Category Archives for Video Editing

Lightworks-14-2018-Tutorial-Designed-for-Beginners Click “Places,” then navigate through to the folders where you’ve stored your media files

How to Use Lightworks 14 for Beginner Video Editors

Here’s how to use Lightworks 14, a fantastic free video editing program designed specifically for beginners. Lightworks 14 gives even inexperienced users a fresh, new way to create beautiful videos with ease. In this tutorial, I’ll show you:

  • How to import video and audio clips
  • Navigating and using essential tools, features, and workspaces
  • Basic editing and special effects
  • Exporting and sharing completed projects

Lightworks 14 is available for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux operating systems. For this tutorial, I’ll be focusing on Mac.

To get started, simply go to the Lightworks website and follow the instructions for downloading.

New Project

When you open Lightworks 14 on your computer, you’ll see the homepage. Up at the top-left corner, you’ll see “Create a new project.”

Click that button, and you’ll get a little panel where you can name your new project, make any notes you want to add, and select the frame rate.

The frame rate is an important setting to be aware of, because if you select a frame rate and then try to import video clips with a different rate, they may not be usable in your project.

Since 24fps (frames per second) is fairly standard, go ahead and choose that rate from the drop-down menu.

As soon as you click “Create” in the New Project Details panel, you’ll go straight to the Project window.

Look at the top of the window, and you’ll see four tabs: Log, Edit, VFX, and Audio.

The Log tab features a Project Contents bin on the left half of your window. This is where you import and store various media files, including video, audio, and still images.

Before you can start editing, you need to import some media. If you go to the menu that sits at the top of the Log, then click Local Files, it will show you all the various media files you have stored on your computer.

You can also click on “Places,” just under the Log menu.

This is handy if you have files stored in a certain folder on your desktop, and you’d rather go straight to that folder rather than comb through a list of every single file on your computer.

Click “Places,” then navigate through to the folders where you’ve stored your media files

Once you find a file you want to use in your video, simply double-click on the file thumbnail.

When you double-click, you’ll see that file appear in the viewing panel at the top right of the window, and you’ll also see the word “Imported” appear next to the thumbnail.

This tells you that your file has now been officially imported into your Log.

Now select a few more files to experiment with. Try importing a mixture of video, audio, and still image files so you can play around with the various tools and features Lightworks 14 has to offer.

Once you’ve double-clicked on several files, you can click the Edit tab at the top of the window, and you’ll see that all the files are listed in the Files panel at the top left.

Double-click on a file thumbnail to import the file into your Project Contents bin

Edit Window

The Edit window is the workspace where you’ll be able to blend imagery, sounds, and effects into a finished video.

If you look around the Edit window, you’ll see the three main sections of the page:

  • The Project Contents bin, at the top-left, which lists all of your imported media files
  • The Media Viewer, at the top-right, which lets you view the clips in your Timeline
  • The Timeline, along the bottom of the window

Now try double-clicking on one of the file thumbnails in your Project Contents bin, and you’ll see a second viewing panel open. This second panel is the Source Viewer and lets you view the files in your bin.

Double-click on a thumbnail in the Project Contents bin to open the Source Viewer

Timeline

Your Timeline is essentially a workspace. This is the space where you’ll be doing your editing and creating a sequence of video, images, and sounds that will eventually become a finished video.

To add files to your Timeline, all you need to do is find the files you want up in the Project Contents bin, then drag and drop them straight into the Timeline.

Try selecting a video file first, and I’ll show you some essential tools and tricks.

Now, if you click on the clip you just added to the Timeline, you’ll see that clip appear up in the Media Viewer panel at the top-right of the window.

You’ll also see a vertical red line running across your Timeline. If you drag that line back and forth across a video clip, you’ll see that clip’s image moving up in the Media Viewer.

One more thing you should know about the Timeline:

Once you drag a few clips into the Timeline, you’ll see that there are horizontal lines running across the workspace, sort of like ruled notebook paper.

Each space between two lines is a Track. Each clip has its own track, so the more clips you add, the more lines appear.

Keep in mind that when you place an image or video clip on the top line, that’s what will be visible in the video and up in your Media Viewer. It’s like the top line is the top layer.

If you just have a solid stack of image and video clips, one on top of another, only the one at the top will be visible. But don’t worry, I’ll explain how to work with that a little later on.

Creating Clips

Now let’s say you have a two-minute video of a beach scene, but you only want to use a 15-second segment from the middle of that scene. The Source Viewer panel lets you cut sections out of video and audio files with just a few easy steps.

First, double-click on the file thumbnail in your Project Contents bin so that it appears in the Source Viewer.

Now look along the bottom of the Viewer, and you’ll see a little red diamond. That’s the Frame Marker and shows you how far you’ve progressed into the video or audio track.

To create a segment, or clip, you’ll need to define the start point and end point. You can either click Play and then stop the video when it reaches the place you want the clip to start, or you can click and drag the red marker to the start point.

In your Viewer control panel, you’ll also see two blue diamond. These are the “In” control, on the left, and the “Out” control, on the right.

Once you have the red marker at the right starting point for your clip, click the “In” control. This tells the program that this specific point is the beginning of a clip.

Now click Play again, or drag the red diamond to the place where you want your clip to end, and click the “Out” control.

Finally, click the icon that looks like a down arrow inside a box. That’s the “Import” control, and as soon as you click, it will automatically import your new clip into your Timeline.

Use the Source Viewer and the “In” and “Out” controls to clip sections out of video or audio clips

Tracks

Once you have a few clips in the Timeline, look at the left side of the Timeline, and you’ll notice a vertical track list.

The video clip you imported will be listed as V1, and if it has any embedded audio, you’ll see those clips as well, in their own tracks, and they’ll be listed as A1, A2, etc.

If you’d prefer to give your tracks different labels, all you need to do it hover your cursor over the V1 in the track list, then right-click, then choose “Rename” from the menu.

Now you just type whatever label you prefer into the little box that appears.

You can also add additional blank tracks to your Timeline to make space for more clips.

Right-click, then select “Tracks” to add additional tracks to the Timeline

If you decide you want to move a clip to a different spot in the Timeline, like maybe you prefer to have a specific scene appear closer to the end of the video, you just need to click and drag that clip over to the desired spot in the Timeline.

You can also “Lock” a track, and lock all the clips in that track. Locking has two functions:

  1. It keeps you from accidentally moving a clip out of place
  2. It allows you to un-link clips

Un-linking can be quite handy when you’re editing. For example, when you import a video clip with embedded audio, the video and audio clips will be linked together in the Timeline, so that if you move the video clip around, the audio will get dragged along with it.

To Lock a video clip or track, just go over to the track list, click once on the label for that clip, at it will instantly become locked.

