iMovie Quick Start

What is iMovie HD?

iMovie HD is video-editing software for the Macintosh. A special wire called a FireWire cable is used to connect the video camera to the Macintosh and allows iMovie HD to grab a copy of the raw footage from the video camera. You are able to edit this electronic copy of the footage to create your own movie quickly, and easily.

What is iDVD?

iDVD is a companion software program from iMovie HD that allows you to export your existing project and then create, render, and burn a fully functional DVD that will play in any stand-alone DVD player or Drive.

Note: We will be using pre-digitized video today. If you are interested learning how to pre-digitize video please contact the Help Desk at x1915.

Objectives of this Session

We will go over these basic features of iMovieHD/iDVD to help you create professional-looking digital videos that can be burned to a DVD and used for class presentations:

•    Importing files into iMovie HD
•    Editing digitized video footage
•    Adding titles  
•    Adding transitions
•    Creating DVD chapter markers
•    Exporting your movie to iDVD

Starting a new project and getting familiar with iMovie

1.    From Apple start menu, choose Multimedia -> iMovie HD to open the program.
2.    If an introduction box appears, click Create a New Project. If not, choose File ->          New Project.
3.    A box will appear, asking you to name and save your project. Call it Your name            Movie, replacing Your name with your own name.
4.    Direct iMovie HD to save your project in the Data drive, and then click the Save          button to save your project and begin working.

NOTE: iMovie HD files become very large, so you will not have enough room on your network U drive space to store the project. However, since others also use the Data drive, you should seriously consider burning your project to a DVD-R if you cannot finish it in one sitting. This way, you have backed up your files and won’t lose anything in the event that someone deletes files to make more room on the Data drive.

Also, when iMovieHD is opened, it automatically brings up the project most recently worked on, and that’s usually not going to be yours. Because of this, it is possible your files or clips may accidentally become deleted. This is another reason to burn the results of each editing session on a DVD-R .

Getting familiar with iMovie

Once your new project is created, you will see the screen has been broken into three main sections: the Monitor, the Shelf, and the Clip Viewer. Refer to these descriptions and the picture below for information.
  • Monitor – allows you to view and control your raw footage
  • Playhead - shows you exactly where you are in the creation
  • Scrubber Bar – lets you jump to any place in the movie/clip
  • Mode Control – allows you to choose whether you are in Camera Mode, which controls a connected video camera through a direct line, or Edit Mode, which controls the files that have been imported into your creation.
  • Volume Control – allows you to adjust the sound easily
  • Movie Controls – command buttons for various viewing options (rewind, play, full screen)
  • Shelf – all digital images and video files are held here until they are used. The shelf changes when a different option is selected below (Clips, Transitions, Titles, Effects & Audio).
  • Clip Viewer/Timeline – shows the sequence in which your video clips, still images, and audio will go. Items can be rearranged and edited in this area. 
  • Clips, Themes, Media, Editing, Chapters (Action Tabs) – Located under the shelf, this menu is where you will find the buttons to add transitions, titles, effects and many other accoutrements  to your movie.
  • iMovie Trash Can – in order to delete items, you must place them in the iMovie trash can and not the Mac OS Trash.

Importing Media Files

  1. Choose File -> Import.
  2. Connect to the sweeney/labfiles drive and locate the “iMovie_media” folder.
  3. Choose the file destruction_level.dv in the iMovie_media folder and then click              Open.
  4. Repeat steps one and two, then click f_5.dv once to highlight it.
  5. Now press the Shift key on the keyboard and while continuing to hold that key           down, click the second-to-last item in the list (types.dv).  Now click Open, just as        you have done before. This will select all the remaining media items and import          them as a batch.  It will take a moment to import and render all of these media          files .

Transferring Files to the Clip Viewer for Layout & Editing

Before you can Layout or edit media files in iMovie you must drag them from the Shelf to the Clip Viewer.

1.    Click on the picture entitled home2 and drag it to the Clip Viewer (Watch
2.    Repeat this process taking care to move the files in the following order:
a.    types
b.    tornadoes_image
c.    formation
d.    Fujita Scale
e.    destruction_level
f.    f_5
g.    Glen7
h.    old-tornado
i.    tornado_warning

Now all our files are arranged in the proper order and we may begin learning how to edit and manipulate them.

Editing Digitized Video

When incorporating video clips, it is best to only keep and use the best pieces of footage.
  1. Make sure the Clip Viewer Tab   is selected in the Clip/Timeline Mode.
  2. Click once on types in the Clip Viewer to select it. 
  3. Hover underneath the Playhead on the Scrubber Bar. Two triangles should be visible. When you separate the triangles, the bar turns yellow, telling you that this section of the clip has been selected for editing.
  4. Drag the first triangle to 08:17 and leave the second triangle at the beginning.  This will select the portion of the movie that we want to delete, notice it will turn yellow.  Note: Times may vary slightly.
  5. Click the large delete key on your keyboard (Note: The smaller delete key will not clear any data).
  6. We need further editing in this clip, so we need to repeat the above steps.  This time you will want to move the first triangle to 52:20 as we have done before and the second triangle to 30:00.  Notice that the clip split into two (types and types/1).  Our final edit will be in the second clip types/1.  Move the first triangle to the end of the clip and the second triangle to 47:00 and delete.  Note: The rest of the clips do not need editing though may be edited if you prefer.
  7. Choose File Save Project (Note: You should save your work often!)


