How to Chroma Key in Windows Movie Maker

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Once you become comfortable with basic editing in Windows Movie Maker, the next temptation is trying something more advanced. Use a blue screen to insert movies into the background of other movies. This process, called chroma key, can be utilized on your computer.

  • Choose your background video. This is whatever material you want to show in the blue area of the blue screen scene. It can be a home video or footage you already have on your computer.

  • Shoot your blue screen scene. The blue screen can be any flat, evenly blue surface, such as a blue wall or a large piece of blue felt. Make sure you light the background evenly. Any differences will show up as unevenness in the final product. It may take several tries to get everything adjusted to the point where the final product looks clean and professional. Keep your background scene in mind. You don't want the blue screen scene to be longer than the background scene.

  • Transfer the blue screen scene to your computer. Consult your camera's instructions if you're not sure how to do this.

  • Add the bluescreen transition file to your Windows Movie Maker program. Find the code by going to the Windows Moviemakers website and searching for "bluescreen transition." Paste the code into a Notepad document and save it as "bluescreen.xml" into the C:\Program Files\Movie Maker\Shared\AddOnTFX folder. If you don't have this folder, make it.

  • Combine your videos in Windows Movie Maker. Import both videos into the program. Drag the background video onto the timeline, followed by the bluescreen scene.

  • Add the bluescreen transition. Go to the "Tools" menu and click "Video Transitions." Choose the icon labeled "bluescreen" and drag onto the timeline between the two videos. Click the left edge of the blue screen box on the timeline and drag it to the left so that it overlaps the background scene as much as the program will allow.

  • Preview your video and save if you're satisfied. If there are blue edges around the subject in your bluescreen video, your bluescreen wasn't uniform enough and you may need to use a different screen or adjust your lighting.

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