imovie

Creating a Movie

After you've captured the video clips you want to use, you need to assemble them into a movie.

Dog thumbnail iMovie exampleTo do that, drag one of the clips from the Shelf area in the upper right of your screen down to the Viewer area. The icon for the clip will appear in the Viewer.

Note: this will move the clip from the Shelf to the Viewer, and you will no longer have a copy of the original clip on the Shelf. That means if you make editing changes to the clip in the Viewer and then decide you don't like the changes you made, you won't be able to retrieve the original clip without going back and capturing it again off your camera.

So you might want to copy, rather than move, clips from the Shelf to the Viewer, leaving a copy of the original clip on the Shelf in case you need it. To do that, follow the procedure above for moving a clip, but hold down the Option key while dragging the clip. The icon for the clip will appear in the Viewer, but the original clip will be preserved on the Shelf.

Note: On the Mac, Option+drag always means "copy rather than move" -- this trick is handy when managing files in the Finder, copying selected regions in Photoshop, and more.

Now repeat the process for other clips, dragging them down from the Shelf to the Viewer. You should try to do this roughly in the order in which you want your clips to appear in your movie, although you can move them around in the Viewer if you want to change the order.

You can view the clips you've dropped into the Viewer in two ways:

  • Clip Viewer, by clicking on the icon on the far left above the viewer area that looks like a frame of film. This view displays icons of each clip, stacking them from left to right. This mode is used for changing the basic order of clips.

  • Timeline Viewer, by clicking on the icon on the far left above the viewer that looks like a small clock. This mode will let you control in and out points of individual video clips, and also lets you see audio tracks. Timeline Viewer mode is what you should use to edit your movie.

You can play one clip in the Monitor window by clicking on it - its background will turn blue - and then clicking on the play button above (or pressing the space bar on your keyboard). To stop playing, click again on the Play button (or press the space bar).

You can view two or more clips by clicking on each one while holding down the Shift key - the borders around the selected clips will turn blue - and then clicking on the Play button in the Monitor window.

If you want to play all the clips, click anywhere outside the Viewer so that no clips are selected, then click the Play button (or press the space bar).

You also can use the Scroll Bar below the Timeline Viewer to scroll to different points in your movie.

And you can use the Zoom tool at the bottom left to zoom in on a particular clip by dragging it to the right. Or you can zoom out to see more of your movie clips by dragging the tool to the left.

Note: when clicking on clips to play them or to edit the video, you probably should uncheck the Edit Volume box at the bottom below the Viewer. Otherwise you may accidentally add audio editing points on a clip when you click on it, and thus could change the volume of the clip at those points.