Using Windows Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker is a video editing program bundled with Windows XP. WMM allows for capturing video and audio as well as importing images, video and audio files. Media clips are imported and stored in a “collection”. Components of the collection are dragged into the timeline and arranged to make a movie; Video effects, and transitions can be added. Titles and Credits can be applied before the movie is saved.

Making a Presentation with Windows Movie Maker

oPlanning the presentation

oGathering materials

oThe WMM Interface

oCreating a New Project

oImport images, audio, video

oCapturing Video

oUsing the Storyboard


oAdding Sound

oAdding Titles and Credits

oSaving the Movie

Planning the presentation

Begin by deciding what you want to present. What kinds of digital content will you include in your presentation? You can use a variety of digital media, including images, video and audio. You may want to write a script in advance in an effort to visualize the presentation.

Gathering materials

The Windows Movie Maker (WMM) program supports images, video and audio files. You can also add captions and titles to the presentation. Any other text will need to be placed in an image or movie file before it can be imported to the WMM presentation.

Open Windows Movie Make (WMM). This program is bundled with the Windows XP operating system, and should be found in the “Start” menu, under “Programs”. Alternatively, the program can be started by entering "moviemk" in the "Run" Start menu option.

The WMM Interface

The WMM Interface has four main sections, or panes: the Task Pane, the Timeline, the Preview Window, and the Collections pane.

The Tasks Pane includes all of the tools a developer needs in order to complete their presentation or movie project.

The Collections pane allows the developer to manage all of the resources (images, video and audio files) they will need for their project.

The Preview window is where the presentation is viewed before published, and the Timeline (or Storyboard) is where all of the images, video and audio files are arranged and organized for production.

Creating a New Project

To create a new project, choose “Save Project As” under the “File” menu, or click the “F12” key. Name your project something descriptive that will help you to distinguish it from other files and projects.

Import images, audio, video

Before you can create your presentation you will need to import all of the digital materials needed to complete the movie. If you haven’t already done so, copy any images, video and audio files you plan on using to your hard drive. Then import the files into your collection by selecting “Import into Collections” under the “File” menu, or you may choose to use one of the import tasks in the Tasks Pane, under “Capture Video”.

File types:

Audio files: .aif, .aifc, .aiff .asf, .au, .mp2, .mp3, .mpa, .snd, .wav, and .wma

Image files: .bmp, .dib, .emf, .gif, .jfif, .jpe, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .tif, .tiff, and .wmf

Video files: .asf, .avi, .m1v, .mp2, .mp2v, .mpe, .mpeg, .mpg, .mpv2, .wm, and .wmv

Capturing Video

You may choose to capture video with a Web cam or DV camera connected to your computer. Decide whether you want to use audio with your video before capturing. If you wish to use audio, I would recommend a script before recording.

Creating Clips

Once it has been added to the timeline, you can trim the video clip by playing it in the preview pane, pausing where you wish to make a cut, and selecting the trim button. This allows you to delete any unwanted portions, or split the video into scenes.

Using the Storyboard

The Storyboard and Timeline are really the same tool, only using different views. The Storyboard view allows for thumbnail images displayed in the order they are to be presented. This view works best for still images, and individual movie clips. The digital images in the collections pane will be dragged into the storyboard and arranged in the order they are to be presented in the movie. The Timeline view allows the developer to set the length of time the image, video and or audio files will be displayed. This view works best if most of the presentation will be video, or their will be overlapping audio tracks.


Transitions add a more polished look to the movie by smoothing out the changes from one clip, or image, to another. There are many different transition options to choose from. My favorites include the more subtle transitions such as fade or dissolve. Select transitions from the drop-down menu in the upper part of the application window. Make sure you are in the "storyboard" view and drag and drop the desired transition between clips and images.

Adding Sound

By expanding the audio track in the WMM timeline, you may modify the audio for the particular clip. If you wish to add music, or narrate the movie you can mute the clip soundtrack by right-clicking with your mouse and choosing "mute".

Adding Titles and Credits

Selecting "Make Titles or Credits" under Edit Movie in the Task Pane. You options include adding titles to the beginning or credits at the end, as well as titles before or following a clip. Titles may be place on a colored background or directly over a clip or image. Other option include changing text animation, font, and text size.

Saving the Movie

In the process of saving the movie file, you have several options regarding size and quality. Full screen requires the most memory and is often too large to deliver over the Internet - this may be suitable for CD or DVD. Generally, you want to use 1/3 to 1/4 for delivery on the computer screen, or over the Web. My preference is the "Save to my Computer" option, as it provides for the most options under "other settings".I like to use 320 x 240 and 150 - 340 Kbps for reasonable quality and size.