Nip & Tuck!

Nip and tuck

Now that you've captured your video and imported any extra media such as still images and music, you will find them in the middle of the interface as thumbnails. You're now ready to create your narrative by arranging your clips in the order you want and trimming them down to the portions of footage you actually want your viewers to see – the meat and potatoes of video editing.

Editing with WMM couldn't be easier. By default, the filmstrip along the bottom will be in Storyboard mode, so it will have spaces into which you can drag each clip in succession in the order you want. You will notice a star icon in the bottom left corner of each clip icon, which shows the video filter applied. Another icon between clips provides space into which to drag and drop a transition. We will be covering both of these in the next part of this tutorial. For now, simply create your narrative by placing your clips on the Storyboard.

However, your clips will still contain portions of video you don't want, or more than one portion you want separated by bits you don't. So the next step is to pare them down to the important content. With Windows XP, use the Show Timeline button just above the filmstrip to switch to Timeline mode, or with Windows Vista use the drop-down menu in the same location.

Now, instead of a single thumbnail representing each of your clips, a strip is used which represents the duration of the clip proportional to the entire video. If you hover the mouse pointer over one end of a clip, the pointer will change to red arrows. You can now click and drag the clip shorter at that end, cutting out unwanted portions.

Alternatively, use the green current location marker to ‘scrub' to the desired cut point then hit the Split button to divide your clip at this point. You can then right-click on the unwanted portion and select Remove to get rid of it. You can also use this to cut out any clips which WMM hasn't detected properly.

Note that this does not effect the underlying file on your hard disk – it's just a pointer. The editing is non-destructive. It's still a good idea to save your work regularly while you trim your clips, though. Once you have removed unwanted material from your sequence, you will have created a much more compelling piece of video than the unedited video would have been. Your viewers won't have to sit through any camera mistakes or double-takes. But it will still be lacking some important attributes to give it that professional look which will make it stand out from everyday amateur fare. The next step is to add some special effects and music. But we'll leave that until next week – same time, same place. See you then!

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