• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Windows Movie Maker\program files\movie maker\moviemk.exe

Capture, edit, and convert video clips.

To Open

Start Programs Accessories Windows Movie Maker

Command Prompt moviemk


A new feature in Windows XP, the Windows Movie Maker allows you to edit and convert video clips, and if you have video capture hardware or a digital video camera, you can even create your own video clips (see Figure 4-111). Windows Movie Maker (and most video editing software) can be quite complex, so we will only include an introduction here.

Figure 4-111. The new Windows Movie Maker lets you edit video clips

Video editors don't work like most other applications. Instead of opening files, making changes to them, and then saving them, a typical video editing session works something like this:

  1. Start a new project by going to File New Project.

  2. Add one or more existing video files to the project by going to File Import. Windows Movie Maker supports many different video formats (see Notes). If necessary, Windows Movie Maker may need to prepare the clips for editing, which may take several minutes.

  3. All imported videos are then shown in the Collections pane; click a video filename to display "clips," arbitrary divisions in the file intended to make it easier to work with (see Notes, below). Depending on the length of the video, it might be divided into one or dozens of clips .

  4. Next comes the fun part: editing consists of cutting apart your video and splicing other portions or even other videos together to make a single movie.

    The actual video project consists of clips inserted into the timeline (shown at the bottom of the window), not those simply listed in the Collections pane. The timeline is like a storyboard, showing what the final video output will look like in a long a linear display. To add a clip to the timeline, drag it from the Collections pane and drop it at the desired location.

  5. Using the magnify controls to the left of the timeline, you can zoom in for more precise work or zoom out to see more of the timeline at once.

    Above the magnify controls is the storyboard/timeline button: click it to switch between the default Storyboard view (where each clip is the same size) and the more sophisticated Timeline view (where clips are sized relative to their duration). I find the Timeline (the view with the numbers across the top) to be much more intuitive and easier to use, as it shows a more accurate view of the project and allows more precise control when splitting. You can also select the desired view with View Storyboard and Timeline.

  6. The video preview, shown in the upper right, allows you to view the video project as it will appear when you're done. Click the Play button, or simply drag your mouse across the timeline to view any portion of the video project.

    When you reach a point in your video when you'd like to cut out footage or insert additional footage, go to Clip Split (or press Ctrl+Shift+S) to break apart the current video clip into two discrete clips. Once you've split a clip, you can delete a segment by highlighting it and pressing Del, or drag-drop a segment of video from another part of the timeline (or even another video) from Collections into the timeline.

  7. Once you're happy with the video constructed in the timeline, go to File Save Project. Note that this only saves the project, it doesn't actually create the final video.

  8. Use File Save Movie to create a new video file based on your work in the timeline. No changes to any of the source videos are made. Saving a movie file can take a long time, so you probably will not want to take this step until you're happy with your editing. If you save your project (see the previous step), you can close Windows Movie Maker and then open it up again later and resume your work; it's not necessary to save the movie each time.


  • Windows Movie Maker supports a variety of video formats, allowing you to import videos from a number of different sources into your projects. Among the supported formats are .asf, .avi, .wmv, .mpg movies, .wav and .snd audio files, and .bmp, .jpg, and .gif still image files (see below). Windows Movie Maker is currently the only video editor in existence that can read .asf streaming video files. Previously, Microsoft would not allow any other application to read these files. Even if you prefer not to use Windows Movie Maker to edit your video, it is a great tool for converting .asf files into a more usable format.

  • You can also insert still image files into your videos — not only to have a portion of still videos, but to combine a series of video stills into a crude motion video. This is useful, for example, with some still digital cameras that can shoot short video clips, yet store the clips as a series of still images.

  • By default, Windows Movie Maker divides imported videos into discrete "clips." Theoretically, one clip ends and another clip begins when the scene changes dramatically. For instance, if the video is of two people talking and the camera alternates between the two participants, each head shot would be its own clip. However, in practice, the clip-making process ends up being completely arbitrary; sometimes you'll only get one clip, and other times, clips will begin and end in the middle of scenes. Go to View Options and turn off the "Automatically create clips" option to disable this feature. Not only will Windows Movie Maker import video files much more quickly when clips aren't used, but you'll be able to choose where cuts occur (which is really the whole point of the program).

  • Imported items added to My Collections are common to all Windows Movie Maker projects and act somewhat like an ordinary folder full of shortcuts. Note that when you delete items from My Collections, it does not affect the original source files.

  • Almost immediately after the initial release of Windows XP, an update to Windows Movie Maker was made available (see Windows Update, later in this chapter) that upgraded it to Version 1.2 and fixed several bugs. It is recommended that everyone obtain this patch.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint