Movie Maker editing and effects

I wanted to explore what kind of editing and effects were possible with Windows Live Movie Maker.
I started with a 02:30 Quick Time (.mov) video of my daughter at a piano recital (playing the Beatles’ Norwegian Wood) and started adding effects. I needed to split the video to apply multiple effects. The final video includes the following effects:
• Title with cinematic burst (simulated lens flare). Many font, colour and effect options
• Blur in from black transition
• Black and white, classic followed by cyan tone and sepia tone
• Edge detection: black and whitish, looks like a pencil drawing?
• Posterize, colourization looks sort of like a poster
• 3D ripple: funky swirl distortion
• Mirror horizontal, there’s also mirror vertical available
• Hue: cycles through colour spectrum
• Pixelate: classic digital age
• Spin: like the video is a postcard
• Warp: wave like distortion
• Fade out to black
• Credits: all kinds of fades, fonts, themes, and effects available

I added captions to each segment to identify the effect.
A threw in 30 seconds of the original Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) over the credits.
Lots of publish options, from HD to email size. I Saved in 960 x 720 format, which gave a 172 MB .wmv file. Took about 30 minutes to upload to YouTube.

Multimedia Enhanced Lesson

Moon Phases

 It would be almost impossible to explain Moon phases without pictures or, at the very least, waving your hands around.Both the Earth and the Moon are half lit on the side facing the Sun. The Earth rotates once every 24 hours and the Moon orbits the Earth every 28 days. The Earth only faces the Moon 12 hours a day so we get 28 distinct moon phases. Here’s a picture that will help visualize what’s going on. 

Mouse over for captions
Keep in mind that the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth, like it was on a string. What you can also see from the graphic is:
• There is always a dark side of the Moon, as there is always a dark side of the Earth.
• There is a side of the Moon we never see, but it’s not always dark.
• How eclipses happen. A solar eclipse is the Moon’s shadow on the Earth and a lunar eclipse is the Earth’s shadow on the Moon.

We see moon phases because of the relative motion of the Earth and Moon and our perspective from the surface of the Earth. Changing the perspective is the easiest way to see what is happening. Here is a short narrated video that may help you to visualize the mechanics.

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Editing Audio Files: Stuart McLean

I was saddened this week (Feb.15) to hear of the passing of long-time CBC broadcaster Stuart McLean. McLean created the weekly radio show “The Vinyl Café” in 1994 and continued until his diagnosis with cancer in 2015. There were also books and live performances based on the Vinyl Café characters. I always loved listening to the Vinyl Café and McLean leaves behind a legacy of recorded material that we can continue to enjoy, even now that he is gone. I have created a small compilation of Vinyl Café moments using Audacity.  I downloaded pieces from the Internet Archive and the CBC’s Vinyl Cafe library.


Audacity Audio Effects

I installed Audacity, got myself a microphone and recorded my voice. I wanted to try some of the audio effects built in to Audacity. I played around and have compiled the following effects:

  1. Echo
  2. Speed up and down
  3. Echo
  4. Delay
  5. Reverb
  6. Reverse
  7. Stretch

Here’s the “Add Media” version:

and the <audio> version:

I installed the Lame.dll to allow export to .mp3 format. I added all the track tags like artist name, track title etc. to see if/how they would display in a blog page.

Audio in a web page – test

Test of 4 alternate methods of including audio in a WordPress site.
1. First using the Add Media button:

2. Here’s the first HTML version. Uses <a> tag
Bill Withers – Use Me 1972

3. This version uses <audio> tag

4. The last version uses <embed> tag


  • Number 2 opens player in window
  • <embed> version #4 works but persistently autoplays so I disabled it.
  • Numbers 1, 3 and 4 can play at the same time.

Resize an image for a thumbnail

Thumbnails are used to provide a small icon representing a larger image. On a web page it is common to make the thumbnail a link to the larger image, very similar to the common text link. A thumbnail can be a scaled down version of the large image or a cropped section of the larger image, or some combination of both.

Here I’ve used a scaled down and cropped image for this thumbnail of a squirrel photo. This picture was taken by my daughter in our backyard and won first prize in an SPCA contest. The full sized photo appeared in their 2015 fundraising calendar.
SquirrelThumb Uses:
width = “75”
target=”_blank” so that the full size image opens in a new window
title=”Click for full size image” to give users a tip on Mouseover to click to get the full size image 

Graphic Layers

I used GIMP to create a graphic with layers. This is straightforward as GIMP makes a layer out of every object you add to the picture.The challenge is making only 2 layers. Luckily, GIMP has a “Merge Down” tool that allows you to combine layers. I put all of the text layers together (except the title) and all of the graphical layers together and saved 2 versions with and without text. I put the two version together in a “image swap” to turn the text off and on. This an effective technique that adds some functionality to an otherwise static graphic.

Mouse over to see the captions

<img src=”http://image1.jpg”
onMouseOut=”this.src=’http://image1.jpg'” />