The media option in iMovie allows you to manipulate the still photos you have placed into your project.

Let’s experiment with the various features…
  1. Click once on the photo entitled home
  2. Click on the Photos option in the Media Tab.
  3. Click on the Show Photo Settings button.
  4. You should get a dialogue box that looks like this:
  5. If there is a checkmark in the box that says “Ken Burns Effect,” remove it.  This effect made famous by Ken Burns pans and zooms in on photos in such a way to make them seem almost like moving images rather than stills.  That said, this effect is not always something that is desirable, yet iMovie enables it by default.
  6. You will notice two slide bars as well, the top slide bar will zoom in or zoom out on your image, and the second controls the amount of time your image will be displayed. Change your zoom setting to 1.00 and speed to 4:01.  Click Update to save changes.
  7. Now, click on the photo entitled tornadoes_image, move the zoom slider to 1.00 and the speed to 4:01 and uncheck the box next to Ken Burns Effect.  Again click the Update button.
  8. Next click Fujita Scale, uncheck the Ken Burns Effect and reconfigure the settings as follows: Zoom - 1.19, and speed 4:01. Click Update.
  9. Use the settings Zoom - 1:00 and speed – 4:01 on the final images: Glen7, old-tornado, and tornado_warning.

Adding Titles

When using iMovie as a presentation medium, a title can become much more than just a textual introduction to a video clip, it has the potential to function as a visual element in its own right, conveying useful information to the viewer that is separate and distinct from other media elements.
  1. Click the Editing button.
  2. Choose the tab titled Titles.
  3. The first title for this presentation needs to tell the reader what we are doing and who we are.  Thus, for this purpose, one of the titles that is preconfigured for multiple lines and multiple slides is best.
You will want to choose Centered Title from the list of titles. This will give us the effect we are looking for. Enter the text as shown in the figure below, inserting your name in the byline.

Also note, you will want to make sure   has a check mark in it; this will place your text over a black background instead of placing it over the next nearest media.

After you have finished typing, you must click on the ‘T’ to the left of the title “Centered Title” and drag your title to its desired location. At this point the title will be inserted into your project and rendered.  If you fail to do this, your title will be lost.  This title needs to be placed at the beginning of your project to the left of home2. The figure below gives you a reference point of where to place it.
When you place your title you will begin to notice a red streak appear across the bottom of the title, this denotes that the title is rendering (see figure below). This process may take some time depending on the size and complexity of your titles.
  1. Our next title, is designed to segue into the first of our video clips, for this we just want a single slide with a couple lines of text. Choose Centered Title from the list of titles and type following lines:
  2. Again, click the ‘T’ and drag your title into place right before the movie clip entitled types (see figure below).
  3. For the next title we will repeat this same process, this time typing:
  4. This time click and drag your title to just after the image entitled tornadoes_image.
  5. For the next title, continue to use the same settings, this time typing.
  6. Click and drag this title to the immediate right of the movie clip entitled: formation (shown below).
  7. One last time use the same settings and type: Click and drag this title to the immediate left of the image entitled: old-tornado (shown below).
  8. Once the preceding title has rendered, click back to titles this time selecting Scrolling, Scrolling Block from the list.  This title will facilitate many lines of text and is what we will use to display a paragraph of text on the screen. In the text box please type the following lines: "What makes them dangerous
    is that their energy
    is concentrated in a small area,
    perhaps only a hundred yards across."
  9. Now we need to adjust the speed of this title, so click the speed slider with your mouse and move it until you see the numbers 11:11 flash in the preview box just to the right of the slider.  Note: You will have to move the slider all the way to the beginning (left) first and then to the correct numbers.
  10. Drag the title into place, directly to the right of the movie clip types/1.
  11. Our last title will again be a Scrolling Block, but this time we are going place it over an image instead of placing it over black.To do this we need to make sure the image is long enough to accommodate such a title. 
    • Select the image of Glen 7 just after the video clip entitled f_5.
    • Click on the Photos option in the Media Tab.   
    • Click on the Show Photo Settings button.  Type 21:14 in the box labeled Duration and click Update. This will add a sufficient amount of time to the image to facilitate placing the title over top of it (see figure below.) Double clicking on the image in the clip viewer will also bring up these settings.
    • Now choose Scrolling Block from the Titles Menu, and type the following into the title text box: 
      • "Tornado season is generally
        March through August,
        although tornadoes can occur
        at any time of year.
        They tend to occur in the
        afternoons and evenings:
        over 80 percent of all tornadoes
        strike between noon and midnight."
    • Uncheck Over Black. Set the speed setting to 15:14.
    • Drag your title directly to the left of the image entitled Glen7, and it will begin the rendering process.
  12. Click File  Save Project, to save the work you have done thus far.

