One of the most important yet often neglected aspects of this process is the preparation. Before you even open Windows Live Movie Maker make sure all the photos you wish to use are contained in the one folder. If the photos are scattered about in different folders; create a new folder and give it a suitable title, then transfer all your required photos to that one folder. Now, sort the photos into the correct order of display and then rename them sequentially: select (highlight) all the photos, right click on the first photo and select Rename. Give the photo a suitable title followed by the number 01 in parenthesis…e.g. for my sample slideshow I renamed the first photo “Beautiful Tasmania (01)”. Then hit “Enter” and you will see that the photos now share a common name and are all numbered sequentially. We are ready to begin:
Windows Live Movie Maker’s GUI has adopted the modern Ribbon style menu which on first viewing appears somewhat confusing, at least to the uninitiated. I can assure you though, once you get used to it, it is very simple and easy to use:
Whether you choose to drag and drop the photos or import them via the browse feature; don’t forget to select (highlight) all the photos in the folder.
Once your photos are displayed in the main pane you can now add a music track. Simply click on the Add music button, navigate to the location of the required MP3 file and select the one you want:
For long slideshows, additional music tracks can be added one after another using the same method.
Now click on the Auto Movie button and your slideshow will be ready in no time, complete with random pan and zoom effects:
You will see that the Auto Movie feature also adds a ‘Title’ frame to the beginning of your slideshow. The title will display “My Movie” by default but you can change that to suit by clicking on the Caption button and editing the text:
After clicking on the Caption button you will see the text displayed in the Preview screen. Click anywhere inside the little text box, delete the existing title and type in your own. Drag the borders of the text box to suit/fit the new text and/or reposition the box:
There is also an end frame added which simply says “The End”. This can be edited in exactly the same manner but, in most cases anyway, the simple default message is probably going to suffice:
If you’re feeling really adventurous you could now add even more effects to the slideshow per medium of transitions. Click on the Animations button to reveal available transition effects:
Click on the left hand side of each slide and a black vertical line will appear. Now hover the mouse cursor over a transition to preview, or click on a transition to apply:
All you need do now is save your slideshow by choosing one of the output options under the Sharing button. If you select “Publish on YouTube” (as I did), your slideshow movie will be created to suit and automatically uploaded to YouTube for you.
Here is the finished article: