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I’ve been editing business and personal growth videos over the past 9 months with tremendous success using the free version of Windows Live Movie Maker. I even have a copy of Adobe Premier Pro but adore the simplicity that Movie Maker provides.
IF YOU DON’T ALREADY HAVE IT ON YOUR COMPUTER, it’s a good idea to download this fantastic program before it is no longer available as support ceases in January 2017.
Below is a sample of what’s possible to achieve with ease and fairly quickly too, especially as you become more familiar with this excellent Video Editing Program.
How This Video Was Taken
The video above was captured using my Samsung Galaxy S6 on a selfie stick held in front of me and slightly above my head and looking down. I find this position to give the most flattering angles. Leaning the stick against my arm keeps it fairly stable as I pan around myself to take in the background scenery as well.
Simple Transitions And Effects
Instead of using a Credit right at the beginning, I’ve chosen a Text Caption as an overlay on top of a black and white effect of footage duplicated before the actual video begins, which provides an interesting introduction. You’ll notice that I also slowed in down by about half and blurred it as well as the added text scrolls up slowly enough to be read easily, before it slides out of view.
I’ve then used a darkened blur before the full colour normal speed footage begins and fade out to black right at the end.
Adding a Logo
I use a text logo with my name in all my videos and position it in whatever corner provides me with the most space or the least amount of distracting elements in the background. Whatever fonts you have on your computer can be used and I believe there is a way you can add your existing logo as a font, but have never tried it for myself. On the HOME TAB, select caption, and under TEXT TOOLS >> format, I have chose the cinematic – burst 2 text effect which matches the cinematic – burst 1 which I used in place of the credit right in the beginning.
Animations That Add Movement
To achieve a more professional look to a fairly still video, I often use Animations that Pan and Zoom. If in one section I have zoomed IN to the left, in the next clip I will tend to zoom OUT from the left to keep the movement fluid. Sometimes if my clip has too much head room, I will use the pan effect across the bottom section of the video to draw my subject in closer. Again, if I pan from left to right across the bottom, I will then start from the bottom right (where I left off) and either pan left or zoom out from that same position.
How To Make Clip Cuts Smooth
If ever I need to edit sections out of my video footage or split the clips for any other reason, I always prefer to use the “blur” animation between splits. If the video is dark, I use the “blur through black” to give a really nice look. This also blurs the video audio as the transition passes so it can be set to a short .25 of a second or up to 6 seconds by typing in the 6.00 into the duration box. The long transition is especially beautiful to use with scenery as each section melts into the next
Although I didn’t even try to use the video stabilization feature with this mini-movie, it’s a fantastic option that Movie Maker provides to reduce the natural shake and wobble from hand holding my selfie-stick.
Including Appropriate Music
I deliberately chose some pan flute music that blends gently in with the frogs and crickets chirping in the forest here. There are two ways to choose the music volume:
- Select the Project Tab >> Emphasize Narration. Just to the left you are given the option to use an “audio mixer” with a slider. Here you can adjust the volume throughout the entire audio to suit your taste.
- Select the Music Tools Tab >> Music Volume on the far left of your screen. There you can also choose how you want to fade your music volume in at the beginning and end.
Fading The Music and Video In And Out
Fading the video sound (under the Video Tools Tab) and music volume (under the Music Tools Tab) at the beginning and end adds to the smooth professional feel of a production. Test whether slow, medium or fast suits your particular video and adjust accordingly.
Let me know if this has raised any further questions by commenting in the box below. I’m more than happy to help where I can. The quality, ease and speed of my work has improved out of sight since I’ve started editing my own videos again. Kindest wishes ~ Elizabeth Richardson
It’s funny…I have an entire website devoted to making mini movies using Windows Movie Maker including tutorials and fixes for any problems that might occur…then I tried Photo Story.
And that’s really the END of the story, because Photo Story wins hands down.
The main differences are that the pan and zoom effects can be controlled, the automated video feature presets are good enough for a professional finish and it doesn’t crash or freeze like Movie Maker does. It’s a fantastic way to add life, depth and movement to your digital photos. It walks you through the process of adding background music and narrating your own moving slide show. The step-by-step instructions are simply excellent.
Photo Story is free to download from the Microsoft website, provided you have a valid copy of Windows…and it’s so simple to use my 9 year old daughter introduced me to it. The help program is easy to access and answers all the questions you could ask.
Well, I won’t need to make any tutorials or create a new website for Photo Story…at this point, I can’t fault it!