How to use iMovie (with pictures)

How to use iMovie (with pictures)
How to use iMovie (with pictures)

iMovie, part of Apple's iLife suite, is a surprisingly versatile, yet easy-to-use movie making application that turns your home videos into elegant productions. The tools and effects are very cool, feature rich, and customizable enough to let you make productions to your liking.


Part 1 of 7: import footage

Use iMovie Step 1

Step 1. Launch iMovie

If it's not in the Dock (direct access bar), you can find it in your "Applications" folder or search for it with Spotlight.

Use iMovie Step 2

Step 2. Upload your video

To make a movie with iMovie, you must first import the video from your camera to your computer. Most devices make this process quite easy by using either USB or FireWire cables directly connected to the device, or flash memory cards such as Secure Digital (SD) or CompactFlash (CF) cards, connected via a card reader. menu. You can also import movies from iPhone or iPad through the normal 30-pin port or through the Thunderbolt connector.

  • Connect the appropriate cable to your camera. Using the cable that came with your camcorder, connect the small end to the device and the larger end to your computer.
  • Turn on your camera and put it in "cable play" mode. This feature has different names depending on the make and model of the device you are using. It can be called "PC".
  • Select your movie frame definition. If you are shooting high definition "HD" video, select "wide" or "full" in the import window. If it does not open automatically, select "Import from camera" from the "File" menu.
Use iMovie Step 3

Step 3. Choose what you want to import into iMovie

The import window will show you all the clips available on your camera. (Every time you stop and start your camera, you are creating a new clip). You can choose to import all available clips or click on the clips you do not want to import to deselect them, then click "Import checked items".

If you are using a cassette tape camcorder, you can import everything or use the controls on the camcorder's screen, to go forward or rewind and find the particular clip of the movie you want to import, then use the "play" and "buttons". stop”to start and stop the import

Use iMovie Step 4

Step 4. Record your videos

Be sure to choose a location with plenty of memory space: Video files, especially HD files, can be quite large. You don't want to run out of room before you even start!

Use iMovie Step 5

Step 5. Organize the imported videos

  • The first time you import video from your camera, there will be no existing events in your "Event Library".
  • To create a new event, type a name in the “Create new event” field.
  • If you're importing video recorded over multiple days, you can have iMovie create one new item per day by selecting "Split days into new events."
  • To add the new video to an existing project (a video you previously imported into iMovie), select "Add to existing event". Edit the name of the new event in the context menu.
Use iMovie Step 6

Step 6. Get rid of the tremors

Choose the "Stabilization" option from the "After import, scan for" menu. iMovie will analyze your footage and smooth out any camera shake (like those from the movie “The Blair Witch Project”, which you may remember).

  • The other option in the "Analyze" menu is to find the people in your footage. When iMovie detects human presences, it places markers in the movie.
  • The “stabilization” and “paging” options may take some time.
Use iMovie Step 7

Step 7. Optimize the video

If you are importing high definition (HD) video, choose a size for the movie from the “Optimize video” pop-up menu. When all the settings are done, click the OK button and take a break. This is because processing the video can take anywhere from a few minutes to up to over an hour.

Part 2 of 7: Create a new project

Use iMovie Step 8

Step 1. Select a theme

First, from the "File" menu, select "New Project …" or press the "Command" and "N" keys. This will create the basic framework for the project. Once created, you can add a theme to your movie. iMovie comes preloaded with a number of unique and interesting themes that help give your movie an attractive and exceptional presentation. There's something for everyone, from an album theme to a Hollywood blockbuster theme. View the options and select the ones you like or select “no theme”, if you want to use your own theme, then click the “Create” button.

Use iMovie Step 9

Step 2. Assign properties to your project

Before adding content, you need to define its final location.

  • Next to the list of themes, assign a name to your project by filling in the "Name:" field.
  • Choose an aspect ratio for your movie. The aspect ratio is a dimension describing the ratio between height and width. For example, iPads and iPhones before iPhone5, standard TV screens, and older computer screens have a 4: 3 aspect ratio. Newer TVs and monitors use the 16: 9 widescreen format..
  • Choose a frame rate for your video. Choose the same frame rate that was used when shooting the video. Most video cameras in the United States use "NTSC at 30 frames per second (fps)", while European cameras typically use "PAL" or "SECAM (France)" each at 25 fps. If your camera supports 24 fps and this is the format you used to shoot, then choose this option.
Use iMovie Step 10

Step 3. Add an automatic transition

When you join two sequences, you have several ways to move from one to the other. You can configure iMovie to always choose a particular transition, but be aware that you can change the preset transition at any time.

Project themes automatically add crossfades (gradual fades between one clip and the next) and other transitions, but you can deselect this option if you want

Use iMovie Step 11

Step 4. Click on “Create”

When you are done setting up your project, click the "Create" button to open the new, blank project in the Project Navigator window.

