If you learn best by doing, try doing these 25 steps for becoming familar with Windows Movie Maker software.

Window's Movie Maker (download from www.download.com):

1) Watch the Windows Movie Maker tutorial and capture your footage... either as one long clip, or several shorter ones.
Tutorial: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/moviemaker/videos/create.mspx

2) Once you've captured your footage... do the following to become familar with the software:

3) Click TASKS and COLLECTIONS, and then TASKS again.

4) Drag and drop a clip to the storyboard.


6) Press the SPACEBAR to play your footage, and then press the SPACEBAR again to pause.

7) Press CONTROL+L. You'll notice that you've just made a cut, or split.

8) Using the SPACEBAR to play and pause, and CONTROL+L to cut, make another split.

9) Click SHOW STORYBOARD -- (Notice that now there are three clips in the storyboard, whereas before there was only one). Drag the middle clip to the beginning of the storyboard.


11) Click on the middle clip (select it) and then press the DELETE button on your keyboard. (Notice that the gap between the first and third clip automatically closes.)

12) Click the HOME button on you keyboard. Notice that your cursor just jumped to the very beginning of the timeline.

13) Look just to the left of the timeline.. Click the button called VIDEO +.. Notice that now your video and audio are in separate tracks, and that there is a space between them.

14) Select the first clip so that it is highlighted in white. Mouse up to the CLIP menu at the top of the screen and select, VIDEO - FADE IN. Do the same for audio.. AUDIO - FADE IN.

15) If your cursor is not at the very beginning of the timeline, Press the HOME button on your keyboard. PRESS the SPACEBAR. Your video should begin with a fade in from black.

16) Press the SPACEBAR again to to pause playback.

17) Notice where the timeline indicator is. Press ALT + RIGHT ARROW on your keyboard several times and notice how the indicator advances one frame at a time (This feature may be useful to you later). Press ALT + LEFT ARROW.

18) Press CONTROL+L to make another split.

19) Mouse up to the TASKS window and click on, ADD VIDEO TRANSISTION. Scroll through the list of possible transistions, select and drag one of them down to a split in the timeline. Once you drop the transistion on the split, you'll see it represented in the space between the video and audio tracks of the timeline.

20) Press the SPACEBAR to play your video and watch this transistion effect.

21) Remove the transistion -- Select the narrow-block representing it in the timeline and press DELETE on your keyboard.

22) Mouse up to the transistions window and find the FADE transistion. Drop it on a split in the timeline.

23) If you haven't already, Save your project as "something_1"

24) Mouse up to the Edit menu. See how you can undo an action by pressing CONTROL+Z? Press CONTROL+Z
about twenty times.. until you've completely undone everything done so far.

25) Save your project (save as) "something_2"

26) As you move forward:
  • Try to make all of your splits using CONTROL+L.
  • Us ALT+ARROW to locate the best frame to split on.
  • Use CTRL+Z to quickly undo an edit.
  • Use AUDIO+FADE IN and AUDIO+FADE OUT to avoid harsh changes to volume within your video.
  • If using FADE OUT, try not to fade out while someone is speaking. Leave enough footage so that we hear everything the speaker is saying at the same volume, then, once he/she is finished, FADE OUT.
  • Use the CLIP + MUTE and CLIP + VOLUME CONTROLS as needed to decrease or increase the volume of a clip.
  • SAVE AS COPIES _2 _3 _4 etc.
  • ADD TITLES: From the TASKS window click on ADD TITLES to add a title and/or credits to your video.
  • EXPORT: From the TASKS window click on SAVE TO COMPUTER. From the pop up, change the name and destination of the file if need be, or just click NEXT. Select OTHER SETTINGS and scroll down to "high-quality video (large)." Export your file. Repeat this process, only this time select HIGH QUALITY FOR LOCAL PLAYBACK (2.1 Mbbs). Repeat this process, only this time switch back to the (Best quality for playback on my computer).
* View the properties of each of the files. Which is largest file? Which file looks the best and plays back the best on your computer?

Play or pause clip SPACEBAR
Nudges clip to the left CTRL+SHIFT+B
Nudges clip to the right CTRL+SHIFT+N
Previous frame ALT+LEFT ARROW
Beginning/end of a clip LEFT ARROW / RIGHT ARROW (But only if a clip is selected)
Go to the very begining HOME
Split or cut CTRL+L

Happy editing!