Most people don’t realize it, but Windows has a free software program that makes family tree movie-making a snap.
Called Windows Live Movie Maker 2011, for Windows 7 or Vista, it’s a free download from the Microsoft site, with the XP version available at cnet. (See Below).
Getting Started With Your Family Tree Video
Once you have Movie Maker loaded and launched, it’s time to decide exactly what you want to include in the movie, what story line, or theme.
For example, do you want – video footage (like clips of your kids playing sports, a birthday party, anniversary, or reunion), still photos (like pictures of your ancestors), music, or text and title slides? You can add all of the above, thanks to Movie Maker’s drag and drop capability.
Once you launch Movie Maker, begin to import photos or videos from your computer or your camera, directly into the software. If you’re importing from a device, pick it from the “import” options; if from your computer navigate to where the images or video are stored.
Next, just begin arranging photos/videos in the order you want them to appear in the movie, via drag and drop. You can even add interesting transitions (movement) between each clip or photo. Movie Maker also has AutoMovie Themes (Win7) and video effects (XP) – so you can make your final product run in a sepia tone, or even look like it has the “shaky” look of an old-time movie.
Don’t want to use the entire length of the video you uploaded? Not a problem. You can trim the beginning or the end of the clip or even split it in half. Want slo-mo or speed? Again, just select the speed at which you want the movie to play and it’s done!
Finish off your masterpiece with background music or your voice. You can choose the start or end time of the music, and even make it fade in and out.
If you’ve been avoiding making a family tree movie because you think it’s too hard or too expensive, think again. Using Windows free software you can create your own family film with either video clips, still images or a combination of both.
Download Movie Maker 2011 http://explore.live.com/windows-live-movie-maker
Download Movie Maker for XP http://download.cnet.com (If you have XP, you can still grab a copy from one of the popular download sites like cnet ) Hint: On Windows XP, you may have to use the Search function to locate Movie Maker–for some reason Microsoft made it hard to find.