How To Make a Video with Just Photographs and Music

You can make a video without using any video. It can be done with pictures set to music and you probably have everything you need to do it.

First download pictures and music to your computer. You’ll want to use a photo editing program like Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro or the open source program called Gimp. You can adjust the brightness and contrast, the size and you can crop the pictures. Don’t use copyrighted photos if you want to put this video on the Web.

Download the music file to your computer. This must be an audio file. If it is a MIDI file, you will first need to convert it to audio.

Open Windows Movie Maker on your computer. Click File / Import into collections. Select the photos and music files you want in the video. Only those image formats that are supported by Movie Make will be visible in the selection window.

Hit “Show Storyboard” and then drag your photos to the large slots. Be sure the “Collections” button is pressed in the toolbar. On the left side, click “Video Transitions.” Drag the transition you want to the small slots between the image boxes and drop it. Recommended transitions are fade from black, fade to black, dissolve, and wipe. Save the project often as insurance against computer failure or a power outage.

Click “Video Effects” on the left side of the screen. Drag an effect you want on the image slots of the storyboard. Start the video with a “Fade In from Black” effect. End the video with a “Fade Out to Black” effect. You may not need any more effects than that. You can use a dissolve to indicate a change in time or place, even that is not really necessary. Click and stretch a transitions to make it longer or shorter.

Click “Show Timeline and then “Collections” on the left side. Look for the track labeled “Audio/Music.” Drag your music file into that track. Right click on the music track. Select “Volume” and turn it up. When the blue line starts to show spiking, turn it down a hair. You should see some white space above and below the blue lines. There shouldn’t be any noise when you play the music track. If there is any silence before or after the music, click and drag the end of the music to eliminate the silence.

Select the first video clip then click and drag the end of the clip. Look at the audio track and find the peaks. Drag the video tracks to match the peaks, but be sure the transitions move along with the video ends. Don’t click any unselected clip because that would move the entire segment. The mid point of a video transition should align with the first beat in a bar of music. Don’t make your video clips all the same length. Vary the length of the clips.

Hit “Play” and see what your video looks like. Are the transitions looking right? If you need to move one, press “Pause” and note the time at the upper end of the timeline. Carefully select the video clip and drag the end to the clip.

Click File/Save Movie File. Click “My Computer to write a name for the video. Select the file size. Click “Next” to save the video on your hard drive.

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