Adding Transitions:

Transitions, as the name implies, provide a smooth way to move from one media object to another.
  1. Click the Editing button
  2. Select the Transitions tab 
  3. Select Cross Dissolve from the list of possible transitions and then drag it between Tornadoes: and home2 in the clip viewer (see figure below). A small box will appear denoting that the transition has been added, and just like titles transitions too, will need to render. Also, each transition will absorb some time from each clip that surrounds it. This is necessary for the transition function properly and is not truncating your film despite how it may appear.
  4. Repeat this process twelve more times adding transitions as indicated by the transition markers shown below.
  5. Save your work.

Adding Effects:

The Video FX tab in the effects option in iMovie allows visually enhances to existing media. For example, it can turn color film black and white, age it, turn it a sepia tone, etc. In the interest of time we will not explore this feature today, but know that it is available if you want to add a touch of style to your projects .you can.

Adding Audio:

iMovie allows you the capability of importing and manipulating audio tracks to be played under your existing project content.

  1. We need to first import our audio track.  This is done in the same manner as the other media.  Go to File  Import and locate the “Media” folder.  Choose xenia_tornado.mp3 and import it.
  2. Change your view to timeline where you will see “xenia_tornado” either at the beginning or end of the project.
  3. Click on the sound clip and drag it toward the end of the show, placing it at approximately 2:58:26 (see figure below).
  4. If you want to import other audio tracks, go to File  Import and search for your file(s).  Click Open to import the file(s).
Note: Placing and timing audio can become a very complex, as audio may need to be trimmed using a program other than iMovie.

At this point you will want to save your work, choose File  Save Project.
Reviewing Your Work

Now that you have completed your iMovie, you will want to review your work. To do this, make sure you are in Clip View and click the first frame of your move.  Then, hold down the shift button and click the last frame of your movie, this will select the entire project.  Now, click the full screen preview button   to see your movie.

Preparing a Project for Export to iDVD

iMovie allows for a very quick and easy transition into iDVD. It also allows you to add preset chapters in your DVD project prior to exporting it. Lets do that now.
  1. To add Chapters to your movie, click on the Chapters Button.
  2. Click on the very first clip in the clip viewer, and then click Add Marker.
  3. You will notice that a new chapter entry will appear with the title of that clip, if you do not like that title, you can change it here, by simply typing a new one in the chapter title box (see figure below).
  4. Click on the clip: "A tornado is a violently…” and then Add Marker.  You will notice that this title gets truncated by iMovie because it is too long.  You can either choose to leave the truncation as is or you can change it to something more manageable.
  5. Repeat by clicking on the clip entitled “types.”  Do the same for “How do tornadoes form?” and “The Fujita Scale…”
  6. At this point we are done adding chapters. Before we export the project to iDVD need to save our work. Click File > Save Project to do that now.  
  7. To share your movie with iDVD, click on the menu option Share and go to iDVD. A dialogue box will pop up. Click on iDVD and choose Share.
  8. You may be informed that you have still images in your presentation and told that they need to be rendered before they can be exported to iDVD. Click Render and Proceed to continue (see figure below).
  9. After the rendering process has completed, iDVD will launch displaying your movie behind a default template. You will be shown a list of templates (or themes) that you can choose from. Click the drop down menu for more options.
  10. After you have chosen a template, you can then customize the text and buttons to meet the needs of your project.  Click on the preset text areas in your template to edit them (follow instructor). 
  11. You may also drag photos into iDVD to customize your template.  Double-click the data drive and then double click imovie_media, click and drag the photo titled old-tornado.jpg on to the picture preset in your iDVD template (follow instructor). 
  12. It is also possible to import sound into your project that will play when the DVD menu is being displayed. Choose File > Import> Audio.
  13. Steps 10-12 must be repeated on the scene selection page, for consistency throughout the iDVD project. Double click on scene selection add both the photo and audio as you did in steps 10-12.
  14. Once you are satisfied with your project, insert a DVD into the DVD-R drive and click the burn icon. You will notice that it will turn into a radioactive symbol (after you click on it), at this point you will need to click it once more, to begin the burning process.
You will be shown a series of dialogue boxes informing you of your DVD’s progress during the burning process. When the burn completes, you can click OK and then eject your DVD from the drive.

Congratulations!  You now can make your own movies and DVDs.  Should your desire additional resources on this topic, please contact the Help Desk at extension X1915.

Additional Information: Digitizing Video

If you would like additional information about digitizing video (importing movies from a digital camcorder for example), please check out our Quick Start guides in the Multimedia Resource Lab, or ask for assistance at the Help Desk.