Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
iMovie '09 features a Precision Editor that gives you the power to perfect your edits with a level of detail never before seen in any previous version of iMovie. In this project I have two shots of my friend, Tristan, doing some rock climbing. In the first shot the camera is on the ground shooting up at him and in the second shot the camera is up above him on the wall. So what I would like to do is edit the two shots together to make it look like one continuous movie. Now I like the part in the second shot here, where he reaches up for this final handhold, right about there, and just pulls himself up and walks out of the shot.
So let's grab that section. Got him reaching for the handhold, just select there and select just about to the end where he walks out of the shot and let's drag that into the project. And now let's find the part of the clip to place in front of that from the first clip. So let's skim over the clip. Here is where he reaches for the rock. Right about there and I'll just click and drag backwards and maybe grab about 5 or 6 seconds. I am going to drag that clip in front of the first clip I dragged up. Okay, so this is what our edit looks like so far. Let me hit the spacebar and play a little of this for you.
So it's okay, but it's really not that great. At the end of the first clip, you can clearly see he has grabbed the rock there, but when it cuts to the second, he hasn't quite reached the handhold there. It doesn't really work as an edit, like so. Fortunately finessing this sort of cut is really easy to do in iMovie '09. So I'm going to select the second clip here and then click its pop-up menu and select Precision Editor. And now the bottom half of my iMovie window is taken over by the Precision Editor pane.
So what we are seeing here is the first clip on top and the second clip on the bottom and the point where the edit occurs is right here in the middle, also known as the cut point. The portions of the clip that are grayed out, over here and down here when my mouse hasn't rolled over them, these portions represent the footage that you are not currently seeing in your movie. So looking at this we can see that the clip starts with this low angle shot, and right at the cut point it switches to the shot from above. Now here in the Precision Editor you can navigate from edit-to-edit using the Previous and Next buttons.
For example, if I click the Previous button here, that shows me the point in the first clip where I made my initial selection. So remember I didn't select all of the first clip. I just selected a portion of it. So that part is currently grayed out. But right now I'm concerned with fixing the edit between the two clips in my project. So I'll click the Next Edit button to jump back to that edit point. So you can see it's very easy to navigate from edit point to edit point in the Precision Editor. All right, so let's see if we can make this a smoother looking cut. I'm going to skim my mouse over the first clip until I see the exact point where I want to make my cut. So I think what I really want to do is right before his hand actually touches the handhold there, that's exactly where I want the cut to appear so I'm going to click at this point. And you can see the cut immediately shifts over to make that the new cut point in the first clip.
Now let's find the corresponding action in the second clip. So again I'm going to skim my mouse over that second clip, and just place it right at the point, right when his hand is about to make the grab, right about there. Click. Now that wasn't much of a shift in the edit there, but you can see that's sort of the point. The Precision Editor lets me be very precise about my edits. And now we can preview our cut using the Play button. The Play button will play a few seconds from before and after your edit.
So that looks a lot better to me. Let me show you that one more time. And now that the two clips are synced up, if I want to further adjust the cut point, I can drag the cut point itself to the left or to the right. For example, maybe I want the cut to happen just a little bit earlier. So I'll just drag the cut-point to the left. So you can see now the first cut point occurs right where his hand is still on that other handhold before he lets go. But let's see what this looks like. And there it is. So you can see how easy it is to finesse these edits with the Precision Editor. And it's not just limited to determining exactly how much of the shot you want to keep.
You can also use the Precision Editor to precisely position and adjust the duration of titles by clicking the Show/Hide Extras button here. Which if I had any titles, you would see those on those tracks right now. Let me turn that off. And you can also use the Precision Editor to fine-tune audio clips. Now for example, the first clip in this movie really doesn't have much audio in it at all. Let me just play this a little bit. You don't really hear anything here. Let me actually show you the cut here. So you can see when it switches to the second shot, you suddenly hear all the ambient noise from the climbing gym.
This drastic change in the audio sort of brings unwanted attention to that cut point. So let's click the Audio button. This reveals the audio tracks for both clips. As with the video clips, the darker portions of the audio tracks are the parts of the tracks that aren't currently in the movie. So another cool thing about the Precision Editor is that you can adjust audio cut-points independently of the video tracks. So if I wanted to use all of the audio from the second clip and none from the first, all I have to do is place my cursor right at that cut-point and drag to the left. And I only really need to drag it right to where the first clips starts, but just overlap a little bit there. Now let's play that and see what that sounds like.
So now I have all the second clip's audio playing seamlessly under both clips. When you are done in the Precision Editor, just click Done. And you can now continue assembling your movie. As you can see, the Precision Editor makes it incredibly easy to fine-tune the cuts in your iMovie projects.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
93 Video lessons · 29010 Viewers
135 Video lessons · 63576 Viewers
79 Video lessons · 21618 Viewers
350 Video lessons · 106535 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.