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Using iMovie '09 to create chapter markers

From: iDVD '09 Essential Training

Video: Using iMovie '09 to create chapter markers

In the previous chapter, we saw how iDVD can automatically create Chapter Markers or Scene Selection menus in your DVD projects to provide your viewers with a way to jump to different sections of the movies on your disc. We also saw that iDVD's Scene Selection capabilities are limited, in that you can only add Chapter Markers every X number of minutes, rather than being able to specify exact points in your movies for the markers to appear. So if you have a movie in your DVD project to which you want to add Chapter markers, you have to choose to insert them, say every five minutes, with no way to vary the amount of time between the markers. The problem is most movies are not going to fall into these nice on the minute increments. Your scene changes are going to happen sporadically and ideally, you want to give your viewers the ability to jump to a specific scene instead of just jumping say three minutes ahead, and then having to figure out if that's what they want to watch.

Using iMovie '09 to create chapter markers

In the previous chapter, we saw how iDVD can automatically create Chapter Markers or Scene Selection menus in your DVD projects to provide your viewers with a way to jump to different sections of the movies on your disc. We also saw that iDVD's Scene Selection capabilities are limited, in that you can only add Chapter Markers every X number of minutes, rather than being able to specify exact points in your movies for the markers to appear. So if you have a movie in your DVD project to which you want to add Chapter markers, you have to choose to insert them, say every five minutes, with no way to vary the amount of time between the markers. The problem is most movies are not going to fall into these nice on the minute increments. Your scene changes are going to happen sporadically and ideally, you want to give your viewers the ability to jump to a specific scene instead of just jumping say three minutes ahead, and then having to figure out if that's what they want to watch.

But the good news is that iMovie '09 part of the iLife '09 suite now has the ability to add Chapter Markers to its projects. You can then export your movie into which you have to added Chapter Markers into iDVD, which will in turn automatically convert those Chapter Markers into a Scene Selection menu. So let's take a look at how to do this by switching over to iMovie. I'm going to create a new project. I'll call this Southern Utah, leave it Widescreen, No theme, Click Create, and the footage I'll use for this example is the main Southern Utah video that's already been edited together that's in the exercise files folder.

So I'm going to choose File > Import > Movies and in my exercise files folder, I'll select Southern Utah.m4v. I'm going to create a new event. I'll call this Southern Utah Complete since it's already been edited together, and I'm going to copy the files and Click Import. Okay. So here is the footage, we just brought in, and again since this movie has already been edited together, I'm just going to Click in here, Click Command+A to select it all, and just drag it all into my new project. So there is my video.

Of course when you are working on your own movies, you'll probably want to spend some time editing them together. But once your edits are complete, you can then start adding Chapter Markers. And there is really no hard and fast rule for this. Just consider which portions of your movie you think people might want to jump to, or even think about situations where you are playing the disc for friends, and you'll want to have convenient locations on the disc to jump to. Maybe you are making a DVD of your vacation footage, and it will make sense to have day 1, day 2, day 3 Chapter Markers or maybe markers like at the airport, at the hotel pool, on the guided tour, it's really all up to you.

When you export a movie with Chapter Markers to iDVD there will be a Chapter Marker place at the beginning of the movie by default. So you don't have to put one there yourself. But now I'm just going to go through and add some Chapter Markers to the rest of my movie. To add a Chapter Marker, all I need to do is drag this icon with a little arrow on it to the point where I want the marker to appear. So for instance, as I skim through my project here, maybe right here this opening scene where we see the hikers sort of walk through and then continue up the path. I'm going to grab the Chapter Marker, drag in and as I just skim through, I can decide exactly where I want that marker to appear. So maybe right here, when it dips to white, right before it comes back out. Maybe right there, I'll release.

You can see that puts a Chapter Marker here in iMovie and just gives it the name of 1, but we can customize that, and I'll just call this Hiking. And I'll continue doing the same, let's grab another Chapter Marker and I'll just skim through it for where I want to put the next marker, on this nice shot of clouds. It's a very short shot, but it's pretty nice. So let's go back a little bit, put the marker there, we'll call this Clouds. Let's do one for these flowers, this nice close-up of flowers. I can just drag in through until I find the spot where I want the Chapter Marker to appear. And maybe I'll do one more, or maybe two more. Let's do these stacks, got these stacks of rocks here. I'm just dragging to find the beginning, right there, Stacks. And we'll do one more for the sunset, right about there, and that's really all there is to it.

I am just going through my movie and dragging Chapter Markers to the areas where I think they will be useful to have. So now I'm pretty much ready to import this movie into iDVD at this point. Now I have the same two options available for me to send this movie to iDVD as we saw in the previous chapter. I can choose Share > Media Browser and I would do this again if I want to make this video available to not just iDVD, but to all the other iLife applications like GarageBand or iWeb that can use movies. And again, I just pick the size that I want to export, and then I'll have each different size available in my iLife applications. But one thing to keep in mind here though is that Chapter Markers will not be added to the tiny versions of the movies.

But if you are planning on exporting to iDVD, you probably don't want to send a low-resolution version of your movies anyway. You'll want to stick with Medium, Large or HD, I'll just cancel that. And the other option for sending an iMovie movie to iDVD is just Share > iDVD. And I'm going to pick that for this example, but before I do so, I need to go to iDVD and make sure an important preference is turned on. Now in order to get to my preferences, I'll need to have a project open. So I'm just going to open the existing project on my Desktop, which is the file I was working on previously. I'm going to go to iDVD > Preferences, and under Movies, we have this area called When importing movies and then we have three options.

With Create chapter sub-menu selected, iDVD will always look for Chapter Markers in the movies you import, and if it finds any, it will automatically create the Scene Selection menus for you. If you have, Do not create chapter sub- menu selected, no Scene Selection menus will be created which sort of defeats the purpose of adding Chapter Markers to your movies, or you can pick Always ask to choose whether or not to add chapter sub-menus each time you import a menu with Chapter Markers. I am going to leave Create chapter sub- menu selected. I'll go ahead and close our projects, because I don't need that anymore. And let's go back to iMovie and now we are ready to choose Share > iDVD to send this project over it iDVD.

So here we are in iDVD. A brand new project has automatically been created for me, and I have this Play Movie button as well as a Scene Selection button that was automatically generated. Let's Double-Click that, and here are the scenes or chapters I created in iMovie '09. I Click the Motion menu. You can see that there is actually some video playing in these. (Music playing.) Again iMovie automatically generated a beginning Chapter Marker for me. I didn't have to do that. But now I can Click any of these Scene Selection menus to jump right to that section of my movie. Clicking the Next button takes me to the next Chapter Markers so I can now navigate via Chapter Markers.

And now I'm free to do anything else to this project, I want to customize it. So I can come in here, maybe pick another Theme. I'll go under Revolution and we do have a Chapter menu, select that, and there is that menu. So that's all there is to it. In iMovie, just drag Chapter Markers wherever you want them to appear, and when you are done, share the video with iDVD and your Scene Selection menus will be created automatically as long as you have that correct preference selected in iDVD. And I suggest this method of using iMovie to create Chapter Markers before you import your movies into iDVD, so you can control where those markers appear, rather than using iDVD Scene Selection capabilities which limit you to spacing out Chapter Markers by minutes and that doesn't always make the most sense for your movies.

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iDVD '09 Essential Training

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