Product Type: Microsoft in Multimedia
Newest Review: ... save and upload the finished product fully, so you have to have some patience. You also have to have a good internet connection because I h... more
Basic Stuff With The Windows LIVE Movie Maker
Windows Movie Maker
Member Name: Goonerette89
Windows Movie Maker
Date: 14/04/12, updated on 14/04/12 (37 review reads)
Advantages: Simple to use and it's free!
Disadvantages: Very limited effects, it can crash and quality is poorer with video clips.
Windows LIVE Movie Maker (which replaced Windows Movie Maker on Windows 7)
I'm messing around with this at the moment so since I haven't submitted a review in a while I figured I would write about this particular programme that came built-in free within the operating system of my Windows 7 laptop. I presume also that Windows Movie Maker will be phased out in favour of this one. I try my best not to abbreviate if possible but I hope you don't mind if I refer to it as WLMM from now on!
I have already used this to upload one or two basic videos to YouTube up until I bought a better video editing package by Sony. Sadly my laptop went and broke and this year I replaced it but cannot find the software to that now so I'm back to the old, cheap Microsoft package. Firstly I replaced this with paid software because this one was too basic to create so-called 'movies' from video and film clips. It kept crashing and crashing and crashing, every time I attempted to put film clips onto the timeline and create a movie.
Nonetheless I eventually managed to make a movie set to some of my favourite old classic couples on film coupled with an old jazz song that hadn't then been uploaded to YouTube. I thought that the combination of film clips and song was a perfect, romantic match and it would be a great, first film-clip movie to make. There's no difficulty to create any of this in comparison to the paid software you can buy, which can be quite complicated to the beginner; the problem was that the heavier the media content added to your movie, the more it would annoyingly crash. So first rule, as with everything on your computer: save consistently. I added clips and cut them to the perfect moment but it became tougher and tougher to stay patient because it felt as though WLMM couldn't take any more. I ended up settling with less than ten clips because I'm sure it wouldn't have saved and uploaded with any more.
I also made one or two videos with just a song and some pictures. This time, it didn't crash and it was easy, albeit basic, as anything. It was also a lot quicker to upload to YouTube than the movie with film clips. That said, it does take quite a few minutes to save and upload the finished product fully, so you have to have some patience. You also have to have a good internet connection because I have noticed if I don't, I can waste a lot of time waiting and assuming it is uploading when in fact it completely fails to upload by the end of it. That's not necessarily a WLMM flaw, of course.
I must say to not be fooled by what you see when as you're in the process of creating your movie, and the final product, because more often than not, the final product is a better outcome - it flows with less interruption and looks better than you may suspect. If it jumps and shakes as you're making it, that'll probably not be the case when you've uploaded your movie. However where it is not as good an outcome, at least this was the case on mine, was the quality of the film clips - their quality reduced significantly by the time it had made its way to YouTube but then YouTube themselves have reduced video quality over the years, I think, so it may just have been them. Let's just say it certainly looks as though the video was made on the cheap!
Okay so what does it offer? Not a lot! Basic would be the word to describe this programme - it is free, after all. Effects are limited but what there is is good. Transitions are okay. WLMM is easy to use, which along with the fact it is free, is definitely its appeal to people, I think. I think it is an excellent programme if you only want to create a basic slideshow with personal photos or perhaps upload a song to YouTube or Facebook.
WLMM's interface is very basically designed and simple to navigate and use. You've got six tabs on the ribbon at the top which include your usual options to open an existing movie as well as save and begin a new one. Then you've got the 'home' tab where you add your audio, photos, webcam video, a title, credits and other text, or can capture a snapshot of your movie; this is also where you find the option to upload your completed movie to YouTube, Facebook, MSN Messenger, Flickr or SkyDrive at the click of a button or two. You're also given a number of preset video titles and themes but these are very basic.
Alongside that are the options to pan and zoom sitting next to your choice of transitions and then you've got your effects. The other tabs have the miscellaneous options on which I'll come to in a moment. To the top of that tab bar you have the quick save and the option to go back and undo something, or vice versa.
Underneath your tabs you have a small screen to the side so you can watch your movie as it progresses and next to that you have the storyboard pane where, at the click of that button on the home tab, you're able to go to your photo files and add as many photos (or video) as you require to the storyboard. In the same way you can add an audio to your movie. You may also want to put in a title or theme at this point, and again it is just as simple. The themes are not particularly exciting and they are far and few between; there's about seven of them which include turning all your media black or white or sepia, and also slightly different, albeit not fancy, titles and credits. Once you've added your photos et al, it is time to mess about with the special effects!
Okay, it is not that exciting. Considering it's free, it is not that bad. I think although they are not groundbreaking or going to stop viewers in their tracks, there's enough there to make an interesting slideshow. All your typical effects are there: sepia, black and white, pixelate, threshold, blur, different colour tones etc. Then there are the transitions. Again, you've got your usual options to fade photos/video clips in and out, slide in up/down/sideways, dissolve in, pixelate, flip and use fancy shapes like a star or circle to introduce the next photo. In fairness, there is a fair amount of choice with this one. It is possible to slow down the transition to as much as ten seconds between each photo, which works well on video clips when you fade in and out. This is all done by clicking on the photo/clip(s) required and simply clicking on your desired transition or effect and voila: you have added your effect and can have a quick watch on the little screen. Or even watch it on full screen if you're ready to preview your movie at this point.
It is more or less the same process to add pan and zoom effects. Again, you're given a decent few options to choose from - zoom in or out to the centre, zoom out from the top right or maybe pan to the left - you name it, all the angles and options are there. Or you can go with the random option so that you get a spontaneous pan and zoom on each photo and each occasion you watch your movie.
Your little movie is beginning to come together and you've got your audio and visual content as well as your effects, maybe you could add some text or tweak the audio to make your home made masterpiece complete. Perhaps if you are finding the audio doesn't quite stretch to fit the music you can at a click of a button time the visuals to fit the song(s). Your text, if you've used any, needn't be lonely as far as effects go, either. Maybe you could allow them to roll up the screen like credits in a film - we all stay at the cinema just to watch them at the end, don't we? - or alternatively get the words to dramatically fly in from nowhere or fade in subtly. Maybe change the font of the text, or its size. I'm really trying to excite you. I can promise you if you haven't tried this already, it will be an anti-climax.
Okay seriously, once you've finished your movie and are ready to premiere it on YouTube or any of the other social mediums on offer, click on whatever one you're uploading it to, insert your password and user name, give your video a title and description (I only know this process if you're uploading to YouTube) and allow a few minutes until your video is saved and ultimately uploaded. The latter takes a little less longer in my experience.
Once your video is uploaded to YouTube, give it just a few minutes to process and there you go. Like I said it is basic and there's not much in the way of special effects and in comparison to semi-professional software, it does not even compare. However, it costs you absolutely nothing and is perfect if you want to add a song to YouTube or create a slideshow with photos, or educational/professional one like you would with PowerPoint. I'm not sure it supports moving imagery particularly well so I think it is best to use with photos only.
If you haven't got this stored on your computer already, then it is available to download and there are also tutorial videos on how to use this but believe me, I would be very surprised if you require one on such a basic programme!
Summary: Great if you want to use it to make a slideshow.
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