Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Precision Editor, part of iMovie for iOS Essential Training.
So far, we've seen how to trim clips to determine which portions of them you want to have appear in your project, and we've seen how to adjust the transitions between the clips. But, as you work with iMovie, you might find you have trouble making precise cuts or trims to your clips. It's not always easy to start and end a clip precisely using the Trim tools. Fortunately, iMovie also comes with a tool call the Precision Editor, which gives you much finer control over the points where one clip ends and the next one begins. Now, this feature is only available on the iPad so if you're on an iPhone or an iPad touch you unfortunately don't have access to the Precision Editor.
But here on the iPad, to open the Precision Editor, tap the Transition icon between the two clips you want to adjust. Then tap the double yellow arrows that appear beneath the icon. Now, another way to do this, and let me just close the Precision Editor again by tapping that icon, is to pinch vertically on top of the transition icon. So, you can both pinch open to open the editor and pinch close to close it. Now, we're looking at three handles here: the top yellow handle shows where the first clip ends, the bottom yellow handle shows were the second clip begins. And the transition itself is represented by the center handle which is the gray icon between the two handles, not the yellow icon to the right.
The areas on either side of those handles, that are dimmed or grayed out, are the portions of the original clips that aren't used in your project. Those are the parts that you've previously trimmed out. So, to precisely determine the point where the first clips ends and the transition begins, simply drag the top handle left or right. You'll probably have to try this out yourself to really appreciate it. But, you should be able to see that this gives me almost frame by frame control as I drag. It's much more controlled than simply trimming the clip in the timeline gives me. similarly, to change the point where the transition ends and the second clip begins, drag the bottom handle to the left or right.
Note that this doesn't change the duration of the transition itself. We saw how to change the duration in a previous movie. Dragging the top and bottom handle simply changes where the clips end and begin. Now, to change both the top and bottom handle location simultaneously, drag the middle handle. This allows you to shorten one clip, while lengthening the other one, by the same amount, keeping the overall duration of your project the same. This is known as slip editing in professional video editing programs. So, again, move either the top or bottom handles individually, to shorten or lengthen the clips, or move the center handle to keep the total duration of your project the same.
When you're done, you can close the Precision Editor by tapping the double headed arrows again, by tapping Done here in the lower right hand corner or by pinching closed anywhere in the timeline. And that's how to fine tune your edits in iMovie.
- Shooting with the built-in cameras
- Importing footage from other sources
- Adding clips to a project
- Trimming, splitting, and rotating clips
- Adjusting transitions between clips
- Adding still photos and titles
- Adding sound effects or background music
- Fading audio clips
- Adjusting playback speed
- Backing up a movie with iTunes