How To Use Windows Movie Maker
If you want to create quality digital scrapbooks or home movies, knowing how to use Windows Movie Maker is a must. Once you learn these basics, your projects will stand out and people will take notice.
To learn how to use Windows Movie Maker, you will need:
- Your camera
- Your computer
- A firewire or USB cable
- Windows Movie Maker (available on most PCs, or you can download it from Microsoft's "Software Updates" page)
- As you prepare to learn how to use Windows Movie Maker, make sure the program is open on your computer. Connect your camera to your computer with the cable. If you’re downloading pictures, click “Pictures” from Import in the Tasks sidebar on the left side of the screen. From the menu that opens, browse your camera for pictures to download. Select the pictures and click Import. Thumbnails will appear under "Imported Media." To download audio or video, repeat the process above by clicking “Videos” or “Audio or Music.” If you want video from your tape, select “From digital video camera.” Click OK.
- You are given three main choices for video settings. “Best quality for playback on my computer” is the best option for most videos. Select “Digital device format (DV-AVI)” if you want to record your project back onto the camera when you’re finished. Lastly, the “Other settings” box is for more advanced users familiar with specialized settings. Use this list only if you know what you’re doing, otherwise your video may capture incorrectly. Select and click Next.
- You must choose to capture the entire video or only parts of it. Check the “Show preview during capture” box in the lower left for Windows Movie Maker to display a preview of your tape as it’s captured. To capture the entire video, click Next.
- When you use Windows Movie Maker, it splices your video into separate files. If you want your video to be downloaded as one file instead, uncheck the “Create clips when wizard finishes” box. When your video is captured, click Finish.
- If you’re recording only part of the video, however, manually cue the tape where you want the download to begin. Click Next. The preview pane will display above the "Start Capture" button. Click this button and watch the preview to make sure you capture as much video as you want, then click "Stop Capture." Repeat this process if there are other parts of the tape you want to download.
- To arrange your media, click and drag your files into the “Drag media here” reel icons in the Storyboard view at the bottom of Movie Maker. The smaller boxes between the reels are transitions. If you want to transition between files, click Transitions under Edit in the Tasks sidebar. Drag your selections over the appropriate files. To lay effects of text over the media, select "Effects" or "Titles and Credits" in the sidebar and drag your choices where you want them in the Storyboard.
- If you want music or audio with your images, click View > Timeline. In Timeline you can view each line of media separately. Video on the timeline automatically inserts any recorded sound into the Audio timeline. Drag additional music or audio into the Audio/Music timeline where you want it to play. Transitions and Effects should be dragged into the Transition timeline, while the Titles and Credits go in Title Overlay. To narrate your project, connect a recording device to your computer and click Tools > Narrate Timeline. Start and stop the narration as needed.
- As you use Windows Movie Maker, it’s important to save your project often. Go to File > Save Project to save, or type Ctrl+S.
- When finished, choose a Publish option from the Tasks sidebar. To save your movie on your computer, click “This computer.” To burn to a DVD or CD, click “DVD” or “Recordable CD.” You can also email it (“E-mail”) or record it onto your camera (“Digital video camera”). Congratulations, you just made a movie!