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Windows Movie Maker (Part 2)

Windows Movie Maker (Part 2)

From yesterday’s article, you should now have your video and your sound track uploaded to your computer. If you don’t, check out the article and come back to this one when you’re done. If you do have that done, you can move on to the second (and most exciting) stage with me. What is that, you ask? It’s the editing of the movie part, of course! Are you ready?!

Before we go in to all the details of the options that are available to you in this section, there is a very quick solution which could mean that you don’t actually need the rest of this article! In Movie Maker, there is a facility that will take all your clips, cut them for you, put in the transitions between shots and then set it all to music, all without you doing anything more than clicking two buttons! Interested?

If so, under the Edit Movie section of the Task Panel, you will see a clickable link to “Make an AutoMovie.” Clicking this reveals this screen:

As you can see, you can select from five different styles of movies and produce a title (which we will talk about later). You can also add a background track and do it all automatically!

Go ahead and choose the style you want, then tell Movie Maker where your soundtrack is and voila, you have your movie. Perfect!

And to be honest, Movie Maker does quite a good job.

But if you don’t like it, that’s no problem. Either hit Ctrl and Z or the Undo button at the top of the page and you will be back to where you started and you can try another style if you wish.

Couldn’t be easier, could it?!

However, if this is not to your liking and you would like to be more creative, keep reading!

The first thing to do is get all the clips and music you want to use into their respective positions. Make sure you have clicked on Timeline on the bottom section (remember that from Part 1) and then you can get to work. Simply drag the clips in the order you want them to appear (can be changed later) to the section at the bottom.

Above is an example with the video. You can see that Clip 1 is already in position and Clip 2 is in the process of being dragged (highlight clip, hold down left button on mouse, move to position and let go of button).

Also drag your sound track to the Audio/Music timeline as shown here. Note: If you don’t want the music to start immediately when the movie starts, just move it along a little to the start point you want.

One very important point to note: From this point on, any changes that we make to these clips will not affect your original video! That is still intact and available to you. You will never alter the source files in this process.

Also, please get in the habit of saving what you have done on a regular basis. There is nothing more frustrating than having spent many hours editing your movie and then facing a power outage and losing it all!

If you are to make this a quality movie, you will probably need to trim your clips. For instance, maybe there was a bit of camera shake at the beginning of the shot or maybe the clip is too long to keep the film moving along at a nice pace. Or perhaps, someone walked across the shot three-quarters of the way through.

So, how do we do this? It’s easy!

Make sure you are in the Timeline view at the bottom.

Now, it is probably best to enlarge the view so you can more accurately time the cut or trim what you need to. Click on the little magnifying glass symbol (see picture) to increase the magnification. In fact, you can do that several times if you wish. You will see the elapsed time for the whole project.

Let’s assume now that we want to trim some of the first few seconds of the shot.

If you will now go to the little arrow at the beginning of the Timeline (see small picture below), hold down the left button of the mouse and move the line that appears to the right. You will see, in the Preview window, the clip progressing.

Stop it at the place you want to begin the sequence (that is to say, where you want to cut away all the preceding part of the shot) and release the mouse button. The surplus sequence will disappear! (Don’t worry if you want to change your mind. Just go up to the top, to the Edit menu and the first line will be Undo Remove Clip).

That procedure is shown here (the uncut part will be shaded blue on the timeline).

What if you want to trim something from the end?

Then do the same thing, but from the right hand side of the clip on the Timeline. See below.

If you want to split the clip, click the Play button in the Preview window and pause it at the point you want to split. Then go to the top menu, click on Clip and you will see an option offered called Split. Click that and it’s done! (There are other ways of doing all the above operations, but I believe this is the simplest).

If you want to chop a bit out from the middle of the clip, that’s simple as well. Split it at the beginning of the surplus bit and then trim the beginning of the created second part to the point where you have an okay bit. Sounds complicated? Look at this diagram:

(Remember too, our caution in Part 1 of this series. It is far quicker to carry out all of the above than to actually describe it. Don’t be put off by the amount of words, it’s really very simple. And don’t forget, you are not messing up your source film. All of that has not been altered in the slightest, so you can’t do any damage to your valuable film!)

Next on the agenda is making some improvements to the movie so far. Under Edit Movie now, select View Video Effects.

Here you will see quite a large number of effects that you can apply to individual clips to enhance or otherwise change their appearance. Some, in my opinion, would better be classed as transitions, since you have various flavors of effects like fade in, fade out and so on. But others can be used to change the overall impression. For instance, to give it a sepia effect or a grainy effect, etc. Make your choice here, but a word of advice first. Please don’t use the OTT format! Don’t get so carried away with all these effects that you completely lose sight of the objective, which is to entertain! And if you want to see what these effects look like before you apply them, click Play in the Preview window and you will see a demonstration.

Now, what you need to do is drag the effect to the clip you want (or all of them if needed) as shown by the arrows in this picture. A star icon will then appear to show that a video effect has been applied. Easy, right?!

And the same process is used when applying the next feature called View Video Transitions. Again, you can preview them by looking in the Preview window. Some are absolutely amazing, but again, please use caution. You want the audience to say “that was a nice shot,” not “I wonder how he did that.”

Normally the transition will run from the end of the previous clip and over the beginning of the following. If you want to adjust this and the timing of the transition, switch to Timeline view and then drag the first of the two clips over the second for the amount of time you want. Then add the transition to the Transition Timeline (you’ll find it easier to actually try this than trying to explain it in detail. It’s not complicated at all).

Have we finished now? No, not quite. Surely you want a nice title to start off your movie, don’t you? And maybe some titles for changes in scenes? And, of course, you must have your name as producer and director on the final credits, right?!

All of this can be done very easily in Movie Maker.

Again, in Video Effects, select “Make titles or credits.”

Most of the selections here are self-explanatory and the actual process is identical for each of them, so let’s just show how to get an opening title in to place and then you can experiment with the others afterward.

Click, of course, on “Add title at the beginning of the movie,” to show this screen:

In the top segment, type the title and in the bottom segment, insert any credits or subtitles. Once you’re done, you will see them immediately appear in the Preview window to the right.

As you will see, you have two further chances to change these titles. This can be done by either clicking on “Change the title animation,” which can cause the title to make its entrance in a myriad of different ways from Star Trek to Gladiators to just about anything you want or “Change the text font and color,” which speaks for itself. You can also alter the degree of transparency, so if you wish, you can have the first scene showing underneath the title. Neat, huh?!

When you have changed everything to your satisfaction, click on Done, add your title to the movie and you are home and dry! Your masterpiece is almost ready to show to the masses!

All we need to do now is finish the movie and decide how you are going to show it. That just so happens to be Part 3, so tune in tomorrow for all the details!

See you soon!

~ David Woodford