Murphy Mac - Screencasts and Tutorials » Posts in 'iMovie' category

iMovie 08

zipWe’re getting ready to make our first iMovie 08 screencast – and we’ve hit a snag. Has anyone gotten the audio to fade in and fade out? There are a few unanswered threads on Apple Discussions and elsewhere so maybe some other users are having issues. It doesn’t matter if it’s a background audio track or a clip attached to a video segment, neither work. Even though 2 seconds is selected with manual fade, nothing happens. At least nothing Murphy can discern.

As for the rest of iMovie 08: It definitely has its good points. Things are missing from iMovieHD – we’ll get to those in a minute. First, the good points.

It’s nice to have all your events (source video) accessible in one tidy pane where you can combine them into one project. The old iMovie let you drag from one project to another, but many users may have found that cumbersome. Murphy doesn’t keep a lot of video on disk as it takes up a lot of space, so this feature may go somewhat underused. But that brings up another point: Archiving your raw materials.

You can easily delete an event from iMovie and leave the project in place. The project won’t be fully functional until you bring the source video (the event) back online. Murphy copied some source video to an external drive, deleted it from iMovie, then put the source back. The project recognized the source video as soon as it was back. Even if it was just copied back into Finder. That’s pretty nice. There’s no mention of this in the help file, so your might want create a backup before testing this out.

Editing seems far more intuitive in iMovie 08. There are some nuances but it seems far better than the awkward interface of iMovie’s past. Murphy made a whole screencast about using the in and out markers in iMovieHD because they seemed so unintuitive. It’s nice to have lots of thumbnails and an obvious dropzone to deposit your video into. There’s a preference to make all your transitions the same kind too, which may or may not have been in the previous version.

The big problem many users will have with iMovie 08 is effects. Slow motion, fast motion – not there. Many forum posters have mentioned work-arounds – like taking your project back and forth into the older iMovie. In fact, one poster has mentioned in numerous places on Apple Discussions that this iMovie is not an upgrade to the older iMovies. (scroll to ziatron’s posts) If that’s true they really shouldn’t have named it iMovie. Granted, it’s a whole new product. But I don’t think Apple’s plan was to distribute two versions of iMovie, as the poster suggests. iMovie 08 feels incomplete, if not a little rushed. Falling back on iMovieHD (’06) couldn’t have been the preferred solution.

Murphy has spent more than a reasonable amount of time trying to get audio to fade in or out. Please post your success story, if you have one. Taking the audio to Garage Band or the older iMovieHD doesn’t count!

Watch for a screencast about iMovie audio soon, maybe even tomorrow.

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iMovie Editing

zipMurphy hasn’t made the move to the latest iMovie yet, he’s still on iMovie HD from iLife 6.   But he found something the other laggards might be interested in.  Then again, maybe Murphy is the last to know.

Selecting a portion of a movie in the iMovie monitor has always seemed awkward to Murphy.  You can’t drag the left-most marker first, to mark the beginning of your selection.   Murphy always found this frustrating, until he finally consulted the help documents.  If you place the playhead at the beginning of the footage you want to capture, you can then place the pointer below the playhead and drag right.  The “in” marker will be placed at the playhead, the “out” marker will be placed wherever you stop dragging.  

This is fine once you know it, but Murphy found this far from intuitive! Usually, Murphy uses FCE 2 for video editing.  But his MBP doesn’t have the program installed.  For quick and dirty videos iMovie is fine.  For moving quickly and taking advantage of keyboard shortcuts FCE is the way to go.  There’s very little that application can’t do.

One little gripe about iMovie.  It would be nice if the clips didn’t extend all the way across the timeline.  An empty space to add more clips would be a nice visual cue.   Murphy is interested to hear from iMovie 8 users –  how do you like it?  Anyone? 

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iMovie Double Map Pan and Zoom

iMovie MapYou can add a nice finishing touch to your travel movies by including a map that shows where you were. For geographically challenged viewers you can start zoomed way back from your map – and zoom all the way in to the specific spot where you shot your video.

The problem: That can be a LONG way to zoom – and the viewer might not appreciate it. Murphy has a solution. Break the zoom into two phases using two copies of the same map still-image. One zoom goes from country level down to the regional level. Then cross fade into a zoom that starts a little closer in and finishes at your locale. The fade makes the journey far easier on your viewer’s eyes, and gives your production a polished look.

You can take your efforts a step further by making another copy of your map still and placing a graphic on it, like an arrow. The second zoom could fade into this still, making it clear exactly where the movie was shot.

You might have to do some experimenting with the distances and speeds used for the zoom. Also, it helps a lot to pan toward your final destination in the first zoom – which you can do by just dragging the image in the iMovie viewer. Your audience will see where they’re heading in the first zoom – letting them know where they are with regard to the big picture.

Watch the screencast if you’re totally confused!

Click here to see another cool iMovie effect.  Or watch this Final Cut Express trick.

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iMovie Fun

imovie funAll these months of Murphy Mac, and this is the first iMovie post. It must be something good.

Murphy is going to show you how to make elements in your movie vanish from the screen. Here are the basics: Put your camera somewhere it won’t move, like a tripod. Film your subject in motion. Let the camera keep rolling and get a shot of your background without the subject.

In iMovie you’ll do a simple Cross Dissolve from the clip with your subject to a clip or still of just your background. The subject will gradually fade out and disappear from the movie.

This works great with something like kids running across a field or skiing or jumping rope – or just about anything.
Click below to learn how in the screencast. You can download the Quicktime output too.

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