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You can use iMovie to make and edit simple movies. For more powerful editing, you should use Final Cut Pro.

Location: Applications > iMovie or click the icon on the dock. - fig.1


Getting Started

New Project When you open iMovie, start a new project. In the menu, select “File” and “New Project.” Name and save your project.

Importing Clips

  • 1) Make sure you are in edit mode by pressing the scissors button. Also make sure you have the “Clips” button selected. (fig. 2)
fig. 2'

  • 2) Drag clips into the library. (fig. 3)
fig. 3

  • 3) You can then drag and drop the clips into the timeline/clip viewer in the sequence in which you want them to appear in the movie. (fig. 4)
fig. 4

  • 4) After the files load , you can edit the duration of clips by selecting them and moving the duration slider. This will speed up or slow down the clip.

The duration slider is located on the window when a clip is placed into the Timeline/Clip Viewer. (fig. 5)

fig. 5

Importing clips from camera

  • 1) Make sure you are in camera mode by pressing the camera button. Also make sure you have the “Clips” button selected. (fig. 6)
fig. 6

  • 2) Connect the camera to the computer, and iMovie will show the camera is connected.
    • Note: If you get a message that says, “No camera connected,” try a new firewire cord. If it still cannot pick up a connection, try another camera. If neither of those work, try another computer.
  • 3) Press the play button to start the tape on the camera, and then click the “Import” button when you wish to record video onto the computer.

  • 4) When you import clips, they show up in the clip library on the right side of the window.

You can then drag these into the Timeline/Clip Viewer to begin editing.

Adding Still Images, Audio, Effects
In addition to movie clips, you can add photos and audio from a library. To complete the movie, you can add title screens, transitions and effects simply by dropping these items into the Timeline/Clip Viewer.


Make sure you have what you need in the Libraries in the Student Directory. Import all still images to the iPhoto Library and audio (mp3s, etc.) to the iTunes Library.


  • 1) In the “Media” menu click on the "Photo" tab and open the iPhoto Library on the right hand side of the main window.

  • 2) You can change the size and speed of the clip. Press “Apply” when you are ready to add the photo to the Timeline/Clip Viewer.

Adding Audio

  • 1) Click the “Audio” button on the main screen to open the iTunes Library on the right hand side of the main window.
  • 2) Drag the song to the Timeline/Clip Viewer or select to “Place at Playhead.” You can use the microphone to record additional audio. (fig. 7)
fig. 7


  • 1) Press the “Editing” button on the main screen and click the "Titles" tab.

  • 2) Choose a style for your title and enter in text. Then drag that title style wherever you want that title screen to appear in the Timeline/Clip Viewer. (fig. 8)
fig. 8


  • 1) Press the “Transition” tab under the "Editing" menu on the main screen to open the transition styles on the right hand side of the main window. (fig. 9)
fig. 9

  • 2) Choose a transition, drag and drop before, after, or in between clips. (fig. 10)
fig. 10


  • 1) Press the “Video FX ” button in the Editing menu to open the transition styles on the right hand side of the main window. (fig. 11)
fig. 11

  • 2) Select the clip in which you want to apply the effect, choose the effect and edit how you want it to look.

You can use the preview button to see what your changes will do. Make sure the clip you want to change is selected and click “Apply.”

Titles, Transitions, Effects
After you apply titles, transitions, and effects, you have to let them render. A red progress bar at the bottom of clips denotes this. The more clips you are changing, the longer rendering will take.