Saturday, December 29, 2012

Windows Movie Maker : Tips And Tricks

Not that long ago, if you wanted to make videos on your home computer, you had to spring for expensive software that would let you capture your clips and combine them into a finished film. But if you're using the Home Basic, Home Premium, or Ultimate edition of Windows Vista, you have that capability right at your fingertips in Windows Movie Maker (WMM). You might need a little bit of time, but with Vista it's easy to blend video, still images, and audio into a movie that's ready for sending to friends or family, uploading to YouTube, or burning to DVD.

The first thing you'll have to do is collect all the individual video clips you're planning to include in your movie. If the clips are on your digital camcorder, WMM makes it easy to access them and capture them onto your computer's hard drive.
  1. Connect your camcorder to your computer with a USB or FireWire cable. (Your camera's manual will explain which to use.)
  2. Make sure the camcorder is in Playback mode.
  3. In the "Tasks" section of the WMM window, click on "From digital video camera" to start the Import Video wizard.
  4. Type the name of the video file you want to create, then choose a location in which to save it. Click Next.
  5. Specify whether you want to capture the entire recording or just selected scenes of it. If you selected the entire recording, the capture process begins immediately.
  6. If you just wanted to record certain scenes, the Import Video window will appear, allowing you to preview your recording and operate the camera with controls such as Play, Stop, Rewind, Fast Forward, and Pause. Use the controls to find the scene you want to import, then click the Start Video Import button to begin importing. When you want to stop, click the button again—its text will have changed to Stop Video Import—or use the "Stop importing after" option at the bottom of the window to specify how many minutes should pass until the importing stops automatically.
  7. Once you're done, click Finish. You can repeat these steps as many times as necessary to get all the video clips you need.
If you want to use pre-existing files instead of digital video you shot yourself as part of your movie, you can do that, too.
  1. Click on the appropriate link in the Tasks section of the WMM window. (Your choices are Videos, Pictures, or Audio or Music.)
  2. This will open the standard Open File dialogue box. Navigate to the file you're looking for, and double-click it to import it into WMM as a clip.
Windows Movie Maker supports the following file formats:
  • Video files: ASF, AVI, DVR-MS, M1V, MP2, MP2V, MPE, MPEG, MPG, MPV2, WM, WMV
  • Audio files: AIF, AIFC, AIFF, ASF, AU, MP2, MP3, MPA, SND, WAV, WMA
Now that you have imported all the video, image, or sound files you need, it's time to start assembling them into your movie. Icons representing your clips will appear in the middle section of the WMM window—it's up to you to fuse them all together.
  1. Choose storyboard or timeline view. The bottom section of the screen is where you'll need to place your clips to make a movie from them, and how you'll work with them depends on your own personal preference. You can toggle between storyboard or timeline view at any time using the button in the upper-left corner of the lower section: Storyboard presents each clip as a same-size icon, while timeline uses a horizontal bar of varying width to represent each clip's different duration, and shows you the different "layers" of audio and overlay at your disposal. The magnifying-glass-shaped controls let you zoom in or zoom out on your clip, and you can resize the timeline or storyboard section by dragging the upper border of it with your mouse.
  2. Move your clips to the storyboard or timeline. Drag each clip from the center of the window into the storyboard or timeline section. (You can drag them in order or rearrange them once they're placed.)
  3. Adjust your clips. If you discover that your clips are too long or include too many scenes you don't want to include in your movie, you can either trim or split clips. To trim, drag the triangle-shaped handles in the corner of your clip to make it the size you want. To split a clip, align the scroll bar beneath the preview pane with the place where you want to split the clip, then click the Split button just below the preview window.
  4. Add transitions or special effects. To make your videos move with more excitement (or just more smoothly) from one clip to another, add transitions between clips. Click Transitions in the Tasks section of the WMM window, then drag the transition you want to use between two clips in either the storyboard or timeline section. (To see what a transition looks like, double-click its icon.) To add more flair to your movie, consider adding special effects like color filters or slow motion—click on Effects in the tasks section of the window, and then apply them just as you do transitions.
  5. Add titles and credits. By clicking on "Titles and credits" in the tasks section, you can add text to crucial sections of your movie. You can add a title either at the beginning of the movie, before or on a clip you select, or as credits at the very end. Click on the option you want in the Titles and credits screen, then enter the text you want to use and change the animation or text font and color as you wish.
  6. Add background music or narration. If you imported audio clips (in MP3 or WMA format), you can use those to create a soundtrack for your movie. Enter the timeline view and drag the music clip to the Audio/Music layer. Drag the strip left or right along the layer to specify where playback starts and ends; to adjust the volume, right-click on it and select Volume from the menu. To instead add narration to your movie, select Narrate Timeline from the Tools menu, then drag the playback indicator to the appropriate place on the Narrate Timeline pane, click Start Narration, and begin talking into your computer's microphone. (Click Stop Narration when you're finished.) Note that you can't use background music and narration simultaneously, so plan your movie accordingly.
After you've gotten all the clips arranged, transitions polished, and soundtrack music added, you're ready to actually "print" your movie. Do this by using the options under "Publish to" in the Tasks section of the WMM window.
  • This computer. Choosing this option will save the movie as an AVI or WMV file on your hard drive, allowing you to choose from a number of different compression rates as well as a standard or wide-screen aspect ratio. (The settings you use will determine the finished file's size.) If you have either Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate, you can even export to HD formats for Windows Media HD (in 720p or 1080p resolution) or Windows Media HD for Xbox 360.
  • Recordable CD. This option will save a low-resolution version of your movie on a blank CD that can be played back on PCs, as well as some CD and DVD players. (Look for ones that have Microsoft's HighMAT logo.)
  • E-mail. You'll have to settle for very low-quality video if you want to e-mail your movie, so for the best-looking final product, you'll probably want to choose another method. Nonetheless, this will allow you to create a small enough file to send via e-mail.
  • Digital video camera. For the best overall quality, choose this option to watch your final film on the digital video camera on which it was shot.
  • DVD. If you're using Vista Home Premium or Ultimate, choosing this option will save and close your movie file and open up Windows DVD Maker to get your movie DVD-ready—complete with menus. For a complete rundown of how to use Windows DVD Maker, 

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