Topics Covered:

Launching Imovie Software —– Starting Imovie project

Importing Media into Imovie

Adding elements to the Project Timeline : Transitions, Text, Media —— Splitting Clips

Changing Clip speed and Adding Filters

Working with Audio —– Green Screen Effect —— Special Effects

Finalizing your project

Orientation with the Interface:

iMovie is a software found in Mac computers which lets you edit videos, and make high-quality films or trailers by organizing your clips and adding a variety of default effects available.

How to get access to iMovie?

iMovie is available by default on Mac laptops and desktops. In case you do not have access to a Mac, the GT Library has resources for you to enable you to access iMovie. If you go to the link below, you would find details about how to use GT Multimedia Studio and access various multimedia softwares packages on desktops there –

This websites lists the resources available for your use and the hours you can access them.

This post will will act as a beginner’s guide to enable you to navigate through iMovie. The steps of launching and using iMovie are listed below:

Step 1. Launching iMovie

On your Mac, you can launch iMovie by looking it up using the Spotlight feature of the Mac – this can be done by pressing command+space keys together. Once that is done, type in “iMovie” and hit enter/return, and a window like this will appear on the screen –

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Imovie Screen shot

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Step 2. Starting a New Movie

On the iMovie window, click on New Movie on the top left corner. From the dropdown menu that appears, select the Movie option to create a movie, or the Trailer option to create a trailer.

newmov PM

After clicking on the Movie option, a new window opens asking you to select a theme for your movie. From the given options, choose any theme that suits you objective. However, to create an original piece which you design yourself, choose No Theme from among those options. Select No Theme and click on Create.

After creating a movie, you would be prompted to name and save your new file.

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themes screenshot

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Step 3. Importing Media

To import media, click the Import Media button appearing on the left of the screen that appears after you create a new movie (named My Movie here).

After clicking import, a list of options appears. Select the clips you want to keep in consideration for later, and click Import Selected.

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This is the main window of the interface with which you work. This window can be broken up into three main components (illustrated below)-

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a. Storyboard/Timeline: This is where you piece together the different clips and effects that you want in your final output.

b. Media/Clip Section – This is your repository of clips from where you drag and drop the needed sections(or full) of video clips to the Timeline to edit them.

c. Preview screen – this screen enables you to preview the changes you have done so far in the iMovie editor.

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Step 4. Adding Media, Transitions, and Text to the Timeline

To smoothen the effect of going from one clip to the next, iMovie has a provision called Transitions. It has effects like blur and spin to help you make your project look more professional and prevents abrupt jumps. You can get the menu of options by clicking on Transitions present at the top towards the left side of the iMovie window (as shown in the image below).

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You can also add a title to your movie with the help of Titles option available. As illustrated below, clicking on Titles will give you choices of templates and you can edit the text in the preview window.


Imovie Timeline
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Step 5. Splitting Clips or Trimming

You can also split a clip into several parts and move their order from the original by doing this – Right click -> Split Clip.

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Splitting Clips

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Step 6. Change Video Speed/ Add Filters

There are many options for changing speed of your video, and even making it play in reverse. All these can be seen under the ‘speedometer’ icon present towards the top right corner of the iMovie window.

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Changing Speed
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Step 7. Working with Audios in these Video Clips

iMovie allows you to detach audio clip from video clips, and you are the free to move it around to other video clips if needed. Do this as shown in the image below-

Right Click on the selected clip -> Detach Audio.

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The green part shown in the image is the audio clip. Notice that there is a horizontal scale and Waveforms visible in this audio clip. As a side note, you should make the audio waveforms visible so that you can alter them as you need. Do the following to enable audio waveforms-

Click on Settings icon present on the top right corner of the timeline -> check Show Waveforms.

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Editing Audio Clips:

To edit Audio clips in iMovie, you can use the following tools:

For more advanced editing, there are options of exporting only the audio part of the movie to software packages like “Audacity” and editing your clip there. You can export an audio clip by doing the following:

File (option in the iMovie menu on the Desktop) -> Share -> File -> Select Export: Audio only.

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Step 8. Using Green/Blue Screen clips

Green/Blue Screen is a green or blue colored background in front of which moving subjects are filmed and which allows a separately filmed background to be added to the final image.

If you shoot a green screen clip, you can overwrite it on a clip in which you have the setting where you want the green screen part to be.

Drag and Drop the green screen clip from the Clip Section to the Timeline Section in the part above the screen onto which you want the green screen image to go.

By selecting Greenscreen from the menu of options on the iMovie window towards the top right corner, you can make the image overwritten on the other background.

Next step would be to smooth out the voice and sound on the green screen clip so that it blends into your other filmed background. For this, you can go back to the audio editing tools that we learned about in Step 8.

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Step 9. Adding Special Effects to your Movie

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Step 10. Finalizing your project (Sharing your movie)

Your fantastic movie is now ready! So lastly, how do you save or share it? The image below shows you the various options available at your disposal for sharing or saving this movie onto your computer.

The option File lets you save the movie onto your computer, whereas all others are to share it though other platforms.

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