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Windows Movie Maker Resources
Welcome to the Windows Movie Maker Rescources section of our website. Here we will do our best to provide you with as many resources suitable for Windows Movie Maker as possible, as well as tricks, tips and some cool techniques to make Movie Maker shine like professional video editing software. Yes, it really is possible; with a little creativity, some help with our free Windows Movie Maker add-ons, plug-ins, transitions, effects and titles, you'll be creating professional looking movies and videos in no time.
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To Tech or Not to Tech
Some of you may enjoy the technical side of creating effects, transitions and so forth for Windows Movie Maker, but no doubt many of you are just not interested in that aspect of video design. Not to worry, we have solutions for everyone, from how-to articles on creating your own special effects to ready-made files that need only be added to Windows Movie Maker to get those polished videos up and running. We'll help you every step of the way, so bookmark Nifter.com now because we've got a ton of great Movie Maker information, add-ons, plug-ins, effects, transitions, title screens and more all available to assist you with creating great-looking videos, movies, presentations or whatever it is you have in mind.
Windows Movie Maker Resources Index
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Make a Permanent Slideshow of Your Favorite Pictures
Article by Mark Simmons - Nifter.com
Copyright © 2009 Nifter.com All Rights Reserved
See end of article for reprint information.
Using Windows Movie Maker you can create beautiful slideshows of your favorite photographs complete with eye-catching transitions and audio. The best part of all is that it is easy to do. Note that we are assumming you have at least a beginners understanding of Movie Maker for this article. If you've never used the program before, give it a try. It will most likely be on your computer as it ships with newer versions of Windows (XP / Vista) and is an easy program to learn.
You've spent two weeks in the Bahamas, had a great time and took plenty of photos. You love showing them off to friends and family and they love seeing them - those crisp images of beautiful sunsets, beaches, interesting places and people - not to mention finding out what you were up to down there. (At least the parts you took pictures of anyway!) Displaying your pictures in a standard slideshow is fine, but it certainly doesn't have the effect, nor the appeal, a nice presentation with audio can offer. Get those pics into Movie Maker, add some cool transitions and music that relates to the slideshow and you'll have a presentation you can be proud of when family and friends come to take a look. You'll be able to save the entire trip as one movie file and remove all those pictures from your computer, opening up new space in the process. You just can't lose!
How to Proceed With Your Movie Maker Slideshow
The first thing to do is decide how long you would like each picture to be displayed for. The default in Windows Movie Maker is five seconds, but you should give that some thought. If you want to add transitions between the pictures (which you most certainly will) the length of the transition will cut into each picture's display time by about half. For example, if two pictures are being displayed for five seconds each and there is a one second transition between them, each picture will acutally be clearly shown for about 4-1/2 seconds each. This is because, at one second for the transition to to take place, the two pictures will overlap each other (displaying the transition) for that one second thus reducing the display time for each picture by half a second. Sounds confusing, yes, but it's really not of up up give it a second to sink in. Just remember that the transitions you add will cut down on the total length of time the picture is actually clear to the viewer. Adding a few photos with transitions and testing it out - seeing if you like the way it plays - before adding the full load of pictures is always a good idea.
To set a faster moving slideshow while still leaving time to get a decent look at the pictures, a four second image duration with one second transitions works well. To create a slideshow that allows more time to look over each image (without dragging it out too long) a six second picture display with a 1-1/2 second transition time frame looks very nice. Bottom line, choose what you like best while keeping in mind that your friends and family will probably not want to linger over each picture the same way you might. You have memories attached to those pictures; they are just looking at photographs. Show off your pics, but don't make them wish they hadn't come over to visit.
The Audio Track
Selecting the appropriate audio track is more important than you might think. Imagine to going to a friend's house to view a slideshow of their trip to Australia. As images of eye-popping ocean sunsets and serene evenings by the campfire in the outback begin to play, so does 'Y - M - C - A' the disco song from the seventies. Kind of puts an edge on an ocean sunset doesn't it? That may be an extreme case, but to others, music that is harsh to their ears will be just as irritating, in fact, you'll probably find that they come down with the flu just before your next slideshow.
When you come home from the Movie Theatre, could you list all the different types of music that were played in the film? Unlikely, because the music is not the focus of the event, even though its importance is immense. The film would not be the same without it, but for much of the time, it lays softly in the background creating and shifting moods with never the need to lift its immense head into view. The same can work for your slideshow. You may not want to take the time to find just the right music, but trust in it, as the extra time you take to create something special will have a lasting effect. Those who view your slideshow will go home with a great impression of both your trip, and how you managed to create such a cool display. They may not know why it made them feel good, but you will.
Tip: Calculate the rough length of your video / slidehow using the number of pictures x's the approximate length each will be shown for. (For example, 20 photos at 5 seconds each = 100 seconds.) With that calculation in mind, try to find music that is about the same length then adjust the slideshow to fit the music. It creates a much more professional feel and having the music and photographs fade away at the same time is definitely a moment that will be remembered.
Don't Be Irritating
One of the most irritating things about home-made videos (which is what your slideshow will actually be) is the fact that so many people have no problem abruptly cutting off the end and bringing the movie to a close in a jarring fashion. No matter how well done the main video was, you're left feeling cheated, and your impression of the video as a whole - not to mention the video creator - is less than stellar, to say the least. A video that starts in the same fashion is equally annoying. The number of videos on YouTube that begin with someone speaking - in the middle of a sentence! - is astounding. This problem is not going to bring the world crashing down, but if it's your video slideshow that begins like that, no doubt your viewers will be snickering before they see the first good shot of the bikini girl on the beach someone's husband or boyfriend 'accidentally' took.
One of the advantages of using Movie Maker to create a slideshow is that you can add a nice introduction and ending sequence, before and after the slideshow. This is especially nice if you're creating a video of important events, such as weddings. The point here is to do your best to create a video with a start, middle and end that presents reasonably well. It makes a huge difference. No one will argue that fussing for weeks over a slideshow of your vacation may be considered a little extreme, but at the same time, taking the time to do it right is always worth it. Remember that you may be watching the video 30 years from now, and when that time comes, you'll be happy you did it right.
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