Photo Story allows you to create slideshows or digital stories using your digital photos. With a single click, you can touch-up, crop, or rotate pictures. Add stunning special effects, soundtracks, and your own voice narration to your photo stories. Then, personalize them with titles and captions. Small file sizes make it easy to publish your photo stories to a video sharing site or send them in an e-mail. Watch them on your TV, a computer, or a Windows Mobile–based portable device.
Accessing Photo Story
To begin using Photo Story, follow these steps:
- You can download Photo Story 3 for free at http://www.microsoft.com/photostory.
- Once you've downloaded and installed the program, you can access it by clicking on Photo Story 3 for Windows in your Start menu.
Photo Story Welcome Screen
When you first run the program, you'll be brought to the Photo Story welcome screen. This is where you'll choose to either begin a new story or edit/play an existing story.
We'll go into editing and playing stories a bit later. For now, we'll look at creating a story from scratch.
Begin a new story
- When the welcome screen comes up, select Begin a new story and then click the Next > button.
- The first thing we'll want to do is save our project so we don't lose anything. Click on the Save Project button at the bottom and save it on the Desktop.
- Now we're ready to bring pictures into our project. Click the Import Pictures button to select the images you want to use for this project.
- To quickly edit a picture by enhancing it, click the picture, and then click the Correct Color Levels button , Correct Red Eye button , Rotate Counterclockwise button , or Rotate Clockwise button at the bottom of the picture preview area.
- You can also crop or rotate your image by clicking on the Edit... button.
- After you have imported one image, just repeat the process for the rest of the pictures you are going to use.
- You can change the order of the pictures that you've imported using the and buttons to the right of the pictures. Clicking the button will remove the picture from the project.
- When you have the images you want, click the Save Project button at the bottom again to save it, then click the Next > button.
- You have the option to add titles to the pictures. Click the picture you want to add a title to and type it in the box.
- If you want to change the appearance or location of the title to make it easier to read, do the following:
- To change the font, click the Select Font button , and then select the font type, style, size, effects, color, and script you want to use.
- To change the horizontal alignment of the text, click the Align Left button , Center Horizontally button , or Align Right button .
- To move the title up or down on the page, click the Align Top button , Center Vertically button , or Align Bottom button . By default, the title appears in the center of the picture.
As you make changes, you can view them in the preview area on the left side of the page. The title can have a maximum of 1,024 characters. The text wraps in the picture preview area. You can edit your pictures on any page in Photo Story on which the film strip appears by right-clicking a picture, pointing to Edit, and then clicking the option you want. You can also add an Effect to your image. Click on the pull down menu below the image to choose a photo effect.
When you have given captions to the images, click the Save Project button at the bottom again to save it, then click the Next > button.
Narration and Motion
- You have the option to add an audio narration to each picture, as well as customize the motion and transitions of the images.
- You can record up to five minutes of narration for each picture in your video story. You can narrate the pictures in any order you want. If you do not like the narration for a picture, you can delete the narration and record it again. Deleting the narration does not delete any of the other enhancements made to your story, such as changing a transition.
- To begin recording narration for a picture, click the picture, click the Record Narration button , and then begin speaking into your microphone.
- Photo Story captures the narration individually for each picture and displays the length of the narration for the picture on the right side of the Delete Narration button . You can record up to five minutes of narration for each picture.
- You will know that a picture has an audio narration tied to it as it has the length of the narration on the image and a small dialog image below the picture.
- If you do not want Photo Story to determine the panning and zooming effects automatically for pictures in your story, you can choose to control these effects manually in the Customize Motion... dialog box. By setting the motion manually, you can select the general areas of a picture that will appear at the beginning and end of the picture's video clip.
- In the Customize Motion... dialog box, you can also do one or more of the following:
- Specify the number of seconds that a picture without narration is displayed when your story is played. The settings you specify in this dialog box only apply to the selected picture.
- Specify whether a picture starts playing with a transition, and select the transition.
- Specify the number of seconds that a transition is displayed when your story is played. The settings you specify in this dialog box only apply to the selected picture.
When you have given narrations to the images and are finished with motions and transitions, click the Save Project button at the bottom again to save it, then click the Next > button.
- You can add background music that plays during your story. A different piece of music can play for each picture or for a group of pictures. You can add as many pieces of music to a story as there are pictures in the story, or just have one song that plays through the entire thing.
- You also have the option to compose your own piece of music. To do this, click the Create Music... button.
- You can choose between different genres, styles, bands, moods, and then play with the tempo and intensity. Click play to test it out and then the OK button to save it.
- When you have the sound you want, click the Save Project button at the bottom again to save it, then click the Next > button.
- If you intend to play your story on your computer or upload it to a video sharing site like YouTube, in the Activites box, select Save your story for playback on your computer.
- Click the Browse button and save the file on your Desktop.
- You have the optional settings on the bottom by clicking the Settings... button for things like different resolution sizes.
- When you have the settings you want, click the Save Project button at the bottom again to save it, then click the Next > button.
- It will take a moment to build your story, and when it is complete you'll get the choice to view your story. Click on View your story to play it.
- Your story will play. Once it is finished you can close it down and click on the Exit button in Photo Story.
Editing and Playing Stories
When the welcome screen comes up, select Edit a project and then click the Next > button. Selet the file you saved and it will open up in the import pictures screen.
If you select Play a story it will show a list of stories you've published. Click on the one you want to view and then click the Play button on the right to view the story.