How to crop a 4:3 video to 16:9 with Windows Movie Maker

Since Youtube started using the new widescreen 16:9 video format, I have been trying to figure out how to make my videos fill the player.  Trouble is, I only had a 4:3 camera, and used windows movie maker to do all of my editing.  as it turns out, windows movie maker has no build in cropping feature.  It does, however, allow for very easy creation of custom effects.  This msdn site was used as the basis for creating this custom effect.

Turns out, it’s very easy to create your own custom cropping tool.

Now here is how you can have this tool for yourself (note, this has only been tested with Windows Vista):

  1. Create a copping.xml file:  Either copy the code below, paste into notepad, and save as ‘cropping.xml’  or use this file (right click, save as).

    xml code:

    <TransitionsAndEffects Version=”2.8″>
    <EffectDLL guid=”TFX”>
    <Effect name=”Crop 4:3 to 16:9″ iconid=”0″ guid=”Crop 4:3 to 16:9″ shadermodel=”2″>
    <Param name=”Animation” value=”FXPanZoom” />
    <Param name=”FXFile” value=”Parity.fx” />
    <Param name=”Technique” value=”PanZoom” />
    <TextureViewport evaluation=”Linear” type=”float4″>
    <Point time=”0.0″ value=”0.0,0.125,1.0,0.875″/>
  2. Go to your movie maker program directory.  This is usually located at C:\Program Files\Movie Maker\Shared.
  3. Create the AddOnTFX folder (if it does not exist)
  4. Copy the cropping.xml file to this directory

That’s it! now just start up windows movie maker, and under effects, you will have a new 4:3 to 16:9 cropping tool.

Direct link [popout]

for this tool to work, you must have movie maker set to widescreen mode.  This can be accomplished by going to tool->options, clicking on the ‘Advanced’ tab, and selecting the “16:9″ aspect ratio.

Also, since youtube disregards pixel aspect ratio, you must use the 720p output method for Youtube to recognize the file as widescreen.  I will create a new tutorial on how to add custom output settings to Movie Maker later [Done! see update below for link].

I hope everything goes well, and you find the tool to be useful!

I have created a tutorial for adding Youtube output profiles in Windows Movie Maker

Update 2:
Apparently this technique does not work with the XP version of Movie Maker.  As I no longer use XP, nor have a copy lying around somewhere, I will most likely not make a version to this to work with XP.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

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