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If you’ve re­cently (af­ter last Oc­to­ber) pur­chased an Ap­ple de­vice, then you’re in luck – you get iMovie for free! This sim­ple, yet pow­er­ful app is all you need to dive into video edit­ing on your iPhone or iPad, but as with most things, it’s all about the small touches.


First, pick a tem­plate and load your base video. You’ll no­tice a white line that splits the view­ing area. That’s the play­head, and mov­ing clips past that line brings up the cor­re­spond­ing video in the Viewer pane. When in­sert­ing new me­dia, this is where they go by de­fault.


In most home movies, you’ll prob­a­bly have only one layer for video tracks. This is fine if you want to move from one clip straight to the next, but if you’re look­ing to do more, tap on the el­lipses to get the op­tion of over­lay­ing a new clip in, plac­ing it in a pic­ture-in-pic­ture win­dow (handy for com­men­taries), or as a split-screen. Se­lect­ing the jig­gly line with the small “plus” adds the video as a sound­track (i.e. keep­ing the sound with­out the video.) Clips will be added at the play­head, so ad­just the track in the project pane ap­pro­pri­ately.


When you add (or cut) a clip, a small square with two tri­an­gles ap­pears be­tween the clips. That’s where tran­si­tions are in iMovie. Tap­ping on it, gives you five op­tions: The star gives you the de­fault tran­si­tion for the tem­plate you chose. Next is your tra­di­tional cross­fade, and af­ter that you have two op­tions for screen wipes. Fi­nally, you can choose to fade to white or black. The op­tions don’t end there though, when you’ve in­serted your tran­si­tion, tap on it again to bring up two tri­an­gles. Tap­ping that al­lows you to ad­just the du­ra­tion of your tran­si­tion.


To crop video, tap the clip on the time­line, and a mag­ni­fy­ing glass will ap­pear in the bot­tom right cor­ner of the pre­view win­dow. Tap on that, and “Pinch to zoom video” will roll out. You can now pinch and spread your fin­gers to zoom in to the clip, or pinch and close to zoom back. You will also be able to move the clip to ad­just your fram­ing, and the en­tire clip will stay in that crop.


To ad­just the speed of a clip on the time­line, tap “Speed” and ad­just the slider ap­pro­pri­ately. This will be ad­justed to the en­tire clip, so re­mem­ber to slice the clip into sec­tions if you want to ad­just it back later. If you want to change the speed of a video clip with­out af­fect­ing the au­dio, go to Project set­tings (in the bot­tom right) and en­sure that “Speed changes pitch” is Off.


When you’re done with your video, iMovie pro­vides you with an easy way to get your mas­ter­piece out in front of au­di­ences. Just hit the mid­dle icon in the project pane. You’ll get op­tions to share your movie via Air­Drop, push it out to iMovie The­ater, Face­book, YouTube, Vimeo, CNN iRe­port, or send it to some­one via Mail. You can also choose to ex­port your video to your cam­era roll, or send it to your iTunes li­brary as a shared video.


As men­tioned above, you can use a video track as au­dio, use one of the pre­set sound­tracks that comes with iMovie, or im­port au­dio files from your iTunes li­brary to score your video. There’s also a se­lec­tion of sound ef­fects, and you can record au­dio di­rect from iMovie by tap­ping on the mi­cro­phone icon in the bot­tom right cor­ner. To fade au­dio tracks in and out, tap on the au­dio clip, and tap “Fade”. Two tri­an­gles will ap­pear at the front and end of the clip. Mov­ing the tri­an­gle ad­justs how it fades in and out re­spec­tively. You can also ad­just the speed and vol­ume of the track.

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