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- Importing photos, video, and audio from a camera or other source
- Adding and modifying titles
- Trimming and splitting video clips
- Adjusting music volume, fading, splitting, and timing options
- Creating transitions between clips
- Panning and zooming photos
- Making a movie from Windows Live Photo Gallery
- Creating slow motion video
Skill Level Beginner
Once you have Movie Maker installed, it's time to launch it, and from Windows, just click your Start button. You can start typing in "Movie Maker" in the Search field or click All Programs, and you'll notice Windows Live Movie Maker is installed in the root directory, so it's easy to find. I'll just give it a click to launch the application. Now, it's time to get comfortable in our surroundings, so we'll take a quick tour of the user interface, starting at the very top where we see the title bar: Windows Live Movie Maker. You'll also see the name of your project here. In this case, because we're starting a new project when we launch Movie Maker, you'll always see My Movie up there.
Of course, when you go to save your project, you'll give it a different name. Just to left of the title bar is the Quick Access Toolbar with shortcut buttons to commands you might use more often, like Saving, Undo, and Redo: the default buttons. Of course, you can click the dropdown and add any that don't have check marks-- like New Project and Open--or remove existing ones that do have check marks by selecting them. So you can see really customize your Quick Access Toolbar. We'll click that same button, or click the title bar to close that up. Now, down below the Quick Access Toolbar is the biggest change. And if you've used any of the newer programs in Windows, you might already be familiar with the Ribbon.
The Ribbon is broken up into several tabs, and these tabs, as you click them, you'll notice groups of commands. For example, on the Home tab, we have the Clipboard, the Add group, AutoMovie themes. All of these commands are organized so they're easy to find. You'll spend a lot less time searching for commands and more time actually creating your movies here in Movie Maker, thanks to this new interface. Now, down below the Ribbon, you'll find two panes: on the left-hand side, the Preview pane where you'll see a preview of your project; on the right-hand side, the storyboard pane, which has a link with any new project to browse for videos and photos that you want to add to the storyboard.
If you've used previous versions of Movie Maker, you're going to notice something is missing, and that is the timeline. The timeline is gone. You're going to be working in the storyboard now for adding your assets, like photos, videos, music, credits. So if you've got titles or closing credits that you want to add, all of that's done now on the storyboard. To see what this looks like, let's open up a project. We're going to go to the very first tab now on the Ribbon, which is the Movie Maker tab, and this is similar to clicking a File menu in most programs. You'll see file-related commands for creating new projects, opening, saving, importing, et cetera.
On the right, you'll see recent projects that you worked on in order, from the most recent at the top to some older ones down below. Now, as you start working on multiple projects, you may want to keep certain ones on this list, and you can do that by clicking a pushpin. It will always appear on the list, no matter how many new projects you create, as the older ones get pushed down. And you can deselect the Pushpin by selecting it again with your mouse. Let's click Open and go to our exercise files, to the 01_02 subfolder. You'll find one called My Beach Movie.
Notice the extension WLMP, Windows Live Movie Maker Project. That's what that stands for. Now, when you click Open, you'll notice on the storyboard we have things like music files. Here is a song by the Jellybricks. We have photos. Here you'll see a title, for example. You'll also see, in the bottom left-hand corner, these little triangles indicating there are special effects like transitions. So all of this appears on the storyboard, and on the left-hand side, we have our Preview pane where we can click Play to preview our movies.
So let's give it a click. The Play button will turn into a Pause button, so you can pause at anytime. (Clip playing.) So there is an example of previewing exactly what you've set up on your storyboard. There are so many tools available to you now on the Ribbon when working with a project. You'll notice that it's context-sensitive; a couple of new tabs have shown up.
Once we start adding photos or video and so on--even music-- we'll see new tabs appear at the end, like the Edit tab for Video tools. Then we've got the Options tab for Music tools. On our Preview pane, you'll also notice a time count, and this little button that allows us to preview it in fullscreen. Function key 11, F11, is your keyboard shortcut to preview in fullscreen, and you'll have some options there for working with your project as well. So let's give it a click. (Clip playing.) When you click back to movie, you're still previewing, but you're not in a full screen. And you can click Pause at anytime to stop what you're previewing.
Now, down at the very bottom, the items are listed. So in this case, we're using a number of photographs. There are 54 of them altogether. Currently in our preview, you can see I'm at Item 6. But as you click the different items down below, you'll see they're all numbered, as you click those thumbnails. And notice, too, that the thumbnails go from left to right and then you come back over to the left-hand side, unlike a timeline where you have to shift from left to right and zooming in and out to be able to see each of your clips. We have a scrollbar on the right to scroll down. It's more like reading a book, going from left to right and down the page.
Now, if you want to be able to see your whole project in one storyboard, you have a Zoom option down below. This allows you to zoom the timescale, not the thumbnails themselves. So if we click the Zoom out or the Minus button, you can see we're zooming out. And we can even use this slider to move all the way left or all the way right to zoom in. So it allows you to zoom down or up the timescale. Now, the actual thumbnails themselves can be adjusted by going to the middle section. Right in between our preview and storyboard, there is a divider.
When you see that double arrow, you can click and drag it over to the right to decrease the storyboard and increase the preview, or go to the left, if you're not too concerned with the Preview pane and you want to be able to see more thumbnails in your storyboard. So it's totally customizable. So you should now be feeling quite comfortable in your new surroundings here. The user interface for Movie Maker has been totally redesigned to make it easier for you to create your projects, to work in the storyboard without a confusing timeline. Quite often, some of the steps that are involved--for example--to add a title, which used to be four clicks, is down to one now.
So you're going to see all of this as we begin to move through the various chapters in this title, creating your Movie Maker projects.