Open IMovie and Create a New Project:

Click on the iMovie icon in the dock and wait, while it bounces, for the application to open.


If you are using video from a camcorder you must first hook up the camcorder to the computer using a firewire. The camcorder must be in VCR mode. Once you have the camcorder set up to the computer, open IMovie and begin a new project.

Select "Create Project."


In the "Save as:" field, enter the name of the movie and select where on the computer you want to save it. Now click "Save" and you should see the empty iMovie interface with the movie name you assigned to the movie at the top.

IMovie Name Project

Import Clips:

To import clips that have been previously saved on the hard drive, click File > Import.

IMovie File Import

For this project you will import clips downloaded earlier. If you did not download the clips, click on the this link to get the projects files:

IMovie Project Files

If you are using video from a camcorder, look at the directions in the table below:

Importing From a Digital Camera/Camcorder

Make sure your tape is queued to the exact place that you would like to pull into iMovie. With your camera connected and turned to the PLAY (VCR) mode, you are ready to import your digital video into iMovie:

Make sure you are using camera mode.

Camera Mode

When your viewer says "Camera Connected," click the "Import" button. iMovie will play and import your digital video. When you wish to stop importing, click the "Import" button once more.

Drag your imported clip(s) from the clips pane to the editable timeline along the bottom of the iMovie interface.


iMovie treats deleted files differently that most other programs. If you delete a clip you CANNOT get it back.

Editing Vidio Clips:

Drag a clip or clips from the viewing pane to the editing region as shown below:

To Split a Clip:

Place the cursor beneath the viewing window at the place in the movie where you want to split the clip into two.

Drag Playhead

Go up to the "Edit" menu at the top, and select "Split Video Clip at Playhead." This splits the video into two complete sections.

Clip at Playhead

To Crop a Clip:

Drag the little triangles beneath the viewing window timeline to the desired in and out points. Go to the "Edit" menu at the top and select "Crop." Cropping gets rid of the part of the video you have not selected.

Save your project.

Save Your Movie:

From the main menu, go to File > Save Project.

Save Project

Insert Titles:

To get to the title tab you must click on the Editing button.

Add Titles

Click on the "Title" tab. Choose a title from the scrolling window. The editable options will change depending on which title you choose. Customize your title by selecting different options from the settings shown below. In the example below the text that appear is formatted blue and reads "Animal Alphabet" and "Starring Me."

Title Settings.

After making all of your customization selections, double click on the title selection to preview it. If you are happy with your title, hold down your mouse and drag the title to the timeline where you want it to appear. The example below show the title clip highlighted in blue.

Title Clip

Adding Effects to Your Movie:

Select the Editing button, then click Video FX. Select "Effects" from the menu below the clips pane. Select a clip from the editing region to add an effect to it.

Select an effect. Adjust the parameters of the effect beneath the preview window.

Video FX

The effect should automatically preview in the preview window. If you adjust the parameters of the effect, click "Preview" again to load the new effect settings.

Click "Apply," and wait for the effect to render. You can monitor the effect rendering by the red progress bar that occurs within the clip the effect is being added to in the editing region.

Save your work.

Adding Transitions:

Select the Editing tab and then click Click on the Transitions tab. Select a transition from the window.


Adjust the length or duration of the transition. Step 4: Drag the icon - - next to the transition you chose to its intended place in your project on the clip timeline at the bottom of the iMovie interface. Notes: The Speed ranges from 10 frames (30 frames are in a second) to 4 seconds. Because transitions are linking two clips, they actually need time from both clips. For example, let's say you have a movie clip that is 3 seconds long and you would like to place a transition before it. You choose to "fade in" for 2 seconds. When you drag that transition to the clip timeline and it finishes rendering, you will have a 2 second transition and a 1 second clip. Plan accordingly when you are editing your film and images.

Importing Photos

Select the "Photos" tab. If you followed the directions for using iPhoto Library Manager, your photo library will appear in the window of the Photo pane.

