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If you want to place some text onto a video, the iMovie app for Mac is a good place to start. This is demonstrated from start to finish using the latest version of iMovie on the latest version of OS X, showing how to add a text overlay to a video, then save the video as a file on the Mac. When satisfied, you can save your video by going to the File menu and choosing “Share” (why is there not a general Save option?
That’s it, your saved video file will have the overlay text you wrote out now in the placement of your choice in the movie. To extend the title to cover the whole video, just grab the little handlebar and drag it all the way to the left for the start of the movie, and drag it to the right to the end of the video – the text will now cover the entire screen.
After doing some testing, I found that the workflow required to use '09' with FCP is probably not worth the advantages gained by using the two apps together.
At the far right of the Tool bar are buttons that provide access to the iTunes and iPhoto libraries, Text, Transition, Map and Background windows which, when opened, share space with the Event Browser. In iMovie, the 'Inspector' or HUD (Heads Up Display), is a floating window, which provides us with easy access to the various controls that we use to build our Project. This is basically how the iMovie interface works, windows and palettes remain hidden until needed, providing iMovie with a clean and uncluttered interface.
As with any new application, the first thing we want to do is to have a look at its Preferences, which I know can be a bit boring, but at least you'll know where the settings are, if you need to make changes later on. The Browser tab offers 'Use large font for Project and Events lists' which make things more readable and the 'Show Fine Tuning controls' which is used to lengthen or shorten a clip's duration, one frame at a time, when dragging the edge of a clip. The other setting is for the importing of 1080i video, as it lets you select which frame size you want iMovie to work with. While the following dialog box, 'Timing', is not part of the iMovie Preferences, it's important, so I'm showing it here. With iMovie up and running, plug your camera into the Mac via USB 2 or Firewire, turn the camera on and set to 'VTR' or 'Computer'. As shown below, the four clips that are on the memory card show up in the lower pane, the duration of each clip is denoted in white.
The Import process starts by opening an Import dialog box that allows you to select the hard drive that you want to store the video on, the option of adding the video to an existing Event or creating a new Event and naming it as I have done here. If you have a iSight or other Firewire camera attached to your Mac you can do a live capture right from the Import window.
The 'Save to' settings allows you to pick which hard drive you want to save the imported video to. When you create a new Event or Project from the File menu, the default settings will place the new files on your boot drive: User > Movies > iMovie Events - iMovie Projects.
While the Project file is normally not too large, several megs or so, the Event file contains all of your video and can get to be very large indeed.
If you create a new Project from the File menu, you will not be given the option of picking a drive, the new Project will be placed on your boot drive automatically. If your Project has content, clips have already been added to the Project, then after you drop the Project onto the new drive a dialog box will open offering the option to Copy the Project or Copy the Project and the Events (media). A simpler way to create a new Project and place it on the correct drive in the first place, is to open the Project Library and then Control click on the drive that you want to use, from the drop-down menu, choose New Project.
Control clicking on a Project in the Project Library, offers a variety of options including 'Move Project to Trash' which removes the Project from both iMovie and from your hard drive.
When you have finished in the Project Library, select the Project that you want to work with, then click on the 'Edit Project' button, upper left of the Library window.
If you Control click on a clip in the Edit Project window and select 'Reveal in Event Browser. Every time you bring video into iMovie, either from a camera, a card reader or any of the import processes, an Event is created and it is named with the current date and the new Event is placed into the Event Library.
Shown below, I have named all of the Events in my Library and iMovie has sorted the Events chronically by year. If you shot video over a three day period, iMovie would create a different Event for each of the 3 days.
When you release the Event on top of the other Event, a naming dialog box will open allowing you to name the new, merged Event. The newly named Event now shows up in the Library, note that the two Events that were merged, Santa Monica and Santa Monica 08, are now gone from the list. The Event will now be split, the new Event will retain the original Event name but will amended with the number 1.
You can change the clip(s) Date or Time to change their chronological order in the Event Library. The default order of the Events in the Event Library is chronological, in either ascending or descending order, however, you might need to view your Events based on which hard drive they are stored on. From the View menu you can also arrange the Events by Month, Most Recent Events at Top and Show Separate Days in Events. When you select an Event in the Event Library, all of the clips contained in that Event show up to the right in the Event Browser.
