iPad iMovie Audio/Video Editing Help

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Access Help by clicking the ? mark in any iMovie window. Help is dynamic depending on what is selected. Yellow windows indicate help topics.

Arrange video clips and photos

Zoom in or out

Scrub video

Quickly navigate to the beginning or end of your project

Move video clips or photos

Trim a video clip or photo

Rotate a clip

Delete a video clip or photo from a project

Adjust video and photo effects

Adjust the movement of photos with the Ken Burns effect

Adjust a video clip’s zoom level

Adjust video overlay effects

Add audio

Add background music

Add just the audio from a video clip

Add sound effects

Record audio

Arrange audio clips

Move an audio clip

Adjust the duration of an audio clip

Split an audio clip

Detach the audio from a video clip

Remove an audio clip from a project

Move audio to the background or foreground

Access Help by clicking the ? mark in any iMovie window. Help is dynamic depending on what is selected. Yellow windows indicate help topics.

 

Arrange video clips and photos

The iMovie timeline is where you edit your movie by adding, arranging, and trimming your video clips.

You can zoom in or out and trim, move, or rotate video clips using simple gestures.

Zoom in or out

Zooming in lets you see more detail in each clip in the timeline and may make it easier to trim clips. Zooming out lets you see more clips in the timeline at once, without scrolling.

Zooming in and out doesn’t affect the duration of your clips or your movie.

mage of zoming in on the timeline

Scrub video

“Scrubbing” a clip is another way to preview it. When you scrub, you manually move backward and forward through the clip so that you can view it in detail.

The video plays in the viewer, or in a pop-up viewer, as you drag your finger.

Quickly navigate to the beginning or end of your project

Move video clips or photos

  1. With your project open, touch and hold the video clip or photo in the timeline until it pops off the timeline.

mage of moving a clip in the project timeline

  1. Drag the video clip or photo to a new location in the timeline, and release.

Trim a video clip or photo

You can trim a video clip or photo in the timeline to shorten or lengthen its duration.

Note: By default, a photo appears in the timeline as a clip that remains onscreen for 6 to 12 seconds. When you trim a photo, you change its duration.

To learn more about how to manipulate photos in your movie, see Adjust video and photo effects.

  1. With your project open in the timeline, tap the video clip or photo you want to trim.
  2. Drag either yellow trim handle to shorten or lengthen the clip or photo.

If you try to increase the clip’s length but the trim handle won’t move, it means there are no additional frames of video on that end of the clip.

mage of trimming a clip in the project timeline

Rotate a clip

You can rotate a video clip in 90-degree increments, clockwise or counterclockwise.

  1. With your project open, scroll the timeline until the clip you want to rotate appears in the viewer.
  2. In the viewer, move your finger and thumb in a clockwise or counterclockwise twisting motion over the video image.

When the white arrow appears, the video clip has been rotated 90 degrees. It may take a moment for the clip to appear rotated in the viewer.

Repeat this gesture as many times as necessary to achieve the orientation you want.

mage of rotating a clip in the viewer

Delete a video clip or photo from a project

When you remove a video clip or photo that you added from the media library, it’s removed from the project but is still available if you want to use it again.

Media that was either recorded into the project or embedded as part of an imported project remains in your media library (in Video > iMovie Media) unless you send it to the Camera Roll. Photos taken into a project can’t be moved to the Camera Roll.

With your project open, do one of the following:

mage of deleting a clip in the project timeline

Adjust video and photo effects

The viewer in iMovie includes controls for adjusting effects, including how big or small video clips appear during playback, how photos move using the Ken Burns effect, and how video overlay effects such as picture-in-picture appear.

Adjust the movement of photos with the Ken Burns effect

iMovie applies the Ken Burns effect to the photos you add to your project. With this effect, the camera appears to sweep across and zoom in on the photo. If there are people in the photo, iMovie uses face detection to keep faces within the viewing area.

You can adjust the Ken Burns effect so that the motion starts and ends on the parts of the image you specify.

  1. In the timeline, tap the photo you want to adjust.

The Ken Burns effect controls appear in the lower-right corner of the image in the viewer.

