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How To Import Video In IMovie

How To Import Video In IMovie

If you are a Mac user who has some amazing video footage on a video tape, this film will help you to import video into iMovie, where it could be edited later.

Every Mac now comes with iLife, Apple's fantastic suite of co-ordinated multimedia programs. If you want to start editing video on your Mac, then it's likely your first port of call will be iMovie. This guide covers iMovie HD 6, but up-to date information and help about other versions can be found at www.apple.com/support/imovie/

First, plug your DV cam into the FireWire port on your Mac. iMovie will automatically detect the camera and you should see a blue screen like this. Use these buttons to control the camera and find the footage you want. While the camera is playing, click the import button once to begin recording the footage into iMovie, and again when you've finished. The footage you've recorded will appear as a clip in the "Clips" palette. Don't worry about matching the part of the video you want exactly - you'll be able to trim the clips to your requirements later, but try and stick to making several short clips rather than a few long ones, as this is will make the editing process more efficient later on.

You can switch between capture mode and edit mode with this button here at any point if you want to check the footage you've imported.

Make sure you have enough space on your hard disk. The amount of space you'll need varies depending on the size of your edit but as a guide, five minutes of DV footage uses approximately 1GB of space, and HD footage uses between 2 and 4 gigabytes per 5 minutes. It might be worth investing in an external Firewire or USB2 hard disk if you're going to be using iMovie a lot.

If your are using any version of iMovie HD (introduced in 2005) then you can also import a Magic iMovie. This feature not only allows you make a complete movie from the footage on a tape, complete with transitions and a soundtrack from iTunes, but you can also use it to automatically import the contents of your DV cam tape. Simply rewind or fast forward you tape to the point where your desired footage begins, deselect all the transition and soundtrack options and click create. Clips imported using Magic iMovie will appear on the timeline instead of the clips window. You can use the timeline to remove any footage you don't want and tidy up the clips you do. For more about using the timeline, watch the VideoJug Clip "How to edit video using iMovie".

You can also drag Quicktime .mov files and MPEG 4 .mp4 files into iMovie, just bear in mind it might take a while to import them. You can also use the pictures in your iPhoto library as video clips. Select the Media button on the right hand side of the screen, and then the "Photos" button at the top. When you select a photo, you can set it's position by dragging the image around and using the sliders to zoom in and define how long the photo is on screen for. You can also use a "Ken Burns" effect, which is named after an American documentary maker who was famous for the way he zoomed and panned around photos in his films. Use this switch to set how the picture will look at the start and end of the clip - you can change the position and zoom of the picture in the same way as before. When you are happy with both positions and the duration of your clip, click "Apply" and the finished effect will appear as a clip on your timeline. If you don't want it there yet, you can simply drag it into the clips window.