10 Windows Movie Maker Tips

For anyone wanting to edit their home or amateur movie, what follows are 10 Windows Movie Maker tips that can make the process much easier. These Movie Maker tips reduce the amount of processing required of your computer and add a touch of professionalism to any project.

  1. Reduce the number of open programs. Windows Movie Maker doesn’t require a ton of space to operate. However, the size of your video or pictures may force it to use more of your computer’s resources. To keep it running smoothly, close as many programs as you can.
  2. Set the auto-save frequency to five minutes. You never know when the power will go out or your computer will crash. To keep your project current, change the auto-save to five minutes. To find it, click Tools > Options. Changing it to five minutes maintains a consistent save schedule and avoids you having to redo a large portion of your work in the case of technical difficulties.
  3. Speed up video capture by turning off the preview monitor. When your video is capturing to Movie Maker, it plays your video on a preview monitor. Depending on your system, this can be an enormous resource hog that makes your computer drag. To make it move faster, unclick the “Show preview during capture” box on the bottom left of the capture dialog box.
  4. Allow Movie Maker to divide your video into separate clips. This saves more time and resources in the video capture process. Movie Maker will always divide your clips and place them in sequential order inside the Imported Media screen, so there’s no confusion over how they should be arranged.
  5. Separate the audio track from your video. If want to edit the audio track attached to your video, click the Audio timeline under Video in the Timeline View and drag it into the Audio/Music timeline. This separates the audio and video and allows you edit the audio without editing the video, too.
  6. Fade and overlap for smoother cuts. If two video clips are laid side-by-side in the timeline, as your project plays a noticeable jump will occur at when it cuts from the first file to the second. To smooth this out and make it look professional, fade the last two- to three-tenths of the first video clip as well as the first two- to three-tenths of the second video. Then nudge the faded portion of the second file overtop the faded portion of the first. This also works with pictures.
  7. Flash credits beneath a fixed title. If you want a fixed title with flashing credits underneath, go to Edit > Titles and credits > Choose the title animation. Click Basic Title > Edit the Title Text. Type in the title, then click Add. The title will appear in your timeline. In the Preview monitor, press Play. When the title is on the monitor, click Pause. Go to Tools > Take Picture from Preview. The picture will appear in your Imported Media screen. Drag the picture into your timeline and select Edit > Titles and credits > Choose the animation title. Choose Subtitle (this makes sure your credits are positioned beneath the title). Enter the credits. You will need to repeat the Subtitle step if you have a lot of credits to add.
  8. Save time by opening your last project when you start Movie Maker. To avoid having to search for your current project, go to Tools > Options. Check the “Open last project on startup” box and hit Enter.
  9. Keep your information secure. If you’re about to publish your movie file and want to avoid giving away information about your project, go to Tools > Options. Check the “Do not include” box. This will keep your name, the title of the movie, the copyright, ratings, and comments from anyone who may view your movie.
  10. Upload from Movie Maker directly to YouTube. Movie Maker allows you to upload your finished movies into your YouTube account. Click on Publish > YouTube. A dialog box will ask for your login and password. If your Movie Maker does not show a YouTube option, go to the Windows Live Movie Maker site to download the newest version.
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