  1. To set the way the photo is framed at the beginning, tap the Start button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_KBback.png.
  2. Pinch to zoom in or out, then drag the image in the viewer to frame it the way you want.
  3. To set the way the photo is framed at the end, tap the End button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_KBforward.png.
  4. Pinch to zoom in or out, then drag the image in the viewer to frame it the way you want.
  5. To close the controls, tap the Ken Burns Effect button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_KBzoom.png, or tap outside of the clip.

If you don’t want the Ken Burns effect applied to a photo, set the image position and zoom level to be the same for the start and end points.

Adjust a video clip’s zoom level

  1. With your project open, tap to select a video clip in the timeline.
  2. To set the viewing area within the clip, tap the Zoom Control button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_AdjustZoom.pngin the viewer.
  3. Pinch to zoom in or out, then drag the image in the viewer to frame it the way you want.
  4. To preview your adjustments, tap the Play button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_Play.png.

Adjust video overlay effects

iMovie lets you add video clips as overlays, which appear on top of the main clip in the timeline. Video overlays can be arranged in the same way as any other video clip. There are three overlay options:

Use the viewer controls to adjust how your cutaway, picture-in-picture, or split-screen video clips appear during playback.

  1. With your project open, tap to select the overlay clip in the timeline.

The overlay clip becomes outlined in yellow, and additional controls appear in the viewer.

  1. Do any of the following:
  1. To preview your adjustments, tap the Play button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_Play.png.

Make advanced adjustments

To make more advanced adjustments to your video clips, tap a clip to reveal the inspector, which shows more options for adjusting clip speed, splitting clips, or creating freeze frames.

Create a copy of a clip

You can create a copy of any video clip in the timeline for use in another place in your project.

Duplicating a clip doesn’t create another copy of it in the media library, in the Video browser, or in your device’s Camera Roll, nor does it take up additional storage space on your device.

  1. With your project open, tap a video clip in the timeline to reveal the Video inspector at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap Duplicate.

A duplicate clip is added to the timeline after the original clip. You can then move or edit the duplicate clip separately from the original.

Split a clip

When you split a clip, you can adjust the duration of each section, remove unwanted sections, or add different titles to each section.

To split a clip in iMovie, you can either use the Video inspector or use a simple gesture in the timeline.

  1. With your project open, scroll the timeline to position the playhead where you want to split a video clip.

Tip: Make sure the playhead isn’t positioned at the very beginning of the clip.

  1. Do one of the following:

mage of splitting a clip in the project timeline

iMovie inserts a None transition (also known as a cut and shown by this icon http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_None.png), between the two newly created clips. You can change this transition to a cross-dissolve or other transition. To learn how, see Modify transitions.

Add a freeze frame

You can create a freeze frame (a still image taken from video) from any frame of a video clip in a project. You might want to do this, for example, to draw attention to a specific frame of video for comic or dramatic effect.

You can use a freeze frame only in the project where you created it.

  1. With your project open, scroll the timeline to position the playhead (the white vertical line) over the frame of video that you want to appear in the freeze frame.

Tip: Make sure the playhead isn’t positioned at the very beginning of the clip.

mage of a clip before a freeze frame is created

  1. Tap the clip to reveal the Video inspector at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap the Timer icon, then Freeze.

The freeze frame is inserted at the playhead position, effectively splitting the clip. iMovie automatically inserts None transitions (shown by the http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_None.pngicon) before and after the freeze frame.

mage of a freeze frame in the project timeline

By default, the freeze frame is set to appear for 2 seconds. To change the duration, tap the freeze frame, then drag either of the yellow trim handles right or left.

Alternatively, you can tap the clip (it becomes outlined in yellow), then swipe up over the playhead to create a freeze frame, as if you were using your finger to slice through it.

You can change the style of the cut transitions to cross-dissolve or themed transitions.

You can work with freeze frames in the same way you work with photos, moving them to another location in the project, trimming them, or deleting them.


Adjust speed

You can adjust the speed of video clips in iMovie.

  1. With your project open, tap a video clip in the timeline to reveal the Video inspector at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap Speed, then drag the slider right to increase the speed, or left to decrease it.

Note: The range of speed adjustments may vary by device.

As you drag, the relative speed is displayed to the right of the slider (2x means twice the normal speed, 1/2x means half the normal speed, and so on).

