CS 325 and Film 385: Introduction to Apple's iMovie (and GarageBand again)


Highlights of this lab:

  • What is iMovie?
  • Importing Video, stored on your Hard Disk or via a DV Camera
  • Constructing Your Movie
  • Editing Your Movie
  • Adding and Manipulating Audio
  • Exporting To A Quicktime File
  • Assignment

:: What is iMovie? ::

iMovie is a video editing application created by Apple Computer. It is only available for the Macintosh Computer platform. iMovie is included with every new Mac computer.

We will be using this video for the in-lab discussion. Right click on it and save it to your folders.


:: iMovie Terminology ::

Here is some common iMovie terminology. The list looks long but not to fret, soon using iMovie will be as easy as velcro shoes!

  • Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF): a digital audio file, most commonly used by Apple.
  • Clip: Media file that contains audio, video, and/or a still image. Clips are self-contained sections you can select & manipulate like puzzle pieces to make up a movie. If you copy a selection & paste it, it becomes a new clip.
  • Clip Viewer: Tab with the eye on the panel at the bottom of the iMovie screen. To make a clip part of the movie, drag it to the Clip Viewer. Rearrange clips in the clip viewer.
  • Crop Markers: Used to select audio & video. Click & drag just below the Scrubber Bar to make the video crop markers appear.
  • Cut: Start or end frame of a clip; break between two clips.
  • DV Format: Digital video format. Common video formats such as VHS, SVHS, 8 mm, Hi8 are analog formats. DV differs in that it stores the audio and video information in digital form. Analog is an electronic signal that loses strength each time the video is copied from one media to another. There is no loss of quality when you copy between your DV camcorder and computer with the DV format. The quality of the original footage is retained through the capture, edit, and export back to tape.
  • FireWire: A communication protocol that allows the transmission of data, video, audio over a single cable that can be attached and detached to/from the computer without shutting down your computer. FireWire, developed by Apple Computer, is also known as iLink or IEEE 1394. With FireWire a DV camcorderÂ’s playback functions can be controlled using the iMovie interface.
  • Frame: A single image in a movie clip.
  • Frames per second (fps): Frame rate. The number of movie frames displayed on the screen per second. When a video is saved as a QuickTime file, different formats have different fps rates. Lower fps make smaller files.
  • iMovie monitor: The window in the upper left corner of the iMovie screen where movies are played from a camcorder, and viewed and played as it is edited.
  • PICT: A Macintosh picture file format that does not apply compression to an image &, thus, is a 'lossless' format. PICT file format maintains the same quality level from copy to copy. Use PICT format when exporting a still image from a DV clip if intending to reuse the image in a movie.
  • Playhead: The triangular time marker that appears on the scrubber bar and in the audio viewer (iMovie 2) or timeline viewer (iMovie 2), corresponding to the frame showing in the iMovie monitor. Drag the playhead to see what appears where in the movie and position the playhead to set the insertion point when recording or importing audio.
  • Pre-roll: Rewinding the tape in camcorder a few seconds before the point of the intended capture start.
  • Rendering: Process of compositing elements together in a movie. Any time video is modified, as adding a text title over video or creating a transition between scenes, rendering takes place.
  • Scrubber bar: The bar directly under the iMovie monitor which displays a timeline of selected video clips. To see what is where in a movie, drag the playhead along the scrubber bar.
  • Shelf: They are in the upper right corner of the screen when iMovie opens or when the Clips button is clicked; temporary storage for the video clips imported before they are placed in the clip viewer. iMovie 1 has only 9 positions on the shelf, iMovie 2 has many more.
  • Timeline viewer: Panel at the bottom of the iMovie screen with the clock on the tab. The timeline viewer displays the movie ’s video track and two audio tracks. The timeline viewer is used to position and edit video and audio.
  • Tracks: A track last the entire length of the movie and may contain several clips.
  • Transition: The blending of frames between two clips to smooth a cut. There are many different styles: dissolve, fade, overlap, etc.

:: The Shelf ::

iMovie places captured clips on the shelf, a temporary storage place for clips, to the right of its monitor. The shelf is the holding area for clips just captured or not currently being used in the movie.


:: Importing Video, stored on your Hard Disk or via a DV Camera ::

Importing video stored on your Hard Disk:

Images, digital video, and sounds can be imported into iMovie by choosing "Import File..." under the File menu.

Please be patient as you import - it can take a while because some media are converted to an iMovie friendly format when you import them. This means a duplicate is made and is taking up space on your storage device. iMovie project folders can get very large.

Importing video via a DV Camera:

In order to capture video from your video camera, you must use a Digital Video or DV camera. Most DV cameras come equipped with a FireWire port. Firewire is also referred to as IEEE 1394 and i.LINK Connect the DV device to your computer. If you are using a camcorder, set the power switch to VCR mode.Click on the Play button on the play back controls or press the Space Bar on the keyboard to preview.

