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Live Movie Maker tips and how-to’s – webDotWiz Online Sep 10 2009

Adding photos to Live Movie Maker


We’ll be concentrating on using a number of our photos to create a movie in Live Movie Maker. So load Live Photo Gallery and select some photos. Now go to the Make menu and choose Make a movie… from the drop down list. Live Movie Maker will load with the photos you chose set out in the storyboard.

To start your movie it’s a little easier to add groups of photos of a particular subject (that is, photos you’ve tagged with a particular description or containing certain people) one at a time and check you’ve got them in the order you want. Simply drag and drop photos on the storyboard to put them in order.

To add more photos you’ve organised under a different tag, select them in Live Photo Gallery and once again choose Make a movie… from the Make menu. They’ll be added to the photos you already have in Live Movie Maker.

Another option to add photos to Live Movie Maker is to use drag and drop, as mentioned in the last column.

Using Auto Movie

Once you’ve got all your photos into Live Movie Maker, the quick way to create a movie is to use the Auto Movie feature on the Home menu.


When you click Auto Movie you’ll be informed that a cross-fade transition and panning and zooming will be added to each photo. As well, you can choose to add a song to your project at this stage or leave until later; if you choose the latter, see below.

You’ll now find that each photo has two icons, one indicating a simple transition and the other to tell you a pan effect has been applied.



As well Title and Credits frames have been added. You may not want white text on a black background for the title and credits but you can use the Text Tools under the Format menu to make changes. Simply click on the titles frame to bring up your editing options. Note, too, you have three options for animating your title and credit text.

Add music


Back on the Home tab you have the option to Add Music to your movie. If you click the little arrow you’ll see you have the choice to add music at the current point on the storyboard.

When you choose to add music, you’ll be taken to your music folder. You can add common formats such as MP3s and WMA files; for other formats, check Help. After adding a song, Live Movie Maker will adjust the duration time for which each photo displays so that the length of the song coincides with a certain number of photos.

If your first piece of music won’t play for the complete movie, place the position point on the first photo where you want to add another song, click Add Music and choose the option to add music at the current point.

Add transitions


Remember to not overwhelm your audience by using a whole range of different transitions in your movie. However, each photo in a movie needs a simple transition to bring it to life. Choose the crossfade transition (applied by Auto Movie) at least. You’re able to select a range of photos in the normal way, that is, click on the first photo and then hold down the Shift key while clicking the last photo in the range, and then apply a transition to the range.

Even if you’ve used Live Movie Maker’s Auto Movie option, you can change transitions on your photos. For example, you may want to indicate a change of theme in your movie – use a different transition to achieve this effect.

Hovering over any photo gives you information as to the transition applied (if any) and the pan and zoom effect (if any) so it’s easy to check what animations you’ve used.

Add pan and zoom

As with transitions, you can select a range of photos on which to apply a certain pan and zoom animation effect.

To help make a choice, use the ribbon feature that enables you to hover over a certain pan and zoom and see the effect take place. Once you’ve decided, click on that effect.

Output options


You have a range of output options for your movie: standard definitiion, 720p high definition, 1080p high definition, and 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios. As well you can have Live Movie Maker create your movie and upload it to YouTube (you’ll need to create a free account if you haven’t already got one). Remember YouTube’s free service limits you a ten minute maximum movie length.

After you’ve output your movie in the desired format, you’ll need to burn it to a DVD disc using Windows DVD Maker. DVD-R format discs are known to work on all DVD players that the webDotWizards have tried.

DVD Maker

On the Home tab, at the right-hand end, are various output options; click the little arrow to bring up the Burn a DVD option on the second row of options. This choice will output your movie in 720p high definition format onto a DVD and then you can view your work of art on your HD TV set.

If you want to view your movie in either standard definition or 1080p high definition format, you’ll need to get Live Movie Maker to create your movie, start Windows DVD Maker, add your movie, customise the menu if you want, and then burn your DVD.

Saving your work

At each stage, you’re able to save your work:

  • as a Live Movie Maker project which contains the list of photos and videos, transitions and pan and zooms you’ve applied, title, captions, credit and music selection so you can return to make edits after viewing your first movie output (if you want to output your movie in a different format, you’ll need to return to the Live Movie Maker project);
  • the actual movie in your chosen output format;
  • the Windows DVD Maker project (you might end up burning more than one movie onto a DVD to use up the 150 minutes available and have edited the menu and added some notes).

There’s only one way to see how your photos and videos will turn out and that’s to get started using Windows Live Movie Maker. Use the built-in Help when you want to check out a feature and you’ll find some good, short videos on how to do most things at moviemakerpreview.com.



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Posted using the 2009 version of Windows Live Writer.

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