Rotating and Cropping a
Having always used movie cameras and camcorders in the upright position,
I hadn't realized how many turn them sideways to get a portrait-mode video clip, or create/receive clips
that need rotation. Movie Maker can rotate clips by 90 or 180 degrees, but it results in mishaped and/or
black borders... and sometimes you need something other than a 90 degree turn.
For this newsletter, I'll use Movie Maker and VirtualDub together... rotating
scenes as needed, and cropping and resizing to appropriately resize the content to fill the screen. It's
something that's easier to do than to explain.
As I videoed my grandson's football game on Saturday, I forced myself to
take a couple scenes at angles that would need correcting during editing... to get a couple real clips
to use for this tutorial.
Here's a frame from each of 4 scenes as they look in VirtualDub. Two are
normal. One needs a 90 degree clockwise rotation, and the other needs turning about 45 degrees clockwise.
I'll open the same file in both Movie Maker and VirtualDub, and move back
and forth between the two apps as I work on the selected segment. They don't conflict.
I took the footage in widescreen mode. I'll use the widescreen option in
Movie Maker, and the images will appear a bit squeezed in VirtualDub... ignore the squeezing and all
will be fine. VirtualDub doesn't reshape pixels to maintain the aspect ratio as Movie Maker does.
... before getting into it, here
are a few notes...
My Toshiba laptop was officially declared a 'lemon' by CompUSA last week.
Three days after being returned from the last repair trip, it needed a new mother-board (again). As it
was under a 3-year extended warranty, I was able to select anything up to the original purchase price
to replace it; an HP laptop is on order.
I'll be at the Microsoft MVP Summit next week, and doing some vacationing
on the way back... traveling with my old Dell laptop while I wait for delivery of the new HP. Being cramped
for time and computer capabilities, I'll publish this and the next issue #72 very early, and then skip
a week before #73.
.... on to the main topic
Rotating Selected Scenes
Older versions of VirtualDub don't handle the newer type I DV-AVI files
from Movie Maker 2 but
1.6.0 (build 215490) does. With the Panasonic DV codec installed on the computer, it's easy
and lossless to go back and forth between Movie Maker and VirtualDub during project editing.
Movie Maker has a file open, it doesn't lock it from being used by other software... and VirtualDub acts
the same way. One result is being able to use Movie Maker and VirtualDub with the same file at the same
I'll emphasize this point as we go, starting by showing you the screen shot
at the right... with the same source file open in both software apps.
When you see a segment that needs rotating, select the segment in VirtualDub
by marking its first frame (press the Home key) and last frame (press the End key)... that tells Virtual
Dub to use that segment when rendering a new file with your changes applied.
You can apply rotation and cropping filters at the same time, but I prefer
doing them in two steps... rotating the segment first, and then cropping while looking at... the clip
For this rotation, after selecting the range in VirtualDub, apply the rotate2
filer with a setting of -47 degrees, select the Panasonic codec for video compression, and then render
the segment to a new file (File > Save as AVI). There's no need to resize; it's DV-AVI in and DV-AVI
out... and DV-AVI (NTSC) is always 720x480 pixels.
Leaving VirtualDub open, import the new clip into Movie Maker and see how
it looks... I named it a temporary file because I knew it would need cropping also... unless you like
this kind of black-border effect, in which case you're done.
Preview the rotated clip in the MM2 collection and note that its made from
just the selected segment of the larger clip.
... Leaving MM2 open, go back to VirtualDub, this time to crop the rotated
clip to show the center of interest... and resize that part to the full 720x480 pixels.
Add the resize filter (Video > Filters > resize). Opt for 720x480 for DV-AVI
The Cropping option isn't a filter in VirtualDub... it's
an option that you can use when adding any of the filters.
It's grayed out until you add a filter. In this case, adding the resize
filter ungrays the button.
Pressing the Cropping button opens this window... where you tweak the 4
controls to get the desired offset dimensions.
Many scenes such as this one don't need precise arithmetic. I eyeball/estimate
it as I set the cropping lines. When it looks OK, press the button and move on.
With the cropping settings selected, the resizing ready to make it 720x480,
the Panasonic DV codec selected for video compression, save it as an AVI file (File > Save as AVI), and
you have what should be the final corrected clip.
... from VirtualDub, go back to Movie Maker 2, import the new clip and take
a look at it in the preview monitor.
If it's good enough, put it into your project and keep going. If you want
to tweak it further, it's still an open project in Virtual Dub... go back and adjust the settings some
more, and save it again to a new avi file.
Here's the rotated, cropped and resized clip in Movie Maker...
Check the clip's audio track. The wave patterns show the audio track made
it through the two rendering processes without us having to think about it.
That's all there is to it.
Conclusions and Closing
I'm hoping you'll find the process of using Movie Maker and VirtualDub together
like this to be easy and fun...
I didn't go through the other scene that needed rotating... it would be
even easier than the one we did. Use the rotate filter instead of the rotate2... Rotate is for 90 degree
increments... rotate2 is for any angle.
If you don't take videos at angles and don't need to rotate clips, you can
get lots of mileage from the cropping feature... I'm sure there are many scenes where you would like
to change the focus of attention by cropping/resizing.
I look forward to comments and discussion about this and other newsletters on the forums at:
Windows Movie Makers.net
Have a great week...
Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 3 -
Photo Story 2 - www.photostory.papajohn.org
Products and Services
I'm involved in many things that support users of Movie Maker and Photo Story, and adding more regularly.
