How To Create Slideshows with the Free PhotoStory 3

1/1/2007 5:00:00 AM

from Educators' eZine

Introduction

Like most teachers, you appreciate instructional technology – especially if it’s free.  Not only is Photo Story 3 free, but it is also a fun and fabulous way for even the technology newbie to throw together a viewable video in a very short amount of time. 

With a few still images, the right music or set of sound clips, and a little creativity, teachers can introduce new concepts or topics in a format that can intrigue students to learn more.  This article will introduce Photo Story 3 and illustrate how this free product can be used to integrate technology across the curriculum. 

However, before you begin to learn about Photo Story 3, it is important to learn and then teach your students about copyright issues in the classroom.  Here are resources to get you and your students started on learning about copyright: 

A Visit to Copyright Bay (http://www.stfrancis.edu/cid/copyrightbay/)
Copyright Kids (http://www.copyrightkids.org/), and
Copyright 101 for Educators: Winter 2003 (http://www.wtvi.com/TEKS/02_03_articles/copyright.html)

Objective:  To create an electronic slideshow using Photo Story 3.

Resources Needed: 

Digital cameras, scanner, USB cables, Microsoft PhotoStory 3 for Windows (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/photostory/default.mspx), computers with Internet access, Inspiration (http://www.inspiration.com/productinfo/Inspiration/index.cfm) or Kidspiration (http://www.inspiration.com/productinfo/kidspiration/index.cfm) for brain storming, index cards to create storyboards, a printer, and Windows Media Player 11 (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/default.aspx).

Oh, and a microphone should you wish to narrate your story.

Anticipatory Set: 

The teacher will show students a traditional slideshow geared toward a specific instructional topic.  The teacher will then demonstrate a sample Photo Story 3 movie to students.  Each Photo Story 3 show will include digital pictures and graphics images used to enhance the storyline or instructional topic.

Starting a Photo Story 3 Project:

So how do you begin this easy and fun multimedia project?  Since many people do not own any photo editing applications, Microsoft made it possible to perform basic photo editing tasks within Photo Story 3, using the action buttons under the monitor window.  Photo Story allows for each story to have up to 300 pictures, which can be files with extensions  .bmp, .dib, .eps, .gif, .jhif, .jpe, .jpg, .pcd, .pcx, .png, .psd, .rle, .tga, and .tif.  Once your images are imported, you can arrange them on the Photo Story film strip in the order you want them to be displayed.  Use the editing tools to edit, enhance, rotate, and crop your pictures.  The following edits are possible within the program:  correct color levels, correct red eye, rotate, remove the borders, auto crop, create captions and titles, narrate, animate, create transition, add music, save, and share.

Teaching Ideas:
Creativity is the best component when using Photo Story 3.  Some ideas that have been used in the classroom range from introducing the Planets to Bird Identification.  Other ideas address all levels of the curriculum including:  water cycles, life cycles, history (i.e.-timeline of battles, decades, digital documentaries, timelines of famous people), art (student art work), literature (Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, mythology, poetry), and holidays (Christmas).

The Planets… (Technology, Science, History, Language Arts, Music):

  • Photos from scanned images from textbooks and images on the Internet
  • Midi files (this could be higher technology learning--creating Midi files) ripped music from CD (be sure to watch for copyright identification/notice and give proper citation), narrations, or sound clips from websites such as Freeplaymusic (http://www.freeplaymusic.com/).

Bird Identification (Technology, Science, History, Language Arts, Music):

  • Photos from scanned images from textbooks and images on the Internet or Digital Photos from Digital Blue™ Zoomshot™ Digital Snapshot Binoculars (http://www.playdigitalblue.com/home/)
  • Midi files (this could be higher technology learning-creating Midi files), ripped music from CD (be sure to watch for copyright identification/notice and give proper citation), narrations, or sound clips

Literature-Hamlet by Shakespeare (Technology, Science, History, Language Arts, Music):

  • Images scanned from the literary books or images from the Internet
  • Midi files (this could be higher technology learning-creating Midi files), ripped music from CD (be sure to watch for copyright identification/notice and give proper citation), narrations, or sound clips
  • Wav files created with the narration tool in Photo Story 3
Step 1:  Starting Photo Story 3 for Windows
  1. Access Photo Story 3 for Windows from your Start Menu or from your Desktop
  2. Click on the Begin a new story (Figure 1)
  3. Click the Next button

Figure 1:  Welcome to Photo Story 3 for Windows to Begin a new story
Figure 1

Step 2: Import and arrange your pictures

Things you can do: import images, remove black borders, rotate imagery, and simple photo editing.

  1. Start Photo Story 3.  Be sure the dot is in front of “Begin a new story.” Click on “Next.”
  2. Click Import Pictures (Figure 2).  Locate the folder where your images are located.  Browse to the folder containing your pictures.  Hold the CTRL key down.  Click on each picture you want to include in the slide show.  When you’re done, click on “OK.”  It is recommended that an individual folder for images be created for each project.  This will make it easier to find your images.

