Creating a Video With Movie Maker In 3 Easy Steps

So you’ve taken some video on your digital camera and want to share it on YouTube or put it on a DVD. Maybe you want to put a bunch of videos together. Or use part of a video and delete a section.

You can do all this and much more with Windows Movie Maker. It’s quick and simple. Today I’m going to show you how to take a video and compress it, and then save it as a wmv file so you can upload it to YouTube.

Start by opening Windows Movie Maker and look at the parts of the Windows Movie Maker window.

Movie Task Pane
The Import Section allows you to bring clips onto the “Collections” area. Unless you are making a slideshow of still pictures, you will probably be importing videos from the videos folder on your computer.

The Edit Section allows you to add titles, transitions and effects. For a quick, simple video for YouTube, we won’t use any of these, but you should play with them when you feel more confident.

The Publish To section is what you will use when you are ready to save your movie.

Collections Pane
When you import videos or pictures, they will appear in the Collections Pane.

If you are working on a big project, you might have a dozen (or more) clips here. But since we are working on a simple file to upload to YouTube, we only have the one clip that we are going to work with.

The Preview Screen
Allows you to preview the changes you have made so far.

The Timeline (also called Storyboard)
The Timeline view of Windows Movie Maker shows photos, video and audio clips in the order and timing that they will appear in movie. You will drag all clips to the timeline. If you have many clips, you can manipulate where they play in the video. You can also delete sections of any clip.

But, we have one clip and we are simply going to compress it and save it in a format that YouTube can play – so we won’t worry about anything except dragging our one clip to the timeline.

Making the Movie – Step by Step

1) Import Pictures or Video
Click on Import pictures and locate the folder containing your pictures.
Select the picture files you wish to import.
Your pictures should now appear in the Collections Pane. If you have more than one picture/video, you can click on the different pictures to see them in the preview screen.

2) Drag Video to the Timeline
Drag your pictures to the Timeline.
Even though you have dragged your picture to the Timeline, it remains in the Collections Pane. Movie Maker allows you to use items more than once. Helpful when working on a big project – but not necessary for today’s lesson.
If your Timeline Pane is showing “StoryBoard” in the top left corner, simply click the “down-arrow” and choose “Timeline”.

3) Save as a Movie
We aren’t going to go in to editing today. We just want to compress this file and save it in a format that you can upload to YouTube. So, we use the Task Pane and choose “Publish To > This Computer”.

Enter a file name, and click Browse to choose a place to save your movie. Choose the desktop and click “Next”.

The next screen allows us to choose the settings. This screen is the most important screen for us. If you choose “Best Quality For Playback On My Computer” Movie Maker will not compress the file. It will be a large file size for YouTube.

Since we want to compress it to load fast, we will choose: “Compress To”. When you click that option, you can choose the compression. How much I compress a movie depends on the nature of the movie. If it starts out as a 10 MB file, and it’s simply a video of the grandkids playing pool, I might compress it by half. If it’s an important documentation, I might compress it only a little. It’s up to you. The more you compress it, the grainier and smaller it appears.

Once you have your compression set, choose “Publish”.

That’s it! It’s time to upload it to YouTube. Find the step by step instructions for uploading a video to YouTube here.

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