Part 3 of 7: Add Video to iMovie Project

Use iMovie Step 12

Step 1. Select the clips you want to include

Once you have defined a new project, you can add video clips to it. Any clips you imported are listed in the "Event Library" section below the Project Library and your preview screen.

  • If you closed iMovie before starting this section, launch iMovie, then double-click the name of the project you created earlier.
  • If you want to change the project, click on the “Project library” button and choose one from the list.
Use iMovie Step 13

Step 2. Select the desired event

In "event library", the list of all available events will be displayed. Select, by clicking once on it, the event you want to work with.

If you don't see the Events List, look in the lower left corner of the iMovie window

Use iMovie Step 14

Step 3. Add the first clip

Select a clip or a range of video frames from the filmstrips in the Event Library.

  • To select an entire clip, hold down the "shift" key, then click once on the clip, so that it is framed in yellow.
  • To select a particular range or chapter in a clip, position yourself at the start of the sequence of interest, click it while holding the mouse button or trackpad, then drag the cursor until you select all of the clips. desired images. The selected images are framed in yellow.
  • Drag your video selection onto the Project Navigator located in the upper left corner of the screen. A green vertical line, with a green “Add (+)” symbol, appears anywhere you can place the clip.
Use iMovie Step 15

Step 4. Add all your videos

Drag each clip, or portion of a clip, into the Project Browser in the order you prefer. You can place clips sequentially or insert them between two other clips.

Part 4 of 7: add photographs

Use iMovie Step 16

Step 1. Scan your photos (or import them from your camera)

In iMovie, you can add more than just movies to make your movie look like a documentary by adding still images. Whether scanned or taken with a digital camera, the process is the same.

Use iMovie Step 17

Step 2. Open the photo browser

Click the camera icon, located on the lower right side of the screen, above the video clips. The Photo Browser will appear on the right side of the screen and allow you to choose all of the files in your iPhoto library.

If you haven't imported your photos into iPhoto, you can do so now, then click the "Last Import" button to view only those images. Otherwise, you can simply drag them from anywhere on your hard drive. It is best to keep all of your images in one folder

Use iMovie Step 18

Step 3. Drag your photo to the desired location

If you drag it before or after a clip, there will be a green vertical line, indicating that you can safely place the image there.

If the line is red, you are placing the image in the middle of an existing clip. You will then be asked if you want to replace the existing clip, insert the image into the clip, or cancel the operation

Use iMovie Step 19

Step 4. Use your photos creatively

You can insert still images into an action scene sequence; for example, in a video of a surfer in the middle of the jump, extract an image of the surfer in the air mid-jump, then place it back in the start video.

You can adjust the duration of the still image, so that the end result is something like: the jump starts, the surfer starts to lose balance, the image freezes! The clip lingers on the surfer, giving the audience a moment to realize what is about to happen, and then the video resumes! The jump ends and the surfer takes an impressive fall; exactly as we anticipated. You could top it off with another pic of the surfer, smiling, face full of snow

Part 5 of 7: polish your project

Use iMovie Step 20

Step 1. Enhance your video

Once you have everything set up, you can add elements to your movie to make it really special. You can use (or modify) themes, add transitions, music and titles.

Use iMovie Step 21

Step 2. Add a project theme

If you didn't choose a theme at the beginning, you can add one now. In the “File” menu, choose “Project theme…” or simultaneously press the “Shift”, “Command” and “J” keys.

Use iMovie Step 22

Step 3. Select a theme

Find one of the thumbnails you like (you can preview them by clicking on it) and choose whether or not to include automatic transitions.

  • When you select a theme, you'll see 30 seconds of the video so you'll know what to expect.
  • If you're new to iMovie, use automatic transitions and the title option. This will help you get a feel for how they work and you can always change or modify them later.
  • Make your choice by selecting or deselecting the "Automatically add transitions and titles" box.
Use iMovie Step 23

Step 4. Click OK

iMovie will work on your project, adding transitions between sequences and titles at the end.

Use iMovie Step 24

Step 5. Add your own transitions

You can add transitions between clips by opening the "Transitions" browser located in the iMovie toolbar.

Select the desired transition, then drag it between two clips. iMovie will automatically handle the transition. You can easily change the transition by double-clicking the transition icon in your movie and selecting a new one from the context menu

Use iMovie Step 25

Step 6. Add music

A movie without music is a “slideshow”. Already back in the days when slideshows were the only way to view vacation photos, no one liked to sit for hours viewing them and it's even more true now that it's so easy to give a presentation. alive.

Use iMovie Step 26

Step 7. Click the "Music & Sound Effects" button (the musical notes icon) in the iTunes toolbar

The browser will switch from your photo library to your iTunes library, as well as the Garage Band folder and the iLife "Sound Effects" folders.