Choose a photo to import into your project.

Select the length you would like your photo to remain on the screen. The image below shows a duration of 8 seconds and 10 frames.

You may chooose to use the Ken Burns Effect for your photos. This will add motion to an otherwise static image. A check will appear in the box if this function is selected. Use the preview window in the upper right-hand corner of the interface to judge your changes and to adjust the placement of your photo. The "Start" and "Finish" radio buttons as well as the Zoom bar are the Ken Burns functions. Meddle with these and then preview to watch your picture come to life! Step5: When you are ready to add your photo to your project, click apply. You'll notice the red rendering bar appear again. Wait until the photo has finished rendering before performing another function in iMovie. Step 6: Don't forget to save!

Import Audio

Step 1: Open your iMovie project and click on the Audio button below the clips pane. Step 2: Insert your audio CD into the computer. (The eject button is the up arrow on the top right of the keyboard.) Step 3: The drop-down menu above the audio pane may default to "iTunes Library." Select from this drop-down menu the title of the CD you've inserted. You should then see the tracks listed in the audio pane below the drop-down menu. Step 4: To the far left of the play button are two box-shaped buttons, one with an icon of a film strip for adding and arranging video clips in the clip viewer, and the other with an icon of a clock for adjusting audio and video timing in the timeline viewer. Select the clock for the timeline viewer. Now you can see the three audio tracks, the top being the audio embedded in the video and the other two for adding audio tracks. Step 5: To extract the audio embedded in the imported video (represented on the top layer of the three audio layers in the timeline), select the clip you wish to extract from, and select "Extract audio" from the edit menu along the top. When it's finished extracting, you should see the extracted audio track below the clip in the second layer of the timeline. Step 6: To adjust the volume of a track, click the "Edit volume" checkbox at the bottom. You will now see a vertical line drawn through the audio clips on the timeline. This represents the volume level. You can adjust the entire volume level of a clip by selecting it and sliding the volume fader at the bottom. If you wish to make volume adjustments within a clip, click on the clip at the point you wish to adjust. This will create an in and out point for the volume, each of which you can bring up or down by dragging it with the mouse. Step 7: To import a track from the CD you've inserted, select the track you wish to add from the audio pane. Place the cursor, or playhead, at the spot in the movie where you want to add audio, and click on the "Place at Playhead" button beneath the audio pane. Wait while the track imports and is placed beneath the clips in the timeline viewer. Step 8: To crop the audio clip, adjust the start and end points by dragging the triangles at the beginning and end of the clip and selecting "Crop" from the edit menu, just as you would a video clip.

Voice Overs - Including narration to your movie

Step 1: Click on the Audio tab below the clip pane. If your microphone is plugged in, you should already see a mic level below the audio pane. Step 2: Place the cursor where you wish to begin the voiceover, click on the red button beside the audio level, and begin speaking your voiceover into the mic. Step 3: Click again on the red record button to stop recording. Step 4: Don't forget to save!

Adding iDVD Chapters to Your Movie

You have the option to add chapters to your project in iMovie. "Chapters" will appear as menu options on your TV screen. They will also mark your project for the "skip" function on your DVD player. Step 1: Select the iDVD tab. Step 2: Select a clip in your timeline that you would like to be a menu option on your DVD screen. Click the "Add Chapter" button. Step 3: Enter a Chapter Title. Step 4: You may remove chapters by clicking on the "Remove Chapter" button. Step 5: You may rename Chapter Titles by double-clicking the text.

Export to iDVD

When you are positively sure your project is complete and you have added your Chapters, you are ready to export to iDVD. One you export, you CANNOT make any changes in iMovie. iDVD immediately begins encoding your project for burning onto a DVD-R. So, although iMovie must remain open while the iDVD project is encoding, you cannot make any changes to it. Step 1: Save your iMovie project. Step 2: Select the iDVD tab. Step 3: Click the "Create IDVD Project" button. Step 4: iDVD will open automatically.

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