Fan vid creation basics...

Re: Fan vid creation basics...

Postby diane31 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:59 am

Hi :wave:
Ok so this is what I have come up with so far in terms of, huh, impressions and tutorials regarding Windows Movie Maker (I'm starting with that because that's probably the one most of us have).
First off: I don't know about you but many of the tutorials I found on this are real jerky, i.e. they keep stopping to upload the next bit. That's annoying and I find it impractical when you want to learn (especially to stop the video, make it repeat, and move along it), so, I download them. (BTW for that I use the free DVDsoft bunch of software, totally trouble free for me so far; it can be downloaded from here. The first option in the window that opens when you click the studio icon once it's installed is "free youtube download"; then in its window, just paste the web address to the video, "browse" where you want it to land on your computer and download. It can download several at once (so one can go and enjoy some fanfic while it does that!).

Now for the tutorials themselves: most of what I saw out there show the same things:
- how to "import" clips and audio into WMM
- how to add the clips to the timeline/clip line (one can import still images the same way BTW, and then add effects to them like zoom in; BTW one can take snapshots of the video too with the camera icon under where it plays).
- how to add transitions between clips
- how to add effects to clips
- how to add text (titles, credits).
- how to add music

My favorite so far:
Good quality with spoken explanations:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZXK68NS7gU(it kept breaking up for me so I downloaded it; it is 9 minutes long I think)
Once you've watched it I'd add my following impressions:
- You know the vertical blue cursor on the timeline (I don't know how it's called) that is used to pick a point along the clip? They move it by playing the movie, but you can also click the top of it and drag it along the timeline (the preview of the clip follows along; I like that for better control).
- You can drag and drop effects and transition in timeline mode too. Transitions even have their own portion/level on the timeline. There you can even play around with how long the transition lasts by clicking on it and dragging it, although I find it a bit of a struggle.
- You probably want to remove the audio. The next one has something about that. So...

You also want to watch this one (9 minutes):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9rRh7z5TCs&feature=related
He gives all sorts of useful random tricks along the way, regarding audio, frame by frame control (you can have the clip already down on the timeline for what he shows there by the way), etc…(like for most youtube vids the quality isn't great, but on full screen you see what he's doing).
I also liked this one: 2 minutes, not much more than above but it gives an interesting way to fade clips, by dragging parts of them on top of each other:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NZ5k-DDOwU&feature=related

You may find these useful too for reinforcement… pretty much the same thing as the above minus spoken explanations and I'd say even more basic:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrFJLeF0tA0(6 min no talk)
shows how to add clips, titles and sound (real basic, jerky for me; I had to download it)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Iqh2GKvCKQ&feature=fvw (played smoothly for me but even more basic: just add clips, transitions, credits.)
And I just bumped into this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-U3tnx5zDc&feature=related about music videos; poor quality but you may find advice you'll like.

Ok now my turn lol! To make music videos, IMHO that's not quite enough. What I found very much needed for that is to control how long the clips are, so that you can control at what part of the song the clip ends, or a certain part of the clip "falls". So, here are my thoughts on that, but I have been using Premiere, so, I fear not all of it translates to WMM all that well:
- you really want to be on timeline mode for that (you can change between it and storyline by clicing the appropriate icon towards the bottom left).
- first I decide at which instant of time (depending on the music) I want a part of the video to end / a frame to "fall"; I drag the blue cursor line there, point to it to see the time, and write it down on a piece of paper. I go to the frame I want there and make a cut there ("split the clip" as they call it). Then I negociate between 1) cutting bits of the clip and 2) slowing down or speeding up the clip. Deciding between the two is what takes me the most "playing around" in the whole process. For such explorations I found my best friend was the undo option which I do typing CTRL Z on the keyboard, when I don't like the result.

I've made a short vid with autoscreen recorder to illustrate my favourite moves when it comes to making cuts.
And for slowing down/speeding up, all I could find in WMM is doing it by adding effects on the part of the clip where you want to do that (you have to "split" that part and select it first). I've made a vid for that too, but I hope there's a better way: if not, that's just made the top of my issues-with-WMM list because those effects only double or half the speed :witsend: . Being a Premiere-spoiled-brat, I want more control than that (in Premiere you can just drag and drop the end of a clip to adjust its speed to whatever you want: you adjust how long the portion of video you have lasts and that adjusts automatically how fast or slow it plays). Here's the link to both my home made vids (soundless): http://videoeditingbites.blogspot.com/, but for some reason they look really poor quality once uploaded :tomato: (I don't understand why :shrug: ; I'll see if I can upload them somewhere else, but in the mean time, I hope they're better than nothing). Now for splitting and deleting what I show on the vids is so you can see when I'm doing it, but to delete you can just use the delete key on the keyboard, and there's a keyboard shortcut (CTRL L) for splitting too, which I suspect one comes to appreciate. :thumbs:

Notes: as one of the youtube tutorials says whatever you do on the timeline/story board does not affect the clip that you imported (thank heavens!).
The red double arrows at the start/end of the clips can be dragged to trim the clip, i.e. remove portions at the ends of it; real annoying for me (!) because in premiere something similar can be used to "change the length" of the clip, by speeding it up/slowing it down but without removing a portion of it as I mentioned above.
And also annoying: I can't find a way to import several clips at once and have them all show up at the same time. (??). Once imported to select them I have to go click on "collections" on the tool bar at the top and then select on the left. (is it just me? I hope so!).
That's all I've got for now! :coffee:
Last edited by Phoenix on Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: to fix link
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Re: Fan vid creation basics...

