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Table of contents

bulletSetting Exact Duration
bulletReverse Video
bulletCreating Custom Titles and Credits


Setting Exact Duration

In Movie Maker one can specify the default duration time for still pictures which is applied to each picture when it is added to the story board. This is normally done from the menu Tools->Option->Advanced. Similarly duration time for a new transition can be specified at the same dialog tab.

However for some unknown reason the Movie Maker's designers have limited the unit of time one can specify in this dialog to take 1 second increments. Only when specifying a time duration of less than 1 sec, it accepts sub second time values which is still restricted to some pre determined increment values.

All this is very unsatisfactory as it cripples the ability to sync a slideshow with music beats or doing any other creative editing effect.

This is completely unnecessary too: there is no technical reason for such a restrictions in these values. It seems somebody just over-designed the dialog box controls.

Good news:

I have discovered a hack to partially overcome this restriction!!!

The values entered in this dialog are stored by Movie Maker in the registry as milliseconds at the following location :



One can modify the values directly in the registry. However I have made two vb scripts to enter the values in these registry entries easily and safely. (Remember to restart Movie Maker for the change to have an effect).

Note that values less than 125ms (1/8th of a second) for Default Picture Duration do not seem to work :-(.

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Reverse Video

Since Movie Maker cannot do reverse video, one has to consider alternative ways to do this effect. PapaJohn has explained a method to do reverse a video clip by extracting out all frames and then joining them in reverse order.

However I use a much simpler method to do this using VirtualDub and Avisynth. It works with AVI files only which are either non-compressed or compressed using frame by frame compression such as MJPEG.

Assuming you have got the latest versions of both VirtualDub and AviSynth installed and working correctly:

  1. First convert your input clip to a non-compressed AVI file. To do this open the file in vdub, from Video menu select Compression and set compression to "Uncompressed RGB". Now "Save As" an AVI file say "mymovie.avi".

  2. Now open Notepad or any other text editor and copy paste the following line in it:


    and save the file as "mymovie_reverse.avs" in the same folder where you saved above video file. 
  3. Again in VirtualDub open this avs file using File -> Open. While keeping the same uncompressed selection in the Compression dialog, use File -> "Save as" to save the target movie file: mymovie_reverse.avi. Let the video to be saved.

That's it. Now you can edit this video in Movie Maker.

If you like these tips & tricks please consider donating to encourage me to work on more such freeware effects & transitions and tips & tricks

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Last modified: 10/02/05.