Now the audio clips have become un-linked from the video, and you can drag that audio to another place in the Timeline, or just delete the audio by right-clicking on the audio clip and selecting “Remove” from the menu.

Click a specific track label to lock that track

And remember: If you accidentally move or delete something you didn’t intend to, you can use Control > Z to undo the action.

You also have little Undo and Redo arrows down in the bottom-right corner of your Media Viewer, so you have a couple of options for fixing mistakes.

One final important thing you need to know about moving clips around the Timeline:

If you happen to drag one clip over another, it will delete information from the clip underneath.

For example, perhaps you wanted to add some sound to a video clip, but you accidentally dragged it onto the video clip itself rather than to the clip above.

If you drag the audio clip back off again, you’ll see that a chunk of the bottom video clip is now missing. Don’t worry, just hit Command > Z to go back and restore the data.

Dragging one clip onto another could result in information being deleted from the bottom clip

Timeline Clipping

Remember how you created a clip using the Source Viewer panel? Well, there’s a second way to cut sections out of video and audio clips right inside of the Timeline.

First, move the red vertical line across a clip until it gets to the beginning of the section you want to cut. You can do this by clicking Play on the Media Viewer, or by simply dragging the red line.

Once you have the red line at the beginning point, click the Blue “In” control, the blue diamond, at the bottom of the Media Viewer to mark that point, just like you did in the Source Viewer earlier.

Now click Play again or drag the red line to the end point of the section, and click the blue “Out” control to mark that point.

If you’d like to delete the section you just selected, you can click on the “Remove” tool in the Media Viewer controls. This tool looks like a red arrow pointing upward inside of a box.

When you click Remove, it will delete that section and leave a gap in your clip down in the Timeline.

If you don’t want a gap, and prefer to have the remaining segments of the clip joined together, simply click the “Delete” control in the Media Viewer controls. This tool looks like two red arrows pointing toward each other inside of a box.

Take a little time to play around with these different controls and tools so you can become familiar with how they work.

And any time you don’t like how something looks, you can just use Control > Z to undo it.

You can also right-click on the clip, and you’ll see a menu that offers these same controllers, so you can decide which method feels easier and more comfortable to you.

Right-click on the clip, then select “Remove” or “Delete” to cut sections out of clips in the Timeline

Trimming

If you move your cursor over the beginning or ending edge of a clip in the Timeline, you’ll see white brackets appear. Depending on where you move the cursor, you might see the brackets appear inside the clip, or outside.

To trim a clip, you’ll want to use the inside brackets.

Once you see the white brackets appear on the inside edge the clip, just double-click and then choose “Trim In” from the menu. Now you’ll see the brackets turn yellow.

The yellow brackets let you trim information away from either end of a clip. For example, maybe you only want to use a section in the middle of a clip for your video, and need to get rid of the extra bits on either end.

Once you’re done trimming, just click outside the clip and the yellow brackets will turn white again, or just disappear.

There’s a second way to make the trimming brackets appear, which might be easier for some users:

Simply hover the cursor until the white brackets appear, then click, and the white should turn yellow. Now just drag to trim.

Use the Trim command to trim away beginnings and ends of clips

There’s one more action you can perform with the trimmer brackets:

Hover and click to make the yellow brackets appear at the beginning of a clip, then hover and click to make the trimmer appear at the end.

Now both ends of the clip should be highlighted with yellow brackets.

Now, drag the clip itself back and forth, and you’ll see that the information you trimmed isn’t actually gone, it’s just hidden.

As you drag the clip back and forth, you’ll see the action moving back and forth in the Media Viewer.  

Making trimmer brackets at both ends of a clip is a simple way to select the precise section of a clip that you need.

Bracket both ends to select precise sections of clips

Duration

Perhaps you have a video clip that you’d love to use, but it’s much too long and takes up too much time on screen. Maybe it’s an opening sequence that’s 30 seconds long, but you only want it to last for 15 seconds.

To speed up or slow down a clip, simply right-click on that clip in the Timeline, then choose “Speed” from the menu.

Once the adjustment panel opens, you can adjust the percentage to alter the playing speed of the clip.

If you go above 100%, that makes the clip play faster, and below 100% slows it down.

Once you adjust the speed, you can click Play on the media Viewer and see how it looks.  

Right-click on a clip, then choose “Speed” to adjust the play speed

Special Effects in Lightworks

To add an effect to a clip, make sure the red line is over the clip in your Timeline, then go up and click the “VFX” tab at the top of your window.

When the VFX window opens, you’ll see your clip in the Media Viewer, as well as the Color Correction panel in the top-left corner, under the Settings tab.

Take a few minutes to play with the Color Correction sliders to see how they affect the look of the clip.

And if you don’t like how things look and want to start fresh, just click on the little gear icon at the top-right corner and select Reset from the menu, then select All.

Click the VFX tab and use the Color Correction controls to get the perfect look

Now look at the tabs in the Effects panel, and you’ll see a plus sign. If you click the plus sign, you’ll get a list of preset effects that you can add.

Look at the top-right corner of the effects list, and you’ll see a drop-down menu arrow.

Click that arrow, and then you can select the specific category of effects you’d like to browse through., like Color or Text.

Once you find a preset effect that looks nice, just double-click on that effect in the list, and it will instantly appear on your clip over in the Viewer.

You’ll also notice that when you double-click on an effect to select it, the Effects panel automatically switches to the Settings tab, and a control panel for the selected effect will appear.

If you decide you don’t like that effect, click the little gears at the top of the control panel, and choose “Remove.”

Now you can click the plus sign again to browse through other effects.

Click the plus sign to add new effects, and browse by category using the drop-down menu

You can also add specific effects to a Favorites list by clicking the little star at the left edge of each effect in the Effects list.

Text

To select some text effects, go up to the VFX tab, then open the drop-down menu at the top-right of the Effects list, and choose “Text” from the menu.

Maybe you’d like to add an opening title scene to the video. Simply find the “Titles” effect in the Text list, double-click, and the words “Sample Text” will appear over the clip in the Viewer.

Now you can type any words or symbols you like in the box over in the control panel.

Select “Text” from the drop-down menu in the Effects panel, and choose the effect called “Titles”

If you decide you don’t like that effect, just click the little gear icon and select “Remove.”

When you have a text effect selected, you’ll see all the usual controls under the Font tab, such as text size, font, bold, and italic.

If you click the Face tab, you can adjust the color of your text. You also have a Color Picker tool under the Face, which looks like a little eyedropper.

The Color Picker lets you select a specific color from anyplace on your screen simply by clicking on the color.

Use the Color Picker tool under the “Face” tab to select a text color

The Position tab lets you move the text around the screen, but you can also just click on the text over in the Viewer and drag it around the screen.

