How do I get Windows Live Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker Download & Instructions: Free Video Editing Tool

Thorsten Eggeling, Christian Löbering

Windows Movie Maker is a free program from Microsoft for Windows 7 and 8 (unofficially also for Windows 10) that is easy to use and still offers professional functions. With these instructions, PC-WELT shows how you can use it to cut, edit, add music and export videos.

EnlargeFree video editing with Movie Maker for Windows 7, 8 and 10

The holiday videos have been recorded and are on the hard drive. Now all you have to do is cut something here and there. And some background music would also give the film a little more pep. But you don't have to resort to expensive special programs for this. With Windows Live Movie Maker, film production is free, quick and easy. The program offers simple editing functions, visual effects and a title generator. This can be used to make a film more interesting or to create a varied slide show from your photos.

Movie Maker is part of the Windows Essentials. The program package requires Windows 7 or 8 (32- or 64-bit edition), but can also be installed and used under Windows 10. The .Net Framework 3.5 required for this is automatically downloaded and set up in advance of the installation.

Install Windows Live Essentials

You can install Windows Essentials directly. During installation, you can select which program parts are to be installed. To do this, click on "Select the programs that you want to install" and remove the check mark in front of the programs that you do not need. You will then find Movie Maker in the start menu under “All Programs”.

Import videos and pictures

You load your video material into Movie Maker either directly from a webcam, or you import a file that is already on the hard drive. The import function uses the codecs installed in Windows. If a file can be played in Windows Media Player, you can usually process it further in Movie Maker. Otherwise you have to install the appropriate codec first. The easiest way is to use the free K-Lite Mega Codec Pack. Almost all major codecs are included here.

EnlargeIf you have a webcam, you can use it to record directly into Movie Maker too

If you want to tag a movie from the webcam, connect it, click "Webcam Video" in Movie Maker. In the window that opens, select the webcam and the audio source you want, then click OK. Then click Click on "Record" to start recording. When the recording is complete, click on "Stop". Immediately afterwards you will be prompted to save the recorded WMV file. You can also simply snap a photo in Movie Maker via webcam and microphone "Snapshot"), or record an audio comment.

The video or the pictures are already on the hard drive? Then go to the “Home” tab and click “Add videos and photos”. Select the file you want and click Open. You can also insert multiple files at the same time by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking the files, and you can mix and match videos and images as you wish.

Everything you import or record ends up in the timeline in the right half of the window (“Storyboard”). If necessary, the individual elements can be moved with the mouse and thus re-sorted. You can use the play button to play the raw material that has been compiled in this way.

Add music or commentary in Movie Maker

The best video and the most beautiful slide show only really develop their effect when they are accompanied by music. In Movie Maker you can use "Add Music" to add audio files from your PC, but you can also download them from Vimeo and a few other services. Depending on where you want to show your video later, you have to make sure that you are allowed to use the selected music for it. Please refer to the license agreement of the piece. After you've inserted a piece, you'll see a representation of the waveform below the clips. This often helps quite well to get the cuts right. A track can also be inserted at the current cursor position via "Add music at the current position". As with music, you can of course also add an audio comment.

EnlargeVideos only become really atmospheric with added music.

Cut film with Movie Maker

To remove portions of the beginning and end of a movie, go to the Edit tab and click the Trim Tool. Below the preview window there are two sliders that you can use to set the start and end of the clip that you want to keep. After clicking on "Save cropping", the change is made. The original file is not changed. If you press the CTRL-Z, you can undo the crop at any time.

If you want to remove multiple scenes within a movie, navigate to the desired starting position in the preview window. Then switch to the “Edit” tab and click “Share”. Then find the end of the scene and click Split again. On the storyboard, click the cut area and press the DELETE key.

EnlargeThe right cut gives every video the pep it needs. Avoid transition animations as much as possible

Insert transitions and fades with Movie Maker

The split function can also be used to separate scenes from one another and add cross-fading effects. To do this, click on the beginning of the second scene in the storyboard and go to the “Animations” tab. If you now move the mouse over one of the preview images in the "Transitions" or "Pan and Zoom" groups, you can see how the animation will work in the video preview. If you are satisfied with it, click on it. Under "Duration" you can define how long (in seconds) the animation appears in the video. FYI: Transition animations are pretty much out of fashion. It's better if you just make hard cuts in the right place.

By the way: In the same way as with the transition animations, you can also use the functions on the Visual Effects tab to apply color profiles to the clips. Some effects, such as Sepia, affect the entire scene. “Fade in from black”, on the other hand, only works at the beginning of the section and “Fade out too black” at the end.

Include title and credits with Movie Maker

The easiest way to add titles and credits is to use the “Home” tab and click on “Title” or “Credits”, for example. Then click the black box for the opening credits on the storyboard, switch to the Format tab, and click Edit Text. You can then change the text in the preview window. You do the same with the three sequences in the credits. On the “Format” tab, you can also choose the font and background color and set effects for an animated title and credits.

EnlargeYou can easily add titles and credits in Movie Maker

Export movie with Movie Maker for DVD or smartphone

After you have cut your film and provided it with animations and effects, all you have to do is play it out ("export"). Go to the Home tab and click the little arrow under Save Movie. Select the format you want, such as Burn DVD, if you want to create a video DVD. For example, for playback on mobile devices, click on “Android (1080p)”.