Windows Live Movie Maker: Transitions and Wipes

March 4, 2011, By Christian Cawley

With your Windows Live Movie Maker clips edited and positioned as you want them to appear in the finished project you will be ready to take advantage of some of the included extras that the software provides, such as transitions.

After adding a transition to your edited clips, you will your movie project take on a whole new life of its own as it begins to move from a clumsily edited sequence into a more polished production.

Various transitions are available in Windows Live Movie Maker, enabling you to take advantage of wipes, fades and patterns.

Transitions and wipes in Windows Live Movie Maker

What Are Transitions?

Put simple, transitions are the techniques used to join different clips, and are used most commonly to signify a change in location or a change in time.

Normal cinematic convention dictates that an edit cannot take place until the scene is over or the subject’s “turn” has ended. This might mean the subject walking out of shot or their turn speaking coming to an end; at each of these moments you might introduce a standard cut, in these cases to the next scene or to focus on the other person in the conversation.

However transitions can be used in multiple ways; you might have a video recording of an interview that you only want to feature certain sections of. In order to achieve this you would trim down the portions of the clip you want (as demonstrated previously) and then use a fade transition between each of these.

Alternatively you might want to evoke the spirit of Star Wars and take advantage of the range of wipe transitions in your home movie project. There are many choices that can be used and applied with Windows Live Movie Maker.

Viewing, Previewing and Adding the Transition Choices

In order to see what is on offer and how this might affect your movie project, view the Animations tab to view the choice of Transitions that are on offer. You will see that they are split up into categories, such as Diagonals, Patterns and Shapes, Wipes, Reveals and more.

These all work by appearing in-between your clips, allowing for a smooth transition between the different movie segments that you have included in your project, and each can be previewed by hovering your mouse pointer over the transition of choice while playing the movie project.

To add a transition to the project, use the search bar in the preview window to view an impending cut – using the progress bar on the right pane as a reference – and when your cut is approaching, pause the video clip and select the transition you want to use.

Different transitions can be used between different clips, and you can reuse transitions if you like; however if you would prefer to keep things simple, use the Apply to all button to apply your last-chosen transition to all cuts. You can also alter the transition Duration just above this, useful for changing the pace of the cut.

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