The Playhead moves across the scrubber bar under the monitor. You may drag the playhead to move anywhere in the clip. Clicking the Fast Forward & Rewind buttons several times in a row will preview the clip progressively faster in either direction.

Rewind to a few seconds before the desired footage, or pre-roll your tape. Click the Import button to start capturing or hit the Space Bar. Click the Import button or press the Space Bar when finished. The clips will now be on the shelf.


:: Constructing your Movie ::

Once you know the content of the clips, begin making a movie by moving the clips from the shelf to the movie track in the clip viewer. Each clip's first frame is shown in the Clip Viewer.

Drag a clip from the shelf to the movie track. To move multiple clips, hold down the Shift key while clicking on the clips of your choice on the shelf or choose Select All in the Edit menu. Move all clips you want to the Clip Viewer.

Arranging The Order Of Clips

To change the clip order in a movie choose Select None in the Edit menu or click in the space above the Clip Viewer to deselect clips in the movie track. Drag a clip to its new location in the track. Release the mouse button to insert the clip in its new location before or after another clip in the Clip Viewer. Press play on the video clip above for a demonstration of this action.

Renaming Clips

iMovie gives clips a generic name upon capture. To rename clips, click the name under the thumbnail on the shelf or in the clipview and type a new name. This will help keep track of edited clips. Press play on the video clip above to see a demonstration of this action.


:: Editing Your Movie ::

To edit video clips in iMovie, click the Edit button.

In edit mode one can crop or split clips to the desired length, copy and paste sections of clips and arrange them into movies, add transitions between clips, and manage clips by renaming them in the shelf.

Cropping

Often clips are longer than needed. Excess footage can be removed from a clip with the crop markers just below the scrubber bar under the monitor.

Click on the clip on the shelf, in the clip viewer or in the audio viewer. Click below the scrubber bar under the monitor & drag the crop markers to the beginning and end frames desired. Move one frame at a time by using the Left & Right Arrow keys on your keyboard. Choose Crop in the Edit menu.

Splitting a Clip

One clip can be split into two clips. This way an unused part of a clip may be kept on the shelf for later use. To split a clip:

  • Click on the clip on the shelf, in the clip viewer or in the audio viewer.
  • On the scrubber bar move the playhead to the frame for the desired split.
  • Choose Split Clip at Playhead in the Edit menu.

Editing with Cut, Copy, Paste & Clear

Any element may be copied to the Clipboard, then pasted into a new clip or location.

  • Use Cut to move an element, clip, or portion of a clip from a location to another:
    • Choose the element or clip, or a part of a clip using the crop markers.
    • Choose Cut in the Edit menu.
    • Choose Paste in the Edit menu to put the clip or portion of a clip into a new clip anywhere you choose.
  • Use Copy to duplicate an element, clip, or portion of a clip:
    • Choose the element or clip, or a part of a clip using the crop markers.
    • Choose Copy in the Edit menu.
    • Choose Paste in the Edit menu to put the clip or portion of a clip into a new clip anywhere you choose.
  • Use Clear to permanently remove a clip, or portion of a clip from the movie:
    • Choose the element or clip, or a part of a clip using the crop markers.
    • Choose Clear in the Edit menu or press the Delete key on the keyboard.
    • To undo, immediately choose Undo in the Edit menu.
  • Adding Titles:
    • You can add title for your movie by choosing the Editing button at right bottom of iMovie and choosing Titles.
    • Choose the title style and click add button.
  • Adding Transitions To Clips:

    Transitions make the cuts between clips smooth. They are added to the beginning or end of a clip or between two clips. To add a transition:

    • Click on the Transitions button.
    • Choose a transition from the transitions palette that appears.
    • Choose the speed of the transition into or out of the clip by moving the duration slider.
    • The slower the transition, the more time it takes to render.
    • Drag the transition from the transitions palette to the desired location (at the beginning or end of a clip) in the clip viewer.

    A transition icon appears in the clip viewer and a red progress bar indicates time remaining to render. You may continue to work while transitions render.

    To preview a rendered transition: Click on the transition icon in the clip viewer, click Play or the Space bar. To preview the rendered transition in the movie either choose Select None in the Edit menu & click Play. Click on the space above the clip viewer to deselect all clips, the click Play.

    To preview your movie in full screen: Click the Play Movie Full Screen button.


:: Adding and Manipulating Audio ::

Background music from any audio CD, sound effects, voice narrations, or MP3 files may be added to a movie. The audio clip sequences may be arranged & their duration trimmed.

There are two ways to add music to a movie: recording music from an audio CD or importing an AIFF audio file.

