It’s that time again, the “look back at 2007″ time. Wherever you turn, there seems to be a memory-filled montage of photos and stories from this past year. How do you make your own?
I’ve been experimenting with a couple of different ways to make slick slide shows complete with transitions and music backgrounds. One application that I first saw at CompUSA on the shelf was Microsoft’s Photo Story 3 for Windows for over $30. It comes bundled with a photo editing/organization application. However, there’s a little known secret – Microsoft actually gives away Photo Story 3 for Windows totally free on the web. A full-version of the program is available for you to download and use right now!
Here’s the link for the download page: http://tinyurl.com/4f869
It’s a neat basic program that allows you to import the photos you want to include from your hard drive. Set-up the order of the photos. Select custom transitions between each photo slide. And also “tween” beginning and ending spots for each photo (basically set-up the pan/zoom effects for each photo when you’re viewing it in the movie).
It’s very easy to figure out without a manual.
And last but not least, you can also import mp3 music files to set the background music for the slide show.
I’ve been very happy with PhotoStory so far. It does have some limitations, but for 90% of users, this is a great program.
If you want to burn a DVD of your PhotoStory, you DO have to purchase a $19.99 add-on that basically is a Sonic DVD burner application, but it’s specific to this Microsoft program. I actually purchased and used this add-on, and it worked as advertised. You can create menus of several photo stories on the DVD, so you can make separate photo stories of each vacation, event, etc and then later create a DVD for all of them and ship it off to Grandma + Grandpa.
When you get a little advanced, you might start to envision some features which are available on higher-end applications like Nero, etc. I personally made some photostory movies and then imported a couple of separate photostory files into Windows MovieMaker in order to incorporate some more of the text narration and better 3-d narration effects to the final movie.
But if you’ve never created your own photo slide show, this is a GREAT starter package — and it’s free, which makes it even better and totally risk-free.