Many who use Pivot Stickfigure Animator wonder how to edit pivot animations on Windows Movie Maker. It's actually a fairly simple and straightforward process. Keep in mind, though, that the editing you can do on any file type is limited by the capabilities of the version of Movie Maker you're using. Versions 2.1 and 2.6 (for Windows XP and Vista, respectively) offer a few more options than Movie Maker 6 and Windows Movie Maker Live. Version 2.6 will also run on Windows 7.
To edit pivot animations on Windows Movie Maker, you will need:
- Pivot Stickfigure Animator
- Windows Movie Maker
- Open or download Pivot Stickfigure Animator. Here we will be addressing Pivot Stickfigure Animator version 2.2.5. Open the program if you already have it installed or download and install it if necessary.
- You can open an existing project or create a new one. To open an existing project, click "file" then click "open animation." To create a new project, just start building it frame by frame. When you're satisfied with your work, click "file", then "save." In the drop down box underneath where you type in a file name, choose either "safe as .gif" or "save as .bmp." No version of Windows Movie Maker recognizes Pivot Stick Animator's native file format, which is .piv, so it's important to choose one of the other file types if we want Movie Maker to accept it. If you choose to save as a gif, the program saves your project as one animated gif file with all your frames and actions intact. If you save as bitmap (bmp), each frame is saved individually, so you'll wind up with as many bmp files as there are frames. Choose whichever option you feel works best for your project, then close the animation program.
- Open Windows Movie Maker. Now Movie Maker can recognize your pivot animation as a file type it can import and work with. To import a file into Movie Maker on Windows XP, click "file," then "import into collections." On Vista and Windows 7, the import function is called "import media items." Navigate to your file and click "import." Your animation is ready to use. If it's a single gif file, simply drag it onto the storyboard in timeline view. You can click and drag to increase or decrease the amount of time you want the animation to run. You can also apply any of the Movie Maker video effects.
- If you went the bitmap route, you can drag and drop the images in storyboard or timeline view. Tell Movie Maker how long to display each image by clicking "tools," "options," then choosing the "advanced" tab. Adjust the display time to your liking. A one-second display gives an interesting flip-book effect to the animation. And here's a tip: set the display time before you add the images to the storyboard. If you change it after you've added images, the new time will only apply to images added after the change. When you're finished editing your project, choose "save movie file" under the file tab (in XP) or "publish movie" (Vista, 7) and you're done.