A lot of people get intimidated when they get to the editing part of the video process. I get it. Even the most simple programs have a lot of buttons and knick-knacks that can be very confusing. This short post will get you over the hump and into one of the simplest video editing platforms – iMovie.
When you open iMovie, you’re given three tabs with several choices each. The first tab is Media. This just allows you to start by importing your video, audio and graphics. This is the quickest way to get started, but it’s not necessarily the best. If you do this, it limits your editing abilities later. However if you just want to edit one clip with no extra graphics or audio, go for it.
The second tab is labeled Projects. In this tab, you can create a new… wait for it…. project. This will be the holding place for all the files and goodies for your video. When you select “Crete New” it will ask you if you want a Movie or a Trailer. If you select movie, you’ll have all the option, but if you select Trailer, it will limit your options to a template. Select Trailer only if you want to be bound by Apple’s idea of a template.
Before we move on, let me say this. The trailer templates in iMovie are lame. I would never release a video using one. But, you can explore this area and see some great practices. It let’s you outline your project, add a storyboard and organize your clips. Not bad to learn, but don’t tell anyone I told you to use it. Seriously, just don’t.
Finally, you can select Movie in either the Projects tab or the Theater tab (there doesn’t seem to be a difference). This will open a new window that looks like most video editing software apps. To the left is a column with libraries, projects and events.
That’s the way Apple sees your movie btw. Libraries house everything, projects are what you are working on and events are pieces of a project that get assembled into a movie. This is more important than it seems later.
The user interface is just the window and all the buttons you can select in the app. Starting from the top, there are buttons for Projects, Media, and Import. Under that are buttons labeled My Media, Audio, Titles, Backgrounds and Transitions. Don’t worry about those yet.
Underneath those buttons is your waiting room for clips, sometimes called your browser. This is where all your clips, audio and graphics will be when you need them.
To the right of the browser is the inspector window. This is where you’ll do most of your editing. Along the top of this window are icons that will let you change the contrast, color and size of your clips, among many other little do-hickeys. More on that in another post.
Finally, underneath all that is your timeline. This is where you place your clips, graphics and media and assemble them into your final movie. See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?
Starting in iMovie
After you’ve opened your project, you will need to import all of your files. Find the import button at the top of the window beside the icon that looks like a filmstrip with a music note next to it. The arrow facing down button is what you want. Select that and a new window will greet you wanting to be fed all your clips. Select the files you want to import and then select import all at the bottom right corner.
When the window closes, your clips will be waiting for you in the project window. From here, you just select a clip and drag it into the timeline. Presto! Now you’re editing.
You can move clips around, reorder them and shorten them. That’s the basics.
If you wondering what to do next, check back for the next post in this series on How To Edit in iMovie.
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