When this slider is set to 'All' each thumbnail in the Browser represents an entire clip, regardless of the length of the video clip. We can control the size of the thumbnails of the clips in both the Event Browser and in the Edit Project window.
Working in the Event browser, we can select clips or portions of clips for use in our Project. I have selected a portion of clip that I will want to work with in the future and want to mark it for future reference by clicking on the 'Favorite' button in the Tool bar. I have found a section of video that is simply no good and I don't want to be bothered with it, so I want to mark it as 'Rejected'. When a portion of video has been selected and placed into the Edit Project window for use in the Project, that section of video, in the Event browser, is marked with an orange bar to denote that it has been used (great feature). There is a way to filter the clips that you have marked, hiding the video that you don't need at the time.
Being able to sort the Event browser is a great organizational tool, an efficient workflow. If after sending the Rejected clips to the Trash, you realize that you have made a mistake and need to restore the clips to the Events browser, simply 'Un-do', Command z from the keyboard. After you have assigned a keyword to a clip, it is not necessary to open the 'Spyglass' panel to see the actual keyword.
If you skim the clips in the Edit Project window with Playhead Info turned on, the duration of your movie up to the position of the Pointer will be displayed. When you select a clip (one click) in the Edit Project window (below left), it gets a thick yellow boarder around it. In the Edit Project window, (shown below), placing the cursor into the first clip displays a pointer (thin red vertical line - playhead), a grab hand for moving the clip around and several blue icons. Clicking on the Gear icon drop-down offerers access to a number of iMovie's features which we will get into soon.
In the Viewer window, click on the 'Crop' button, this will add green brackets at the four corners of the green bounding box. When you have sized and positioned the cropping border as you want, click the Done button, iMovie will perform the crop and the cropped image will fill the frame. After you have completed the crop, if you look at the clip in the Edit Project window you will see that a Crop icon has been added to the upper left of the clip. Center top of the window are two 'Rotation' arrows to rotate the video 90° clockwise or counter-clockwise. Selecting 'Clip Adjustments' from the Gear (Action) menu in the Edit Project window opens the iMovie Inspector. Click on Video Effect button to open the Effects Palette, which offers 19 different Effects that can be applied to the selected clip. After having made adjustments to a clip, you can Copy the adjustments and Paste them to other clips.
Sometimes the video we are working with is shaky due to camera movement during the recording process.
Double click on the hand icon to return to the Inspector, where you can make adjustments or turn stabilization off. If you have clips that have too much shake and you get a squiggly red line through the bottom of the clips, noting that the clips are really not usable, you can hide those clips from view by clicking on the 'squiggly red line' button found at the bottom of the iMovie window. Selecting Video Adjustments from the menu opens the Inspector - Video tab, this window is called the 'Video Adjustment Panel'. After having made adjustments to your video, you can Copy the adjustments and Paste them to other clips. At the top of the Inspector window is the Volume slider for adjusting the volume of the selected clip.
When you have finished adjusting your audio and have clicked on Done and returned to the Edit Project window, you see that the clip now sports an audio icon in the clip thumbnail. After having made adjustments to the audio of a clip, you can Copy the adjustments and Paste them to other clips.
In iMovie we can trim (shorten or lengthen) a clip, photo, title, cutaway, audio track or transition by selecting the item in the Edit Project window and dragging on the handles on the left or right of the item. When we want to work on the edit point between two clips, click on the Gear icon of the second of the two clips and from the menu, select Precision Editor, shown below left. When you have the pointer on the frame that you now want to be your edit point, just click. Another way to use the Precision Editor is to place the pointer over a clip, it turns into a grab hand, red box below left. There is an often used editing technique called a 'L-cut' or 'Split Edit', in which the audio from one clip extends into an adjoining clip. Placing the cursor over the blue edit line, turns it into a left-right arrow, red box below left.
Great, I now have better audio playing into the start of the second clip, but the bad audio of the second clip is still playing. We can also use the Precision Editor on other elements of our Project, such as photos and picture in picture, green screen, markers and titles. One tool I would like to see incorporated into the Precision Edit window is the yellow guide lines that we have in the Picture in Picture function in the Viewer window. To add a transition, click and drag the transition from the palette into the Edit Project window and place the transition between the two clips of your choice. You can move the transition from one place to another by clicking and dragging to the new location, the green bar will light up to show your placement.