This is another excellent opportunity to take a little time to play with the various tabs, tools, and settings so you can get familiar with how they work.

Now, when you have a specific clip selected, the effects you choose are added directly to that clip and will stay connected.

You can tell that a clip has embedded effects because each effect will appear as a tiny square in the top-left corner of the clip in the Timeline.

Effects Track

If you prefer to have an effect, such as text, separated on onto its own track, like a separate layer, there’s a simple way to do that.

First, move the red vertical line to a blank space in your Timeline where there aren’t any clips. You should see nothing but a black screen up in the Viewer.

Now select a text effect from the Effects list. I’ll choose Titles for this example.

As soon as you double-click on Titles to add the effect, you’ll see the effect appear in the Timeline as its own clip.

Move the red line to a blank spot in the Timeline, then double-click on the effect thumbnail to give that effect its own track

Now you can trim and cut the Text clip to any size you like, using the yellow trimmer brackets.

You can use the yellow trimming brackets to trim the effects track like any other track

Transitions

Transitions are a common tool that editors use to blend scenes. For example, when one scene fades to black, and then the black fades into the next scene. That’s a Transition.

To create a Transition, select the VFX tab, click the “+” sign at the top of the Effects list, then click the drop-down menu at the top-right of the Effects panel, and select “Mix.”

Go to the Effects panel, click the plus sign, then click the drop-down menu and select “Mix”

Now you have a list of Transition effects. I’m going to select “Dissolve” for this example.

Once you double-click to add the Dissolve effect to your clip, and little panel with a slider bar will appear in the Effects panel.

The default setting is around 50% opacity, but you can use the slider to adjust the opacity to your liking.

Now, at this point, the effect has been applied to the entire clip, and the effect is set to just 50%, so if you click Play over in the Viewer, the clip will start out looking normal, then very slowly fade to a sort of half-dark look.

But what you want is for the scene to start out black, and then fade into the action.

Fade

In the menu of tabs just above the Dissolve `slider bar, you’ll see a tab called “Graphs.” That’s the one you want to click.

Now you’ll see a box with a horizontal line starting at the bottom over on the left side, and slanting up to the top over on the right side.

The top of the box is 100% black, and the bottom is 0% black, so the default setting has your clip starting out at 0%, then slowly fading to black over the entire length of the clip.

What you want is to start at black. To do this, drag the left end of the line all the way to the top to make the clip open as a black screen.

Now drag the right end all the way to the bottom, so that the clip ends with no blackness at all.

Click on the diagonal line about 25% of the way to the right. When you click, you’ll leave a little mark on the line.

Next, click on that little point you just made, and drag it all the way down to the bottom of the box.

Now when you click Play in the Viewer, you’ll see the scene start out black, then quickly fade into the scene.

By adjusting and bending that diagonal line and its endpoints, you can adjust when, where, and how quickly the black dissolves in or out.

Click the “Graphs” tab, then adjust the endpoints and middle of the line to adjust the fade

If you want the scene to fade back to black at the end, just add the Dissolve effect to your clip again, and a new box will open with its own diagonal line.

Now just click the Graphs tab and adjust the line in the second graph so that the end of the clip fades into 100% black.

Add a second Dissolve effect to the end of the clip and adjust the graph to create the desired fade effect

Audio

To get started, click the Audio tab at the top of your window.

Now you’ll see all of your audio clips down in the Timeline, including the clips that are embedded in video clips.

Up at the top-right of the window, you’ll see a panel that shows sound levels. Click Play under the viewer, and you’ll see colored bars moving along with the audio.

Underneath the volume columns, you’ll see labels like A1 for audio clip 1, A2 for audio clip 2, and so on.

You’ll also see that one column is labeled LR. That’s the column that shows all of the audio together, so it gives you a visual representation of the overall audio levels of your video.

One basic adjustment you can make is the volume. If you look at an audio clip in your Timeline, you’ll see a faint white horizontal line running across the center of the clip.

Simply drag the line up to raise the volume, and drag it down to lower the volume.

Drag the white horizontal line in the audio track to adjust the volume

Audio Fade

You can also make audio clips fade in and out using just one simple action.

To make an audio clip fade in, hover your mouse over the very top left corner of the clip in your Timeline, and you’ll see a little triangle appear.

Drag that triangle to the right, and you’ll see a diagonal line moving along with your cursor.

Once you’ve moved the triangle to the right a bit, click Play on the Viewer and see how the fade sounds.

To make the clip fade out, just hover, drag the triangle to the left, and create that diagonal line. If you don’t quite like how it sounds, use Control > Z to undo.

Grab the little triangle at the top corner of the audio track, then drag to create a fade

Look up in the top-left corner of the Audio window, and you’ll see a list of effects.

If you don’t see a list, click the plus sign, and the list will appear. To add an effect to an audio clip, simply double-click the effect in the list, just like you did with the video effects.

Sequences

You may have noticed that the Media Viewer panel has the label “Sequence 1” at the top.

A sequence is basically a section of video that you’ve put together and edited into a completed segment. A sequence can be a single scene or a completed video of connected scenes.

By separating scenes into sequences, Lightworks 14 allows you to use scenes as separate units.

This means that you could have a finished, edited beach scene, for example, and move that scene around to any place you want it to appear in the final video, or even use different versions of it in multiple places in the video.

Click the Edit tab at the top of the window, go over to the Project Contents bin, and along the left side you’ll see a menu of options. Click on Sequences in the menu.

Now, the scene that you’ve been editing in your Timeline should appear in the Sequences list, and will be labeled “Sequence 1”.

To create a new sequence, simply right-click inside of that sequence list space, select “Make,” then select “Empty sequence,” and a new sequence thumbnail will appear.

Double-click on the new Sequence thumbnail and a fresh, empty Timeline will appear down below. Now you can add some new media files and start building a new scene.

Double-click in the Sequence panel, select “Make,” then select “Empty sequence”

By giving each sequence its own Timeline, Lightworks 14 allows users to keep various sequences separate from one another, so that they can work on just one piece at a time.

Some editing programs have you keep every single sound, video, and image file all in the same Timeline, and it can get messy and confusing really easily.

But by giving each sequence its own Timeline, this program helps you stay much more organized.

Now drag and drop your Sequence 1 into the new Sequence Timeline. When you do this, you’re essentially making a copy of Sequence 1.

Now you can edit that copy of Sequence 1 inside of the Sequence 2 Timeline, without altering the original Sequence 1 that’s stored in your Sequences bin.

Once you have all of your sequences completed, you can combine them into a single Timeline, and now you have a finished video!

Export

Once you’ve got a finished video, you need to know how to export and share it.

To begin exporting, click on the Sequence thumbnail in your Sequences bin to select it.

Now go down and right-click inside the Timeline space, in a spot where there are no clips.

