Digital Video Techniques

Movie Maker Tutorial Exercises

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1.  Getting to know the interface

Click on the Movie Maker icon on your desktop: 

Do a little experimenting.  Click on the Tasks icon for a view of the various tasks. 
Examine each option under:  (1) Capture video, (2) Edit movie, (3) Finish movie, (4) Movie-making tips.

Next, click on the Collections icon. 
Examine the layout.  Several short clips should appear.

In the bottom half of the screen are these two icons:  (1) Show Timeline, (2) Show Storyboard.   
These icons toggle between the two views.

Lastly, experiment with resizing the various panes, as described in the tutorial.  

2.  Understanding projects, movies and source files

Remember, a Project is not a movie, but simply the file that contains all the information about the files that have been imported into or captured in the current project.  It is a list of your decisions--in essence, a map.

Let's create a sample project.  Under My Documents, create a temporary folder for experimental storage.  Then, back in Movie Maker, import a few clips, still photos, or whatever. Next, click on File; then, Save Project. Close Movie Maker, then, reopen it, and from File, select Open Project.  Voila!

Next, move one of the Source files you have used to another folder on the computer.  Note that it is no longer available because Movie Maker cannot find it.

3.  Getting familiar with the toolbar

The toolbar should look quite familiar to you from using other programs.  Simply take a few moments, to look at the various options available via the following menu options:  File, Edit, View, Tools, Clip, Play, Help.

Next, hold your mouse pointer over of the various menu icons you see to learn what each does.

4.  Using the undo and redo buttons

As with many programs, there are a number of ways to accomplish a particular task.  Movie Maker offers icons for Undo and Redo .

To undo the last task, simply click on the "backward" blue arrow.  To undo more than one action, click on the small triangular arrow next to the undo arrow.  Move the mouse over as many actions as you would like to undo. The same holds true for the blue redo arrow.  Give both a try!

One can also accomplish undo and redo functions by clicking on Edit in the toolbar and selecting either option.  

Keyboard shortcuts are:  Undo = Control + Z.  Redo = Control + Y.

5.  Setting general tools options

Click on Tools and select Options.  Here under the General tab you will make important choices regarding the functioning of Movie Maker.  

The Default Author window will display information in media players, so be aware that others may view what you type here, if anything.

Next, you may choose a location for temporary file storage.  Be sure there is ample room!

Place a check in the three boxes depending upon your preferences.  You may change the default auto-save time from 10 minutes to another duration.  Check the codecs box if you want Movie Maker to automatically search the web if your computer is missing something required to play a particular file type.  (A codec is an abbreviation for compressor/decompressor--software or hardware used to compress or decompress digital media.)

6.  Setting advanced tools options

Again, click on Tools and select Options.  Here under the Advanced tab you will make further important choices regarding the functioning of Movie Maker.  

Here you will see options for changing the duration of inserted pictures and transitions between clips.  

Regarding video properties, the default setting is:  NTSC and 4:3.  (PAL is used in Europe and other locations.  The 16:9 ratio is a wide-screen ratio setting.)

You may also select the maximum file size to be included in an e-mail.  The default setting is a very practical 1MB.

7.  Using Movie Maker help

Explore Movie Maker's Help section in the toolbar.  It contains the usual Contents, Index and Search options.  Click the box with the + in it to expand to additional topics.  Also, you can resize by positioning the mouse on the vertical bar separating the two panes.

8.  Visiting the Movie Maker web site

Occasionally visiting the Movie Maker web site can be productive.  Sometimes new features are available for free download.  Also third-party products are advertised.  Click on Help and select Windows Movie Maker on the Web.  There are also a number of tutorials available on this site.

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