If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can also create a digital story using WLMM. You can acquire it by downloading the Windows Live Essentials package for free from Microsoft’s website. A simple search for Windows Live Movie Maker in Google should point you in the right direction. Once you have installed the application, find it and launch it.
You’ll notice that the interface is quite similar to iMovie as a non-linear video editor.
Lets start by adding the photos you’ve downloaded or taken. Click on “ADD VIDEOS and PHOTOS”. Find the photos on your computer and add them all. You can now sequence them by clicking a photo and dragging it to a desired location. Try to order your photos so that the complement your narrative.
Once your images have been added and sequenced, lets add the audio file that you created in Audacity.
Click the “Add Music” button, navigate to your MP3 or WAV audio file and click OPEN. Once added, you’ll notice a green bar that is now wrapped around your images – this is your audio.
You can also add a title to the beginning of your story by click on the Title button here. Anytime you have text on the screen, its important that you allow enough time for your audience to be able to read the text. An average time on-screen should be between 3 and 5 seconds.
You can change the duration of your images and titles by double clicking on the selecting image. You’ll notice a DURATION drop down menu in the middle-top left. This is where you indicate how long an image should appear on the screen. If the audio of your digital story lasts for 2.5 minutes, then that would 150 seconds. If you have 15 images, then each image may appear for 10 seconds. You may have more or less images and these images may last longer or shorter on the screen. Just make sure you adjust and match the duration of your images to the pace of your narrative.
Once your images are sequences, and your audio is added, you can also apply certain effects and transitions to your project. If you want to create a Ken Burns effect that pans from left to right on your image, first select your image, click the ANIMATIONS menu, then on the right, choose the pan and zoom motion of your choice. Unlike iMovie, Windows Live Movie Maker does not allow you to manually control this. You have to choose from the predetermined motions.
After you added Pan and Zoom effect, you can add wipes, dissolves and cross fades by selecting the image and clicking on appropriate transition in the top left.
When using transitions and pan and zoom effects, be sure you have a rationale as to why you used them. Listeners of digital stories often say that when these effects are over-used, it takes away from the impact of the story.
After you have produced your story, its now time to save it. Click the HOME menu, then click SAVE MOVIE. You will be saving this for the computer in a WMV format. WMV is a Windows Media Video format that is compatible with Youtube. Type in a name for your file and click save. Once you click save, Windows Live Movie Maker will combine all of your images and audio and create 1 single WMV file. This may take 4-5 minutes. You may be enticed to click on the YOUTUBE icon in Windows Live Movie Maker, however if you do, the application will first require you to sign in with your Microsoft Live Account. If you have one, you can enter it and automatically send it online, however if you dont, dont worry about it. Just save the WMV file to your computer. Once this file has been created, you are now ready to email it, copy it to a CD, OR Upload it to Youtube.com.