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iMovie—Definitely Not Your Father's Video Editing Application

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iMovie—Definitely Not Your Father's Video Editing Application

In This Chapter

  • Understand why iMovie is so cool

  • Learn to shift to the iMovie paradigm

  • Take a guided tour of the iMovie interface and its major tools

  • Understand all the amazing areas of the iMovie window

There's nothing new about being able to store video clips on a computer. There's also nothing new about editing video on a computer. Neither is there anything new about being able to add special effects, sound tracks, and other movie-making staples to make a movie into something special. So what is new about iMovie that has lots of wannabe moviemakers so excited?

The answer to this question is that regular people, like you and me, can now make their own digital movies with only modest investments in hardware, software, and time. For some time now, Macintosh computers have been powerful enough to handle the processor-intensive computing associated with the manipulation of video, and they've had enough RAM and hard drive space to handle the enormous files that are required. There were also video-editing applications that enabled this hardware to work with video. However, these applications were both expensive and very difficult to use. Non-professionals were pretty much left out of the picture (the moving picture, that is).

Enter iMovie.

Why iMovie Rocks

Apple's iMovie is a remarkable application in many ways. It contains all the features and tools you need to make sophisticated videos and, at the same time, you don't need to have a degree in video production to be able to use those tools. You don't even need the top-of-the-line Macintosh to be able to run it, either; an iMac is capable of handling the program quite well, thank you (of course, iMovie runs even better on a G4 desktop). Following is a quick list of just some of iMovie's great benefits:

  • Drag-and-drop video assembly—You can assemble a video from component clips by simply dragging and dropping them in the order in which you want them to appear.

  • Excellent control when acquiring clips—iMovie is designed to work with digital video (DV) camcorders so that it's simple to import video that you shoot into iMovie for editing. If your DV camcorder is iMovie-compatible (lots of them are), you can even control the camera from inside iMovie! You can also bring lots of other material into iMovie via QuickTime.

  • Easy-to-use, yet sophisticated, video effects—You can add very nice transitions between your video clips so that your video flows smoothly. iMovie's special effects tools enable you to manipulate clips; for example, you can make a clip black and white. You can also add text to clips for titles and other elements.

  • Impressive sound capabilities—iMovie enables you to add external sound to your video; this includes sound effects, music from audio CDs, imported sound files of other types, and more.

  • Powerful distribution tools—With the wide variety of supported file formats and compression techniques, iMovie helps you prepare your video for distribution in many ways, such as through email, on the Web, on CD-R, and so on.

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