AT Friday: Windows Live Movie Maker

Don’t be shy: you have the artistic talent in your blood. You have a unique view of the surroundings.  How about making a piece of video art in your style? You can definitely manifest your character, implicitly or explicitly, through the music, pictures, and video clips you have selected for your piece of art. What you need is simply a technical nudge on the back: here we have a simple yet powerful tool, Windows Live Movie Maker.

The first step is to create your new project. Let’s start by examine the main elements offered by this software. On the home tab, in the add section, you can firstly add media files (video/photo/webcam/snapshot/music), subtle or credits to your video. After adding the flesh to your project, you will observe a video track on the right side, with a vertical black line indicating which part you are currently playing on the left hand side. By dragging the vertical line, you can move to other moment of your video. You can also shift the sequence of your material by simply dragging them to different parts. For a single video track, there are three horizontal parallel lanes. The top lane indicates the music you have added. You can adjust the starting time or length of your chosen music by modifying the Options tab for music tools. The middle lane is visual material lane. You can edit it in the Edit, or video tools tab. The bottom lane is the text lane, which includes caption, subtitle and credits. You can edit those in the text tools.

For a single clip of video or music, split function is especially useful, for it allows you to break a media file into multiple parts at your selected time with ease. It is located in edit and options tabs. After splitting, you can then dragging each sub-division into their respective positions.

With these functionalities above, I believe that you can build your own art already. For a little more advanced usage, you can go to Home tab, AutoMovie themes section, or animation tab, or visual effects tab, to add styles to your video. Those functions are pretty straight forward: for most part, you just need to click on the style you would to apply to the currently selected video part.

Lastly, if you want to adjust the vertical/horizontal ratio of your video, or the weight of different sound track (from both the video and your music track), you can do it in the project tab.

-Hao Wan