Some are free and others reasonably priced.
Radio and Podcasting
is the only weekly Podcast having more useful information about desktop video editing and production
than anywhere else on the Web. Digital video editing, nonlinear editing, streaming media, software releases,
tutorials, business tips, technical help, download of the day and news on the latest products to make
everything easier. It's where professional and consumer desktop video users go to stay on the cutting
Call the phone mail machine to get your technical question answered on the air... call (206)-203-3516
The radio broadcast is from Boston, and the website has downloadable podcast files. The June 19th
2005 podcast included the first 'bi-weekly' show with a segment about Movie Maker 2.
Movie Maker 2 - Do Amazing Things (with its online companion on
by Microsoft Press
Movie Maker 2 - Zero to Hero - with support on the publisher's forum -
Friends of Ed
MaximumPC's winter 2005 quarterly special... had a 7 page tutorial 'Make a Killer Home Movie with
Maker 2'. The special edition of the video made for it is now
my website as a file download.
Learning VirtualDub - published by
Publishing, is the first book about VirtualDub software. I wrote the first chapter about downloading
and setting up the software: VirtualDub, VDubMod and AVISynth.
Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 3 - www.papajohn.org
- the site's 3 goals are: an online companion to the Do Amazing Things book, a detailed tutorial for
PhotoStory 3, and helping you solve Movie Maker 2 problems.
Online Support - Forums and Newsgroups
I'm a regular on many online forums and newsgroups, the key ones being:
Forums are open to all for viewing, but require registration of those who want to
post. Moderators actively participate to ensure the forum discussions move forward and stay on track.
Movie Maker and Photo Story forums at W
indows Movie Makers
Movie Maker 2 forum at
Newsgroups are wide open for all to view and post... moderation is collective by
Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup -
Photo Story 3 newsgroup -
Movie Maker 2/Photo Story newsletter. The annual subscription is $20 and the link to subscribe is
on the main page of my Movie Maker website at:
Topics for upcoming newsletters (always subject to change):
October 1 - Equipment - Monopod (I'll issue this one early)
October 8 - no newsletter
Older newsletters (more than 6 issues ago) are posted by Rob Morris to an
at his Windows Movie Makers website. Links from website pages to specific newsletters make it easier
for the website viewer to see the content of both while browsing a topic.
Drop an email to suggest a newsletter topic... I can use more requests rather than fewer.
Add-On Transitions and Effects
Maker 2 (TM2) is a utility for the ultimate in making your own personal and custom
transitions for Movie Maker 2. It's a joint product from Patrick Leabo, the programmer, and myself. Version
2 was released a week ago and I'm still working on updating the online tutorial.
routinely beta test the Pixelan
packages and think very highly of their people and products.
ProDAD's Adorage package for Movie Maker 2 provides an additional source of professionally
developed transitions and effects.
your personal information is more of a challenge as hard drives get bigger and the internet more robust.
My personal database has been an ongoing project over many years, and is now available to others.
Info is on the Managing > Personal Database page of my site, and in the database package itself.
It's available free to regular newsletter subscribers... send an email request.
To others it's $10. To order, use the button on the top of the Managing > Personal Database page.
An online gallery that fully aligns with the main priority of the website is the
'PapaJohn Expert Zone'
Check it at Neptune
and the Distributing > Neptune page of the website, where there's a developing tutorial about how to
use the service.
in conjunction with the Portage, Michigan library, I offer two free training sessions
about Movie Maker, an intro session and a workshop. The upcoming scheduled sessions are:
Monday - September 19 - 6-7:30 - Intro to Movie Maker
Monday - October 10 - 6-7:30 - Workshop
Other fee-based services
you can't save a movie because your project has become too complex, e-mail a copy and
I'll divide it into manageable sub-projects, and provide detailed instructions about how to render the
parts and assemble them into your final movie. $49.95 (no cost if it's not the right solution or doesn't
work) - for details, see the sidebar on the Problem Solving > Can't Save a Movie page of
Movie Maker 2/Photo Story training and support services start at $50 per hour - send
an email - PapaJohn@CharterMi.net
and I'll help you determine your needs, and work with you to plan and implement them.
Wedding combo website/video packages - starting at $2,500 + travel expenses. See
or the bottom branch of the Movie Maker 2 website for a sample of what you can expect for the online
portion of the package.
Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other
About John 'PapaJohn' Buechler from Microsoft.com
||John "PapaJohn" Buechler, of Kalamazoo, Mich., goes by PapaJohn online.
An avid user of Movie Maker since its first release, and a regular supporter
of the community of Movie Maker users, John received a 2003 MVP award
from Microsoft for that support. In March 2003, he started a comprehensive
website about Movie Maker 2 at
He maintains the website, writes books and articles, teaches, and provides
support services - all for the community of Movie Maker 2 users. An engineer
by formal education, John is a computer database and multimedia expert
by business and personal experience. He co-authored the first book about
Movie Maker 2 and is actively working on a second one. You can find his
advice in the
Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup and in the Windows
Movie Makers Forums.
newsletter is republished with permission of John "PapaJohn" Buechler.
Please note that this is an archive of newsletters and some information
may become outdated. PapaJohn, and the webmaster of this site, provides this
information "AS IS" with no warranties.
Visit - PapaJohn's Movie Maker 2 and Photo
Story 2 Newsletter Index