iMovie: How to Learn

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Stephen Hart
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iMovie: How to Learn

Post by Stephen Hart » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:00 pm

A camera upgrade has brought me into the world of video. (Cameras and Camcorders have merged.) I will be able to record 1080p60 video.
So I think I will need to finally come to grips with iMovie. I know some of how to use QuickTime 7 to do things like cut and paste, cropping (using a mask), and the simple image editing capabilities of QuickTime 7. And, I've done a few things in iMovie, such as combining three clips with a transition between them. If you navigate to this page and click the thumbnail on the lower right (6), you can see what I mean. (Note: it's a tad X rated.)

But every time I open iMovie, I have to start from scratch. Like, why do I see the last project, and how do I get rid of it? So I want to grok the basics and make iMovie as familiar to me as, say, Photoshop. My output will typically be QuickTime videos for the web. The kinds of things I will be doing is linking a few short segments, adding transitions and, in some cases, captions. Final Cut X looks like serious overkill.

Any suggestions for how to learn these skills?
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rickj
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Re: iMovie: How to Learn

Post by rickj » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:45 pm

Stephen Hart wrote:A camera upgrade has brought me into the world of video. (Cameras and Camcorders have merged.) I will be able to record 1080p60 video.
So I think I will need to finally come to grips with iMovie. I know some of how to use QuickTime 7 to do things like cut and paste, cropping (using a mask), and the simple image editing capabilities of QuickTime 7. And, I've done a few things in iMovie, such as combining three clips with a transition between them. If you navigate to this page and click the thumbnail on the lower right (6), you can see what I mean. (Note: it's a tad X rated.)

But every time I open iMovie, I have to start from scratch. Like, why do I see the last project, and how do I get rid of it? So I want to grok the basics and make iMovie as familiar to me as, say, Photoshop. My output will typically be QuickTime videos for the web. The kinds of things I will be doing is linking a few short segments, adding transitions and, in some cases, captions. Final Cut X looks like serious overkill.

Any suggestions for how to learn these skills?
Lynda.com has a fairly extensive tutorial that should be enough to get you started. The Mac Store also has apps called Tutor for iMovie '11 and MPV's iMovie '11 (from SMUG sponsor Mac Pro Video). The same tutorials are available as IOS apps as well. Both companies also put out tutorials for the iPad version of iMovie, so make sure you get the right one. I haven't seen either of the Mac Store ones, although I'm doing the March demo on digital learning and will be covering all these companies and more. So if you can wait until the next meeting, I might be able to offer an opinion on the best one. Or you can help me with my research and get one or more of them now and let me know which one you like :)
Rick

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Stephen Hart
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Re: iMovie: How to Learn

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:59 am

I just bought the iPhone App MPV's iMovie '11 Core...
I'll report back after I've read it a bit.

First impression: it takes a long time (more than two hours) to download.
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Ray Bentsen
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Re: iMovie: How to Learn

Post by Ray Bentsen » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:40 am

BTW, the MacProVideo tutorials are also available for viewing on iPad.
;)
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Stephen Hart
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Re: iMovie: How to Learn

Post by Stephen Hart » Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:27 pm

First report on the iPhone version of MPV's iMovie '11 101:

The videos are pretty small on an iPhone. If I had an iPad, I'd opt for that version, or the Mac version.
The topics and the treatment seem well done. I can follow, even though I don't have iMovie open.

I did have one revelation early on. Apple sees iMovie '11 as being like iPhoto and Aperture, a database of movie clips. That's entirely unlike QuickTime Player, which is designed as an application that you use to do something to one file at a time*. That one point may help me a lot.

Now I haven't gotten my camera yet (Amazon, are you listening?) so I don't know exactly how the movie clips will import. I assume I'll have to decide whether to keep them in Aperture or in iMovie. (See, I'm getting that database concept.) And I'll have to establish a workflow that doesn't end up duplicating all imported movie clips.

* Or, for that matter, Word, Pages, Keynote, and pretty much every application you can think of, except, of course, iTunes. That whole idea of an app that is a database, and each thing that you might think of as a file is actually just an entry in the database, takes some getting used to. Imagine if you opened Word and it listed every text-based file on your Mac.

More to come.
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Re: iMovie: How to Learn

Post by aburke3 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:55 pm

Stephen, I would be interested in hearing about your editing experiences with your new camera and iMovie '11.

