BOOT CAMP 468 (20/03/07)
Video Tape to PC to DVD part 5
It’s time to get creative and turn the video
recording you have transferred to your PC into a polished movie, ready to copy
to a DVD.
This week we are looking at the rudiments of
video editing using Windows Movie Maker, included with XP. Despite being a
‘free’ program it is capable of excellent results and your movies could
actually look better than ones produced using commercial editing, but more
about that in a moment. However, the beauty of editing video on a PC is that it
costs nothing but your time and your original footage is preserved so you can
go back and re-edit your movie or start over as many times as you like.
Step one with Movie Maker is to ‘Import’ your
video file into the program. You have the option to let the program split it up
into ‘clips’. Basically it looks for the breaks between scenes and this can be
quite handy on a short movie but on one lasting more than 30 minutes, say, you
could end up with an unmanageable number of clips, many of which will be too
short to be of any use. It’s usually easier to create your own clips manually
but if you are feeling really lazy then you should known that Movie Maker also
has a feature called ‘AutoMovie’ (see this week’s Top Tip).
Select your video icon in the Collection box
then click Play on the Preview window. When you get to the point where you
judge your first scene should end let it run on for a second or two then click
the Pause button. Click the Split icon and a new numbered thumbnail appears in
the Collection box. This represents the remainder of your movie whilst the
original icon is now your first clip. To create your second clip, click on the
second icon, press Play and repeat the process.
Once you’ve created half a dozen or so clips
it’s a good idea to Save your Project and try and get into the habit of
re-saving it every ten minutes or so, just in case…
After you have all of your clips in the
Collection box you can set about putting it back together again and this where
you can chop out more wonky bits by ‘trimming’ each clip. Click on your first
clip and drag it onto the ‘Timeline’ at the bottom of the screen. Click on the
Timeline thumbnail and the clip appears in the Preview window. Place your mouse
pointer on the left side of the clip and it turns into a red double-headed
arrow. Click and hold the left mouse button and drag the arrow right or left to
precisely select the first frame. Now move to the end of the clip and adjust
the edit out point in the same way. Repeat the exercise with each clip and
every so often move the Playback Bar on the top of the Timeline back to the
beginning and check your edited clips. Don’t forget to save your work at
Nothing is fixed in stone, or lost in the
trimming process so you can go back and lengthen or shorten clips, create new
ones, move clips, insert, delete, copy and paste clips on the Timeline as you
would blocks of text in a document.
Now the fun begins, adding transitions, effects
and titles, but this is also the point where most home–made movies go horribly
wrong. The best advice I can give is to keep it simple!
Click Show Storyboard above the Timeline and
your clips are displayed in sequence. Between each clip is where the transition
goes and the simple rule of thumb is lave it alone, if the subject of two
adjoining clips are connected, in time and space. Only use transitions to
emphasise a change of location or the passage of time, and again simple is
best. A basic fade or wipe is all you need, lots of fancy swirls and whirls can
get very, very annoying!
Adding a transition is easy. On the Movie Tasks
list select ‘View Video Transitions. To see what they look like select one then
click the Play button on the Preview window. When you have found one that you
like just drag it into the box between the two clips. Try not to use more than
one or two different types of transition in a movie.
Effects are just as simple, (click Show Video
Effects on the Movie Tasks list) but use them sparingly. This time the effect
is dragged from the selection window onto the star icon on each clip.
Finally you can add a fade in and out effect to
the first and last clip, then insert a Title at the beginning and some End
Credits. Here you can indulge yourself with the many title effects options, and
don’t forget you can also play around with fonts and colours.
After one last run through, to check everything
is where it should be, the last job is to save your movie (Save Movie File on
File menu). When asked to do so select My Computer as the place to save it,
give it a name and specify the file location. For your first movie I suggest
sticking with the defaults on the Movie Setting menu, and see how it looks. If
you want to go back tweak the quality this is the place to do so by selecting
‘Other Settings’ and try DVI (PAL) or High Quality PAL from the drop-down menu.
Next Week – Video Tape to PC to DVD part 6
Part 1 2 3 4 6
Two of the most common types of scene transition
Visual representation of a movie showing the order of scenes and
the position of effects and transitions
Linear representation of a movie showing the length of each video
and audio clip
TIP OF THE WEEK
AutoMovie works by analysing your movie,
splitting it into clips then taking the best bits from each one and joining
them together with some simple effects and transitions. It also adds a title at
the beginning and end. There’s a choice of styles and you can also add your own
background music, which AutoMovie will match to the pace of the scene cuts. The
really good thing about AutoMovie is that it is open ended. If you are happy
with the finished result, fine, burn it to a DVD, if not you go back and change
anything you like, form the opening title to the length of a clip.
© R. Maybury 2006, 1403