Monday, February 09, 2009

Resources for moviemaking

In a few weeks I will be giving an in-service to my colleagues on the use of Windows MovieMaker. I've downloaded a handful of really great tools, and the more I learn, the more I feel like making videos again. But half of my new discoveries have been legal in nature. The Web is an elusive treasure hunt of information about the doctrine of Fair Use. Most of it is strewn about in localized summaries--getting to the primary sources literally took me hours.

So in this post I would like to list both the tools I'm using to produce my tutorial (and certain excellent guides), as well as a list of important primary-source documents related to copyrights and responsibilities in the non-profit sphere.

Movie tools:
  1. Windows Movie Maker 2.6 - the basic Windows home movie editor
  2. CamStudio 2.5 beta 1 - records on-screen activity
  3. Magnifying Glass Pro - zooms in on area around mouse cursor, because CamStudio does not have built-in zooming functionality yet
  4. OpenOffice.org Impress - free "PowerPoint"--can do fantastic basic animations, excellent for using with compositing/chroma key/blue screen)
  5. Synfig - free 2D animator, allegedly as powerful as Adobe Flash, but not for the faint of heart. I haven't tried it yet, but I would like to.
  6. Fraps - records 3D video games

Tutorials and guides:

  • Compositing and Chroma Key in Windows Movie Maker:

I'm going to explain the first part of this myself, because too many of the guides out there assume you already know how to do this.

Windows Movie Maker does not natively do compositing/chroma key/blue screen effects--where you "erase" the colored background of one video clip so that another one ("behind" it) shows through. You can trick Movie Maker into doing exactly this, though.

First, you need to create a folder. Open up File Explorer, and browse to (minus the brackets). Right-click and select "New" and "Folder". Name the new folder "AddOnTFX".

Now that you have that folder, you are going to create two files in Notepad: one named "composit.xml" and the other named "chroma.xml".

Visit this tutorial by "PapaJohn." Copy the contents of the first example into your "composit.xml". Copy the contents of the second example into your "chroma.xml". Follow the rest of his directions, and enjoy!




1 comment:

Alex Z said...

I was worried you'd quit using this blog. I check it once every few days. Looks like you're back in the swing of things.