BLUESCREENING IN WINDOWS MOVIEMAKER 2.6  - A guide for Primary School Teachers


I frequently use bluescreen with my class. It's such an engaging and exciting way to transport children somewhere else - whether that be far into the future or the distant past. The pictures above are from our bluescreen adaptation of HG Wells' War of the Worlds - a week long cross curricular project with my Y4 class last year!

It's pretty straightforward and inexpensive to bluescreen in the classroom. My bluescreen 'studio' consists of two large bright blue bedsheets from Tesco pegged onto a washing line in a well lit classroom! I film the children in front of the blue background ,using a flip camera or mobile phone and then teach the children how to edit the movie in WMM 2.6 with an extra transition added to the program to create the bluescreen effect ... Read on for more details.

To bluescreen in Windows you need to use Windows Moviemaker 2.6 rather than WMM Live Essentials- and you need to add a transition to the program file.

These are the instructions to add the bluescreen transition to WMM2.6

1.  First of all, make sure you have WMM 2.6. I don’t think that you can add the transition to WMM Live Essentials. You can download version 2.6 for free here http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=34

2.  The bluescreen transition is not a standard transition on WMM, but you create it by adding some program code (Don’t worry – this is incredibly easy!)

3.  First, open the Program file for MovieMaker 2.6 (Start>Computer>C Drive> ProgramFiles>MovieMaker2.6>Shared) 

4.  When you do this, you should see a Program file called AddOnTFX.  If you don’t, then don’t worry, just click on New Folder and make a new empty folder and call it AddOnTFX

5.  Next,you need to highlight and copy the code below. This is what creates the bluescreen transition

<TransitionsAndEffectsVersion="1.0" >
<Transitions>
<TransitionDLLguid="{C5B19592-145E-11D3-9F04-006008039E37}" >
<Transition name="Bluescreen" iconid="12"comment="Makes first clip show through blue areas of second clip">
<Param name="KeyType"value="1"/>
<Param name="Similarity"value="100"/>
<Param name="Progress"value="0.0"/>
</Transition>
</TransitionDLL>
</Transitions>
</TransitionsAndEffects>

If you can't cut and paste from this page then visit the WMM Forum post here

http://www.windowsmoviemakers.net/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?&PostID=39567 which contains the same instructions.

6. Next, open up Notepad (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Notepad) and paste the code you have just copied into your opened Notepad document.

7.  Save the Notepad file into your AddonTFX folder at C:\Program Files\Movie Maker\Shared\AddOnTFX . You need to call the Notepad file bluescreen.xml when you save it.

8. When you restart WMM, you should have a new transition called Bluescreen in Tools>Video Transitions.

I’ve created 2 video tutorials that show you how to use the bluescreen transition.  I created them to help out the PGCE students who came to work with us as part of the Chester ICT project in 2012. I would recommend watching the tutorials to help you to understand the way in which the bluescreen transition works.

Here are the links to the two screencast tutorials teaching you how to bluescreen in Windows 

TUTORIAL 1  http://www.screencast.com/t/4rrtESE3t4 (5 mins)

TUTORIAL 2 http://www.screencast.com/t/ltlO3Qqcrs  (5 mins)


Also – there is an excellent website called www.dreamscene.org which has animated video loops which I frequently use in bluescreen work as backgrounds. They are very effective and are quite ‘expensive’ looking for e.g. special effects style work.

Another great site for royalty free music to add to your movies is http://incompetech.com/.

Just make sure you give a credit to both of the above sites in the titles to your films.