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How To Use iMovie - The Basics

written by: BMeredith•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 8/3/2009

Here is a step-by-step discussion of the basic principles of making an iMovie. You will find instruction on how to move media into your presentation, blend events and even create transitions. Basic editing information is also included so that you can add to or delete changes deemed necessary.

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    Basic Editing / Making Movies and Pod Casts

    So now we know what it is and how to get the information there, it is now time to create a project. iMovie allows us to integrate photos, movies and music into presentations that can be informational, instructional and fun. The creative process is yours to discover. As is the case with anything, the more you do it the better you will get at it. What we will seek to do here is provide a step by step process to building your project. For this discussion we are going to assume that all your files are in place within the iMovie domains and compatibilities. That is to say iPhoto, iTunes, Photo Booth, Garage Band etc. So lets begin.

    Step 1. Boot up iMovie and then go to File and click on New Project. A second window will appear asking for you to choose a background. If you are developing a generic project you should choose none. You will also be asked to give your project a title. That one is up to you.

    Step 2. Choose selected video footage or pictures and place them in the frames by clicking and dragging. Remember you see these by clicking the camera icon in the far right of the middle bar. Do not worry if you make a mistake. Simply click on the frame to remove and then go to Edit and click Delete or Delete Entire Clip which ever is your preference. You can also change the order by simply clicking and dragging the frame to the desired spot. You can do this with video as well by choosing the movie event, which will display in the bottom middle window. You can put the whole video in by clicking and highlighting all the frames or just highlighting a few. You choose.

    Step 3. Once your pictures and/or video is in place. It is time to choose music or voice over. Which ever you choose the activity is the same. Once you have made your music choice you click and drag that choice to the place in your event you want it to start. A green line will appear to show you how long the clip will last and where it is placed in your presentation. You can double click the green line, which will give you a gold box that you can then click, and drag to place in another spot within the presentation. You can also delete this by getting the yellow box, right clicking and then clicking delete.

    Step 4. Now to give it a special touch we can add transitions. Click on the transitions icon next to the world icon in the right middle bar and you will see several choices. Click on your choice and then drag them to the point between the pictures where you want the transition to take place. These will only happen between frames or before the beginning frame. Again if you change your mind click on it to select then right click and delete. At this point you can hit the play arrow under the frames to see a preview of what you have created.

    Step 5. Let's assume you are satisfied it is now time to save the work and prepare to share it. Go to the Share part of the menu bar at the top and click. There you have several choices. You can send this directly to iTunes or You Tube if you have an account. You can send it to iDVD to create a DVD that you can play on your DVD player. Finally if you would like to send it as an email attachment or attach it to your own personal web page you should use the Export Movie section in this drop down. This will save it to your desktop usually as a Quick Time movie. This format will allow you to post it in a variety of places.

    That is the basic plan. There are of course many other things that can be done and we will discuss them at a future time. So enjoy this software - it is truly easy and user friendly and can add real flair to your presentations and fun for you and your friends or family.

How To Use iMovie

A step-by-step tutorial on how to use iMovie. Learn how to import media, create templates, use special effects, and create fantastic digital movies using this fun and powerful program.
  1. How To Use iMovie - Preparations
  2. How To Use iMovie - The Basics