When the menu appears, click on “Export.”

Since you’re using the free version of Lightworks, you’ll need to choose either YouTube or the Lightworks Archive. To keep things easy, go ahead and choose YouTube.

Right-click on a blank spot in the Timeline, then select “Export,” and choose a Target format

Now, you’ll see an Export panel open up in the Media Viewer space.

This panel lets you select options like Frame rate and the destination where you’d prefer to save the video, like your desktop or a specific folder on your computer.

As a side note: When you choose the Size in the Export panel, 720p is the highest you can go in Lightworks 14.

Once you’ve chosen the settings you prefer, click “Start.”  

Now a progress panel will open, and you’ll see a progress bar that tells you how much longer it will take to fully process and export your video.

In the Export panel, choose your settings, then click “Start”

And that’s it!

We’ve only just scraped the surface of all the wonderful things you can do with Lightworks 14, but now you know how to navigate through the windows, how to perform essential editing, how to add effects, and how to export finished projects.

Your Lightworks 14 download comes with a detailed User’s Guide, so you’ll have everything you need to start creating and sharing beautiful, creative, and eye-popping videos with the world!

That’s all you need to know about how to use Lightworks and get started. Please share this article and enter your email below to get a monthly update on the best new technology for teaching. I hope you enjoyed it!

How to Use Davinci Resolve for Beginners

This article will show you how to use DaVinci Resolve 14, even if you’ve never used it or any other video editor before. Davinci Resolve is a free, professional-grade editing program from Blackmagic Design that allows users to create bold, unique, and attention-grabbing films and videos like a pro! In this article, I’ll show you:

  • How to find and use essential editing tools, menus, and windows

  • How to import and edit media files

  • How to add text and effects

  • How to save and share completed videos


DaVinci Resolve 14 is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems, but in this tutorial, I’ll be focusing on Mac.

To get started, you first need to download DaVinci Resolve 14 to your laptop or desktop.

Projects

When you’re ready to start creating, open DaVinci Resolve on your computer, and you’ll be greeted with a “Project” window.

To begin making a new video, simply click “New Project” at the bottom of the window, type your title in the pop-up window, then click “Create.”

The Project window is also where you can view your completed projects and projects-in-progress all in one convenient location.

Create New Project

Once you click “Create,” you’ll be taken to the Edit window. This window is filled with various buttons and sections and may look a bit intimidating and overwhelming to first-time users, but I’ll walk you through all the basic tools and steps you’ll need to start creating with ease.

First, let’s look at some of the tools and features you have to work with.



Down at the bottom-right of your editing window, you’ll see a tiny icon that looks like a house, that’s the “Home” button. When you click on Home, it takes you back to your Projects window.

You also have a Settings icon, shaped like a gear. The Settings lets you make all kinds of adjustments to things like color, image scaling, and playback.

For now, we’ll just stick with the default settings as we go through the basic tools and processes of the program

The Settings at the bottom-right allow users to customize and adjust DaVinci Resolve to suit their needs and work style

Media

Another essential tool in the menu along the bottom of the editing window is “Media.”

Click on Media, and you’ll get a new window with a range of options to explore. Before you can start editing, you’ll need to collect some media files with which to build your new video.  

First, look up at the top left of the Media window you’ll see your Media Library. The Media Library is where you can explore all the folders and files that you have saved on your computer.

Simply click through to the appropriate folders, find the video and audio files you want to use, and drag and drop them into the Media Pool at the bottom of your Media window.

As you add new media files, you may see a small pop-up window telling you that the frame rate of your selected file does not match the current project settings. All you need to do is click “Change” in the pop-up window, and DaVinci Resolve 14 will automatically adjust the frame rates of all your selected files so that they sync with one another.

It’s as easy as that!

Click on any media file on your computer, drag and drop it into the Media Pool, and click “Change” to automatically adjust the frame rate

Another way to import new media files is to hover your mouse inside the Media Pool space, then right-click to open a menu.

In the menu, you’ll see an “Import Media” option. Simply click through to the files you want to select, click “Open,” and the files will appear in your Media Pool.  

Right-click inside the Media Pool, click Import Media, and click through to find media files on your computer

Edit

Now, I’ll explore the Edit window, since this is where you’ll be doing most of the work.

Click “Edit” in the menu at the bottom of your window, and your Edit page will open. You’ll see that the imported media files you just added to the Media Pool are listed as thumbnails in the Library at the left of the window.

You can add even more media to your Library by right-clicking inside the Library box and choosing Import Media from the menu. Or you can drag and drop files from your desktop over to the Library, or drop them directly into the Timeline.

drag and drop right from any folder on your desktop into the Library or into the Timeline

The Timeline sits at the bottom of the Edit window and is the space where you collect and edit all the video clips and audio and images you’re going to use to create your video.

Now that you’ve learned how to add media to your Library and Timeline, you can also delete files in the Timeline if you decide you’re not going to use them. All you have to do is click on the file thumbnail in your Library, then right-click, and choose “Remove Selected Tracks” from the menu.

As a side note, once you drop a media file into the Timeline, it’s referred to as a “Track,” and I’ll be using that term as we move forward.

The Timeline offers users a range of tools to help organize and customize their editing experience.

Along the top of the Timeline, you’ll see an icon that looks like three connected squares with a line underneath. This is the Timeline View Options setting, and it lets you adjust what files look like in the Timeline to accommodate your tastes and viewing style.

Use the Viewing Options settings to adjust how the Timeline and tracks look



One great feature of the Edit window is the Viewer panels at the top.

The panel on the left previews the media files in your Library, while the panel on the right shows you the tracks in your Timeline.

Move your cursor over a video file in your Library, and you’ll see that clip appear in the left-side Viewer. Move your mouse back and forth from left to right across the thumbnail, and you will see the video running backward and forward along with the motion of your mouse.

Mouse over a video clip thumbnail in the Library to get a quick view in the left Viewer panel

You can also double-click on an audio or video file in the Library, and you’ll be able to play that clip like any other video in the Viewer. Once you double-click, you can use the control buttons at the bottom of the Viewer to listen to audio tracks, watch video clips, and find specific points in the track as you edit.

Now drag and drop some files into your Timeline in the Editing window.

You’ll notice that as soon as you drop a file into the Timeline, video files will appear as blue blocks, and audio files appear as green blocks. This is just a visual aid to help you keep track of which files are which. Still image files will appear as a slightly darker blue in the Timeline.

When you drag a track into the Timeline, video tracks appear blue, audio tracks appear green, and still image files are a slightly darker blue

Look to the left side of the Timeline, and you’ll see a small list. This is the Track List.

Video tracks in the list are labeled V1, V2, and so on. Audio files are labeled A1, A2, etc.

