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In iMovie '11 Essential Training, author Garrick Chow illustrates the process of creating high-quality video using iMovie '11. The course covers the entire post-production process, from importing audio, video, and still images to adding effects, creating trailers, and sharing your finished projects on social networks. Also included are tutorials on adjusting audio levels, automatically identifying clips that include faces, and using green screen effects. Exercise files accompany the course.
Okay, let's take a closer look now on how we work with the Event Library. As I mentioned earlier, iMovie 11 is about organizing all of the videos on your Mac into a single library, and the Event Library is where that happens. From here, you can access any video you've ever imported into iMovie and use it on any project you want. We've already seen that events are organized in a couple of different ways. We can see the last event we imported, our iPhoto videos. And the rest of the events are organized by year, and by the event's name. So when you select any event in the Event Library, its contents are shown over here on the right in the Event browser.
This is called the source video, because it always remains exactly as you imported it and won't be altered by any changes or edits you make to it in the Project pane up here. So you can use the same footage over and over again in several different projects without worrying about messing up the original source video. Now, what we're seeing by default here is a frame for every five seconds a video. This is a good way to browse through and find exactly the moment what you want to use. You just skim through your video by dragging your mouse over the thumbnails.
You can also expand or contract this filmstrip layout if you need to see more frames at once, or less. Just grab the slider here in the lower right-hand corner and either drag it to the left or to the right. Dragging all the way to the left is good when you want to be very precise with your selections, because you're now seeing an image for every half second of footage and you can skim slowly through it. Dragging the slider all the way to the right shows you just single images representing each individual clip, and skimming over these is very quick.
But the default five-second setting is probably a good place to start, so I'm going to set that back to 5 seconds. By the way, if you don't like hearing the audio while you're skimming, which is kind of distracting to me as I'm trying to teach the interface to you, you can just click this button right here and that will mute the audio when you're skimming. So that's much better for me. Now skimming is not the only way to examine your footage; you'll often want to play a selection from your Event Browser in real time, and there are couple of ways of doing this. First, you can place your cursor where you want to start video playing and you don't actually have to click; just move your cursor there. And then hit the Spacebar on your keyboard to start it playing.
iMovie will continue to play the event until the end, unless you press Space again--which I just did--or click elsewhere to stop playback. If you only want to play a specific area, click and drag through that area and then right-click or Ctrl+Click on that selection and choose Play Selection. So you can see iMovie just played that one selection and then stopped. Alternately, you can choose View > Play Selection, or just press the Forward Slash button on your keyboard.
Now, we also have the option of playing all the clips of the entire selected event from the very beginning by using this button down here in the lower left-hand corner. Or you can go to full screen with this button to its left. I'm just going to press Escape to leave Full Screen view. Now, depending on how powerful your Mac is, you might experience some stuttering or hiccups when you're doing full screen playback. If you run into issues like this, you can go to iMovie > Preferences, and under the General tab, you'll see a menu here to select how full screen playback behaves.
When working with HD video, you might want to choose Entire Screen - Reduced Resolution if your Mac is having trouble keeping up. You also have the choices of Actual Size, which plays the video edit's native resolution, and Half Size, which plays the video at half of its native resolution. If you're not working with HD video, you may also see an option to play video at double size. In any case, you'll probably want to play around with the settings here to see what works best for your project. If your Mac does have a good video card, you probably want to keep Entire Screen selected. So I'll go ahead and close Preferences.
So again, the reason we use the Events Browser is to find the footage that we want to use in our project, but in order to add the clips to our project, we have to know how to select the portion of the clip we want to use, and we'll talk about how to do that next.
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