With Windows Movie Maker, importing and editing high-definition footage is as easy as leaping out of a plane. So, first things first, let's get that footage from camera to PC.
1. Launch Movie Maker by clicking on Vista’s Start button and choosing it from All Programs. Click on the ‘Import video’ or the ‘Capture from video device’ option, as appropriate. If you’re going to import video directly from your camcorder, ensure that it is switched on and connected to your PC.
2. Windows Movie Maker’s Autoplay dialog box should pop up. Set the camera mode to play – this is often labelled VTR or VCR on the camera. Movie Maker should recognise your camera and display the Import Video dialog. If you don’t see this window, choose File, ‘Import from digital video camera’ from the options listed on the left.
3. Type a name for the file you wish to import in the Name box. Select a save-to location from the list, or click Browse to choose another. Choose a video file format from the Formats list; choosing ‘Windows Media Video File (single file)’ creates a single Windows Media Video file with all the footage on the tape.
4. To import selected parts of your footage, click the ‘Only import parts of the videotape to my computer’ option and choose Next. On the ‘Cue the videotape and then start importing video’ page, choose a starting point using your camera’s controls or the Camera Controls under ‘Import video’. Click ‘Start video import’.
5. When the process reaches the point where you want to stop importing video, click Stop Video Import. Repeat this with each clip. Don’t worry if you import footage that you don’t want – you can discard it later. You can split up imported clips as much as you like once they are in Movie Maker and delete as much as you need.
6. Movie Maker supports a large number of video, audio and image file formats. To import files stored on your PC, choose File, Import Media Items. You can also drag files from the Photo Gallery into Movie Maker. Choosing Make a Movie in Photo Gallery automatically adds credits, titles and transitions.