The track list labels and lists all the tracks inside of the Timeline

The right Viewer allows you to keep track of your edits in real-time, so you can check how everything looks as you work.

Look down and find the red vertical line in your Timeline, then click and drag that line left and right. The red line is essentially marking a specific moment in time.

As you move the line across the tracks in your Timeline, you’ll see the video playing backward and forward in the right Viewer.

You can also click the “Play” arrow in the control menu at the bottom of the Viewer, and you’ll notice the red vertical line moving steadily across the Timeline as your video plays.

The right Viewer window lets you see the clips in your Timeline, and the red vertical line serves as a progress bar

Now it’s time to try some basic editing.

Viewer Controls

Let’s say that you have a video file and you only want to use a ten-second clip from the middle of the video. All you need to do is click on that track in the Timeline so that it appears in the Viewer.

You’ll see that there’s a little progress bar along the bottom of the Viewer that shows how far into the video you’ve gone.

To select a specific section of the video, simply click on that progress bar at the moment where the clip you want to use begins, and a tiny white mark will appear.

Click on the right-pointing arrow on the right side of the Viewer controls. By clicking that arrow icon, you’re marking that specific spot as the beginning. Then select and click on the point on the video progress line where you want the clip to end, then click the arrow that points left, and this will mark that specific point as the ending.

Click on the progress bar under the Viewer to select the beginning of a clip, then click the “select” arrow in the Viewer controls menu

Once you’ve selected your clip, go to the control menu that runs along the top of the Timeline, and click on the icon that looks like three frames of film with a tiny “down” arrow beneath them. This is the “Insert Track” tool, and when you click, it takes the track you just created and moves it into your Timeline.

Click the “Insert” icon to add a clip from the Viewer into the Timeline

Selection Tool

Another tool in your Timeline toolbar is the “Selection” tool. This tool looks like a tiny arrow icon and sits at the left end of the toolbar.

Click the Selection tool, and you can then click on tracks and move them around anywhere you like in the Timeline.

Snap To

Now, one critical Timeline setting to know about is the “Snap” setting. This appears as a little U-shaped icon in the Timeline control menu.

The Snap To tool should be “On” and appear white. This setting helps you attach different tracks to one another and keep things in sync. It also prevents you from laying one track on top of another and accidentally erasing data, because if the setting is “Off,” this means you can effectively erase another track simple by moving your selected track over the top of it.

Make sure that the “Snap” setting is on. Otherwise you might accidentally delete information when you move tracks around the Timeline

Unlink

Another handy tool is the “Unlink” option in your right-click menu.

Let’s say you’ve dropped a video track of a beach scene into your Timeline, and that track has embedded background noise, like the sounds of waves crashing and children playing. When you drop this track into the Timeline, the video and audio tracks will automatically be linked and stay together as you edit and move things around the Timeline.

But if you’d like to get rid of that background noise, maybe to replace it with some soothing music, you just click on the track, right-click, and click to uncheck “Link Tracks” at the very bottom of the menu.

With Link Tracks unchecked, your video and audio become separate files that you can edit, move around, and delete individually. You can also use Link Tracks to add new audio to a video track and keep the audio and video joined as you edit and move the tracks around the Timeline.

Use the right-click menu to unlink audio and video tracks

Clipping

Clipping is another useful feature you can use in the Timeline.

First, click the “Trim Edit” tool in your Timeline toolbar. This icon is just to the right of the “Select” arrow and looks like a vertical bar with a box on each side of it.

Once you click this tool, it will appear highlighted in red, and then you can move your cursor to the edge of a track, click, and drag back and forth to shorten the track.

Keep in mind that when you use this tool to shorten a track, you’re permanently removing information from the track, so if you accidentally remove a section you didn’t mean to remove, you can simply use “Command-Z” or Edit>Undo to undo the mistake.

Use the “Trim Edit” tool to extend to clip the ends of video clips

Trim Edit & Speed Adjust

You can also use the Trim Edit tool to click and drag on the end of a still image file to adjust how long that image appears onscreen in your finished video. With image files, you’re not actually removing any information when you shorten the track, it merely adjusts the amount of time the image spends on the screen.

Now let’s say you want to speed up or slow down a piece of video.

To adjust the speed, just click on the track in your Timeline, then right-click, and select “Change Track Speed” from the menu. This will open a little pop-up window that allows you to change the speed by adjusting the percentage.

For example, moving the percentage down to 50% would mean the track would play in slow motion, and moving it up to 200% would mean the track is sped up.

Once you change the setting, you can see how the clip looks in the right Viewer, and then make any more adjustments you need to make.

Right-click on a track, then select “Change Track Speed” to speed up or slow down the track playing speed

Razor Edit Mode

Another tool in the Timeline toolbar is the “Razor Edit Mode,” which looks like a little razor blade icon. With the Razor tool activated, you can click on your tracks in the Timeline and cut them into sections.

This is a great way to break a track into separate pieces so that you can insert other tracks in between them or even delete sections of tracks that you don’t plan to use.

Remember, you can use the red vertical line to find specific points in a track, so you know that you’re cutting at just the right moment. The Razor tool also works with audio tracks and allows you to select and edit specific pieces of music and sound

Use the Razor tool to make cuts in video and audio tracks

Hide

There’s a handy setting that allows you to “Hide” specific video tracks by clicking the small right-side box in the track list on the left of the Timeline.

When you ”Hide” a track you aren’t deleting or removing any information; you’re merely making that track invisible.

You can “Hide” a track in the Timeline, click Play under the Viewer, and you can see how the video looks without that specific scene. Then you can unhide the track and see how you like the video with the scene included.

You can also “Mute” an audio track by clicking the tiny “M” in the track list so that you can isolate certain tracks and reduce the clutter as you watch and listen to your video as you edit.

You can Hide video tracks and Mute audio tracks using the controls in the track list]


Lock

You can also “Lock” a track to prevent accidental edits or clipping.

Over in the list, you can see that each track has a little lock icon. Simply click that lock, and the track will be protected from any accidental changes.

To edit or move the track around the Timeline, just click on the lock icon again to unlock the track.

Resize

One creative tool that you might enjoy using is the “Resize” tool. This allows you to have more than one video or image clip appear on the screen at the same time.

Perhaps you’d like to have a clip of crashing waves in the background, and add your beach scene clip over the top of it.

To do this, click on the beach track in the Timeline so that it appears in the Viewer, then go up to the Viewer toolbar and click on the icon that looks like an empty box with little dots at each of the four corners.

As soon as you click, you can see size adjustment handles appear around the Viewer image.

If you click and drag on one of the bottom or top corner handles around the Viewer, you can make the image smaller or larger.

Next, click on the crashing waves track in the Timeline, drag it under the beach track, and up in the Viewer, you’ll see the waves appear behind the beach scene.

