a many faceted approach which brings the photos to life and creates a visually compelling story and “show and tell” presentation.

Getting Started:

Windows Photo Story can be found in the start menu. Click on all programs. Photo Story is found in the WFU Digital Media Tools, under the Video Tools tab.

Once you open the program, it will ask you whether you want to begin a new story, edit a project, or play a story. Check Begin a New Story and click next.

Importing Pictures:

You are now able to import pictures found anywhere on your computer into your presentation. Click on the import pictures button, and select all images you wish to import.

**In order to select more than one picture at once, click on the ctrl key while selecting images.

Once the pictures are imported, they should all appear along the bottom of the screen in the filmstrip. The pictures can be rearranged using the arrows directly to the right of the filmstrip. Click on this to make the selected picture move forward or backward in the presentation. You can also simply click and drag the picture along the filmstrip to rearrange the order. The “x” next to the filmstrip will delete the selected picture.

You can also scan through the filmstrip photos using the arrows in the bottom right corner of the photo.

Features in the import pictures screen:

Along the bottom of the picture, but above the film strip, you will see buttons. These allow you to make minor edits to the image, including red eye reduction, correcting the color levels, and rotating the image. Under the edit button, you can also use advanced editing techniques to put the picture in black and white, colored pencil, sepia, etc. These are found under the add effect tab under the edit button. You can also add basic fixes such as cropping and color fixing under this button, in the rotate and crop and auto fix tabs.

Once you are finished editing your pictures, click next to continue.

Adding Titles to your pictures

The next screen shows a text box next to your pictures In this text box, which is available for every image, you are able to type a title which will show on top of the image during the presentation. On top of the text box you will see various buttons. These allow you to change the text font, color, style, and size, align the text to the left, center, or right, and align it on either the top, center, or bottom of the screen.

When you are finished typing titles for your photos, click the next button.

Adding Narration to your Photos

Using Photo Story, you are able to add narration and zooming effects in order to bring your story to life.

On this page, a different text box will appear to the right of your pictures, and on top of it is a red button, square button, and circular arrow, and to the very right, a microphone. The text box allows you to write notes beforenarrating.

The first step is determining your microphone capacity. Plug your mic into the computer, or simply use the internal one and launch the sound hardware test wizard by clicking on the microphone button to the right of the screen.

If this doesn’t launch it, simply check the volume of your microphone manually, by clicking on the start tab, control panel, and then hardware and sound. Click onmanage audio devices under the sound tab. A box should pop up with playback, recording, and sound tabs. Under the recording tab, your microphone should be listed. Make sure it is working (green bars should light up when you speak into it), and make sure your speaker volume is turned up to an appropriate level.

Now that the mic is set up, you are able to begin recording. In order to add narration, you must click on the red button,which will start the recording for whatever image you are on. The button will flash to show it is recording. A timer will appear to the right of the circular arrow showing how much time you have recorded.

**Each picture cannot exceed 5 minutes.

In order to end the recording for that image, simply press the square stop button. If you wish to erase whatever was recorded on the image, click on the circular arrow.

Though you record narration separately for each image, it will blend together nicely when the presentation is played back. Feel free to play the presentation any time, by clicking on the preview button, directly below the text box.

Zooming and Transition Effects

In order to customize zooming on the picture, click on customize motion under the picture. On the box that pops up, check the “specify start and end position of motion” box. This allows you to show where you want the picture to focus as the narration begins. Use the drag boxes to create motion. The picture will zoom to the box as the motion continues.

**If the box is smaller at the start position, the effect will be zooming out, if the box is smaller at the end position the effect will be zooming in.

You can also set the duration of the slide either manually, or automatically. In automatic mode, the slide will shift when the narration stops.

Much like in Microsoft Powerpoint, you can also change the slide transitions. In the same “customize motion” box, click on the transition tab to the right of the motion and duration tab. Here you can choose various methods in which the slides can transition in. An example of what each will look like is shown at the top of the screen. In order to save the transition click on the save and close tabs. You can go back into this option and change the transition and motion at any time.

After you are done adding narration, motion, and different transitions to the slides, click the next button.

Adding Background Music

To add music, first begin by clicking on the image on which you would like the music to appear. You then can either click on the select music, or the create music buttons. Under the select music button, you can browse the various songs on your computer and select the one you would like.

**Note: The song will begin playing on the image you have selected, but will continue for its full duration through the other pictures and not cut off until another song is put on the other pictures or the original song is finished.

In order to delete the music from a selected picture, make sure that picture is selected, and click on the delete music button to the right of create music.

You can also create music, by clicking on the create music button. Here the create music box will open. You can create your own music by messing with the various genres, styles, bands, moods, tempos andintensities. There are many combinations possible, so it is important to check out the various combinations before choosing one. When ready, click on the ok tab. Your music will be added to that picture and all subsequent pictures. (See note above).

Saving the Story

The final step is saving your finished story. When you save it to your computer, all of the clips, narrations and effects are merged into one smooth presentation that can be played on windows media player. From here you can put it onto a cd, or send it elsewhere. In order to save it to your computer, make sure “save your story for playback on your computer” is selected. The other options allow you to send the story in an email or save it on other various devices.

The next step is to specify where you would like the story to save on your computer and what you would like to name it. The default setting is to save it under videos, but you can change this by clicking on the browse button to the right of the text.

Lastly, you can change the settings for the quality of the video depending on where you would like it to play. This can be done by clicking on the settings button on the bottom of the box.

Viewing your Story

After you have saved the story, you are able to view it by opening it via windows media player, or by finding it in the folder you saved it in.

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