  • Browse your music list until you find the song you want to add. When you find a suitable selection, click and drag the song to the end of the video clips in the Project Browser. Do not drag it onto a particular clip. When you see the green vertical line, release the mouse and the clip will be placed in the movie.
  • The background of video clips will be shaded in green for the duration of the music clip, starting with the first clip in your movie and ending at the end of the music. Note that depending on your selection, the music may end before the end of your video clip or go beyond your video. If the music is too short, you can always add another audio clip at the end of the project. If it is too long, you can melt it out.
Use iMovie Step 27

Step 8. Add sound effects

In the "Music & Sound Effects" browser, there is a sound effects folder. Click on it and select a sound effect to place it in the movie. For example, if you have a sequence of a person walking, you can add steps to the movie, even if you have background music! To do this, drag the sound effect onto the first frame you want it to appear in. If it's too short, add another sound effect and if it's too long, cut and blend it as desired. (See below).

Use iMovie Step 28

Step 9. Adjust the audio properties

If the music or sound effects are too long, too loud, or if you want to add studio effects, click on the “Action” context menu (the gear icon at the top left of the green audio clip), then click on "Audio settings". Watch your movie. As long as the "Inspector" window is open, your movie will play the selected sound sequences in a loop, making it easy to adjust, in these audio clips, parameters such as sound effects so that they are neither too loud nor too weak..

  • In this same "Inspector" window, you can, as you wish, adjust the volume, fade in or fade out, equalizer (EQ) or even make other adjustments.
  • The "Volume" option adjusts the volume of the selected audio track.
  • The "Attenuation" option lowers the volume of all other audio tracks. This is useful if you have a clip of someone talking to background music. "Cut" makes the volume of the background music lower, so that the voice can be heard more clearly.
  • The "Fade In / Fade Out" option allows you to soften the arrival or exit of a sound for a specified amount of time. Click on the ones you want to change, then drag the sliders to adjust the length of each.
  • The "Reduce background noise" option allows you to reduce "loud" sounds; it is useful for making voices more intelligible, in traffic, crowds, etc. If you use it too much, you can completely eliminate background sounds.
  • The "EQ" option is the equivalent of the equalizer on your stereo and adjusts the tonal qualities of the sound.
  • The “Normalize clip volume” option makes the loudest sound in the clip as loud as possible without distortion, which also reinforces all other noises in the clip (unless the loudest sound is loud is already at maximum, in this case it will have no noticeable effect on the sound). You can delete the normalization performed, by clicking on the "Delete normalization" button located below the normalization button.
Use iMovie Step 29

Step 10. Add audio effects

At the top of the “Audio Inspector” window, click the “Clip” button, then click “Audio Effect” from the pop-up menu.

  • Listen to the effects of reverbs, echoes and levels by hovering the cursor over them (do not click); click on the ones you like and want to keep.
  • When you are satisfied with all of your settings, click OK to save your choices.

Part 6 of 7: add titles

Use iMovie Step 30

Step 1. Add text to your movie

You can add text anywhere in the movie and at the start or end of credits.

Use iMovie Step 31

Step 2. Open the "Title Browser" by clicking the "T" icon in the iMovie toolbar on the right

A series of different word processing options appear. To add them to your movie, click on it and drag one of it onto the relevant clip.

Use iMovie Step 32

Step 3. Enter the text

Replace the temporary text with your own words as needed. To change the font, click on the "Show Fonts" menu. Choose an available one from the list or click on "Font Sample System" at the bottom left of the window and choose from the available fonts. There are 9 color options in the base swatch, but you can choose any color you like in the system's font panel.

Use iMovie Step 33

Step 4. Change the length of the title

Select the title sequence in the Project Navigator and adjust its length to the desired size, by clicking on one side of the text and dragging the mouse in the desired direction.

To see the "Title inspector", double-click on the title sequence

Use iMovie Step 34

Step 5. Add a generic

If you haven't used a predefined theme, you can add credits by dragging the title "scrolling credits" at the end of your movie and filling it with the appropriate text.

Part 7 of 7: finalize the movie

Use iMovie Step 35

Step 1. From the “File” menu, select “Finalize Project”

iMovie will build your project, with all transitions, effects, titles and settings defined. Depending on the length and complexity of your movie, it may take an hour or two, while you wait for your movie to be ready, take a break!

When you're done, your movie will be ready to play, burn to CD, DVD, or upload, for example to YouTube. Congratulation


  • If you are using still images, to get the best final resolution, make sure the originals are of the best quality and of the largest size possible.
  • If you have GarageBand, use it for music, as it lets you distribute music freely, without worrying about copyright or royalties (as long as you're using original images).
  • Don't be afraid to experiment: Most actions in iMovie are reversible or can be changed at any time.

Popular by topic