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The quick and dirty guide to Windows Movie Maker
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Fiddle4Fun
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February 17, 2012 - 11:12 pm
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When I was preparing my ad I spent a great deal of time getting familiar with Windows Movie Maker.  Since it is a simple, free video editing program for PC users, I figure some of y'all might want to use it to clean up videos for upload as well. Maybe these tips will save you some time.  Feel free to expand on this material.

 

When you first open WMM you will see a toolbar with various actions on the left and a video window on the right. At the bottom is your storyboard. The storyboard will be where you do the majority of your editing.

 

Import Videos

The first step is to import some video and music files. Look under “Import” on the left hand side and click the appropriate link. It will bring up a dialog box where you can choose the specific files you wish to import.

 

The imported files will appear in the blank space between your toolbar and video

window. You’ll notice that the selected video clip will also appear in the video

window. If you hit the play button then you will view that specific clip. This is

how you’ll be able to focus on and edit clips individually.

 

Editing Videos

So you’re watching a clip and you come to a point where you want to cut the clip.

Hit “Split” below the video window and the program will cut the video at that

point.

 

After the clip has been split, you will notice that you now have “Clip 001 (1)” and

“Clip 002 (2)” as imported media. The first clip runs from the beginning of your

video to the split point. The second clip runs from the split point to the end of the

video. You can use the split command in order to trim your video to just the part

you want. For example, if you like minutes 1:30 to 1:45 in your video then you

will split Clip 001 at 1:30 and Clip 001 (2) and 1:45. Of the three videos available

(Clip 001 (1), Clip 001 (2), Clip 001 (3)) the one you want will be number two.

 

Working on the Storyboard: Video

Now that you have your clips trimmed down and ready to go, you can arrange

them on your storyboard and start creating your composite. Grab your chosen

clip and drag it down to the “Video” spot under “Timeline.” Drop it in place.

If you want to see your composite run, hit the play button down by “Timeline.”

 

Working on the Storyboard: Audio

But what about audio? Let’s say you don’t like your video’s

audio track and want to use something else. This requires two steps. One, you

must add music to your composite. Two, you must mute your video’s audio track.

 

To add music, take your music file and drag it to the “Audio/Music” spot just as

you dragged the video clip to the “Video” spot.

 

To mute the audio on a video clip, so that your added music can be heard clearly, expand the video options under timeline. It is a little “+” sign.

 

The expanded view shows both options for video audio and video transition.

Right click on the video’s audio component and select “Mute” from the options.

(You can mute the actual music file the same way should you so choose.)

But what if you don’t want to use an audio recording but would rather use the

audio track from a video (without the accompanying camera footage)? Easy.

Drag the video clip to the “Audio/Music” spot. This option will play the audio

track only while not playing the video.

 

Editing on the Storyboard

Now, let’s edit our music. When you mouse over the right edge of the music in

the storyboard it will bring up two little red arrows. You can drag these arrows to

trim down the music clip. These arrows can also be used in the same way to alter

the length of a video clip in the storyboard as an alternative to using the “Split”

option discussed above. You can also drag the clip to a different time on the

storyboard to create a gap or overlap it with another clip.

 

Title Slides

Excellent. We now have the basic form of our composite video in terms of the

main visual and audio components. Let’s add title slides. Go to your toolbar

under “Edit” and click on “Titles and credits.” From there you can select what

options you want such as where the title is placed on the storyboard, what the

font is, what the transition is, etc. (Note: Titles, like clips, can be dragged and

dropped so even if you chose “Title before selected clip” it is possible to move it

to a different point in your composite video should you wish to do that.)

 

Adding Transitions and Effects

There are other things you can do with your video such as insert transitions or

effects. As with everything else, it’s drag and drop. Grab the effect and drop it on the chosen clip. (The little blue box with the white star indicates there is an effect on that clip.)

 

Finishing

As you work, stop every so often to play your movie so you can “debug” if

necessary. Also, save often. Computers like to wait until you’re seven hours into

an eight hour project before dying. When you are finished, go to “File” and

“Publish” in order to publish your movie.

 

Good luck and have fun! 

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DragonLady
Buckhannon,WV
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February 17, 2012 - 11:28 pm
Member Since: February 11, 2012
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When I made my ad today I couldn't import MP4 video so I had to use Youtube's editing to cut the first 2 sec and the last 2 mins. I didn't realize that my Fuji film camera recorded videos in MP4. My Sony records WMV so I have no problem editing video with that camera. Just lack of lighting in my house.     

16 years of experience and relearning.

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Fiddle4Fun
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February 17, 2012 - 11:33 pm
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Yeah, I think MP4s have to be converted into a different file type first.

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TerryT
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February 18, 2012 - 4:23 am
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This is a really useful post. Thanks F4F, I will try it out as I am still trying to upload my technique to get some FMForum advice.
Neither my camera nor my IPhone seem to have very good recording quality, so maybe, by using this I can cut out the rubbish and leave in the not-so-rubbish pieces.

birthday_balloon

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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Oliver
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February 18, 2012 - 9:48 am
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I think it is against internet rules to post any really useful information regarding popular applications.   (but I'm glad you did!)

coffee2

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddle4Fun
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February 18, 2012 - 10:00 am
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You're right, Oliver.  I should go back and edit it to include long rants on everything wrong with the program in order to bring it into compliance with teh rulez of teh interwebs.  amuse 

 

@ Terry, I got really excited when I figured out that one could use the audio track from a video without including the video itself since my camera has a better microphone than my computer.  I also found it convenient to record myself playing the same thing ten times in a row and then editing it down to the best of them rather than recording myself ten separate times.  When I record, I leave a very obvious pause between repetitions so that it's easier to find that point to cut the video/audio.

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Gail
29 Palms, CA
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February 18, 2012 - 11:01 am
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Thanks Fiddle4Fun.  Very helpful.

thumbs-up

 

NO MORE ARITHMATIC!

dancingdancingdancingdancingdancing

I've learned so much from my mistakes that I've decided to make some more.

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Dee Major
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February 18, 2012 - 12:07 pm
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Congrats, Gail!  Makes life a little bit simpler.coffee

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al_th
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February 18, 2012 - 12:17 pm
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Congrats gail ! 

If you need so, i could explain how to convert some formats with useful tools so you can do what you want on your own computer.

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Gail
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February 18, 2012 - 3:29 pm
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Thanks, al_th.  I found a file converter that works great.  Now I just have to record something.

I've learned so much from my mistakes that I've decided to make some more.

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