Use the Resize tool to select an image or video and adjust the size as it appears onscreen

The “Resize” tool also has a small drop-down menu with options like Crop, which allows you to cut away certain areas of the beach scene clip, or whichever clip you’re working with, so that you can remove any parts of the scene that you don’t want, and focus in on the areas you do want.

Use the drop-down menu next to the Resize tool to select options like “Crop”

Inspector panel

Another way to crop and modify visual elements is to use the Inspector panel located at the top right of the Edit window, next to the Viewer.

This control panel lets you adjust things like the opacity of the clip, as well as crop, rotate, warp, and adjust scale, timing, and lens distortions.

This is another great tool to experiment with, so I recommend taking time to play around so you can become familiar with all the various options.

To do even more fine-tuning, click on “Inspector” at the top right of the window

Effects Library

Next, I’m going to go over the Effects Library, which you can find at the top-right of the Edit window. Click on Effects Library and a Toolbox of options will appear at the left edge of your Timeline.

Let’s explore Transitions first.

Transitions are a great way to move from one scene to the next, or one audio track to the next.

For example, maybe you’d like the opening credits to gently fade into the first scene of the video. All you need to do is click on a specific transition in the Video Transitions menu, then drag and drop it directly on top of the beginning of your opening scene track in the Timeline.

Open the Effects menu, then drag and drop Transitions and other effects onto clips in the Timeline

Once you’ve placed a Transition onto a clip, click on the Transition box, click Inspector at the top-right of the window, and it will open a panel that lets you adjust your effects and adjust things like duration, style, and color.

If you decide you don’t like a certain Transition, just click on it in your Timeline, right-click, and choose “Delete.”

The Effects Library also provides an extensive range of text options that you can add to your video.

First, click on “Titles” in the Effects Toolbox at the left side of the Timeline, choose an option, and click, drag, and drop it onto a video track in the Timeline, just like you did with the Transitions.

As soon as you drop a Title option onto a video clip, you’ll see text appear up in the Viewer.  

Click, drag, and drop “Title” effects into the Timeline to create titles, credits, and other custom text

To edit the text you’ve just added to your track, click on the little Text box in your Timeline to highlight it, then open the Inspector, if it’s not open already.

The text Inspector panel lets you choose between a range of fonts and adjust the size and color, as well as typing in whatever words and characters you like.

The Inspector panel also gives you the option to add simple effects to your text, such as a drop shadow and colored outlines.

Click on the Text box in your Timeline, then use the Inspector panel to edit and adjust the text

Another great option in your Effects Library is “OpenFX.”

All you need to do is click on OpenFX in the main Effects Library, select an effect from the menu, drag and drop it onto a clip in your Timeline, and the effect will be instantly visible up in the Viewer. Then you can go to the Inspector panel at the top-right of the window, click OpenFX at the top, and make a wide range of adjustments to that specific effect.

You can also add more than one effect to a clip and layer and blend multiple effects in a single scene.

OpenFX offers even more visual effects to play with. Simply drag and drop an effect from the OpenFX menu into the Timeline, and the effect will appear in the Viewer



OpenFX also has a range of options for audio files, and provides a control panel on the left side of the Edit window, in addition to the Inspector panel at the right, to give you a wealth of editing options.

Drag and drop Audio Effects into the Timeline, and you’ll see an audio control panel open at the top-left of the window

Now that you’ve learned how to import media files, add files to the Timeline, edit tracks, and add some effects, all you need to know is how to export and share a completed video.

Deliver

Down at the bottom of the Timeline is a button called “Deliver.”

When you click on Deliver, a panel will open at the top-left of your Edit window.

This panel provides some pre-set options that automatically format your video for specific platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, a range of customization options where you can select from a list of video formats such as Quicktime, MP4, and DPX, and various audio and file formats.

To export a finished project, click “Deliver” at the bottom of the window, then choose your formatting options in the control panel at top-left

Let’s say you decide to choose the YouTube formatting option.

Once you choose the formatting, you need to click “Add to Render Queue” at the bottom-right of the control panel. This will make a Render Queue panel appear at the top-right of your window.   

Once you’ve selected the format or destination, you’ll need to add the video to the render Queue

Next, look at the top of your Timeline, and you’ll see the word “Render” next to a drop-down menu.

If you want to export the entire complete video, you just need to click the drop-down menu and click on “Entire Timeline” to export the entire video that you just created in your Timeline.

Then go up to the Render Queue panel at the top-right, click “Start Render,” and you’re done!  

Go to the Render drop-down menu and choose “Entire Project”

We’ve only just scraped the surface of this amazing program, but now you know how to get started and get on the path to creating fun, entertaining, custom-made videos.

Remember: the DaVinci Resolve 14 download includes a detailed, easy-to-read User’s Manual, so you can take all the time you need to learn about and experiment with all the versatile tools, features, and functions this amazing program has to offer.

Please share this article and enter your email below to get a monthly update on the best new technology for teaching. I hope you enjoyed it!

How to Use iMovie for Beginners

How to Use iMove for Beginners

iMovie for Mac is a fantastic free tool that allows people of all skill levels to create and share bold, beautiful, custom movies right from the comfort of their home, office, or anywhere they can use a laptop or desktop. In this article, going to show you how to to use iMovie for beginners. You’ll learn:

  • use the essential tools, features, and steps you’ll need to start making eye-catching movies of your very own
  • match colors across clips
  • use the built-in “green screen” feature
  • play, share, and view your finished projects on other devices

Add Media

First, find iMovie in the task bar, or your Applications folder, and open the app. Once the iMovie window opens, you can see three small tabs at the top of the window: “Media,” “Projects,” and “Theater.”

See three main tabs at the top of window



The “Media” tab allows users to upload, sort, and store various media files such as video clips, audio clips, and still images. Before you start making a new movie, you’ll need to collect some media. First, click on “iMovie Library” on the left side of the screen, then right-click and select “New Event” from the menu, and today’s date will appear in the Media Library. An “Event” is essentially a folder where you can store all the various media files you plan to use for a specific movie project. In this example, I’m going to name my new Event folder “Cities.”

Select Library, then New Event

Next, click on “Import Media,” just to the right of the Media Library, and this will show you all the various media files you have saved on your computer. Let’s say that I already have some videos, pictures, and sound files related to urban traffic, and I want to use all of these elements in my new movie. I can select one clip at a time, or I can select multiple clips by holding down the Shift key and clicking on each file I want to select. Once I’ve selected a file I click “Import” to add files to the Cities” folder, or simply click, drag, and drop them into the folder.

