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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, this movie is for anyone who is not new to iMovie or video editing. When Apple first released iMovie '08 it was a radical departure from traditional video editing applications in that it threw out the traditional timeline that was common and which remains common in just about all other video editing applications, including earlier versions of iMovie. Initially, many people really hated this new way of cutting footage together. Personally, I think it's a much simpler way to edit movies, which as you have been seeing, is just a matter of selecting the portions of the clips you want to use and dragging them into the order in which you want to play them.
It's so simple, and really iMovie is aimed at people who have little-to-no experience with editing videos or even with computers in general. The way traditional video editing applications work is with a timeline in which all of your clips appear linearly left to right in chronological order, and you would scroll horizontally through your clips, instead of having them wrapped left to right, top to bottom as we have here in the Project window. Traditional timelines also let you clearly see the timecodes at any point in your project, so you can see how far along you are. But here in iMovie '11, you can also choose View > Playhead Info to see timecodes as you're rolling over your clips. I am just going to turn that off.
But if you really are more of a traditionalist, you can effectively mimic a standard timeline by clicking this Single Row button here in iMovie in the Project window. As you can see, that displays your project in a single row chronologically from left to right, and you can see the time indicators along the bottom of the pane. Additionally, you might want to swap the Project and Event panes by clicking the Swap Events and Projects button. Now, iMovie is looking more like a traditional video editing application. It's still functions exactly the same, but some people might be more comfortable with a layout like this.
Personally, I have gotten really used to the default layout, and I like not having to scroll left and right see my entire project, so I am going to switch it back and turn off Single Row. Basically, if you're completely new to iMovie, and video editing in general, this probably isn't even an issue for you. But if you have used other video editing apps, arranging your iMovie window like you just saw might help you transition more easily into using iMovie.
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