Posts Tagged ‘imovie’

At first I thought “why?” but that was quickly changed to “why not?” after using it.

Using an editing app on a small screen like the iPhone may have you squinting so much your brain hurts, but thankfully it looks like Apple realized this as well and reworked their consumer grade movie editing software iMovie enough to make it possible to end up with relatively decent movies after a little tweaking and a fairly simple learning curve.

Check it out in the Apple Store and you’ll see all the great features of this little editor that could.  It really is rather easy to use and the built in auto-saving means you can easily pick up where you left off later on if you realize you need more photos or video to finish your project.

There are a few things i’d like to see changed or added.  Along with them are my workarounds which I hope you find useful, or at least get you thinking of ways to make this app give you the results you want it too.

Transitions:  You can transition between images of video, but no fade in/ fade out.  This is an easy fix though.  As shown in the 3 preceding screen grabs, Take a picture of something black, up close so there is no light and add that picture at the beginning of your movie.  iMovie will add a transition that basically fades thru the black image to the movie or first photo.  Same thing at the end of the movie or really anywhere within it to get a fade to black.  You can adjust the length of the time the photo stays on screen and the transition length to suit the fade you want.

The only down side is at the end you will have a Thumbnail of your finished movie in the project listing that is black as seen above. Makes it a bit tough to figure out which is which if you have a few on the go.  I do wish there were a few more options for the transitions too.  You get what you get depending upon the theme you select for your movie.

Credits:  There is no built-in way to add credits to your mini movie.  Again, there is a simple fix for that too.  Create your credits in any program that lets you type and then save and import that image from your photo library into the iMovie app. I used the free app Simplenote on my iPhone.  Sure its white with black lettering, which doesn’t really go with the theme that well, but its a simple way to create them and i’m sure you could find another program that will let you create a black sheet with white lettering.  You just have to think outside the box a bit.

One final word of caution, don’t delete your source video.  iMovie, just like its full blown on the desktop version is a non-destruction way of editing.  In other words it is only linking to the video not actually copying it into the iMovie file. So if you delete the footage, you end up with a blank space in iMovie where the video used to be.

All in all, this is a good start and will have you creating quick and easy movies for viewing and sharing without having to copy and import video off your device onto a laptop or desktop to do it.  You can even go the extra step like i did and upload the file to dropbox or use to send it to friends right from your iPhone.  This truly is a portable editing option that can make those impromptu moments and memories look that much better and all while you are still at the event.  There is something very cool about filming,editing, and sharing a movie outside while sitting in your favorite backyard muskoka chair.




“The Evil Ampersand”

I was working on another home movie – i know, i know, i’ve turned into one of “those people” – the ones who drag out the home movies to bore their friends and family – but honestly, people do ask to see mine, i put a little flair in them and i do know the meaning of the word edit, but enough of me justifying, that’s not the point… anyways… there i was dragging clips into the timeline and i noticed i was missing a number of video clips from a recent event.  I opened iPhoto and i could see and play the AVI’s so i knew they were there, but they did not appear in the clips in the Event Viewer in iMovie.  hmmmm.  Help to the rescue, and i don’t mean superhero type help, i mean the little “Help” at the end of the toolbar in almost any program.  Help works great as long as you know how to ask the right question, sort of like searching the web, its an art to be able to find exactly what you are looking for, but again, i digress.  In this case, a couple of quick questions to Help and i had found what i was looking for, it seems the ampersand is a special character as seen in the resolution list…

I closed iMovie, renamed the event in iPhoto and then restarted iMovie and low and behold was asked if i wanted to create thumbnails, which means iMovie had found more video files to add to the event library.  Woohoo!  Simple fix, but still, i would have suspected a quick popup note in iPhoto as i was naming the event in the first place.  If certain characters are going to cause problems, why not give you a heads up.

Well, now back to my editing, i just thought i’d pass that little bit of info along in the hopes of saving someone else a few hair-pulling moments.




Why change? i liked the old iLife suite of apps, they may not be perfect but they got the job done. I guess you could say i was accustomed to them, like an old friend or colleague, or an old pairs of slippers – you know what to expect, how things work, how they fit, sure they may be a little long in the tooth, worn around the edges, dog chewed, – okay i admit i’m mixing my metaphors a little too much but you get the idea.
Sometimes change is good – but change for the sake of change, hmmm.., well…, why bother. iLife falls into the space in the middle between the two extremes.

iPhoto continues to impress me. As with any change there is a bit of a learning curve but this one is short, it works very similar to the old iPhoto only with events being created whenever you add photos to your library. I like it. At first i thought “great another bunch of stuff i won’t use” but as soon i realized how handy it was to see a few thumbnails of an event and how much easier it is to scroll through events than an entire library, i wanted to give the apple coders a pat on the back.

iDVD, is well, iDVD. There were a few changes but mostly it just seems like a general cleaning up of an existing app without too many new features or changes. Much the same with Garageband. The quick look i took at it made me wonder if i had upgraded it or not, on the surface it’s very similar, only it seems to have a few more buttons and bells and whistles built in. I’m not a musician in any way shape or form, but i do like to play around with this kind of app to see what i can up with – mostly just to get used as background in an iMovie, which is a perfect segue into…

iMovie ’08. Huh?!?! What happened? Did Apple decide we didn’t need to have control over our movies and just wanted to make it very simple for us to make a really stripped down plain-jane movie? Or did they decide we were bright enough to play with the inner workings of iMovie so they removed a lot of the features and abilities we used to have in the old iMovie ’06? “Nothing to see here. Move along. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”. I for one was outraged. Not only did old movies that i had not finished lose their music and titles, and have all their transitions changed to cross dissolve, they also took away the timeline viewer! What kind of an editing program does not have the ability to see your clips in a timeline viewer? Well obviously, this one, but i’m not liking it. I did a little searching on the web and found out i was not the only one which is why Apple has posted iMovie ’06 on their website for owners of iLife ’08 to download and use. One good thing about the new iMovie is the fact the editing has become non-destructive, so you can reedit as much as you want and play around with clips from your library without bringing them back into your movie after you screw them up and blow away a bit you actually needed. I’ll continue to use the latest iMovie but will keep the old one around as well, in my opinion it was better.

Last but not least, iWeb. One thing that jumps out is the ability to add HTML code to your iWeb pages. This will kill the need for a handy little app i was using called iWeb Enhancer, which basically allowed me to cut and paste HTML into the old iWeb pages. Handy for hiding email address from bots. One problem i had was that it did not import my old iWeb files very well, the formatting got all screwed up in the navigation bar and the header and footer. It was not a tough fix, but meant recreating most of the pages with a header and footer that worked and copy-clipping content into them. I’m using the latest and greatest iWeb right now for this blog and find it is stable and just as intuitive as before with a few more features, such as the “web widgets” and the ability to change the theme with ease. That will come in handy when the format of your web pages gets tired looking and you want a change.

All in all, i’ll give iLife ’08 a 4 out of 5, mainly because iMovie is not really an upgrade but an entirely new product, and should have been called something different, possibly iVideo would have been better.