If you've got something to say, Apple make it easy to record and broadcast your message across the internet. With the built-in webcam and iMovie you can be creating your own video podcasts, sharing home-made music videos or even sending video postcards to distant friends and relatives. It's a simple process and you'll be ready to go before you can say "Lights, camera, action!"

The Knowhow:

Apple iMovie:

iMovie comes pre-installed on many Apple computers. If yours doesn't have it, it can be downloaded from Apple's store or bought from many electronics shops.

  • Open iMovie
  • Select Create New Project
  • Enter a name for your project
  • Change the video format to iSight
  • Click Create
  • Change the mode switch to Camera
  • You'll see a preview of what iSight will record
  • When you're ready, click Record with iSight
  • The iSight button will turn blue while you record
  • Click the Record with iSight button again to finish recording

Your movie will be stored in the clips section

To export your movie:

  • Change the mode switch to Edit
  • Drag your clip to the bottom bar where it says Drag clips here to build your project
  • Click the File menu
  • Select Export

You have a number of different export options. For example, the clip can be optimised for email, Quicktime or DVD. Choose the settings that best suit your needs.

  • Click Share to start exporting the film

This process can take some time depending on the length of your video.

Windows Movie Maker

Note: Your webcam may come bundled with software designed to take advantage of its specific features. You may be unable to use certain functions of your webcam when recording with Windows Movie Maker rather than the bundled software. You will be able to download the latest version of any software for your webcam directly from the manufacturer's website.

Windows Movie Maker is part of the Service Pack for Windows XP. This comes pre-installed on many computers, but if it isn't on yours you can download it here.

Setting up and recording:

  • Turn on your computer
  • Plug your webcam into the PC if it's not built-in
  • Double click the Volume icon in the system tray at the bottom right of the screen. You may need to click the blue arrow to make it appear
  • Make sure there is no click in the microphone or input box
  • Adjust the volume level for the microphone to about 70%
  • Open Windows Movie Maker
  • Select Capture from Video Device
  • Check sound levels by making noise at the level you will be while recording
  • Watch the audio level bar. It should stay near the top of the scale while you perform. If it doesn't, adjust the input volume level
  • Click Next in Movie Maker when you're happy with the levels
  • Input a name for your video and click Next
  • Adjust any video settings you wish to, or leave them at default
  • Click Next
  • You will now see the image the webcam will capture
  • Click Start Capture to begin recording
  • Press Stop Capture when you are finished
  • Click Finish

Congratulations! Your first movie has been saved. Want more hints and tips on how to make better webcam videos? Click here for details

Updated On:

Nov 24, 2011

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