Page 1 Video Editing Tutorial
Purpose: This handout is a step-by-step tutorial for video editing using iMovie software by
Apple Computers. The tutorial covers basic video editing. For more information on iMovie and
the more complex features of video editing, go to www.apple.com/imovie/ or consult the
instruction manual included with the software purchase.
Goals: The goals of this tutorial are:
• Demonstrate how to import video images from a digital camera
• Cropping excess or unwanted video footage
• Arranging video clips
• Splitting video clips
• Add titles, transitions, video effects, still images, and audio
• Viewing previews and finished video projects
• Exporting finished projects to QuickTime, the Internet, and VHS
Some Useful Terms:
Capture – When video is “captured”, it is made into a clip that can then be edited.
Crop - Deleting extra or unwanted video footage.
Export - To transfer video from the computer to a digital camcorder, CD, another
program (like QuickTime), or the Internet.
FireWire – FireWire is a high data transfer wire that connects from the computer to the
digital camera. Typically, this connection is made with a USB cable.
Import – To get video from the digital camcorder to the computer.
Player Window – This is the large window that allows the user to view captured video and
crop clips. It also contains the Playback Control Panel and the Camera
Preview Window – This window allows the user to switch between selected clips, Transitions,
Titles, Effects, and Audio editing functions.
Rendering - When a transition, title, or other effect is added to a video clip, the computer
Split - Dividing one long video clip into two or more separate clips.
Transition - A transition segues from one clip to another. An example of a transition is a
special effect or title.
USB cable - Short for Universal Serial Bus, an external bus standard that supports data
transfer rates of 12 Mbps (12 million bits per second). This connection is
much faster than the traditional computer cables and makes video-editing
projects faster and easier.
Viewer Bar - This bar is the editing window that allows the user to click, drag, and drop
clips and other effects to render into one movie.
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Tips Before You Shoot
• Position yourself and the camera to maintain a steady shot (consider a tripod)
• Use proper lighting
• Zoom slowly-avoid rapid movements
• Stay focused on the action
• Avoid personal commentary
• Have fun!
• A digital camcorder and tapes
• A Macintosh computer (iMovie only works on Macs)
• A high data transfer cable (like FireWire)
• iMovie software
• A VCR and tapes for exporting your finished project to VHS
If you have a non-digital camcorder, take your tapes to the IDEA Lab (in Polk Library on the
UWO campus) for conversion to digital format. You must have a digital camcorder to use for
This is the Player Window. The Playback
Controls Panel that allows the user to play,
rewind, fast-forward, stop, pause, and import
video footage is located here. The toggle
switch (to change between the digital camera
mode and the editing mode) and volume
controls are also located in this window.
This is the Preview Window in iMovie. As
you select different functions, such as Clips,
Transitions, Titles, Effects, and Audio, the
window will change to allow the user to
perform specific functions. For example,
when you click on Effects, the Preview
Window changes its format and appearance.
Page 3 Video Editing Tutorial
This is the Viewer Bar. This bar is the editing
window that allows the user to click, drag, and
drop clips and other effects to render into one
• Open iMovie
• Connect the digital camera to the
computer using the FireWire USB
• On the Camera Edit/Play Switch,
select the camera button (A)
To begin importing video, find the Playback
Control Panel in the Player Window. You can
Play the video (C) before you Import for capture.
You can also Rewind (A), Fast Forward (B), Pause
(D), and Stop (E). When you are ready to capture
the video footage, click the Import button. When
you have imported the footage you want, click the
Stop button (E).
The imported video clips will appear in the
Viewer Window. Once you have imported all
the clips, you can arrange the clips in any order
you choose. The clip’s name and time are
displayed for each clip.
You can also give each clip a specific
name. This way, each clip will have a
description of the footage instead of just
a number. To change the clip name,
At the Pool click on the clip and type in the new
Page 4 Video Editing Tutorial
Cropping Video Clips
Video footage often contains scenes that are unwanted, too lengthy, unimportant, or poor quality.
Cropping these scenes from the raw video footage can improve the quality of the finished video
and reduce the overall length of the video.
• Click on the clip you want to edit
• Drag the clip to the Viewer Bar and
drop it in the first row.
Tip: If you want to make a duplicate copy
of the clip, hold down the Option key
while dragging the clip!
In the Player Window, move the mouse to
the place in the clip you want to crop. Click
and drag the left editing triangle (you may
need to click just underneath the clip in order Player Window
to make the editing triangle appear) to select
the footage you want to keep. Do the same
with the right editing triangle.
