Add transitions and effects to pictures and video in Windows Movie Maker

You can improve your moviemaking by adding your own special touches to make your movies look distinctive and professional. By adding transitions and effects, you can make sure that your movie flows nicely from one scene to the next and give it the look you want.

Transitions

A transition controls how your movie plays from one video clip or picture to the next. You can add a transition between two pictures, video clips, or titles in any combination on the storyboard/timeline. You might choose to use a popular and great-looking transition like a Fade. Or you might choose to use more brash transitions, such as, Bars, Shatter, or Zig Zag (to name just a few).

Picture of a transition on the storyboard
A project on the storyboard with a transition

Any transitions that you add appear on the Transition track of the timeline. To see this track, you must expand the Video track.

Picture of a transition on the timeline
A project on the timeline with a transition
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To add a transition

  1. On the storyboard/timeline, click the second of the two video clips, titles, or pictures that you want to add a transition between.

  2. Click Tools, and then click Transitions.

  3. In the Contents pane, click the transition that you want to add. You can click Play under the monitor to see a preview of what the transition looks like.

  4. Click Clip, and then click Add to Timeline or Add to Storyboard.

Notes

  • You can also add a transition by dragging it to the timeline and dropping it between two clips on the Video track. Or, if you are in the storyboard view, you can drag the transition to the transition cell between two video clips or pictures.

  • If you upgraded your computer from Windows XP to Windows Vista, any additional transitions and effects that you had previously downloaded and installed will not be available in the current version of Windows Movie Maker.

To change the transition duration

The amount of overlap between two clips determines the transition duration. At times, you might want to make the transition shorter or longer.

  1. To view the Transition track of the timeline, expand the Video track.

  2. On the Transition track of the timeline, do one of the following:

    • To reduce the transition duration, drag the beginning of the transition towards the end of the timeline.

    • To increase the transition duration, drag the beginning of the transition towards the beginning of the timeline.

To change the default transition duration

  1. Click Tools, click Options, and then click the Advanced tab.

  2. Type the time (in seconds) that you want transitions to play back by default after the transitions are added to the storyboard/timeline.

To remove a transition

  1. Do one of the following:

    • On the storyboard, click the transition cell that contains the transition that you want to remove.

    • On the timeline, click the transition on the Transition track that you want to remove.

  2. Click Edit, and then click Remove.

Effects

Effects enable you to add special effects to your movie. For example, you might have an imported video that you want to look and feel like a classic, old-time movie. If so, you could add one of the Film Age effects to a video clip, picture, or title to make the video for that clip look like an old-time movie.

Picture of an effect on the storyboard
A project on the storyboard with an effect
Picture of an effect on the timeline
A project on the timeline with an effect
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To add an effect

  1. On the storyboard/timeline, select the video clip, picture, or title to which you want to add the effect.

  2. Click Tools, and then click Effects.

  3. In the Contents pane, click the effect you want to add. You can click Play under the preview monitor to see a preview of what the effect looks like.

  4. Click Clip, and then click Add to Timeline or Add to Storyboard.

Notes

  • You can also add an effect by dragging the effect from the Contents pane and dropping it on a picture or video clip on the Video track of the timeline, to the effect cell of a video clip, or to a picture on the storyboard.

  • The thumbnail view in the Contents pane displays examples of the different effects.

  • If you upgraded your computer from Windows XP to Windows Vista, any additional transitions and effects that you had previously downloaded and installed will not be available in the current version of Windows Movie Maker.

To change an effect

  1. On the Video track of the timeline or on the storyboard, click the video clip, picture, or title that has the applied effect you want to change.

  2. Click Clip, point to Video, and then click Effects.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To remove an effect, in the Displayed effects area, click the effect, and then click Remove. Repeat as necessary.

    • To add an effect, in the Available effects area, click the effect you want to add, and then click Add. Repeat as necessary.

Tips

  • If you add multiple effects, you can change the order in which they are displayed by using the Move Up or Move Down buttons.

  • To quickly add an effect, you can drag an effect to a video clip, picture, or title on the storyboard/timeline.

  • If you add the same effect more than once to a clip, the effect is applied as many times as you added it. For example, if you add the Speed Up, Double effect two times to the same video clip, the clip would play four times as fast as the original clip.

  • You can also remove an effect by selecting the effect cell in the storyboard that contains the effect you want to remove, and then pressing the DELETE key.