Figure 2:  Photo Story 3 for Windows-Import and arrange your pictures
Figure 2

  1. Rearrange the order of your pictures (if you want to). Explore the various editing options under each picture (brightness, remove red-eye, rotate, etc.). Click “Next” when you’re done.  (Figure 3)
  2. Your pictures will appear in the film strip at the bottom of the Window.  If you import more pictures, Photo Story 3 adds them at the end of the film strip.   If you want Photo Story to remove black borders from your pictures by automatically cropping them, click the Remove black borders button.

Figure 3:  Photo Story 3 for Windows-Imported images about the planet Mars
Figure 3

Step 3:  Adding a titles to your slides
  1. On the Add a title to your pictures page, click a picture, and then type the title.
  2. If you want to change the appearance or location of the title, do the following:
    1. 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.
    2. To change the horizontal alignment of the text, click either the Align Left, Center Horizontally, or Align Right button.
    3. To move the title up or down on the page, click the Align Top, Center Vertically, or Align Bottom button. By default, the title appears in the center of the picture.

Figure 4:  Photo Story 3 for Windows:-Adding text to your Photo Story
Figure 4

Step 4:  Adding Customize Motion

Customizing Motions is a unique feature of panning in and out of your images. In this step you select how and where you would like the panning to occur.  To begin to customize your motions select the Customize Motion button.

  1. From the Motion and Duration tab, tick Specify Start and End position of motion.  Two copies of your image will be presented.  The first one is titled Start position: and the second identical image End position: 
  2. Both images will have a box that can be repositioned by dragging the resize handles.  If you would like your image to show the full view then zoom in to a specific spot, you would leave the Start Position image as is and adjust the size and position of the box on the second image to suit.  Once you are happy with your choice, select Save and then Close.
Step 5:  Adding background music to your story

Adding background music that plays during your story is one way to enhance your lesson. A different piece of music can play for each picture or for a group of pictures. 

The Select Music option lets you choose a piece of music from your computer, a network folder, or the Internet. 

The Create Music option lets you customize prerecorded pieces and styles of music by selecting the genre, style, bands, mood, tempo, and intensity of the music.

  1. To select the music for your story, select a picture. Then select a piece of music to start playing when the picture is displayed in your story.
  2. The picture you select is the anchor image, and indicates where you want the music to start playing. The anchor image is indicated by a musical note displayed beneath the picture in the film strip.
  3. The music you select plays until one of the following events occurs:
    • The music ends.
    • An anchor image that specifies a new piece of music be played is encountered.
    • The story ends.
  4. You can replace a piece of music for an anchor image by selecting a different piece of music or by dragging a music file onto the anchor image in the film strip.

Figure 5:  Photo Story 3 for Windows-Adding background music to your Photo Story
Figure 5

If the anchor image is deleted from the story, the music and any other customizations associated with the anchor image are also deleted from the story.

When you add background music to your story, a music strip appears above the film strip. The music strip displays the name of each piece of music that is added to your video story. The music strip is color-coded for each piece of music in the story. Photo story automatically adjusts the amount of time a piece of music will play in your story when any of the following occurs:

  • A picture is added to a group of pictures.
  • A picture is deleted from a group of pictures.
  • A picture is moved to a different place in the story.
  • Another piece of music is added to the story.
  • The story ends.
Step 6: Save your story
  1. Choose where you wish to file your story “Save the project”
  2. Your story remains on file to be edited another time
  3. It asks you “What do you want to do with your story?”
  4. To make your Video Clip choose -Save your story for play back on your computer.  This function or option converts your graphics, music and voice into a Video Clip. 
  5. Under File Name, click the Browse button.  It is recommend that you save your project in the same folder with you images and sound clips.
  6. Name your file and click OK
  7. Click the Next button.  Your PhotoStory will generate and you will then be prompted to view your story.
Step 7: Viewing your story

When your story is built and saved, the Completing Photo Story 3 for Windows page will appear. You can view your newly created story or begin a new story from here. To see what you have created, click View your story. Windows Media Player will open and your story will begin to play.
Now that you have created your first photo story, it's time to start a new story. This time, add your own pictures and music to create stories to share with your friends and family.

Figure 6

Strengths of Photo Story 3 in the Classroom: 

  • Very easy to use
  • Inexpensive
  • Cool Pan and Scan

Weaknesses of Photo Story 3 in the Classroom: 

  • Can't rotate pictures
  • Jerky zooms (Images can be pixely)
  • Narration is per image
Summary

Photo Story 3 is a quick, easy fun way to transform your still photos into moving slide shows for playback over the Web, in DVD players, in PowerPoint presentations and more.

Resources and Citations

Photo Story 3
(http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/photostory/default.mspx)
The latest version of Microsoft's Photo Story makes creating video slideshows a breeze and amongst all the new features one stands out from the crowd - it is now FREE!

Image Resizer (www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx)
Microsoft has a range of useful Powertoy applications available for FREE download for Windows XP.

The Digital Camera in Education
(http://www.drscavanaugh.org/digitalcamera)

Short Courses - The digital photography resource.
(http://www.shortcourses.com/)

Kodak – Taking Great Pictures
(http://www.kodak.com/US/en/nav/takingPics.shtml)

Email: Julia VanderMolen

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