Importing Video (Digital Home Movies) Part 2

Capturing a Movie Segment

Capturing a Movie Segment

1 With your DV camera connected to your PC and turned on to playback mode, click the arrow next to Capture Video to expand the section.

2 Click Capture from video device.

3 Type a file name for your captured video, make sure the folder where you want to save the file is chosen (My Videos is the default), and then click Next.

4 Click the button next to Digital device format (DV-AVI), which is the setting for creating a DVD later.


Sometimes only a small portion of the video on your tape is relevant to your home movie project. Windows Movie Maker lets you manually select the portion of the video you want to capture, without forcing you to import everything on the video tape.


5 Select Capture parts of the tape manually, then check the box next to Show preview during capture.

6 Click Next to continue, Locate the portion of the tape you want to capture using the DV camera controls.

7 Click the Start Capture button and record until you reach the end of the tape section, then click the Stop Capture button.

8 Click Finish.


Don’t Become Powerless

Always plug your camera in with the AC adapter when doing video capture. Making movies takes long enough without having to start over due to dead batteries.


Hard Drive Space

The DV-AVI video format recommended here uses about 178MB of disk space per minute of video, or around 10GB per hour. Making movies might be the excuse you need to add a new 200GB hard drive.

Organizing Your Video Files

Organizing Your Video Files

1 Click the Collections button on the toolbar to view available movie clip collections.

2 Click a collection in the Collections window to view its available movie clips.

3 Organize movie clips by combining collections. Click the New Collections Folder button to create a new collection.

4 Type a name for the new folder and drag clips from existing collections to the new collection.


Windows Movie Maker organizes video clips in collections. Each time you import video clips from your hard drive or from a DV camera, Movie Maker creates a new collection for those clips. To create your own organization system, move the clips into new collections.


Repeat for AU Clips

Repeat these steps until your video clips are organized according to your preferences.

Importing Still Photos

Importing Still Photos

1 From the File menu select Import into Collections.

2 Click the Look in drop-down menu to locate the folder where your picture is located. 

3 Click the picture to import.

4 Click the Import button.


Still photos perform many functions in home movies. Photos act as great transitions between scenes. Stills make good backgrounds for titles and credits. An entire movie can consist of nothing but a series of stills set to music. The first step is to import the still into the movie collection.


Where to Find Still Photos

Still photos may be imported from your digital camera, scanned in from printed photos, or downloaded from the Internet. Just be careful to abide by copyright requirements.


Supported Image Types

Movie Maker supports most of the common image types. The following file types are the most common image formats: .bmp, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .tif, .tiff. Movie Maker also supports these types too: .dib, .emf, .jfif, .jpe, and .wmf.

Importing VHS Movies with a DV Camera


1 Connect the red, white, and yellow ends on the video cable to the corresponding connectors on the Audio / Video Out portion of your VCR.

2 Connect the mini-plug end of the video cable to the AV port on your camera.

3 Turn on your digital video camera in VTR (or VCR) mode.


The easiest way to import VHS movies from a VCR to your computer is by recording the VHS tape to a MiniDV tape. Recording VHS to MiniDV involves connecting a VCR to your digital video camera. Recording the VHS tape with your digital video camera is very similar to recording a television show with your VCR.

HINT Pass-through DV

Some DV camcorders allow you to pass an analog signal through to the computer without recording it to tape. This allows you to take advantage of FireWire transfer, without the additional step of saving the VHS movie to DV first.


4 With your source tape rewound, press play on the VCR.

5 Press record on the digital video camcorder.

6 Stop recording when all video has been transferred from the VCR. To import the digital video to your computer, follow the steps in the task titled "Capturing an Entire DV Tape."


Read the Camcorder Manual

To avoid frustration, consult the manual included with your digital video camera to ensure recording from the AV line- in is enabled. This varies by camera, but in most cases, the AV port functions as both an input and an output device.

Importing VHS Movies with a USB Device

Importing VHS Movies with a USB Device

1 Connect one set of red, white, and yellow ends on the stereo video cable to the corresponding connectors on the Audio / Video Out portion of your VCR.

2 Connect the second set of red, white, and yellow ends on the video cable to the connectors on your USB capture device.

3 Connect the USB capture device to your computer.


Several hardware manufacturers make components designed to transfer VHS video via USB. This can be an effective way to import older video, if you don’t have an available digital video camera to use. In most cases, the hardware will act as an intermediary between the computer and your VCR, without adding additional steps to the process.


Resource Conservation

Analog video capture is very resource intensive. When capturing video using a USB device, disconnect any unneeded USB devices, like Webcams, to avoid losing video frames during capture.


5 Click Capture from video device under Capture Video in the Movie Tasks list.

6 Select your USB capture device from the IistofAvailable devices and click Next.


VHS or Hi8 Camcorders

These same steps work for capturing footage from an analog camcorder. Connect the video out on the camcorder to the video in on the USB capture device to transfer footage directly from old home movies. With the analog camcorder in camera mode, you can even capture live video using this USB capture method.


6 Type a name for your video file, make sure the location where the file will be saved is chosen (My Videos is the default), and then click Next.

7 Select Other settings, choose High quality video (large) from the drop-down menu, and then click Next.


Once the hardware setup is complete, it’s time to prepare Windows Movie Maker to capture the raw video footage from the USB device.

TIP Find the Folder

If the folder where you want to save your video file isn’t the one seen in step 3, click Browse to locate the appropriate folder.


8 Push play on the VCR and click Start Capture.

9 Click Stop Capture when the video is done recording.

10 Click Finish.


Analog Capture Options

TV tuner cards make great analog capture devices too. If you have the ability to watch live television on your TV, you already have built in hardware for capturing VHS video.


Analog Video Quality

Movie Maker imports analog video as WMV files with a maximum resolution of 640^480. Many USB capture devices max out at a resolution of320^240. If your device limits resolution, choose a matching quality level in Movie Maker to prevent distortion.

Capturing Live Video

Capturing Live Video

1 Connect a Webcam to your PC.

2 Under Movie Tasks, expand Capture Video by clicking the down arrow at the right and then click Capture from video device.

3 Choose your Webcam from available options.

4 Choose the Audio input source from the drop-down menu, and Ihen click Next.


Webcams have become an inexpensive way to capture live video on your computer. Windows Movie Maker allows you to capture live movies with your Webcam for adding to your movie.


Testing One, Two-

Make sure the audio level is turned up so your voice will be heard clearly as you record the live video. This can be tested by adjusting the input level and speaking a few words.


5 Type a file name for your captured video, make sure the folder where you want to store the video is chosen (My Videos is the default), and then click Next.

6 Choose Best quality for playback on my computer and click Next.

7 Click the Start Capture button to begin recording live video.

8 When you are done recording, click the Stop Capture button, and then click Finish.


Webcam Looks Grainy

The camera lenses used by Webcams are tiny. A small lens means less light getting to the chips used to capture images, which in turn results in a poorer than average image quality.


Turn Off Facial Recognition

Many new Webcams now use facial recognition to track your face at it moves. This works acceptably for video chat but causes the picture to jump when recording video from a Webcam.

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