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Video Editing with Movie Maker

Lightweight recommendations for creating effective audio and video content.

Installation

Windows Movie Maker is a free video editing software available on Windows computers. It may already be installed on your computer by default, if not, go to the Movie Maker download page to download and install the software. Note: Windows Moviemaker is no longer available for download as of January 2017.

Import video & images

In the Home tab, click the Add Videos and Photos button. A dialog box should open allowing you to select files to import. Once they are imported you will see them as a timeline in the middle potion of the screen, as well as a preview viewer on the left hand side. You can use your mouse to drag and drop clips in different order. 

Clicking on a clip will give you access to the Video Tools Editing tab, here you can adjust the duration of images. You can also us the Split tool to cut a video clip in half at whatever point the cursor is at in the video. Use the preview window to find the frame you wish to split at, press Split, and you will have two clips that can be worked with independently, deleted, etc.

Import audio

On the Home tab, you should see an Add Music button now active. Click it to add an audio file to your project. It will automatically scale the audio file to fit the length of any images/video clips you have. If your audio file is longer than the clips you’ll need to increase the number of duration of the clips to match the end of your audio. For a podcast, you may find it easier to add one stock image at the beginning of the project and set the length of that image to longer than your audio. Then build your project as normal in front of that image until you reach the end of your audio, then remove the stock image at the very end. 

Titles & captions

On the Home Tab you should see buttons for adding Titles, Captions, and Credits. Titles and Credits will add a title or credit slide to the video, allowing you to add text over a background color. You can change size, font, etc. in the appropriate tab that activates when you click on either. Captions allow you to add text over existing clips. You can move the text box in the preview window to better accommodate your clip.

Animations & visual effects

These tabs allow you to edit you clips directly, adding visual filters or animation. Some particularly useful ones are the pan and zoom options for still images, to give your video a bit more flair. Transitions are placed in between clips to ease the change between them. It is good practice to only use one or two transitions in your project to keep things professional.

Save & export video

You have two save options, Save Project and Save Movie. Save Project saves a file only readable by Movie Maker, and is useful to preserve your work while editing or if you need to come back and continue editing later. If you are ready to turn in your podcast you will need to use the Save Movie option, which compiles the video file in a .wmv file that you can upload to YouTube. The best option is to use the “For High Definition Display” option for an HD file.