Tip: You can make fine adjustments by using
the arrow keys on the keyboard.
The selected footage will turn YELLOW.
This is the footage you want to KEEP.
The blue footage will be CROPPED
Click on Edit on the top toolbar and scroll
down to Crop. Your clip has now been
cropped to the desired length.
Splitting Video Clips
Splitting video clips is a great way to divide a clip into two sections and prevent the need to
import the clip again at a later time. The unused portion of the clip can be saved for another
project. Splits in clips are perfect places to add titles and transitions, too!
• Click and drag the desired clip to the Viewer Bar
• In the Player Window, move the Timeline
Marker to the point in the clip you want to
• In the Edit menu, select “Split Clip at
Playhead”. You now have two separate
clips that can be named and saved Timeline Marker
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A title is not just for the beginning and end credits of a movie. Titles can also be used to
introduce a new concept, different activity, or change in setting. Titles can be added before,
after, or at the split point of a clip.
• First, you must create a title. In the Preview Window, click
• In the text area, type the title.
• You can change the font, size, background color, and how
the title behaves. You can also choose the direction and
speed of the effect.
Transitions can be added between clips for special effects. A transition allows the scenery to
change gradually instead of just skipping from one scene to the next.
• To add a transition, click on Transitions
in the Preview Window.
• Select a transition you would like to use.
You can Preview the effect in the
preview window. When you have the
effect you want, click on Update.
• To add your transition to the video, click
on the transition in the preview window,
drag it to the viewer bar, and drop it
between two clips. A black bar will
appear and begin to fill in with red. This
shows that the transition is being rendered
with the clips.
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Adding Video Effects
iMovie has several features to enhance the quality of your movie. You can change the color to
black and white, add sepia tones (shades of brown), and adjust the brightness and focus.
• Select Effects in the Preview Window.
• Select the clip you want to change.
• Select the effect
• Apply the effect to the clip
• Preview the changes
• If you love the changes, click Commit. YOU
CANNOT UNDO THE EFFECT ONCE YOU
• If you do not like the changes, click the Restore
Adding and Editing Audio
Most video footage has an existing audio track. The track might include your kids laughing
while playing on the swings, the squeak of the chains on the swings, or you muttering under your
breath about the lousy weather. (See Tips Before You Shoot about avoiding personal
commentary!) You can also add sound effects and music to your video as well as edit out
• To remove unwanted
sounds, click on the
audio track you want to
remove (just below the
video clip in the Viewer
• Next, select Clear under
the Edit menu.
Audio clips can be inserted into your movie from CD-ROMs, audio CD’s, or from your own
recording. Once you have selected your audio clip, click and drag it to the audio viewer and
drop it in the area you want the audio to begin.
• If the audio you want to use in on a CD,
place it in the CDROM drive. The tracks
will appear in the track selection window.
Select the track you want. You can also
select only a portion of the track. When you
have the track (or portion of a track) you
want to record, hit the Record Music button.
Hit Stop when you have finished recording.
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• To add the track to your movie, click and
drag the track from the track selector to the
audio line and
Once the finished project is complete, there are several options to export the video:
• Export the movie back to the digital camera and transfer the movie to VHS tapes
• Save the movie to QuickTime and save to a writable CDROM
• Export your movie to the web and share your movie with Internet viewers all over the world!
Exporting Video to VHS
Exporting movies to VHS tapes is a common way to export movies; most people view movies in
this format. Select Export Movie under the File menu. iMovie will export the edited movie back
to the digital camera. Though digital cameras vary slightly, most have color-coordinated cables
that connect from the camera to the VCR. After the movie has been imported to the camera, you
can play the movie on your television and record the movie to a VHS tape through your VCR.
Exporting Video to QuickTime
Exporting movies to QuickTime allows you to explore several options for viewing your video:
• Save your movie to a writable CDROM
• Add your video to a web site
To export your movie to QuickTime, select Export Movie from the File menu. Select
QuickTime from the Export To box and then QuickTime from the Format box.
Much of the information for this tutorial presentation on iMovie video editing was referenced
from the Apple iMovie web site: www.apple.com/imovie/. This presentation covers basic video
editing. Information on more complex video editing, in addition to lesson plans and other
activities for the classroom, can be found on the web site and in the materials included with the
purchase of the iMovie software from Apple Computers.