  1. Tap the back button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_Back1.png to return to the inspector, or tap outside the speed controls to dismiss them.

By default, iMovie automatically adjusts the speed of slow-motion video clips that are added to iMovie. To turn this setting off on your device, go to Settings > iMovie, and tap to turn off “Automatic slow-motion effect.”

iMovie also preserves the pitch of audio in video clips that are sped up or slowed down. To change this, tap the Project Settings button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_Gear.png, then tap to turn on “Speed changes pitch.” This allows a recorded voice to be higher when sped up or lower when slowed down.

Fine-tune the transition point

iMovie automatically adds a transition between video clips in your project. You can use an editing tool called the precision editor to control precisely where the video clips before and after a transition end and begin.

  1. In the timeline, tap the icon for the transition you want to change, then tap the yellow double arrows to open the precision editor (or pinch open vertically over the transition icon).

mage of the double arrows that open the Precision Editor

As shown below, the transition overlaps the beginning frames of the second video clip and the ending frames of the first video clip.

The dimmed portions of the video clips outside the transition represent unused video and aren’t viewable during playback.

mage of the Precision Editor open in the project timeline

  1. Do any of the following:

As you drag, the viewer displays the frame of video beneath the playhead (the white vertical line). This is the last frame of video that plays before the transition begins.

As you move the top handle, the bottom handle and bottom video clip follow it to preserve where the transition ends.

As you drag, the viewer displays the frame of video beneath the playhead (the white vertical line). This is the first frame of video that will play after the transition ends.

As you move the bottom handle, the top handle and top video clip move with it to preserve where the transition begins.

The total duration of the transition, and of the entire project, stays the same.

  1. To close the precision editor, tap Done, or tap the yellow double arrows.

You can also pinch closed vertically over the precision editor.

To learn how to use the precision editor to make advanced edits to the audio in your project, see Extend audio from one video clip over another.


Add audio

You can add background music, special effects, or your own recorded audio to iMovie.

Add background music

You can add any of the following types of background music to a movie project:

Note: Songs that appear dimmed or are marked Unavailable need to be downloaded to your device for use in iMovie. Use the Music app to download songs from iTunes in the Cloud, or use iTunes on your computer to sync songs from your iTunes library. If a song on your device still appears unavailable, it may be of a type that can’t be used in iMovie. For example, songs protected by digital rights management can’t be used in iMovie.

Background music clips are colored green in the timeline. If you add a song that’s less than 1 minute long, it behaves the same as a sound effect in the project and is colored blue in the timeline.

  1. With your project open, tap Audio at the top of the screen.

Note: If your iPad is in portrait orientation, first tap the Media Library button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_MediaLibrary.pngin the upper-right corner, then tap Audio at the bottom of the media library.

  1. To find music previously synced to your device from your computer, tap Theme Music or any one of the listed categories.
  2. To listen to the music before adding it, tap the item, then tap the Play button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_Play.png.
  3. To add the music to your movie project, tap the item, then tap the arrow http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_Download2.png.

Tip: If you’re creating a music video and want to align video clips to specific points in the music, add background music to your project first. (If the music is shorter than 1 minute, you must add video to the project before you add the music.)

By default, iMovie automatically loops background music to fit the length of your movie. You can add multiple songs as background music, but iMovie automatically arranges them to play one song at a time. You can also manually adjust the length if you want.

Add just the audio from a video clip

  1. With your project open, scroll the timeline so that the playhead (the white vertical line) appears where you want to add the audio clip.

If the playhead is resting over an existing clip, the new clip is added either before or after the existing clip, whichever is closest to the playhead.

  1. Tap Video on the right above the timeline.

All your video clips appear in the media library above.

Note: If your iPad is in portrait orientation, first tap the Media Library button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_MediaLibrary.pngin the upper-right corner, then tap Video at the bottom of the media library.

  1. In the media library, do any of the following:

You can also swipe your finger left and right over a clip to manually preview it, which can help you identify exactly which part of the clip you want to use.

If you want to mark a clip as a favorite, tap “Find more favorites” and follow the instructions in Review and share video clips.

  1. In the media library, tap the video clip, then tap the More Options button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_More.png.
  2. Tap the Audio Only button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_WaveformPlus.png.

