5.9. Playing the Movie Track
The Monitor isn't limited to playing clips; it can also play the Movie Track. That's handy, because one of iMovie's best features is its ability to show your movie-in-progress whenever you like (without having to
anything, as you do in some more expensive editing programs).
5.9.1. Playing the Whole Movie
To play back your
Movie Track, press the Home key on your keyboard, which in iMovie means "Rewind to beginning." As a timesaving bonus, the Home key
deselects all clips, as though it
that you want to play back the entire Clip Viewer now.
On recent desktop Macs, the Home key is above the number keypad, or stationed together with a separate block of keys like Help, Delete, Page Up, and Page Down. On recent laptop Macs, you simulate the Home key by holding down the Fn key (in the lower-left corner of the keyboard) and tapping the left-arrow key.
Alternatively, you can click the Home
, which is
the Monitor just to the left of the Play button. Once again, iMovie deselects all clips in the process of rewinding.
When you tap the Space bar, iMovie plays your movie starting from the location of the Playhead in the Scrubber bar; if you've pressed Home, that's the beginning of the movie. iMovie plays one clip after another, seamlessly, from left to right as they appear in the Movie Track (Figure 5-12).
Playing your movie back is the best way to get a feeling for how your clips are working together. You may discover that, in the context of the whole movie, some are too long, too short, in the wrong order, and so on.
5.9.2. Playing a Segment of the Movie
You don't have to play the entire Movie Track. You can play only a
of it by first selecting only the clips you want. To do that, click the first clip you want to play, and then Shift-click the final one.
Now click the Play button or press the Space bar; iMovie plays only the clips you highlighted.
Figure 5-12. When the Movie Track is ready to play, the Scrubber bar shows many different segments, one for each clip in it. Their relative lengths show you the lengths of the clips. You can use all of the navigating and editing tricks described in this chapter: pressing the arrow keys, splitting or trimming clips, and so on.
5.9.3. While the Movie is Playing
As the Movie Track plays, three simultaneous indicators show your position in the film. First, of course, the Playhead slides along the subdivided-looking Scrubber bar.
If the Timeline Viewer is visible, a duplicate Playhead slides along
. If the Clip Viewer is visible, on the other hand, a bright red, inverted T cursor slides along the faces of the clips
, which lets you know at a glance what clip you're seeing in the Monitor window
how much of it you've seen (Figure 5-13). You can't drag this cursor like a true scroll bar handle; it's purely an indicator.
Figure 5-13. Because every clip icon is the same
but not every clip is the same length, the T indicator speeds up or slows down as it arrives at the left edge of each clip. (You can see it in the center clip here, approaching the right side of the frame.)
While the movie is playing, you can take control in several ways:
Use the playback controls beneath the Monitor (or their keystroke equivalents) to pause, stop, rewind, and so on.
Navigate the whole movie by clicking in the Scrubber bar or dragging the Playhead, exactly as when navigating a clip.
Deselect the highlighted clips by clicking on any "metal" spot in the iMovie window. This trick comes in very handy when you're doing a quick playback of a title, transition, or special effect you've just created. Ordinarily, iMovie would stop playback at the end of the new element, but often you want to see how the new effect flows into the
clip. If you see the end of the highlighted clip looming as the Playhead chugs along, you can click to deselect the clip without even interrupting the playback.
Adjust the volume by pressing the up-arrow or down-arrow key.
Jump into Play Full Screen mode by clicking the Play Full Screen button.
Add a bookmark by pressing
-B, or a DVD chapter marker by pressing Shift-
Stop the playback by pressing the Space bar.
Stop the playback
rewind to the beginning by pressing the Home key.
5.9.4. Editing Clips in the Movie Track
Fortunately, all of the editing tricks for trimming and splitting clips described in this chapter also work in the Movie Track. In other words, just because you see the segmented Scrubber bar (Figure 5-12) doesn't mean you can't click below it to produce the triangle handles, or click above it in readiness to use the Split Clip at Playhead command.
You can also perform many of the same clip-editing operations that you read about in their Clips pane context, earlier in this chapter. For example, you can rename a clip, delete it from the project, or use the Edit menu commands on it, exactly as you
on Clips pane clips.