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Turning Your Pictures into Movies with Microsoft Photo Story 3

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Creating a movie with your digital images is a snap with Microsoft Photo Story 3.0 for Windows XP. Matthew David guides you through the process from start to finish, from importing and labeling images to adding narratives, music, effects, transitions, and more.

Two years ago, my dad did a selfish thing. He bought me a digital camera. You see, he lives in the United Kingdom and wanted pictures of the grandkiddies, so he bought me a digital camera so I could send him some.

The thing I learned very quickly is that digital cameras are very addictive. In just two years, I have amassed more than 2000 photographs. But what do I do with them now? In this article, you learn how to create movies with Microsoft's Photo Story 3.0 for Windows XP.

Getting the Photos onto Your Hard Drive

Before you can begin to use Photo Story, you need to get your photographs off your digital camera and onto your hard drive. One of the features I like about Windows XP are the wizards that pop up when you attach additional devices to your computer. There is a really nifty one for importing images from your digital camera to your hard drive.

All you need is a digital camera with either a USB or a FireWire connection. Connect it to your PC. Wait a couple seconds, and you should see the window in Figure 1 pop up.

Figure 01Figure 1 The AutoPlay Wizard gives you various options for how you want to view your files.

Select the first option, Copy Pictures to a Folder on My Computer Using the Microsoft Scanner and Camera Wizard. The first screen on the Camera Wizard then comes up (see Figure 2).

Figure 02Figure 2 The Scanner and Camera Wizard is one of those dark little secrets within Windows XP that is really useful. Here you can see 43 images being imported to your hard drive.

The Camera Wizard is a great feature. It does not do much, but it is a real life saver. The first good feature for importing your images is what you see in Figure 2: a tool that shows you what is on your camera. My camera holds more than 200 images, and I go for a couple weeks before moving the images off the screen. The viewer lets me choose which groups of images I want to move off the camera. You can also select any one image and rotate it using the Rotation buttons (see Figure 3). This is useful if you do a lot of landscape and portrait images. By changing the rotation, you eliminate having to do this later inside Photo Story.

Figure 03Figure 3 The Rotation buttons rotate images.

Select the Next button to categorize your images. First give your images a name (all the imported images will then have that name followed by a sequential number), select the folder where you want your images to be stored, and then choose whether you want the images to be deleted from the camera (see Figure 4).

Figure 04Figure 4 The Scanner and Camera Wizard labels all your images with names that make sense to you.

The Scanner and Camera Wizard then moves everything over. It is as easy as that. Now on to making movies!

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