Be careful here, if you 'click' on a background in the Background palette, the Background palette closes and the background is set in the Viewer.
Double clicking on an icon will open the Inspector, Click on 'Background' or 'Title' to open up the palettes and make your changes. Here is something interesting, look below left, the blue title icon bar looks like it's pinned to the clip.
But, if you click on the blue title icon bar and drag, you can change its position relative to the clip. Changing the text in a Title is done in the same manner as working with text in any text application, click and drag through the text, to select it, then type in your new text.
To add a title over video, simple drag the title from the palette onto a video clip in the Edit Project window. Creez des intros, encarts, annonces et filmographie memorables pour tout projet de film, directement sur votre iPhone et iPad! This is good for putting a title onto a movie, placing some basic subtitles on a silent video, captions on a video, or at a specific point in a movie, adding a watermark to video, or the myriad of other reasons you’d want words placed or alongside a movie.
But worry not, we’re going to show you exactly how to put text onto a movie using iMovie in Mac OS X, the video file you modify can be any you have access to. Once you learn how, sure, but myself and others may find that iMovie has a weird interface which is hard to predict if you’re unfamiliar with it.
If you know of an alternate method of placing text over video or onto a movie file with iMovie on the Mac, do let us know.
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However, I did discover that '09' is truly an amazing application, much more able and sophisticated than it would first appear.
As shown above, the Project Library and Edit Project window are in the top left corner, at the bottom of the interface is the Event Library and the Event Browser. Click on the 'X' to close the window and return the Event Browser to its full size, red arrow below, or click on the button a second time to close the window.
Even the 'Precision Editor' window (above), which is kept out of the way until needed, when opened, can display audio tracks and waveforms as well.
Depending on the finial output, like SD DVD, ATV or the web, the smaller 960 x 540 size will work very well.
Click on any of the two sided arrows, to the left of the color swatches, to produce a font drop-down menu with all of the Apple system fonts available. The primary method would be to plug your camera into your Mac, iMovie can work with both USB2 and Firewire inputs. Additionally you can insert the camera's memory card into a card reader and the memory card will mount on the desktop, ready for iMovie. Select a clip, yellow border, and click the Play button or hit the space bard to preview the clip before import. Each clip will now display a check box beneath, simply uncheck any clips that you wish to exclude from the import. You will also have the option of choosing the frame size of your video if you are importing 1080i footage.
But it can also be used as a type of Media Manager and can be used to import video from an existing iMovie Project.
When creating a new Event, whether from a camera, card or from the File menu > Import, you will always be given the chance to select a hard drive to place the files on. The Project Library window is active (below) which shows all of your iMovie Projects and which drive they reside on. First, select which drive you want to use to store the new Project on, then click on the '+' button lower right in the window (as shown above).
The drive that a Project file is stored on is not as critical as an Event, because Project files are relativity small.


This action will copy to the new location but will leave the original Project and Events where they are, below left.
Or, you can select the drive you want to place the Project on and then click on the '+' button lower right of the window. Place your cursor anywhere over a film strip and as you drag or skim, the video will play in the Viewer window.
The Event containing the source clip in the Event Library will become highlighted and the corresponding clip in the Event Browser will be highlighted (selected) as well. Select the Event that you want to split, in the Event Browser, select the clip that is to become the first new clip in the new (second) Event. Select the Event that you want to copy the clip from, then, click on the clip and drag it out of the Event Browser into the Event Library and drop it on the Event that you want to copy the clip to.
Select a clip or multiple clips in the Event Browser, and then choose File > Adjust Clip Date and Time. You can toggle between the two display modes by clicking on the hard drive icon, upper right in the Event Library. With the Event Library set to 'Group Events By Disk', click on the Event to want to copy and drag it onto the hard drive you want to copy the Event(s) to.
It is in the Event Browser that we audition our clips, playing them in the Viewer window and making our selections. Throughout this article, I am in the 'All' mode, so that you can see the different clips, but when you are working, you will take advantage of displaying your clips stretched out, by adjusting this slider.
