When you first run Windows Live Movie Maker (after downloading it from download.live.com), you’ll notice it uses the Ribbon menu. If you’re an Office 2007 user, you know how the Ribbon improves your workflow by enabling you to hover over a menu item and seeing its effect on your work; if you decide to use a particular style, then a click makes the change.
To add videos and photos to your creation, simply drag and drop them from Live Photo Gallery onto Live Movie Maker’s work area. You can then drag and drop these photos and videos around the work area to put them into the required order.
Under the Animations tab you have access to a whole range of transitions and pan and zoom styles. To make life easier, you can select a range of photos and apply the same pan and zoom style to the group.
There are a number of choices of format in which you can output your finished product including 720p and 1080p high-definition video. As well you have the choice of 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios.
Using Auto Movie
From feedback received by the Live Movie Maker team, people wanted a simple and quick way to create a finished movie – the Auto Movie feature on the Home tab enables you to do this. After you’ve loaded in your photos (and videos), a click on Auto Movie will get Live Movie Maker to stitch together your photos (and videos, with effects and transitions. As well you have the option to add a sound track and that will be automatically adjusted to the length of your movie. Job done in just a minute or two.
Shooting your own videos is a hobby for many people who own a video camera but the editing process can be complicated and very time consuming. By using Auto Movie you can produce a finished product that has enough visual effects to keep your audience’s attention. Of course, you can spend more time editing and adding visual effects if that’s what you want.
Titles and captions
It’s easy to add a title to the beginning of your movie (you can add credits, too). As well, you may want to add captions to your photos to point out a feature to your audience.
Captions can be moved around a photo so they’re located in the most suitable part of the photo for viewing and you can change the font and colour. As well there are a range of effects you can apply to your text such as fade, stretch and fly-in.
Visual effects – panning and zooming
There are eighteen different panning and zooming effects such as zoom-in centre, zoom-in top right and zoom out right. Using panning and zooming you can fade in or out on a particular part of a photo or video to bring it to the viewer’s attention. You can select a group of photos, for example, and apply the same pan and zoom effect to the whole group.
There are sixty transitions from which to choose. Remember to use transitions sparingly otherwise your viewers will be feeling dizzy. Use transitions, for example, to break up groups of photos to inform the user a new theme is about to start.
On the far right of the Home tab you’ll see some of the options you have for creating your movie; click for more options. You’ll see you can output in standard definition, high definition (both 720p and 1080p), burn a DVD and easily upload to either YouTube (you’ll need a free account) or your Facebook site.
If you’ll be using Windows 7, then you’ll have more output options including QuickTime MOV files and H.264 for high definition (these formats are built into Windows 7 as part of the operating system).
To let others view your work of art, Live Movie Maker offers an easy way to upload to your YouTube or Facebook site (other services will be integrated soon). Uploading to YouTube does so in 720p format so you don’t have to worry about uploading twice, one for standard definition and a second video in HD format. Bear in mind that YouTube’s free service limits you to a ten-minute maximum length video.
It’s best to leave the YouTube upload to last since you won’t be able to use Live Movie Maker until the upload finishes. Both the upload and processing on YouTube can take some time so plan for a long cuppa.
For those who enjoyed working with Photo Story for Windows (the only option available to Windows XP users) to create video masterpieces, you’ll find Windows Live Movie Maker far more productive and efficient with much better output options in keeping with HD television sets, set top boxes and DVD players that are now available for playback.
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Posted using the 2009 version of Windows Live Writer.
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