Click on the Media button and choose Audio:

  • Music tracks can be recorded from an audio CD directly into the movie:
    • Insert an audio CD in the CD-ROM drive.
    • Choose the track you want to add into your movie and convert it into MP3 format by using iTunes (just like what we did last week).
    • Then click the media button in the bottom right corner of iMovie screen. Choose iTunes folder in the upper right corner of iMovie. Then your MP3 song should be already in the list of songs.
    • Choose the song and drag it to the desired position in the clip viewer (you will notice the clip viewer is changed to timeline viewer automatically).
    • You can also adjust the position of the audio clip in timeline viewer by dragging it.

To import an AIFF audio file move the playhead in the audio view to the beginning of the movie. (this sets the insertion point for the audio file), choose Import File from the File menu, select the AIFF audio file &, click Import to import the file. The music clip appears in the music track.

Adding Sound Effects

Sound effects may be inserted anywhere in the movie on the narration or music tracks.

To add a sound effect:

  • Click the Media button and choose Audio.
  • Drag the sound effect from the list in the Sounds palette to the desired position on the narration or music track. The sound effect may be repositioned at any time by dragging it to a new position.

To delete a sound effect:

  • Select the sound effect in the narration or music track.
  • Press the Delete key.

Adding Voice Narration

Record the voice by using a microphone connected to the computer:

  • Position the playhead at the desired starting point in the audio viewer.
  • Click the Media button and choose Audio.
  • Click the Record Voice button in the sounds palette.
  • Speak into the microphone. Click the Stop button when finished. Use the volume level meter to determine how loudly to speak. Optimum level is between 50% and 75%.

Cropping Audio Elements

  • Select the element in the narration or music track.
  • Drag the beginning or end crop marker to the desired position.
  • Position a crop marker frame accurately by using the Left or Right Arrow keys after clicking on the marker to nudge it frame by frame.
  • Hold down the Shift key while using the Arrow keys to move in greater increments.
  • Choose Crop from the Edit.

NOTE: Sound effects cannot be cropped

Adjusting Volume Levels

To adjust the master volume level drag the volume level to the right to increase or to the left to decrease the volume, or press the Up or Down Arrow keys on the keyboard.

NOTE: This master control adjusts the volume level of your computer system and does not affect the volume level of the files in the movie. The system’s volume level will reset to the original level you quit iMovie.

Repositioning Audio Elements

Drag the element to any desired position on the narration or music track. Audio elements may overlap each other. To position frame accurately use the Left or Right Arrow keys after clicking on the marker to nudge the element frame by frame. Hold down the Shift key while using the Arrow keys to move in greater increments.


:: Exporting To A Quicktime File ::

Your final movie can be exported to a QuickTime file and used online for distribution over the Internet or on CD-ROM.

To export the movie to a QuickTime file:

  • Open the File menu & choose Export.
  • Choose quicktime tab.
  • Choose compress movie fro web and click Share.

  • Email and Web formats require QuickTime 4.0 or later installed on the viewing computer. For QuickTime 3.0 compatibility Apple recommends choosing Web Movie, Small (QT3.0) or using the Expert QuickTime settings.
  • Email Movie, Small creates a small movie file optimized for sending to others through e-mail. The viewer must have QuickTime 4.0 or later installed on the computer.
  • Web Movie, Small creates a movie optimized for playback over the World Wide Web. The viewer must have QuickTime 4.0 or later installed on the computer.
  • Web Movie, Small (QT3.0) creates a QuickTime 3.0 compatible movie optimized for playback over the World Wide Web.
  • CD-ROM Movie, Medium creates a movie optimized for playback from slower CD-ROM drives.
  • CD-ROM Movie, Large creates a high-quality movie optimized for playback from faster CD-ROM drives. Expert brings up a dialog window that allows you to export movies using custom QuickTime settings.

Exporting A Still Image

with iMovie you also have the option of capturing a still image of the video within your movie. To do this...do this ;-):

  • Move the Playhead to the image you want to capture
  • Click Edit - Capture Still
  • Click File - Save Frame As
  • Choose JPEG if this is to be used or distributed on the web; choose Macintosh PICT if this image is to be used within iMovie, from the Format pop-up menu.

:: Assignment ::

For this lab assignment I want you to play around with iMovie and GarageBand (again). Using the video in today's lab I would like you to edit the video according to your own creative abilities. Add music (from GarageBand or other), add titles, transitions, and apply effects where you think they're needed.

  • 0.5: for submitting a movie (under 25MB) and description.
  • 1.0: for quality, originality, etc.

Submit your .mov file at the beginning of next lab in a folder clearly marked with your own name. Please include a description file to explain what you did with the movie. Note, your movie files may tend to get quite large so please keep this in mind when you are editing your movie (Nothing over 25MB please). Most importantly, have fun!


:: Online Source(s) ::