In both iMovie and Final Cut X, I start by making a new "Event" and then importing footage from the memory cards.

1080p60, wow! What camera?

Happy Editing,
Andrew
Editing video, everywhere, somewhere...

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Stephen Hart
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Re: iMovie: How to Learn

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:00 pm

You'll have to wait a bit. I ordered on 02 12 12, choosing Super Saver Shipping. Amazon shipped on the 17th, with delivery slated for late next week. :cry:

The camera is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150K. I chose it partly for the video performance, even though in some comparisons it loses out to a similar Canon model. I had some rather idiosyncratic metrics for my ideal update from a Nikon Coolpix S10.

It's amazing how digital movie cameras and digital still cameras have merged. But it's a boon for people who want to have a multi-purpose camera while walking around in the mountains we live so close to.

I'll be happy to post an evaluation of the camera in, say, July, when our snow melts! :)
I'll post something about the iMovie-learning tool sooner.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: iMovie: How to Learn

Post by Stephen Hart » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:48 pm

aburke3 wrote:Stephen, I would be interested in hearing about your editing experiences with your new camera and iMovie '11.

In both iMovie and Final Cut X, I start by making a new "Event" and then importing footage from the memory cards.

1080p60, wow! What camera?

Happy Editing,
Andrew
So, I don't want to get into a discussion of cameras here, as this is a Mac forum, but:

I've got the Panasonic Lumix FZ150, and have taken a few photos and a couple of videos, and have read a lot about it.
For video, the first problem is what video format to choose. You can choose MP4--which may turn out to be best for me--or AVCHD or AVCHD 1080 60 p, the top of the line, compatible with HD TVs.

Unfortunately, the top-of-the-line format won't open in iMovie. iMovie sees the videos, but overlays them with red, slashed circles. :(

I've found a couple of solutions, the best seeming to be Aunsoft Panasonic AVCHD Converter.app, which works fine and only costs about $30. But it's an extra step and takes some time. And, $30 is $30.

The problem is that I don't have any idea whether I'd lose anything--for my purposes--by recording in MP4, which should import into iMovie (and maybe Aperture?) without any intervening steps. I've seen one forum message saying that the resolution (my most important issue) is the same.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: iMovie: How to Learn

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:07 pm

Followup:

The Aunsoft converter--as far as I can tell, a good piece of software--basically takes a 60 frames per second recording and converts it to one iMovie can understand, a 30 frames per second QuickTime video (that is to say, 60p -->30p). 60p is progressive, supposedly better than interlaced. In the current version, iMovie cannot cope. I'll be looking closely at what Apple says about the next iMovie.
If you want to use QuickTime Player 7 for editing, this software is excellent.

Of course, other software, presumably, can deal with 60p.

That reduction in frames per second reduces the capacity to do slow motion. You can go from 30 fps to 15 fps OK and cut the speed in half. If you could work with 60 p, you could get 1/4 speed and still have smooth motion and full HD video. (15 fps is the "flicker fusion frequency," where human eyes+brains see a fast slide show as continuous motion.)

So I'm not sure whether the Aunsoft converter is worth the small expense or the effort. On this camera, at least, I can record in 30 fps, sans progressive mode, and iMovie opens that just fine.

All of this talk of speed, of course, is independent of both the size of the image--1920x1080--and the image quality, which consists of a lot of factors.

I haven't tried the 220 fps, 320 x 240 pixels mode: low resolution, but high speed. By the way, you can now get pocket-sized cameras for a few hundred dollars that claim to do 1,000 fps, formerly the realm of research labs.
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Pam Upchurch
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Re: iMovie: How to Learn

Post by Pam Upchurch » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:31 am

I'm a Newbie posting here so be easy on me... k?? :lol:
I too am interested in learning iMovie '11 for producing a DVD of our African Safari pics /clips from a Nikon Coolpix S8200. All clips successfully imported into iPhoto.

Here's the gist: iMovie '11 is a completely different animal than iMovie 2004, and I am completely lost in the complex layout!! I do possess some technical skills as I successfully used iMovie 2004 to produce a 2 part DVD of family history from 8mm films converted to miniDV. (a special thank you to BlueSky Mac Tech for the startup help).

So getting back to iMovie '11, I am waiting for feed back on video tutorials (apple videos no help) or Linda's.com etc.

Pam

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