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Windows Movie Maker: Tips for Using Video Effects on Still Images

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Misty Faucheux•updated: 7/7/2011

Here are a few pointers for applying different video effects to still images in Windows Movie Maker.

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    Still Changes

    Photos and still pictures are just a regular part of all video editing. Though moving images tend to be the center part of filmmaking, still images play a major part in different types of movies. Windows Movie Maker is a simple non-linear video editing software, yet its main purpose is to alter and arrange images.

    Even the still images need to be able to be altered through a series of tools so that the image comes out the way the artist intended. Video effects are one of the primary ways in which this is done and these can also be applied to still images though the effect is much different. Here are a few tips for adding video effects to still images in Windows Movie Maker.

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    What you first have to realize is that most of the Windows Movie Maker effects are designed for moving images. When a video effect is on a still image. it becomes even more noticeable, even the main focus of the clip. Things like Film Age and Hue and Cycles Entire Color Spectrum have such motion to them that they will dominate the screen when on a still image.

    This can work for or against you, depending on your purpose. If you want to spice up a clean still image and meld it into a larger whole strong moving video effects may help. If it is important for the audience to see the image clearly then you might want to stay away from these.

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    Image Shift

    Many of the image altering effects that do a fundamental shift in the position of the image will affect the still image the same as a video. Essentially these may not even look like a video effect too much since they just alter the positioning of the image.

    Windows Movie Maker video effects like Mirror, Horizontal and Rotate 270 would then just change the image without altering it in an unnatural way. The point with these is that you may not want to apply these types of video effects to your image because they will just negatively affect the perception of the image clarity and will not look as though there were any creative changes made.

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    Ease In

    One video effect that seems natural on still images is the Ease In and the inverse, Ease Out. These provide a slow zoom in or out of the image over the course of the images duration in the Timeline. This video effect will mimic photo motion, which is common for video photo moments.

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    Cover Video Effects

    The rest of the alteration video effects in Windows Movie Maker, like Pixelate and Blur, will just alter the image in a static way. The same is true when applying these video effects to the photo as when doing it to video.

    Make sure that it is motivated and helps you realize your vision. This is especially true with photos since the singularity in imagery will make the effect look awkward if not placed with care. You may also want to shorten the image length if you are going to apply these heavy video effects.