Digital Video Techniques

Movie Maker Tutorial Exercises

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1.  Understanding clips

The source media is your original file.  It remains independent of what you do to it in Movie Maker, i.e., it will not be changed.  A Collection Clip is merely a reference to the source clip, as is a clip in the Storyboard or Timeline (two separate references).  

You can delete a clip from your Collections, but if it was used in Storyboard or Timeline, it remains there.  And, again, nothing has happened to the original source media file.

You can rename a Collections clip and the same clip used in Storyboard or Timeline remains unchanged.  (You cannot change the name of a clip in Timeline.)

You can drag a renamed Collections clip into Timeline, thereby having the same clip with two different names.

*Sooo, clips in Collections can be discarded after they've been added to a project, if desired.

Nothing you do in Movie Maker will change the original source file.

2.  Splitting clips automatically

If you have one lonnnnnng video clip, you can create shorter clips at any point.  Right-click the file and select Create Clips.  If there are scene changes, Movie Maker will automatically divide the original clip at the scene changes.  The newly created clips will appear in the Collections Contents pane.

You won't be able to create additional clips from these clips using Create Clips because there are no longer scene changes within each clip.  But there are other ways ....  ;-)

3.  Splitting clips manually

You can do a manual split in either the Collections Contents pane or in Timeline View.  *A change made in one does not affect the other.

In either location, click the clip once to highlight it.  Then, in the Preview Monitor pane, drag the play head to the point where you want to make the split.  *You can fine tune it with the next-frame and previous-frame buttons. 

When you find the exact point where you want to create a split, click the split button.    If you are in Timeline view, now another clip will appear in the track.  If you made the split in the Collections Contents pane, a new clip will appear.  The new clip can be dragged to a new location or deleted.  Again, what you do in the Timeline does not affect what you do in Collections, and vice versa.

4.  Combining clips

You can combine clips, or recombine previously split clips, by shift-clicking each one.  Then, go to the Clip menu and select Combine.  The keyboard shortcut is Control+M.

5.  Trimming clips in the preview monitor

Trimming clips in the Preview Monitor is the most precise method.  For example, click on a clip in Timeline and it will be displayed in the Preview Monitor.  Drag the play head to the location where you want to trim.  Again, use the next-frame and previous-frame buttons to fine tune.    Note that the blue I-beam moves accordingly in the Timeline.

When you are at the desired trim point, go to Clip and select Set Start Trim Point. Next, find the end trim point in the same manner.  When you are ready, go to Clip and select Set End Trim Point.  You will have deleted unwanted content from the beginning and ending of your clip.

Grayed areas in the Timeline are an indication of how much of the clip is still there but not visible.  To undo, go to Clip and select Clear Trim Points.  Or use the Undo button.

6.  Nudging clips

You can nudge a clip forward or backward one frame at a time.  This could come in handy if cross-fading.

Have two clips in the Timeline.  Drag the right one over the left one to create a fade.  Select the last clip--click on it to highlight it.  Go to Clip.  Select Nudge Left (or Right).  The keyboard shortcuts for nudging involve three keys.  Argh.

  • Nudge left = Control+Shift+B
  • Nudge right = Control+Shift+N

You can nudge multiple times to fine tune fades, if necessary.

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