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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.
Now that we've gotten some footage into iMovie, I'd like to take some time to examine the iMovie window and interface. It's actually a pretty simple setup, but there are some key terms and interface elements that you should familiarize yourself with before you actually start using iMovie to edit video. For the most part, iMovie is a one-window application, a lot like its iLife siblings iTunes, GarageBand, iWeb, iPhoto, and iDVD. You will open other panels occasionally to tweak settings, but all the action is pretty much contained right here in this one window. As you can see, the window is divided into several areas, or panes.
We'll go into more details with each area in the following movies, but briefly, this is the Event Library here, which displays all the footage you've imported into iMovie, organized by event. And this is the event browser over here on the right, which shows you the content of whichever events you have selected over here on the left. In the upper-left here, we have the Project pane, and this is where you drag in the clips you want to use. And the pane to the far-right is viewer, which is where your video plays. Now each separate movie you intend on exporting from iMovie is considered its own project, and you'll find each project in the Project Library.
So you can come here to switch between your projects. I only have the one called My First Project right now, so I'll just double-click on it to go back to the Project pane. So basically, the bottom of the window is dedicated to your events and the top of the window is dedicated to your projects. Although if you want or need more room to work with a long video project, you can click this button here to instantly switch the Project and Events panes. Pretty cool feature. Notice the viewer stays put the entire time on the right-hand side here, though. I'm going to go ahead and switch that back.
Now this area between the Project and Events panes is called the toolbar, and it's here where you'll open other panels to fine-tune or adjust your movie project, or click on any of these buttons. One last thing I want to point out is that unlike many other applications, there is no Save command found under the File menu in iMovie. iMovie automatically saves any changes you make to your projects, so you never have to worry about losing any edits should your Mac crash or should the power go out. But that's pretty much it for the general overview of the iMovie interface. Over the next couple of movies, I'll go into a little more detail about each of these areas and what they are for.
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