Newsletter #139 - Feb 24, 2006
Movie Editing 'Basics'


This issue is another first for me.... using Camtasia Studio 3 to make video tutorials, putting into practice more of the things we can do with Photo Story, Movie Maker and online videos in general.
What are the 'basics' of movie editing? There's lots of ways to define it... for this newsletter I'll simply call it a project with 2 ingredients
1 - an opening title clip
2 - a long video clip of someone talking, where the sync between the audio and the visual is critical... but you want to pull away from the person speaking to add a few clips of interest, and then return without losing a beat in the audio/visual sync.
If you do those two things easily... you're in great shape for anything else.
Camtasia Studio 3 is a well respected product for doing screen captures. I've had it for a while, but only now getting around to learning it. After a few poor fumbled attempts to make a couple tutorials, starting with the screen capturing, I finally got around to using this approach... doing the screen capturing last.
The weak point in the process is my narration, as it has more than its fair share of Ummms and Ahhhhs. I'll work on that as I do more of these.
These images and the titles under them are links to the online tutorials. The first one about making a title clip with Photo Story runs 3-1/2 minutes, and the second one about the Movie Maker project is 2-1/4 minutes.
PS3 Tutorial
MM2 Tutorial
          PhotoStory - making a title clip                                                
When this issue goes online, I'll be deleting the issue-specific videos... for the online readers, the rest of the newsletter includes the scripts. Before getting into it, here's...
... a few notes...

Vista Corner... 
It's time to jump into making custom transitions, titles, and DVD styles... Microsoft released the eagerly awaited SDK with the technical info about how to do them...
Movie Maker and Windows DVD Maker SDK
A serious user or good hacker could do them in XP... in Vista it takes a serious hacker to a good programmer. And the hacking of the custom titles are not mentioned in the SDK, so it's a community challenge to figure it out... as it was in XP. Many consider the making of custom effects, transitions and titles to be more fun and creative than making movies. For them, they're right.
Someone posted that their version of GSpot was working on Vista. I checked the 3 versions in my library and found that v2.21 works, but the newer versions 2.52 and 2.60 don't. 
The Windows Media Encoder v9 package works also... at least for encoder screen capture sessions and editing Movie Maker profiles with the profile editor.
Library Training Session...
One of last night's attendees was a teacher who specializes in iMovie... attending my session to ask about some common beliefs in the Apple world.  
.... back to the main topic...

Making a Basic Movie... tutorial
Here are the scripts I read from, or improvised from...
Part 1 - making an opening clip with Photo Story
Let's go thru a quick and easy way to make a great opening title clip for a movie project... using Photo Story 3
Before starting the story, mark up a high quality still picture in Paint, IrfanView, PhotoShop, whatever.... add your title text wherever it best fits
Then import a few copies... I'll do 3 of them
---- the next screen is for text... we have it already, so move on to the window where we do motion settings
select the first picture...
  • check the option to set your own motion settings.
  • I'm going to let it open full screen, but then have it zoom into my first group of title text words... at the left
  • Photo Story picks what it thinks is a good duration.... but I'll speed it up by changing the duration
  • move to the 2nd copy of the picture, saving the settings for the first one
on the 2nd one
  • opt for your own motion settings
  • set the starting position as the same as the ending one of the first picture...
  • make the ending position the same---- to quickly get them to the same size
  • drag the ending position over to the next item of interest.... in this case one of the boats in the river....
  • go to the transition tab and uncheck the option to use one... this is important to making the change in pan/zoom a smooth one...
  • I'll go back to the other tab for a second... to change the duration to what I want... I forgot to do it when first on that screen
  • move on to the 3rd copy of the picture, saving the settings
on the 3rd one
  • opt for your own motion settings
  • set the starting and ending positions the same as the previous picture...
  • then move the ending position to the next item of interest.... the rest of the title text
  • remove the default transition.... again... it's for smooth uninterrupted changing of position between the two pictures
  • close the working window and go on to the next screen of the wizard
background music... skip it...we'll add any in the movie project
select a folder for the story, a file name, and a quality setting....

I have a bunch of choices for quality... those that came with Photo Story, and the custom ones I've added.
render the story...

watch it before closing Photo Story.... as you can easily tweak it some more by using the Back button... making your changes, and rendering it again right over the first one.
You've got your opening title clip for the movie... a great custom one from your picture, with your own words...

Part 2 - Let's use the title clip and make a movie
first add the title to the timeline
select a video clip... something that has audio/video in sync...we'll use Sabina in her hotel in Florence
zoom in and out of the timeline as needed to keep things in perspective
we've split the audio of Sabina talking, so let's use another copy of her clip... this one on the audio track... not split
the sync is there for the first part of her talking... but we lost it for the last part by putting other clips in the middle.
now our job is to re-sync the last part... by trimming it as needed... let the other action happen as she talks, and then pick her up again for the rest of the story...
the goal here is to align the right end of the video clip and the audio one.... when they finish at the same point, the movie is fully in sync.
zoom into the timeline as far as you can and the alignment will be perfect...  and easy
here's the finished project.... one thing I should do is mute the two split segments of Sabina talking, leaving the audio of the bus ride and the full clip of her talking on the audio/music track... 
the syncing is so good that you won't notice if both clips are playing together.

Conclusion and Closing... and What's Next?
Camtasia is another building block in my multimedia software toolbox. It works great... but as you see I've opted to use Movie Maker to capture and edit the narrations, and fold in background music. Maybe Camtasia does it as well or better, but I'm comfortable with the familiar software.
If there's any topic you would especially like to see illustrated and narrated this way, let me know and I'll be glad to include it in an issue. 
Have a great week!!