When you place the pointer over a clip in the browser and hit the space bar, the clip will play in the Viewer and will continue to play until all the clips in the Browser have been played or you hit the space bar to stop playback. But, as we review our clips in the Event browser, we can select and 'mark' them for future reference, add keywords and hide or even remove clips from the Library.
After making it a 'Favorite', the clip now sports a green bar, the length of the green bar and its position in the clip represents the selection that was made.
With the bad portion of video selected, I click on the 'Reject Selection' button, which places a red bar on the thumbnail.
You can add any keyword of your own choosing, by typing in the Keyword box lower left of the window. At the bottom of the iMovie window is a 'Show' drop-down menu, which gives you the option of filtering the clips in the Event browser based on Favorites Only, Favorites and Unmarked, All Clips and Rejected Only. Most often, when you 'Trash' something, it happens instantaneously, but in iMovie it can take a little time, you actually get a progress bar. In the Event browser, skimming and playing the clips in the Viewer window, I have selected my establishing shot and dragged it into the Edit Project window. The two blue left-right arrow icons, found at each edge of the thumbnail, are for fine tuning the trim of the clip. The top two items, the Precision Editor and Clip Trimmer, are only available from the Edit Project window. Below left, I have decided that the clip that I am bringing in belongs between clips two and three, so that is where I have positioned the clip. When the Edit tool is selected and the cursor is placed into a thumbnail in the Event browser, its icon turns to a small tan piece of paper with a folded corner (below center). It is in this window that all of the effects and abilities that iMovie has to offer are made available and are applied.
The cursor will turn into a 'position' marker when placed over one of the corners or into a left-right facing arrow if placed on one of the green borders. Cropping is an excellent tool when you have some image at the edge of your video that you would like to remove, but there is a caveat.
This icon denotes that you have either cropped, rotated or applied the Ken Burns effect to the clip. You will notice that while Clip, Video and Audio Adjustments are available from the Action menu, they are also available as tabs in the Inspector window. Select the clip and Copy, then, select the clip (s) you want to add the adjustments to and from the File menu > Paste Adjustments. This process does not stabilize the incoming video but rather analyzes it so that we can 'Stabilize' the video at a later time. The stabilization process involves moving the video image in the opposite direction to the movement of the camera and it becomes necessary to enlarge the video, to be able to crop out the uneven edges of the video. If the 'Hand' icon has a black background (below left) there is little zooming required to stabilize the video. When the Video Adjustment Panel opens, a color wheel icon becomes attached to your cursor and the video will loop as it is being played in the Viewer. What is exciting here, is the fact, that as you play your video in the Viewer and make adjustments in the Inspector, the changes show in Real Time as the video plays back.
There will be situations where you'll be adding background music, sound effects, audio from other clips or voice overs. A blue box will be displayed between the two clips in the Edit Project window, showing that we are in Precision Editor mode.
The Precision Editor will move the frames between the edit point and the pointer to the left, into the highlighted area of used clips.
The frames that were to the left of the edit point and were not used, have been moved to the right of the edit point and will now be added to the start of the second clip for playback. You can click with the hand and drag the film strip left or right, viewing the frames in the Viewer window as you go. We use the Precision Editor to create this type of audio cut and use the same technique as when trimming video. There is a blue vertical edit line that cuts through both the first (top) clip and the second (bottom) clip. I have clicked on the blue edit line that runs through the top audio track and dragged the edit line to the right, extending the audio of the first, or out going clip, into the second, incoming clip, below middle. I need to shift the edit point of the bottom (second) clip to the right, excluding the bad audio. You open the Transition palette by clicking on the Transition button in the Tool bar (Command 4 from the keyboard). As you do this, you will see a green vertical placement bar, showing where the transition will be added. To change the duration of the transition you can click on the transition icon to open the transition Inspector, or place your cursor on the transition and click on the Gear icon, you will get a drop-down menu, choose 'Transition Adjustment'. Click on the Title icon in the Tool bar (Command 3) to open the Title palette, to close, click on the 'X', top left of the palette window.
Also, here in the Inspector, is where you set the duration for the background and the title. Place you cursor over one of the Fonts in the palette and skim back and forth, you'll see the title reappear in the Viewer. You can reposition the starting point of the title by dragging the blue title icon bar in either direction. IntroMate comprend une fantastique bibliotheque de modeles personnalisables pour vous permettre de vous transformer en realisateur en a peine quelques minutes!
