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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.
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.
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
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.
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.)
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!
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.
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.
I am amazed at how old people of my age are.....
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.
@ 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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