If you’ve read our Explained guide to using your Advent PC as a movie-editing machine, you’ll realise how easy it is to take all that raw video and turn it into a professionally edited movie complete with transitions and other special effects. Better still, you don’t need to pay a penny for basic movie-editing capabilities. All you need is Windows Live Movie Maker, which comes preinstalled on all new Advent PCs, and can be downloaded separately as part of Windows Live Essentials.
In this guide we’ll show you exactly how to add your video to the program, edit it, add special effects and finally share it with others, whether via the internet or by burning a DVD .
1. Import video
Open Windows Live Movie Maker from the Start > All Programs menu. There are three ways in which to add video to your movie:
- By adding files you’ve transferred from your camera to your hard disk
- Importing them from a connected digital camcorder
- By recording new footage using your webcam .
In most cases, you’ll want to use video already transferred to your hard disk. Click Add Videos or Photos to get started.
2. Select video files
Browse the folder containing your video footage, typically your Videos library or folder. If you need to import more than one video file, hold the [Ctrl] key as you click each video you wish to import. Once selected, click Open and the video will be transferred across to Windows Live Movie Maker.
3. Change running order
Each clip is shown in the order it will be played in the timeline window on the right. Changing the running order of your movie is simple: just click and hold the mouse on one video clip, then drag it to its new position in the timeframe.
4. Edit clips
Select a clip by clicking it, and a preview window will appear in the left-hand pane. If you only want part of the clip, you can trim its beginning and end. You can use the playback controls in the preview window or the time marker in the timeline window to position your clip where you want it to start. Once done, right-click the clip on the timeline window and choose Set Start Point.
5. Set end point and trim
Windows Live Movie Maker will automatically remove the unwanted portion from the beginning of the clip. If you make a mistake, click Undo above the Home tab or press [Ctrl] + [Z] to start again. Now use the time marker or playback controls to select the point at which you want the clip to end, then right-click again and choose Set Start End Point to finish trimming the clip.
6. Split clips
If you have a long piece of footage you’d like to trim in various places, first split the clip into separate pieces. To do this, choose a rough point in the clip where you’d like the break to occur, then right-click and choose Split to divide it into two separate clips, each of which can now be trimmed independently of the other. Note the original video files are left untouched, only the footage in Windows Live Movie Maker is edited.
7. Finish editing
Switch to the File tab and choose Save Project, give it a suitable name and click Save. Now continue editing the rest of your movie until all the clips have been arranged and trimmed to your satisfaction. Press [Ctrl] + [S] at regular intervals to save your changes.
8. Add transitions
As things stand, your edited video is a little rough around the edges. Start tidying it up by smoothing the transitions between clips using effects such as a fade or wipe. It’s a good idea to stick to a single transition effect. To do this, press [Ctrl] + [A] to select all of your clips in the timeline window, then switch to the Animations tab on the ribbon.
9. Pick a transition
Click the down-arrow next to the Transitions box to reveal all available transitions. Roll your mouse over a transition to see how that transition effect will look in the preview window. Use the vertical scrollbar to the right of the effects to reveal more transitions. When you’ve found a transition you like, click it to select.
10. Add a title sequence and credits
Switch back to the Home tab and click Title. This will place a title at the beginning of your movie. Type in the name of your movie, then use the formatting controls to change the font, style and background colour. Use the Effects section to choose a transition effect for the text. Once you’ve done this, switch back to the Home tab and click Credits to add a credits sequence at the end of your movie. Click the dropdown arrow next to Credits to choose extra credit slides such as director, star and location. Add as many as you need.
11. Add a soundtrack
Add a background music track by switching to the Home tab and clicking Add Music. Browse your Music folder for a suitable track to play over your movie. You should see it appear in a green strip above the video in your timeline. It’s unlikely the music track length fits exactly, so switch to the Options tab under Music Tools and set the Fade Out dropdown menu to Slow, Medium or Fast in order to fade the music as the video comes to an end.
12. Publish your movie
Once your movie is finished, you can publish it to share with others. If uploading to a web service like YouTube, Facebook or Microsoft SkyDrive, click the relevant button in the Share section of the ribbon and follow the instructions. To burn the movie to a disc playable on any DVD or Blu-ray player, click the Save Movie button and choose Burn DVD , then follow the instructions.