You’ll even be able to change the font size, font family, and various aspects of the text displayed on the movie. Automated video import process, browser organization, clip skimming and editing, text and animated titles, transitions, video effects, backgrounds, sound effects, audio control, voiceover, green screen, background music, speed control and direction, photo manipulation (Ken Burns effect), markers and chapter markers, color correction, waveforms, themes, animated maps, video stabilization, picture-in-picture, L-cuts, Precision Editor, full screen playback, the list goes on. We will get into the different elements of the interface later on in the article, but for now, I just want you to get the general feel of it. This is the setting that enables many of the important iMovie features, you'll want to turn it on. The Video tab offers a choice of video standards, NTSC and PAL, but as is pointed out in the window, changing this setting requires you to quit and then relaunch iMovie to affect the change. Choosing the larger 1920 x 1080 takes up much more hard drive space and could slow things down a bit.
Click on any color swatch on the right and the Apple color wheel will open where we can change the existing color to any color we want. You can customize all of the fonts and font colors in the iMovie Font palette to suit your own taste. You can set a number of iMovie parameters, but, for me, the most important one is the 'Initial Photo Placement' which defaults to Ken Burns.
You can use an ordinary card reader to mount the memory card on the desktop, iMovie will recognize the card and import properly, it will even recognize and work with a disk image.
When importing 1080i video, iMovie will transcode the video to the Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC).
You will now be able to go back at a later time, open the Archive and perorm the Import process. You can click OK, as the setting options in this window will appear again in the Import box that opens immediately after you click OK.
From the File menu > Import > 'Camera Archive', now you can navigate to the video that you archived earlier and run the import process.
A new Project and Event will be created and only the source video of the old Project will be imported, none of the changes made to the video in the old Project will come across. Projects are where you build your movie and Events are where all your video clips are stored.
This will open a 'New Project' window, where you can name the Project, select the format, Standard, iPhone or Widescreen. To the right of the Event Library is the Event Browser, when an Event is selected in the Event Library, the clips contained in that Event are displayed in the Browser. In the Event Library, select and drag an Event onto the Event that you want it to merge with.
As show below, the Beverly Hills Event is active and I am dragging the clip to the Farmers Market Event.
You can also have iMovie display the date that the event was recorded, but this setting is found in the iMovie Preferences > Browser tab > 'Show date ranges in Events list.' Event Library with shooting dates shown below right. Lower right in the Event Browser is a slider that sets the number of frames of video that is displayed per thumbnail. We can mark clips as Favorites (green bar), mark clips as Rejected (red bar), add Keywords to clips (blue bar). Marking the video as 'Rejected' does not remove or Trash the video, you would do that manually.
With Favorites or Rejected, the colored bar is placed at the top of the clip thumbnail, the orange bar representing 'used' is place at the bottom of the thumbnail. After you type in the keyword, click on 'Add to Clip', which it will and it will be added to the list of keywords as well. After the clips have been restored to the Rejected window, if you open the Trash you'll see that the clips are still in the Trash.
There is an exception, the orange 'Used' bar will remain on the clip even if Unmark is used. Place your cursor exactly on the blue keyword bar and the keyword will be displayed along with other information. In this box you can choose to send clips that you have not used in a Project, clips not marked as Favorite or clips not marked with a keyword to the Trash. You can always tell when the Inspector is open because the yellow border around the clip, in the Edit Project window, becomes a 'thin' yellow border (below right).
Click on either one of the icons and a partial orange border will appear, you will then be able drag the edge of the clip in one frame increments. Selecting 'Clip Trimmer' from the menu opens the Clip Trimmer window where we can change the start or end point of the clip by dragging on the handles left or right. As you click and drag with the Edit tool, the area that you select turns yellow and the duration of the selection is displayed (below right).
Clicking and dragging in will reduce the size of the selected area inside the bounding box, but the video will retain its proper aspect ratio.
Double click on the crop icon to open the clip back up in the Viewer window so that you can edit or make changes. Notice that if you have rotated the video, back in the Edit Project widow, the thumbnail of that video has been rotated too. The Clip tab in the Inspector provides us with both information and settings to affect the selected clip. In the Effects palette, each Effect thumbnail is actually a miniaturized version of the selected clip.
