Photography enthusiasts of the Escapees RV Club
Photo by Don Coleman
Issue #32 January 2018    
Slideshows using Microsoft Movie Maker
By Don Coleman
SKP Photographers
This article assumes you want to make a video file of the final product and not just show it "live" out of the software I am not a professional photographer, but I have known a couple. (I never played one in a TV series, tho...) Movie Maker is part of  "Windows Essentials" which is free from Microsoft.  This package was originally designed for Windows 7, but it works fine with Windows 10.  Microsoft has ended support as of January, 2017, so it is now only available from 3rd. party sources.  I found on Cnet. I only installed the Movie Maker and Photo Gallery apps, the rest didn't interest me. The main reason to use Movie Maker is that it gives motion to your still pictures.  I have actually had people watch a slide show/video multimedia and not realize it was mostly stills.  I think that a slide show  where the pictures just slide by, or dissolve from shot to shot gets boring quickly.  The movement of Movie Maker reduces the viewer's fatigue and lengthens their attention span.  I'm sure there's other products that do the movement, but I have found that this works, and it's free, so I use it. One of the down sides of movie maker is it does not support much in the way of audio control.  Movie Maker allows one music track (apparently mono) and one narration track. (It can be used for music or sound effects also) However,  there's only a "balance" control to get the levels the way you want them.  It will work, but I like the control in a video editor like Premiere. If you're feeling lazy and want a quick and dirty moving slide show, order your pictures how you want them displayed, and open the folder in Microsoft Photo Gallery.  Then go to slide show, and then to make movie.  The program will make random transitions and movements, and usually looks OK.  It's really quick, you just have to get the file names ordered so it will sort the way you want.  When the video is made, import into an editor and add music, etc. When actually using Movie Maker, you can change the order of your slides in the time line and you have control over each pictures movement and transition.  You don't have to have every picture move either, you can just leave it static and dissolve or wipe in and out.  It is time consuming to click and drag every transition and movement into the time line, but the result is usually worth the effort.  The moving motions - zoom in, zoom out, pan left/right /up /down  are called animations which you add to each picture, and then you can specify the transition, dissolve, wipe, etc.  So each slide takes several selections and you can't automate it. Each slide shows on the time line and you can see a graphic of the movement and transition, and you can change each one any time you want, if you change your mind.  There's also a full screen preview function, so you can see what your final product will look like, and make changes as you desire. After you have it the way you like it, just tell Movie Maker to make the video file (you can select the aspect ratio [4:3 or 16:9]) and specify the quality in the "Save Movie" dialog and the show will be rendered into a video file.  You can make either a MP4 or WMV file. Have fun and I hope you get some use of the free program from Microsoft. Here's a show I made a couple of years ago from the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. [No digs about the shaky video - it was a last-minute addition.  ;-)] Don