Implementing Photo Story 3
Book reports get a refreshing update with the software, Photo Story 3 by Microsoft. This software can be used for many educational and personal projects, but the purpose of this article series is to show you how the application can be used for book reviews and reports. The basic purpose of the software is to allow the user to gather photos and display them in a slideshow format with the ability to insert music and narration. After completing a novel in class or individually, students can use Photo Story to compile photos and images relative to the book, and record narration that will summarize the novel and share opinions of the work. Instead of reading a bland essay to the class about their book, students can share an interesting and captivating book report created on Photo Story 3.
The first thing you will need to do is download the free software from Microsoft. Photo Story 3 is a free software for Windows XP, and can be downloaded with relative ease. Click on this link to download Photo Story 3. After downloading, you will be prompted to "begin a new story". This software will take you step by step through the creation process, so take some time to make a sample project to acquaint yourself with the basic set up of this software.
Keep in mind that Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP in April 2014. If you have a later version of Windows, try Windows Movie Maker.
Step II: Importing Pictures
Photo Story will ask you to "Import Pictures" from your computer that you are wanting to use in your presentation. Select a few pictures from your hard-drive for you to play with in your sample project. If you click on each individual picture, you will notice several thumbnails beneath the featured picture. There are several options to adjust color, remove red-eye, rotate the picture or remove black borders by cropping them.
Step III: Picture Effects
The next step allows you to add titles or subtitles to your selected pictures. The drop down menu under the previewed picture will also allow you to change the effect of the picture from original to "sepia", "washout", and several other picture effect options. The pictures are arranged in a story-board strip format at the bottom of the window. Clicking on each picture will pull it to the preview pane and allow you to edit it with different effects and titles. The small pen icon will appear in the bottom, right-hand corner of pictures that have been edited with picture effects or that have had titles added.
Step IV: Narrating and Customizing Motion
To provide narration for your Photo Story project, you will need a computer microphone. There is an area next to each photo on the strip to write notes to remind you of what you wish to say for each picture. What is neat about this feature is that the picture will appear on screen in the final project for as long the narration lasts for each picture. You will not have to worry about the next picture popping up before you are through talking, or have to adjust the timing for each slide. The software does it for you! What makes the project appear professionally made is a step that you might overlook if you didn't know it was available for you to implement. Under the previewed picture is the "customize motion" option. Click on this option, and it will open up a new window and guide you through the different camera motions you can apply to each picture. For example, click on the "specify start and end position" and you can alter the presentation of the picture in the final production.
Step V: Add Background Music
This feature allows you to download music to be played in your book report made on Photo Story 3. You can go through the editing options and have snippets of songs combined together, or have a song continuously looped throughout the presentation of pictures. The volume of the music can also be specified, which helps if you have narration playing over the background music.
Step VI: Save Your Story
There are many options and formats to save your Photo Story presentation. Your book report can be altered after saving it, and you also have the ability to go back into the file and save it as an email file or even a document that is viewable by mobile phones. There are several options, so select the one that is right for you and your students.
In the next article, Creating a Book Report in Photo Story, we will review a sample book report for the teen book, Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock.