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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.
As you work on assembling your movie, there are going to be a lot of times when one of the clips you have added turns out to be too long or too short. Maybe you accidentally left out some of the good action in the clip, or maybe after looking at the clip in the context of the rest of the movie, you determined that the clip goes on for too long. But that doesn't mean you have to go back down to the Event Browser, reselect the clip, and then drag it back in again. All you have to do is trim the existing version of the clip in the Project pane. So, for example, after reviewing this clip in my project where our surfer is looking out over the waves, I have decided that it goes on for too long.
So there are a couple of ways we can trim this clip. First, I am going to skim through and find the portion of the clip I want to keep. So right here he is sort of shaking his head a little bit and looking out over the waves. It actually looks okay to me, so I am just going to grab near the beginning. Drag that out. Just drag the left side in a little bit there.
So let's say that portion I have selected is the portion I want to keep. Now I can choose Clip > Trim to Selection, or I can press Command+B. Additionally, you can also right-click on your clip and choose Trim to Selection. But basically it trims away everything but what I have selected. And remember, you're never damaging your original footage when you do this. The complete uncut version of this footage where the clip came from is still sitting safely here in my Event Browser. Now, if you accidentally cut the clip too short, or if the clip was too short when you dragged it in, you are not going to be able to just drag the edges of the selection box out to make the clip longer.
Now, if we are just talking about adding a frame or two, you can go to the Clip menu and choose Trim Clip End, and then choose to add to the left or right side of the clip, meaning you can add frames to the beginning or end of your clip. It is much quicker to use the keyboard command of Option+Left Arrow or Option+Right Arrow, though. So, if I wanted to add a couple of frames to the beginning of this clip, I can hold on the Option key and press my left arrow. And if you look at the timer here, you can see that the clip is getting a little bit longer when I do that. But if you need to add or remove more, or if you want more precise control, you will have to use the Clip Trimmer.
To get to it, click the Action button in the clip and choose Clip Trimmer. That opens this view at the bottom of your window, and this shows you the entire clip as a whole with the part that's actually appearing in the movie selected. This allows you to be a little bit more precise with your trimming, and here you can drag either end of the selection box to add or remove frames from the beginning or end of your clip. So, if I wanted to make this a little bit shorter, I can drag the end in a little bit. Or if I wanted the end to go on a little but longer, I can drag the right end over. Or you can click and drag the entire selection to change both ends at the same time while keeping the overall length of the clip the same.
This is known as slip editing, and it's especially useful to be able to do this if you've already set up music or transitions to be timed with your video but you want to make a change to your clip. Dragging the ends would most likely make your clip a few fractions of a second longer or shorter, which might not seem like much, but it could throw off the timing of your music or transitions if you change a lot of clips this way. Slip editing lets you choose an entirely different section of the footage if you want, but keeps the overall clip length exactly the same, and therefore, it won't throw off your timing. I do want to grab about this portion here I think.
Now, if you want to preview the amount of footage you have selected in real time, you click the Play button. And if it looks good when you're done, you can click Done. And now we are back to looking at the Project pane and the Events Browser. So that's how you can trim your clips to clean them up a bit and how you can also perform slip edits. Next, we will look at fine-tuning your clips for more precise cuts.
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