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Effective Visuals

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Last week, in our first instalment of this tutorial we explained what hardware you need for video editing on a PC, and introduced you to Windows Movie Maker (WMM) - the little app virtually all users of Windows XP and above will already have lurking on their hard disks. This week, we finish the job, with the exciting stages of adding ‘eye candy' to your production, creating a music soundtrack, and outputting the final product.

Effective Visuals

So far, we have taken your raw video, removed the mess, and created a story by selecting the clips you want and ordering them. The next stage is to give your production that extra bit of pizzazz by adding effects and titles. Under the second section in the Edit panel on the left (or Movie Tasks in the Windows XP version) can be found entries for Effects and Transitions (or ‘View video effects' and ‘View video transitions' in Windows XP).


WMM offers quite a range of different effects filters and you can apply more than one at a time. For example, you could apply one of the Film Age filters and Film Grain to create a quasi-old movie look. Add ‘Speed Up, Double' and you can make your sequence look like an old movie recorded at a lower frame rate than we use today so it plays back too fast. Try a few combinations until you find a look you like - but don't go too far, as this is an obvious sign of an inexperienced editor. You can also improve the look of your clips in a more realistic way, rather than creating something synthetic. For example, use the brightness filters to bring up the levels of a clip that is too dark, or bring down the levels for one that is overexposed. However, this is one area where WMM shows its limitations. Most editing software provides parameters so you can configure filters to your taste, but WMM filters have one setting only.

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