This process can take awhile, so you may want to see which clips, if any, need stabilization and then perform the process just on those clips that need the help when the time comes, this can be done later from the Inspector for the clip in question.
In the Edit Project window, look at the clip that has been stabilized and you will see that a 'hand' icon has been added (red arrow). An orange colored background requires more zooming (below center) and a red background requires a large amount of zoom, much of your video may be cropped out (not shown). A really good way to see the effect of your color corrections applied to the entire clip as it plays. The 'Ducking' control allows you to reduce the volume of any added audio, giving priority to the audio that belongs to the clip.
When skimming a clip in either the Event browser or in the Edit Project window, the audio will skim too. These techniques work well, but iMovie has a more powerful and accurate tool for us to use when working on the Edit point between two clips or two clips with a transition. The top film strip is the first clip, the bottom film strip is the second or following clip. As I skim into the area of the first clip that is to the right of the edit point, the clips highlight and as I skim, I can see the video, frame by frame, in the Viewer window. Look below and you can see that the film strip has shifted to the left adding those additional frames to the end of the first clip. In both of my examples I have added frames but of course you can move the pointer in the opposite direction and remove frames from either of the two clips.
In order to work with the audio we will need to turn on the audio track, audio wave forms, in the Precision Editor, click the Waveform button in the Tool bar. As shown below right, the blue edit line in the bottom clip has been moved to the right and falls exactly under the edit line of the top audio track.
You can change the duration of the transition by clicking into the Duration box and make the change.


You can audition the different Titles by placing your cursor over each one, those that are, will animate for you. The other way is to place the title at the very start or end of the movie, or even in between clips, but doing it this way, we are placing the titles over empty spaces, so a background for the titles will be required. Click on the clip and drag it to a new location in the Edit Project window and the title goes right along with it.
Nonetheless, I found a fairly simple task like placing some text atop of a video to be way more complex than you’d expect it to be (say, like how easy it is to adding text onto a picture in Preview app of OS X).
Now I can put the text anywhere want, have it stay as long as I want, and not fade in or out. What this Print command does, is print out the clip thumbnails that are in either your Project or Event. I imported some HVX 200, DVCPRO HD, 720p 24PN footage, iMovie did not care and handled it properly. If you choose to import all of the clips, leave this set to Automatic and click on the Import All button. You can import at the full 1080 size, which does take up a lot of space on your hard drive, or you can import as 'Large 960x540', which will use less hard drive space and would be perfectly adequate for computer playback, Apple TV, final delivery to iDVD or the the Web (YouTube). In the iMovie interface, below right, there is a camera button, click on it to active the iSight camera. When you Archive your video, you will be given a chance to name the archive and to select a hard drive to store the video for later import and use. So a Project file does not contain any media, rather it contains all the information about your movie, it is like a blueprint for a building. In the Project Library, select the Project and then drag it to the desired drive, in this case from the 'Mac HD' to the 'Media Drive', as shown below. As shown below, I have the slider set at 2 seconds, so each thumbnail in the Browser represents 2 seconds of video. Clips that have been added to the Project in the Edit Project window, are marked with an orange bar in the Event browser, to show us that they have been used.
This is okay, as the clips have been rewritten back into iMovie and the clips in the Trash are now dupes.
If you delete the clip from the Edit Project window, the orange bar will disappear from the clip in the Event browser (as it will no longer be in use).
You need to be careful as to which boxes you check, I think that 'Not added to any Project', might be a good way to manage hard drive space at the end of a Project. If you have forgotten to close the Inspector and try to do something else, you get a warning 'bonk' sound from iMovie. In this case I am lengthening the clip so a + sign with the number of frames added appear, dragging inward will shorten the clip and a - sign with the number of frames removed will appear. Place the cursor over a handle, hold down the Option key and use the right and left arrows to adjust the handle one frame at a time.
You can move clips around at any time by clicking on them and moving to a new location, below right. When you release the mouse button, the clip is automatically added to the Project, no dragging required. When we select 'Cropping & Rotation', the first thing that happens is that when the cursor is placed in the Edit Project window, a cropping icon is added to the cursor to remind us that we are in cropping mode. After the video has been cropped to the correct size, placing the grabber hand icon on the green + in the center allows you to drag and reposition the cropping borders.
