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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.
In addition to grabbing still frames from your video footage to incorporate into your iMovie projects, you can also incorporate still photos that you shot with your digital still camera, or perhaps scanned into your Mac, which makes sense that if you have video footage of say your vacation, you most likely have still photos from your trip, too, and you'll probably want to incorporate them into your iMovie project. And it's really easy to do. I have copied a folder called beach pics from the Exercise Files folder to my Desktop, and in here I have a handful of photos. Now the easiest and quickest way to add photos right now, since I'm looking right at the images in a Window sitting on top of my iMovie window, is just to drag the photos in.
So maybe I want this photo of beach_surfboards in my project. I just drag that right in. You can see the green line appears wherever I drop that. That's where it will be. I will just put that at the beginning of my project. And now if I go look at my project, there is my still photo. You can see it's at the default duration of four seconds, and again, we have that Ken Burns effect applied to it, which we looked at in a previous movie. And just as we saw in the previous movie , I can double-click the Crop button and the thumbnail and adjust the Start and End points of the Ken Burns effect. Or I can click Fit if I just want the photo to be still for the entire duration.
So it's very easy to just drag photos right into your iMovie project. But if you have a lot of photos and you're using iMovie, that means you also have iPhoto, and you really should be using iPhoto to manage your pictures instead of just keeping them in a folder. So, let's go to my Desktop here. I am just going to drag this entire beach pics folder to iPhoto, sitting here in my dock. You can see that now imported all of those photos right into my iPhoto Library. Now, let's go back to iMovie. In here, I can go to the Photo Browser, which is where I can access the photos I just imported in iPhoto.
Now, it might take a moment for your photos to show up in here if you just drag them in. Like if I go to Last Import, I am not seeing them right now. Maybe if I go to Photos, it will appear. Nope, not yet. In some cases, you might need to actually quit iMovie and then restart it for your photos to appear. Let's go back to our Photo Browser, check out the Last Import, yeah, and there they are. This is nice because I can preview the photos right here in iMovie without having to switch over to iPhoto. So let's say I want to grab this photo of the seagull.
Notice I click on it, it appears right here. And again, I can drag it into my project and drop it anywhere I want. But notice you can also drag a still image over an existing still image, or even over a video clip. You see this red playhead appear as I am dragging over, and notice the information that appears at the bottom of the Project viewer right here as I roll over. You can see at the bottom there, it says , 0.4 seconds from clip start, or I am 1.4 seconds from clip start there. So if I drop this photo say a second from the start of the clip, you can see a menu pops up.
This lets you specify what you want to do with this photo in relation to the clip you dragged it on top of. We have Replace, which as you can see, removes the video clip and replaces it with the photo I dropped in. iMovie is smart enough to make the still image exactly as long as the duration in the clip it replaces, so it won't throw off the time of your video. You can see it's 3.1 seconds. You might need to use this particular feature if you found you don't have the rights to use a particular video clip in your project and you need to replace it with a still image. I am going to undo that by choosing Edit > Undo. Let's drag it over again.
You can see another option that appears here is Insert, and that actually splits the clip and places the photo between the two pieces. So you can see I have half a second of footage of the boots being put on here, then we see the image for four seconds , and then we see the rest of the clip here. And you can adjust the duration of the still clip as usual by clicking Action button, choosing Clip Adjustments, and you can change the duration here, if you need to. Again, I am going to undo that. Let's drag it on again. We also have Cutaway.
Now, what this does is it keeps the audio from the video clip playing in the background while the photo appears on screen. You see this sort of thing applied in documentaries sometimes where maybe an old-timer is describing an event of the past, and as he is talking maybe a photo of the event appears on screen while you continue to hear his voice describing what's going on. So if I play this clip, you'll still be able to hear the background noises and sounds from the original video clip, but you'll see the picture instead. (Birds chirping, engine revving) You can see in this case my photo being four seconds long, by default, actually overlaps into the next clip.
But you can always adjust the length of how long the photo is going to be on screen by dragging its edges left and right. Let's undo again. Now, we also have Picture in Picture. You can see the results of that. It just puts the photo here in the upper right-hand corner, although you can move it and resize it as well. You can see what that looks like if I play it. (Birds chirping, engine revving) Again, you can do things like adjust duration by double-clicking it here in the Project window.
This is probably a good time to mention that everything I am showing you here can also be applied with video clips as well, not just still photos. So you can have a video clip playing inside another video clip if need be. Let's do a couple more undos, again. Next, we have Side by Side which works similarly to Picture in Picture, only the frame is split down in the middle. This might be useful if you're doing a shot where two people are talking on the phone to each other and you want to do a split screen effect so you can see them both.
But there are no controls to adjust the positioning of the video in each half, so you have to make sure to shoot your video with your subjects on the left and right side of the frame in anticipation of them being in a split shot like this. Now the final two options here are Green Screen and Blue Screen, but those are some specific video effects we'll look at later. I am just going to go ahead and choose Cancel, and for now those are some of the options available to you when you insert both still photos and videos over existing clips in your project.
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