Make your Digital Story in 15 steps!

A digital story – 15 steps!

Step 1 – Write your scenario
Step 2 – Find pictures to go with it
Step 3 – Store documents and photos into your computer
Step 4 – Open a new project in a moviemaker and import all photos
Step 5 – Drag all your photos into your storyboard in the correct order
Step 6 – Video effects
Step 7 – Video transitions
Step 8 – Announcement clip
Step 9 – Voice-over
Step 10 – Synchronize voice-over and storyboard
Step 11 – Add text
Step 12 – End clip (credits)
Step 13 – Movie of your project (digital story)
Step 14 – Add music to movie
Step 15 – Movie soundtrack for final project (digital story)


1. Write your scenario


The theme of the story can be about your roots. You can tell the story of your parents or grandparents. Where do they come from, how and why did they come to Belgium? Or you can do the story about some current subject (Super-Diversity, migration…), tell the facts and your personal opinions about it.
A digital story is always a personal story, so you tell it from your point of view. It can be 3 to 5 minutes.
Write your story in full sentences, so you can use it later to record your voice-over. An A4 soon takes 3 minutes, so make sure your story is not too long.


2. Find the pictures


Check out which photos you want to use to illustrate your story. You can also use drawings, personal papers, old photographs... and make scans of them. If you do not have a scanner, with a digital camera you can take pictures of the old photos in the album of your grandmother for example. But remember, the quality of the final digital version will not be as good as the original. You can also use pictures and illustrations from the internet on p.e. ‘Creative Commons’ (a Flickr website where you can find pictures that are free from copyright ) Check the website here:


3. Store documents and photos in to your computer


Save all your documents and photos in a folder that you will use only to make your digital story. Give it a temporary title if you do not have a definite title for your story yet. This is very important, because all your source files in your computer must be present when you have finished making your digital story and you want to make a movie out of it.


4. Open a new project in a moviemaker and import all photos


Start a new project by opening up top left click on file and then choose New Project. Give your project a name right away. Do this by clicking on collections

and then click New Collection Folder button. ( The ‘project’ you just opened has to be saved immediately on the computer, in the folder you just made in step 3 )

Then click Import pictures (in the task menu 1. capture video, 2. import pictures) and you can see all the photos you need to import.


5. Drag all your photos in the correct order to your storyboard


Your photos are now in your collection. From there you can drag them into the storyboard at the bottom, in sequence. The order can be changed later by clicking the photo on the left mouse button and dragging it to where it should be. (Don’t forget to save from time to time!)

6. Video effects


You will now start editing your photos. Therefore it is better to change from storyboard to timeline. You can do this by clicking on the top bar of your storyboard:

Video effects are effects on a clip. These can be added, so your picture can move while it is on screen, for instance. You can find this function if you go to tasks, edit movie, view video effects.

The most common effects, allowing you to zoom in or zoom out, are these:

Drag the icons onto the photo in your storyboard where you want to add effect. Behind the image to which the effect you've added an asterisk appears at this time.

The asterisk represents the video effect that you just added. Mouse over the asterisk and click the right mouse button to display the menu where you can change the operation later.


7. Video transitions


A video transition is the transition between two photos or clips. You can find this function back in the ‘tasks-menu’. There you click on ‘View video transitions’ in the menu 2. edit movie. Drag the desired effect between two clips between which you want to see the video transition. The timeline shows the name of the effect in a bar (transition).

8. Announcement clip


Now make your announcement and foremost clip. Go to the toolbar at the top. Then click Make titles or credits function
in menu 2. edit movie. In this menu click the job title at the beginning.

In ‘more options’ (below) you can customize the animation. - change the title animation (this is the way your title appears on the screen) and the color of the letters and the background - change the text font and color.

When finished, click Done, add title to movie.
Sample clip and notice:

9. Voice-over


Record your voice. You can do this in one time or in several pieces. If you have a microphone in your laptop, you can record your voice with that. Otherwise you should have external recording material (we dispose of dictaphones and can/will guide you through this if necessary!)

Go to 'tools' in the overall top toolbar and select ‘Narrate Timeline’ (see screenshots below)

This will take you to this page (screenshot below), where you can record the voiceover. Use your own voice, imagine you are talking with your family and friends. Practice a few times in advance so you can determine in how many parts you will subdivide the whole text and you're ready to go.

When you press 'start narration‘ button, it starts recording. To stop recording, press the 'stop narration' button. The recording is automatically saved, please note that your audio recordings in the folder that you create are stored in the beginning. When done, the recording will be placed on top in the collection of your project automatically (where your photos are) and the timeline on the Audio / Music bar. (see screenshot below / untitled narration). You can change it later if necessary.

10. Synchronize voice-over and storyboard


The recording of your narration will probably be longer than your storyboard. Now stretch your photos to match your text. This can be resolved easily by clicking on the photograph or recording timeline with your left mouse button. Use right (to stretch) or left (short) to drag. Do not forget to save your project.


11. Add text


Finally add text to your photos. For this, like making the announcement clip, go back to the top bar. Then click the 'Make titles or credits’ in menu 2. Edit movie. In this menu click the 'Title on the selected clip’.

In the timeline you can see the text in the bottom bar (title overlay) appear (see screenshot below). The messages are displayed only a 2-seconds on screen, you can also stretch them as long as you want (usually as long as the picture where you want the text to add in the picture) You do this, just like the pictures and voice-over, in the timeline at the bar of the written text clicking with your left mouse button and right (to stretch) or left (in the short) dragging.

When you enter the text you can go to 'more options' below the animation settings - change the title animation (this is how your text appears on the screen) and the font or color of the letters - change the text font and color. When finished, click Done, add title to movie (see screenshot step 6)


12. End clip (credits)


The final clip is the last image of your digital story and created the same way as the announcement clip (see Step 8). Only you choose the one for credits at the end and should imagine that name, the date and performer of the soundtrack that you will use include. (see example below). The soundtrack we have not added when we create the final clip, so you should think about it all beforehand.

Example of an end clip:


13. Movie of your project (digital story)


You're all done editing your photos, adding text and voice-over. Now you have to do a movie from your project. Do this, go back to the top toolbar 
and select menu 3. Finish Movie, select Save to my computer

Save your movie again in to the folder which you made at the beginning of this process.


14. Add music to movie


You now have a movie that is completely finished, but in a full digital story there should be a soundtrack added. Do this in movie maker and open a new project. Then import your movie as a whole (just as you did at Step 4, all the photos imported but now import video). You will see that the film is split into several pieces. You may drag these pieces of film back to the storyboard (in the order in which you imported it) and then you can import it into your music collection and then add to the timeline (audio / music)


15. Movie soundtrack for final project (digital story)


Then make another movie of this project (final digital story soundtrack), as in step 13 and your digital story is finished!