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iMovie for Teaching


iMovie is an easy to use but fairly powerful video editing program included in Apple’s iLife software suite. It is available only on the Macintosh operating system.

There are twelve machines with iMovie in the Instructional Technology lab in Taylor 205 with staff to assist you.

Project Examples

Education students use iMovie to edit their digital stories, and many students use iMovie to edit multimedia projects as part of their I.S. and other projects. Faculty have used iMovie to edit clips for use in the classroom.

Online Resources


Import Video

1) Turn on the Sony Mini DV deck by flipping the screen up and sliding the button at the right near the screen to “on”.
2) Turn on the VCR/DVD player.
3) If you are importing a Mini DV tape, insert it into the Sony deck.
4) If you are importing from a DVD or VHS, then insert a DVD or VHS into the VCR/DVD player.
Note: Even if you are using the Sony Mini DV deck, the VCR/DVD player must be on.
5) Click the “camera” button in order to import.
6) Wait for iMovie to detect the device you are importing from. You should see a drop-down button with options at the bottom of the import window.
7) Click on “Capture” on the viewing window to begin capturing video. You may also need to hit play on the importation device.  Once you have imported the media, click “Done.”

Edit Clips

1) Select the clip you would like to edit.
2) To split a clip, drag the playhead (located on the blue bar below the viewing window and pictured here) to the point you would like the clip split at. Then, select “Edit” and “Split Clip”.
3) To Crop a clip, choose the “Crop” button on the toolbar and then select which area you would like to crop.
4) To remove the audio associated with a clip, select the clip, then select “Edit” and “Detach Audio”. You can drag new audio into the audio timeline. Syncing new audio can be tricky, and making a copy of the original clip with sound before doing any editing to the sound is recommended.
5) When you have gathered and edited the clips you wish to use, put them in order in the timeline.

Add Transitions and Effects

1) When you have gathered the clips you wish to use, drag each one into the timeline. Put them in order as you do this.
2) To add transitions before or after clips or to add effects to clips, you will use the buttons located on the right side of the toolbar.
3) With the “Transitions” button (indicated by a large “T” at the bottom right hand corner of the screen) selected, you’ll see a menu of transition styles which you can drag into your timeline and place between clips.
4) When “Text” is highlighted, you’ll see a list of Title formats appear in the window. These formats will allow you to add various types of credits, titles and scrolling text to your project. Simply drag the style you prefer to where you would like it in the timeline, then type your text in the text box and adjust the speed.
5) When “Inspector” is selected you will be able to choose video effects to add.
6) To add effects, select a clip and choose an effect. You will be able to preview it first.

Finalize the Video for DVD, CD, or the Web

1) When you have imported and edited your project to your satisfaction and are ready to finalize your project, select “Share” from the menu. You will see several options for exporting your project.
2) To export your project as a QuickTime movie, select “Share” and “QuickTime.”
3) To export your project to Youtube, select “Youtube” from the “Share” menu and click on the “Share” button.
4) To export your project to iTunes, select “iTunes” from the “Share” menu, and click on the “Share” button. Your movie will be properly formatted for use on your iPod.
6) To export your project to iDVD, select “iDVD” from the “Share” menu and click on the “Share” button.

 *Note* If you wish to use a scene selection menu in the DVD you create in iDVD, you will need to add chapter markers to your iMovie Project. To do this, select the clip you want to begin a scene with, select “Markers” from the menu, and then “Add Chapter Marker”. Do this for each scene you would like to include in your scene selections menu. To view the chapter markers in your project, select the “Chapters” button on the right side of the toolbar in iMovie.

Create a “Green Screen” Clip


iMovie will only “green screen” with an actual green background.

  1. To create the green screen effect, first make sure that “Show Advanced Tools” is selected in the iMovie Preferecnces.
  2. Select and drag the background image or video into the project area. 
  3. Select and then drag the green screen content on top of the background clip in the project area.  A menu will pop up.  Select the “Green screen” option.
  • If the subject in the green screen or “keyed” video track appears to be transparent, click the “advanced tool” button in the bottom left corner at the beginning of the clip. 
  • Select “Video Adjustments”.  There are two things that may help – 1) Try adjusting the brightness and contrast.  Adjusting these can eliminate the “transparency.”  If this does not work, try option two.  2) Try adjusting the red and blue color channels.  Doing this can minimize the green in the subject, making them appear more solid.
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