Using Color Video Effects On Still Images: Windows Movie Maker Tips

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When you are trying to continue a trend toward video effects in your Windows Movie Maker project you may have a little trouble when you reach still images. Still images reflect video effects differently and often the lack of motion makes the video effects more obvious. When you are using color based video effects in Windows Movie Maker, such as Grayscale and Sepia, you have to use them appropriately to make them work for still images.

Patterns of Progression

The most common reason for using something like Grayscale or Sepia on a still image is because you have addressed the rest of your Windows Movie Maker project with the same video effect. In this way you are altering the entire film to reflect this video effect. This is not always necessary on the still images, depending on their context.

However, this usually works better in reverse, when the video clips are in color and the still images are altered with video effects like Grayscale or Sepia. What is important to remember is that the still images, if they are not altered with any kind of photo motion, will feel removed from the normal flow of your video. In this way you can actually use a different color pattern to accentuate its removal, and this can reflect your choice to either use or avoid the color affects. Do not feel as though it is entirely necessary to use the color effects on the still images at all times in your Windows Movie Maker projects.


You are going to have an easy time in most cases using color effects like Grayscale and Sepia on still images because photos have come in these colors for a long period of time. It is natural for an audience to see colors like this. It is less natural to see a shifting color scheme such as that found in the Windows Movie Maker video effect “Hue, Cycles Entire Color Spectrum.” This actually adds motion and color changes and becomes the main focus of the image if the image itself is not moving. Windows Movie Maker does not allow a whole host of other color tinting so you really do not have to worry about artificial context in these situations.


Threshold is going to have a strange and dramatic effect on your still images in your Windows Movie Maker project. You are likely not going to be using Threshold on the rest of your project and it will significantly alter the clarity of your still images. Avoid this whenever possible and make sure you are adding to the still image to make it appear less clear and more enigmatic.