Click Import or drag and drop to move media files from computer to Media Library

Take a quick look at the “Theater” tab at the top of the iMovie window. “Theater” is where you can store and view your completed iMovie projects. Once a completed project is in the “Theater” folder you can play it, share it, and even view it with other devices that you have linked to your computer through iCloud. The final tab is “Projects.” This tab is where users go to create and edit movies. It’s essentially the “Work in progress” section of iMovie.



Now that I’ve covered the three main tabs, I‘m going to guide you through the steps of beginning a new movie project. To begin, click on the “Projects” tab, then click on “Create New,” and iMovie will offer two options: “Movie” and “Trailer.” Click on “Movie,” and a new window will open up where you can start making movies like a pro.

Click Projects, Create New, and Movie to begin new project

Add Clips to Timeline



In the new window, I have the “Project Media” list on the left, then a blank space with an “Import Media” icon in the middle, a “Preview” panel to the right, and finally the “Timeline” at the bottom. Over in the Project Media list, I can see “My Movie 1,” which is the default name that iMovie gives the new movie project I’ve just started. Below that, I can see the “Cities” folders where I’ve collected various sound clips, video clips, and image files.

Click on the “Cities” folder to open it, then drag and drop the media files into the movie Timeline at the bottom of the Projects window. You’ll notice that when you add files to the Timeline, sound files are colored green, and video and image files have a blue line along the bottom. These colors are a handy visual aid that iMovie uses to help you keep track of which files are which.

Drag and drop media files into Timeline



Once there are three or four files in the Timeline, things might start looking a bit crowded, and some of the files will extend way right off the right side of the screen where you can’t even see them. But don’t worry, there’s a tool to help with that! Just look at the top right corner of the Timeline, and there’s a small slider labeled “Settings.” The slider allows you to zoom in and out on the media files in the Timeline window. If you zoom out, you get a wide angle view of all the files. If you zoom in, you get a more detailed, close-up view, which is great for choosing specific moments in a video clip or sound file, like a space in the video where you want to make a cut or fade to a new scene.


Settings slider to zoom in and out

The Timeline has a wonderful range of tools, features, and actions you can use to make your movie something special. First, go up to your Project Media list and click on “My Movie 1.” Now you will see the thumbnails of all the media files that are currently in the Timeline. Just click on one of the thumbnails–let’s say one of the video clip files–and the thumbnail will appear highlighted with a yellow border. Hold down the “R” key and click and drag across that highlighted thumbnail, and that will make the video run back and forth, so you can see the whole video moving and quickly or slowly as you move your mouse. You can also click “Play” on the Preview panel to the right side of the thumbnails, and watch video clips in a larger format. The Preview panel is a great way to find specific moments in a sound or video clip without changing anything in the Timeline.

Play Thumbnail in Preview panel

Editing Clips

Now I’m going to take you through some of the editing options in iMovie. First, Move your cursor back and forth across the Timeline, and you’ll see that there’s a white vertical line that moves along with it. Think of this white line as a marker–a moment in time. As you move the line back and forth, you’re also moving back and forth in the clip. For example, let’s say that I want my movie to show a specific moment when a white car drives by. I can move that white line across that relevant video clip in my Timeline, watch the video in the Preview panel, and–when I find the precise moment that the white car drives by–I click and I see that there’s now a gray vertical line marking that precise moment in the clip. That gray line means “Start.” Now just hit the space bar on your keyboard to begin playing the clip from that exact moment marked by the gray line, and hit the spacebar again to stop playing.

Click white line to mark moment in clip

iMovie also provides several ways for users to edit and adjust the sound within clips. Let’s say there’s a video clip of traffic driving by on a busy city street, and you’d like to remove the background traffic noise and replace it with some dramatic music. If you look at the video clip in the Timeline, you’ll see that there’s a blue line running horizontally across the bottom of the clip. That blue line is the audio data within that clip. Now simply right-click on that clip, then choose “Detach Audio” from the menu, and the audio will instantly get taken out of the video clip and appear as a separate file, down below with the green audio files in the Timeline, as well as up above as a thumbnail in the Media files. Now you can delete that removed sound file, or save to use later in another project.



Detach Audio to remove sound from video clip

You can also adjust the audio directly inside of each video clip. For example, perhaps you love the ambient background noise in your city traffic clip, but you’d like to add a voiceover, and the ambient sound is just a bit too loud. To adjust the volume, just click on that clip in the Timeline, then click on and drag the little horizontal white line inside of the blue strip running along the bottom of the clip. That line is actually the volume adjustment for that specific clip. The green audio clips also have that same horizontal adjustment line for making the volume exactly as loud or soft as you want.

slide horizontal line to adjust volume

Another feature to be aware of in the Timeline is the small “connector” line between clips. Click on an audio clip in the Timeline, drag it just under a video clip, and when the audio clip gets close enough to the video clip, a small green line will appear at the top left corner of the audio clip. As soon as that little green line touches the video clip above it, those clips are now connected. Now when you click and drag the video clip around the Timeline, the audio clip will get dragged along with it. You can do the same thing with any of the clips in the Timeline. Just drag a clip next to the main clip, move it until that tiny line appears at the top or bottom corner, and then drop that clip and it will stay connected to the main clip. If you decide that you want to change the exact location where the sound clip connects to the video clip, just click and drag the sound clip to the new location, and move it until the green line appears and connects it to the video clip again.

connector bar connects clips together

iMovie also allows users to change the length, or duration, of a clip. Let’s say I have an image file in my Timeline. Click on that image file’s thumbnail, and it will display a number. This number is the number of seconds that this image will appear onscreen when the movie plays. In this case, I can see that my chosen image will appear on the screen for 2.7 seconds, but I want that image to stay on the screen for 5.5 seconds. All I need to do is hold down the “R” key, then click and drag the right edge of the image, and I can see the number of seconds increasing and decreasing as I drag back and forth, left to right. It’s important to remember that when you make a clip shorter, you’re actually removing, or deleting, information from that clip. But no worries! If you make a mistake and remove information you didn’t mean to remove, just click “Edit” from the main menu at the top of the screen, then click “Undo,” or hold down “Command” and hit the “Z” key to undo that last action.

hold "R" and drag to adjust clip length

Another fun tool allows users to adjust how quickly or slowly a clip plays in the movie. For example, perhaps your movie needs a dramatic slow-motion scene. Just click on that video clip in the Timeline, right-click, and choose “Show Speed Editor” from the menu. Now a black horizontal line will appear at the top of that clip. Click and drag that black line to the left to speed up the action, and a little icon of a rabbit appears to let you know that you’re in “faster” mode. Drag to the right to slow down the action, and a little icon of a turtle appears, indicating “slower.” This way you can easily create slow-motion and fast-motion clips or scenes in the Timeline with just a simple click and drag. And if you don’t like the look, just use Cmd + Z to undo.