Postby Phoenix » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:15 am

Oh good heavens! :gasp: Thanks, Diane. :smooch:

Right now I'm a bit punchy from staring that the computer screen for too many hours :dizzy: so I'll need to come back and re-read once I have all the goodies downloaded. :teeth:
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Re: Fan vid creation basics...

Postby wollstonecraft61 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:37 am

Wow, diane, thanks!!! I am definitely going to use these!!! :hyper2:
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Re: Fan vid creation basics...

Postby Phoenix » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:34 pm

OK ladies, brace yourselves for more silly questions. :dunce:

I've watched a few tutorials and played around with WMM a bit - just with screencaps so far, not video clips - and I have some idea of how things work now. :ysmile:

The current biggest problem is the music. I have a whole lot of music that I have purchased from iTunes, but when I go to WMM and hit Tasks > Import > Audio or music, it doesn't work. :noway: I found the Music file folder > iTunes folder > iTunes music, but when I open that, and hit import, I seem to cycle through a series of empty folders. :banghead:

Is there a way to make the iTunes music usable? :pray:
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Re: Fan vid creation basics...

Postby eris » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:42 pm

Phoenix wrote:OK ladies, brace yourselves for more silly questions. :dunce:

I've watched a few tutorials and played around with WMM a bit - just with screencaps so far, not video clips - and I have some idea of how things work now. :ysmile:

The current biggest problem is the music. I have a whole lot of music that I have purchased from iTunes, but when I go to WMM and hit Tasks > Import > Audio or music, it doesn't work. :noway: I found the Music file folder > iTunes folder > iTunes music, but when I open that, and hit import, I seem to cycle through a series of empty folders. :banghead:

Is there a way to make the iTunes music usable? :pray:


The Itunes music is in a format WMM can't read (It's DRM protected). I'm not sure if the newer versions let you, but some of the old ITunes versions let you "export" as a regular music file. If you have a music recorder on your PC, you can turn the volume up high, record the song from ITunes (just hit record and let it play through). The recorder won't have the protection on the file, so it's usable -- this is how I got my songs.
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Re: Fan vid creation basics...

Postby eris » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:46 pm

Also found this bit of info:

* Insert a CD-R or CD-RW disc into your CD-ROM drive. You'd better use CD-RW disc as it can be used for more than once.
* Burn your playlist to make an audio CD. You cannot select the MP3 CD option since it requires the protected music files be converted to unprotected MP3 files.
* After the audio CD is successfully burned, insert the disc into your CD-ROM drive again. Then you can use iTunes to import the music tracks on the burned disc to MP3 files.
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Re: Fan vid creation basics...

Postby Phoenix » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:28 pm

Thanks, Eris. :friends:
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Re: Fan vid creation basics...

Postby Lilly » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:57 pm

Eris beat me to it -- but that's exactly what I do, Phee. I burn whatever songs I want to CD and then rip them from the CD into my music library using Windows Media Player. (I actually exit iTunes when I do the import.) I have a CD-RW that I use over and over for just that purpose. :twothumbs:
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Re: Fan vid creation basics...

Postby Shadow » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:29 am

Just stumbled onto this and wow, does it ever bring back horrible, horrible memories of trying to learn to make vids! I’m computer challenged anyway, so you can imagine how much fun I had learning.

I started with Movie Maker too, figuring I should see if there was any hope before spending money, but for me I don't think it was a very smart choice. The way WMM behaves seems to vary a lot depending on your computer. Some people use it with no trouble, and it's super, while others (like me) have great difficulty. For me, it crashed and froze every couple of minutes, and mainly what I learned was to make backups every 10 seconds and how to restart the computer at record speed.

I switched to Corel Ulead VideoStudio very, very quickly and would recommend that program if WMM keeps crashing on you. I got a copy of the second-to-latest version on amazon for $20, and just recently upgraded to the latest version during a sale for $35. I also find VideoStudio much, much easier to use than WMM.. . I was in heaven when I discovered how precisely you can control the timing . . . plus it has a lot more features, which is nice if you like to play with effects.

For importing music ... I copy and paste songs from itunes into “my documents”, and then the video program can import them from the document file.

If you don’t like the WMM clip-making tool (I hated it) or if you’re using VideoStudio, there are a lot of ways of manually making clips. I use mpeg streamclip, a free program. There are some detailed instructions for using it, along with a lot of other help, on the Foolish Passion web site.

Here's mpeg streamclip:
http://www.squared5.com/

Here’s a link to the Foolish Passion site. . . the link to “exporting high quality clips” has the detailed instructions for mpeg streamclip. http://fpvideos.proboards.com/index.cgi ... thread=384

(One caveat if you try the Foolish Passion website and you’re using VideoStudio – they tell you to load the program in 4:3 rather than 16:9, and that led me into weeks of problems. When I reloaded in 16:9, it was fine.)

Once you get going, the best advice I can offer is: make at least two copies of your vid as you go along. Then if you mess up and accidentally delete the whole thing, you still have another copy. (Yup, I learned this from experience.)
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