As you movie your cursor over the different effects in the palette, tiny versions of the clip play out right in the palette window and the Viewer window shows you the results of that effect full size and in Real Time and all you are doing is moving your cursor around the palette. You can control the degree of zoom, using the Zoom slider in the Inspector, to find a balance between the amount of smoothing and the amount of cropped video.
If there is too much shake and iMovie can not successfully smooth the video, you will see a warning, a squiggly red line through the bottom of the clip (below right). Using the slider is good for getting you in the ball park, but on either side of the slider controls (red boxes) are small icons, that, if clicked, change the setting in one unit increments for fine tuning. If the skimmed audio starts to become annoying, you can turn off 'Audio Skimming' from the View menu, you can also toggle the audio skimming on or off by clicking on the small audio skimming button in the Tool bar, below right. Part of the skill of story telling is knowing exactly which frame to start or end a clip on. In the top or first clip, the video frames to the left of the edit point (blue line) are highlighted, the highlighted frames are the frames that will be used (red arrows below), the frames that come after the edit point are grayed out and will not be used (brown arrows below). Below, my pointer is on the exact frame that I now want to be the last frame in the first clip, red box below.
Just skim in the used area till you find your new start or end frame and click, very simple. We can play and audition our current edit by clicking on the 'Play current edit' button, red box below right. In this case, the audio at the start of the second clip is not very good, but the audio of the first clip, even after the edit point is fine.
In the bottom track, the audio that is between the original edit point and the new one is now grayed out, it will no longer play. The ability to see each frame of video in the Viewer window as you skim in the Precision Editor is extraordinary. If you want the new duration to apply to all transitions, put a check in the 'Applies to all transitions' box, this will change the duration of both existing and future transitions.
If you want to fade up at the start of your movie and fade down at the end, place the 'Fade to Black' transition at the very start and end of your movie and adjust the duration. I have dragged the Scrolling Credits title into the Edit Project window and dropped it at the very end of my movie. This allows me to announce each section of the video, and have complete control over the text. Double click on a clip in the Edit Project window and the Inspector will open, (below left).
When importing 1080i video into iMovie, the video will be transcoded to AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec).
For this reason, whenever bringing video in from a camera or by using any of the import processes, there will always be the opportunity to select which hard drive you want to store your video on.
Use the full 1080 import to maintain maximum video quality for delivery to Final Curt Pro via the Share menu > Export Final Cut XML or for broadcast. Do not save an Archive to an iMovie Events or Project folder, as this can slow down iMovie's performance. Any transitions that were used in the original Project will be converted to cross-dissolves, titles, effects and music will not come across.
The Project keeps track of all the video clips that are brought into it, it points to the clips in the Event file. If you select 'Move to Trash', iMovie will remove the Event from the Event Library and from your hard drive as well. If you want to move the Event, hold down the Command key while you drag, the Event will be deleted from its original location. After the default section has been set, the cursor turns into a double sided arrow, click and drag to extend or shorten the selection to the desired length.
In the iMovie Preferences > General tab, I have 'Show Advanced Tools' selected, you'll want to turn this feature on. Even after you click 'Reject and Review' you will have another chance to remove items from the Rejected list before trashing, by selecting the item and then clicking on the 'Unmark' button in the Tool bar. A clip can be automatically added to the Project from the Event browser by selecting the clip and then hitting the E key on the keyboard, no need to drag. If you move the cursor into the clip it turns into a grab hand, click and hold down the mouse button and you can slide the clip selection left or right, choosing different video to be displayed without changing the duration of the clip.
If you are unhappy with your selection, use Un-do, Command z from the keyboard or you can select the clip in the Edit Project window and hit the delete key.
If you open the Inspector > Clip tab and there is no Zoom slider at the bottom of the window, this means that the clip has not yet ben analyzed.
A general rule of thumb, zoom in for greater stabilization, zoom out to show more of the picture. There is also an 'Auto' button for automatic white balance, that when selected, turns the cursor into an eye dropper when placed into the Viewer window. Because we can use video clips that come from many different video shoots, it could be that the audio volume from the different clips is very different. Even if audio skimming is turned off, the audio will still play normally when you playback your video in the Viewer window. If there is no transition, you can double click between the two clips to open the Precision Editor. With the bottom film strip or second clip, the frames to the right of the edit point are highlighted and are the frames that will be used, to the left of the edit point, the frames are grayed out, these frames are not in use.