Speed Editor and drag for faster and slower

Cutting and editing scenes and clips has always been an essential part of making movies. The “Split Clip” tool allows users to split a clip into sections so that they can delete, move, and rearrange sections of video and sound as much as they like. For example, I’d like to add a still image in the middle of a clip of urban traffic, and I need to make a space for that image to fit into. All I do is go to the Timeline, move that white vertical line to the correct moment in my traffic clip, right-click, and choose “Split Clip” from the menu. Splitting clips doesn’t remove any information from the clip, it simply breaks the clip into separate pieces. Now just click and drag the still image around the timeline and center it over the split in the video.

Split Clip to cut sections from clips

Transitions

Sometimes you’d love to add just a bit more interest and complexity to a movie to make it really pop, so now I’d like to introduce you to the “Transitions” options in iMovie. A transition is like that moment in a film when one scene fades to another scene, or when the soundtrack fades from exciting music to spooky music to match the action. There are two main ways to perform a Transition in iMovie, and I’ll start with the method you perform inside of the Timeline itself. 

Let’s say that I have an urban traffic video clip that I want to fade into an image of the Statue of Liberty, and then fade into a new scene in the video. I simply find the statue image file in the Timeline, then drag and place it right above the split between the two scenes that I just created with the “Split Clip” tool. When the image file is highlighted, I can see that there’s a little circle in the top right and top left corners of that thumbnail. Just hold down the “R” key, then use the mouse to click and drag the circles toward the middle. As you drag, you can look at the Preview panel above and see that the main video clip fades to the image, and then the image fades back to the next video clip. You can also use these exact same steps to fade sound clips in and out.

R key and drag for clip transition

The second method is to use the “Transitions” tool. At the top of the window, above the thumbnails of all the media files, there’s a horizontal menu that shows options like “My Media,” “Audio,” “Titles,” “Backgrounds,” and “Transitions.” Just click the “Transitions” tab to open a menu of various preset transition effects such as “Fade to Black,” “Slide Left,” and “Ripple.” Now select a Transition from the menu, whichever looks the most interesting, and drag and drop it in between two video clips, or at the beginning or end of a clip, to add it to your movie.

Transitions tool, drag and drop

At this point, you should have a good selection of video clips, sound clips, and images in your Media Library and in your Timeline. I’ve gone over the basics of cutting and editing, as well as how to use Transitions, so now I’ll demonstrate how to add some extra little touches to make the movie look even more professional and unique.

Enhancements

First, click on a clip in the Timeline, and that clip will appear in the Preview panel. Above the Preview, a menu of tool icons will appear.

Visual Edit Menu

One great tool is the “Match Color” tool, which allows users to create a harmonious look throughout the entire movie. For example, my main video clip of urban traffic is filled with rich, natural sunlight and colors, but I also have a clip of streetcars that I’d like to use, and that clip looks just faded and dull. The first step is to click on the streetcars clip in my Timeline so that the clip appears in the Preview panel. Next, I click on the black and white circle icon at the left side of the tools, then select “Match Color” from the menu. Now I move down to the Timeline, click on the urban traffic clip that has the sunny, natural colors that I want, and that clip will appear next to the streetcar clip in the Preview panel, and iMovie will make a subtle adjustment to the colors and tones in the streetcar clip so that it more closely matches the colors and tones in the main clip. If the results look good, I simply click the checkmark at the top right corner.

Match color between scenes

There are several more tools in the visual editing menu that allow users to adjust the look of clips in the Preview panel, like the Crop tool that lets you zoom in and get a closer shot, and the “Shaky camera” icon that lets you stabilize a shaky handheld video. You can even add filters to video clips to create a certain mood, turn a color movie into a black and white film, or make the movie look like it was filmed on a spooky, alien planet. I recommend taking time to play around, experiment with each tool, and explore all the wonderful ways iMovie helps users tailor and customize their movies.

 iMovie also offers a “green screen” effect, much like the effect professionals use to insert backgrounds into various film scenes. For example, let’s say there’s a little 10-second clip of a street view looking up at two skyscrapers in the foreground, with a bright, clear blue sky in the background. Now just click on that clip in the Timeline, it appears in the Preview panel, and up above a new icon appears in the editing tools menu. This icon looks like a little double box, or a square with a shadow. That little icon is the “Cutaway” tool. It’s important to remember that when you’re editing the main video, the clip that all these other sound and video and images get added to make a finished movie, you will not see the “Cutaway” icon. This particular icon only appears when you’re working on the other clips, the extra pieces of video that you plan to add to the main video.

 Now, click on the Cutaway icon and a drop-down menu option, named “Cutaway,” appears. Just click on the Cutaway menu to reveal all the options, then select “Green/Blue Screen.” This tool essentially takes all the parts of the video that are colored solid blue or solid green and makes them invisible. So now, once you click “Green/Blue Screen,” you can still see those two skyscrapers in the foreground, but instead of a blue sky in the background, you now see the main video clip in the background.

Green/Blue Screen tool for extra clips

One more feature I want to talk about is the “Titles” tab. “Titles” give users a whole range of extras like opening and closing credits, movie titles, and even subtitles. Simply click the Titles tab, located above the media thumbnails, and a full menu of various preset effects will appear. Now click on a thumbnail, and it will show up over in the Preview panel so you can get a closer look. Some of the titles even incorporate motion. For example, click the thumbnail named “Scrolling Credits,” then move the cursor back and forth across the thumbnail, and you can see credits moving up and down on the screen in the Preview panel. When you find a Title you like, just click, drag, and drop it where you want it in the Timeline.

Preview titles

Once the Title thumbnail is in the correct spot in the Timeline, that title will appear in the Preview panel, neatly laid over the video clip. Now you can start playing with the editing tools to add new text, select from a range of fonts, and change the text color and size.

 At last, you’ve completed your very first movie, and you’re dying to share it with friends! Just a few simple steps are all you need! Just go up to the top-right corner of the iMovie window and click the “Upload” icon. This will open a menu of options, such as Facebook, Vimeo, and Youtube. Let’s say I have a YouTube account, and I want to upload my movie so I can share the link. Just Select “YouTube” from the menu, and a window will open where I can choose whether to upload my movie in HD or not, whether or not I want this movie to be Private, and add any tags that might make it easier for people to find my movie with a keyword search. I also want to make sure to click the “Add To Theater” checkbox at the bottom of the upload window to add the new movie to the “Theater” tab for easy access. iMovie also offers options like “File” in the upload menu, which saves the movie directly to my computer.



Save and share

Now that I’ve gone over some of the essential tools and features that iMovie has to offer, you have an almost endless range of options to help you make fun, amazing, fully customized movies for any event or occasion, from weddings and birthdays to work presentations and school projects. Have fun, and don’t be afraid to explore your own creative potential!

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