Putting Photo Story 3 Stories on DVD

One of the most-often questions that I get is "How can I put my Photo Stories" on DVD.  We might want to be able to share our digital images with others, even those without a computer.  Also, PhotoStory DVDs make great gifts.  Whatever the reason, this guide will help you get started.  I'll provide all of the links and information that you need.  In the end, you'll have the knowledge to put your creation on DVD.

This guide will use Sonic's MyDVD Software (either version will work) to create the DVD. I chose this software because Sonic is a leader in DVD authoring software and it is very easy to use.

Step 1 : Create Your Story - Preparing for DVD

If you are new to Photo Story 3, please read the Beginner's Guide to Photo Story 3.  This will answer most of your questions about the creation process.  Creating stories for DVD is a little different than creating a Photo Story for viewing on a computer or to send through email.  However, it is not difficult at all. 

Photo Story 3 includes Activities for exporting the finished story, twoof which are NTSC or PAL format DVD.  I have heard complaints that this profile produces blurry images.  Luckily, creating new profiles isn't that difficult (Windows Media Encoder will allow you to do this).  PapaJohn's website has two profiles that he created that have better quality (100 vs 98) and proper dimensions (720x480 for NTSC). 

[Update: PapaJohn has also added VCD NTSC/PAL and SVCD NTSC/PAL links profiles!]

Click on the profile that you need and choose "Save".   Place in your C:\Program Files\Photo Story 3 for Windows\Profiles\1033 (or the Profiles\1033 folder of where you installed Photo Story 3).

Photo Story 3 Export Profiles Dialog for DVD

Step 2: Understanding and Previewing What You Have

A common misconception is that the Photo Story 3 project file (ending in .wp3) is the file that will be used to create the DVD.  In reality, the project file is simply a collection of all of the images, songs, and narrations that go with your story.  It is created so that you can open and edit your story later.  The file that will be used in the DVD creation process is the .wmv file that Photo Story generates.  This is the video we will be using.

Try browsing to the location that you saved your Photo Story at.  It defaults to "My Documents" -> "My Videos" 

Double click on the PhotoStory.wma file (or the name of the file you saved it as) and make sure you like the way it looks.  If so, we're ready to put it on a DVD!

Step 3: Creating a MyDVD project

When you open Sonic's Sonic's MyDVD Software , you will be greeted with a splash screen asking you what you would like to create.  In this case, select the first option, DVD-Video "Create or Modify a DVD-Video Project"

Sonic MyDVD Create new DVD Video Project

The next screen is the main MyDVD view.  This program has many great features, including the ability to change themes easily (Not long ago, I  created a baby-themed Photo Story for my niece's birth.  My sister loved it!).  We won't go into all the options, and will just go with what my program defaults to so I can show you the minimum number of steps to create your DVD.  You can always preview it and tweak it at will.

Feel free to go ahead and change the text on this screen by clicking on it.  Our next step is to import our Photo Story video (or videos!) by clicking Add Files or Add Video.  You can have several all on a single DVD, and this menu screen will allow you to choose which one you would like to watch with your standard DVD remote.

You are a few minutes away from your DVD being complete!  All that is left to do is hit the red "Burn" button and MyDVD will do the rest.  Just as with Photo Story, Sonic MyDVD will prompt you to save a project file so that you can edit and burn another DVD using the same files.  I found this useful after finding spelling errors when I rushed a DVD job!

Make sure that your DVD drive is listed in the next dialog and hit OK.  The DVD creation process will begin. 

Once you're finished, you can watch it on your computer like any DVD, or on your standard DVD player (providing it can read DVD+R discs).  I hope this guide has helped.  I would be happy to answer any questions that you have.  Just drop me a line in the Forums.

Click here if you need to purchase Sonic's MyDVD Software (either version will work).