Graduations are major milestones in our lives. One way to encapsulate the passage of time that goes along with graduations is to create a slideshow. Setting personal memories against a background of music can create a powerful emotional experience for the graduate, as well as for her friends and loved ones. Using a simple and free program called Windows Live Movie Maker, you can create a graduation slideshow for your child that will be reflective of their personal experiences.
Items you will need
- Windows Live Movie Maker
Upload any pictures that you want to use in the slideshow to your computer. This can be done by inserting your digital camera's memory card into your computer and copying the files to your "Pictures" folder or by scanning pictures that have been printed out into your scanner and then saving those to your "Pictures" folder. Just make sure that you save all the pictures you want to use in the same folder for easier access.
Download and install Windows Live Movie Maker if you don't have the program already (see link in "Resources").
Open the Windows Movie Maker application by opening the "Start" menu and then clicking on "Windows Live Movie Maker" icon.
Open the folder that houses your pictures in a separate window. Drag and drop any photos you want to use in your slideshow into the blank white section of the Movie Maker window (on the right-hand side).
Click the "Add Music" icon to open Windows Explorer. Browse through your music files to find a song that you want to use for your slideshow. Double-click the track to add it to your slideshow.
Rearrange your photos in the order that you want them to appear in your slideshow by dragging and dropping them. Double-click any photo to change the duration of time that it will be displayed (under the "Duration" category near the top of the screen).
Add transition effects to a photo by clicking it once and then clicking the "Animations" tab at the top of the window. Scroll through the list of transitions (in the upper left-hand corner of the page) to preview them. Click on one to add it to the photo that you've selected.
Add visual effects to your photo by clicking it once and then clicking the "Visual Effects" tab at the top of the window. Scroll through the list of effects to preview them. Click the effect you want to add it to your photo.
Preview your slideshow by clicking the "Play" button beneath the viewing screen on the right-hand side of the window.
Click the disk icon at the top of the window to save your project when you're finished. Give the project a name and choose a destination folder for it. Your project can also be published to YouTube, Facebook or Flickr by clicking the appropriate icon in the upper right-hand corner of the window, under the "Home" tab.
Tips & Warnings
- Use pictures throughout the graduate's life, not just pictures from graduation.
- Try not to overuse transition effects. While they can make the video flow more smoothly, they can also appear cheesy if done too often.
- Include music that's personal to the graduate.
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