Add sound effects

iMovie comes with dozens of free sound effects that you can add to your movie.

  1. With your project open, scroll the timeline so that the playhead (the white vertical line) appears over the location where you want the sound effect to begin.
  2. Tap Audio at the top of the screen.

Note: If your iPad is in portrait orientation, first tap the Media Library button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_MediaLibrary.pngin the upper-right corner, then tap Audio at the bottom of the media library.

  1. To listen to the effect before adding it, tap the effect, then tap the Play button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_Play.png.
  2. To add the effect to your movie project, tap the effect, then tap the arrow http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_Download2.png.

Sound effect clips are colored blue in the timeline. If you add an imported sound effect that’s 1 minute or longer, it behaves the same as background music in the project and is colored green in the timeline.

Record audio

You can record audio, such as voiceovers, directly into your iMovie project.

Recorded audio clips are colored purple in the timeline and can be edited in the same way as any other audio clip.

  1. With your project open, scroll the timeline so that the playhead (the white vertical line) appears over the place where you want the recording to begin.
  2. Tap the Record Audio button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_Microphone.pngin the lower-right corner, and when you’re ready, tap Record. After a 3-second countdown, begin recording.
  3. When you’re done, tap Stop.
  4. Do one of the following:

After you record audio, it becomes available in the media library (in Audio > Recordings) so that you can use it in another project.

Arrange audio clips

The timeline in iMovie is where you arrange all of your audio clips, such as background music and special effects. Audio clips always appear beneath video clips in the timeline.

Move an audio clip

You can move an entire audio clip, except the background music, to a different place in your project.

  1. With your project open, touch and hold the blue or purple audio clip in the timeline until it pops off the timeline.
  2. Drag the clip to a new location in the timeline, and release.

Adjust the duration of an audio clip

  1. With your project open in the timeline, tap the audio clip (in blue or purple) or the background music clip (in green) you want to adjust.

Yellow trim handles appear.

  1. Drag the trim handles at either end of the clip to the points where you want the audio to begin and end.

If a trim handle won’t move right or left, it means there is no additional audio to work with on that end of the clip.

mage of an audio clip being trimmed

  1. Tap outside the audio clip to make the trim handles disappear.

Split an audio clip

There are two ways to split an audio clip in iMovie. When you split a clip, you can remove unwanted sections, or adjust the duration, volume, or speed of each section.

  1. With your project open, scroll the timeline to position the playhead where you want to split an audio clip.
  2. Tap the audio clip in the timeline to reveal the Audio inspector at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap the Scissors Icon (or More Options button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_More.png), then tap Split.

Alternatively, you can tap the clip (it becomes outlined in yellow), then swipe down over the playhead to split the clip, as if you were using your finger to slice through it.

Detach the audio from a video clip

You can detach the audio from a video clip so that you can remove the audio or edit it as a separate clip.

  1. With your project open, tap a video clip in the timeline to reveal the Video inspector at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap the Scissors icon (Audio), then tap Detach.

mage of a video clip with attached audio

A new blue-colored audio clip appears beneath the video clip. You can now move, delete, or edit the audio clip separately from its parent video clip.

mage of a video clip with its detached audio clip

If you want to add only the audio from a video clip to your movie project, see Add audio.

Remove an audio clip from a project

When you remove an audio clip that you added from the media library or recorded with your device, it’s removed from the project but is still available in the media library (in Audio > Recordings) so that you can use it in another project.

With your project open, do one of the following:

mage of deleting a clip in the project timeline

Move audio to the background or foreground

To make sure that the sound in your video clips can be heard over the background music, iMovie applies audio “ducking” to background music. Ducking lowers the volume of background music clips whenever there is a video clip whose sound is playing at the same time.

You can choose which audio clips are in the background or foreground (you can have three foreground audio clips and one background audio clip playing at any given time).

  1. Tap an audio clip in the timeline to reveal the Audio inspector at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap the Scissors icon, then tap Background or Foreground (or the More Options button http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/en.lproj/Art/IL_More.png, then tap Move to Background or Move to Foreground.)

The color of the clip changes to indicate whether it’s background music (green) or foreground audio (blue or purple).