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Capturing Video in Movie Maker 2
Last updated 5-13-03

When capturing video to your hard drive, you have the option of capturing specific portions of your tape, or allowing Movie Maker to run through your entire tape and capturing everything. Most of my home-movies are short (under 10 minutes), and I like to capture in DV-AVI, so I always capture manually.

A word of warning: If you plan on using the DV format, make sure you have a fast computer and enough hard drive space, as an hour of DV-AVI quality takes up 13 gigs of space! For full-tape captures, I recommend using the WMP9 at the highest setting, as an hour-tape only takes up 3 gigs.

Steps to Capturing Video:

  1. Step one: Connect your camcorder to your computer. Turn the camcorder on and switch it to “Play Mode.” This mode is also called VCR or VTR on some brands.
  2. Step two: Windows XP will detect your camcorder and ask you whether you want to capture video with movie maker, or possibly with another program. Choose Movie Maker.

    If you don’t see this auto-detect window, you can bring it up within Movie Maker. Click [File – Capture Video] or just simply click “capture movie” within the task pane.
  3. Step three: Pick a name for your captured video, and a place you want to capture the video to. This may be to your “My Video” folder, or possibly to an extra hard drive.
  4. Step four: Choose what video settings you want to save as. For the highest quality, select DV-AVI. For excellent quality, with much lower file sizes, pick WMP9.
  5. Step five: If you want to manually capture video clips, select “capture parts of tape manually”. Then, locate the tape position you want to start recording by using the DV camera controls (or just by rewinding on the camcorder itself), and hit “record”

    If you’de like to capture the entire tape , select “Capture entire tape automatically”. Movie Maker will then rewind your camcorder, and begin capturing your entire tape. If you want to separate the video into smaller clips, select “create clips when wizard finishes”.
  6. Step six: To stop the tape before the video ends, simply click “stop capture”. To capture more video clips, repeat these steps.

Where’s the video?
After you’ve captured your video, the video file itself will be located on your computer at the location you specified during capture. You will also find a thumbnail of the video(s) inside of MovieMaker, meaning that it’s ready to be used in your new movie.

Remember, when you edit clips within MovieMaker (trimming, cutting, and pasting them together), the original video file is not altered, but is only used by MovieMaker. When MovieMaker exports your completed movie, the used portions from the original are copied into the new movie.

You may want to move your captured video files into a better location. I like to create a new folder for each home movie I make … and place everything into this folder. This includes the videos, pictures, music, and the MovieMaker project file itself. This way, if I ever want to transfer my MovieMaker Project to another computer, I can simply copy this single folder, and don’t have to hunt throughout my entire computer for all the video and audio clips.

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