Just to the left of the 'Play current edit' button are 'Show Previous edit' and Show next edit' buttons, so you can navigate from one edit point to the next right in the Precision Edit window.
What I want to do is to extend the audio of the first clip into the second clip, to replace the bad audio at the start the second clip. You can audition the different transitions right in the palette by placing your cursor over each one, the transition thumbnail will play for you. If you want to change the background, you must double click on its icon in the Edit Project window. Notably, it’s much easier to add text to videos with iOS iMovie, so perhaps an update to the Mac app will improve things. You switch between these two windows by clicking on the 'Project Library' or 'Edit Project' button very top left in this window (red box). The printed thumbnails are pretty small and even though there is a way in the interface to enlarge the onscreen thumbnails, they still print small.
If you plan on using iMovie to any extent, you might want to consider getting an additional hard drive, either USB2 or Firewire, to store your iMovie video.
I don't have a tape based camera to demo here, but the Import window will have playback controls and provide the ability to set In and Out points for your capture. There is an additional setting 'Analyze for stabilization after import', we will cover stabilization later on.
This would be a good way to rework or update an existing iMovie Project, without changing the original Project.
In addition, the Project file contains all the information about your movie; themes, titles, markers, color correction, clip trimming, background audio, transitions, effects, etc.
Click the eyedropper on some part of the image that is supposed to be white, iMovie will set the white point for you. We can use the 'Normalize function to adjust the audio volume across multiple clips, giving them equal volume levels. You can 'mute' the audio of a clip, in the Edit Project window, select the clip and from the Edit menu > 'Mute Clip'.
When using the Precision Editor, a special window opens that shows both clips and if there is a transition between the two clips, that will show up too. As you move your cursor over the different backgrounds in the palette, they will show in the Viewer window. If you are running a second monitor you can place the Viewer window on to the second monitor, from the Window menu > 'Viewer on Secondary display'. First use the Archive feature (discussed shortly) when you connect the AVCHD camcorder to your Mac. Every time you use a tool in iMovie, modify a clip in the Project, or make any changes, that information is recorded into the Project. When you place the pointer, (thin red vertical line), over the thumbnails, the start of each clip is denoted by the clip duration in seconds and a 'Gear' icon.
If you hold down the Option key, before you click into a thumbnail, the entire clip will be selected. We can also change both the speed and direction of the clip and add image 'Stabilization' to the clip. If you decide to turn stabilization off and then change your mind, you can turn it back on in the Inspector without the need to reanalyze the video. If you are unhappy with the automatic white balance, click on the 'Revert to Original' to remove the effect. If you do not like the way your Normalized audio sounds, you can turn this feature off and remove the Normalization effect.
It's a graphical tool that allows us to see the frames of video for both clips at the same time, displaying both used and unused frames. Some of the backgrounds are animated, place your cursor over a background and hit the space bar, the animated background will play and loop in the Viewer. Moving the Viewer window to a second monitor, opens up a lot of working space in the iMovie interface on the first monitor. Then import the 'Archive' into iMovie using the Import > Camera Archive process, not the standard Import from Finder menu item. You can have any number of Projects that you want, but you can only have one Project open at a time. Once you have made your selection, you can drag the clip into the Edit Project window or hit the E key and the clip will added to the Project for you. Note that if you selected the entire clip in the Event browser and loaded it into the Edit Project window, then, in the Clip Trimmer window, you will not be able to extend the start point or end point of the clip, as there is no additional video to work with.
When you have finished and clicked 'Done' and returned to the Project widow, you'll see that iMovie has placed yet another icon (color wheel) in the clip thumbnail. As we skim through the two clips in the Precision Editor window, the video is displayed in the Viewer window. The iMovie 'Command z' (Un-do) is unlimited, it undoes all the way back to when you last quit iMovie. Additionally you can invoke the Inspector palette at any time by selecting the clip and clicking on the Inspector button in the Tool bar. When iMovie is played, the information contained in the Project file is applied, in Real Time, to the video.



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