Working with Transitions

Transitions are very easy to work with. Just as with other enhancements that you can add to an iMovie, a transition takes a few moments to process, and if you add a lot of transitions to your iMovie, you might have to wait a few minutes. But when the processing is done, you have a nice way to spice up your iMovie. It's worth experimenting to find and develop your own style.

In general, there are three ways of working with transitions: adding, adjusting, and removing.

Task: Adding a Fade In

Adding a transition is as simple as clicking to select it, dragging it into the Timeline, waiting for a moment while it processes, and then watching it to see how you like it.

Keep in mind that to try a transition, you must have at least one video clip in the Timeline. Some transitions are better suited to be before or after a clip (rather than in between), such as the fade in transition, which is a good way to start off your iMovie.

  1. Open an iMovie project and drag a video clip from the Shelf into the Timeline.

  2. Click the Trans button in the main iMovie window to access the Transitions palette.

  3. Click the Fade In transition. After a transition is selected, a mini-preview of it will play in the window at the upper right.

  4. If you are satisfied with the selected transition, drag it to a point in the Timeline window to the left of the current clip's centered icon. When you are in the right region, the current clip will move aside to make room for the transition, indicating that you can let go of the mouse button to drop the transition in place.


    Which side of a clip you drag a clip to depends on the transition being added. Fade In must come before a clip, so you drag it to the left side of the affected clip. Fade Out must follow the clip, so you would drag it to the right side. If you try to place a transition on the wrong side of a clip, an error message will tell you whether the transition you have chosen must be placed before or after a clip.

    Transitions that require two clips to worksuch as Cross Dissolve, Overlap, and Pushwill give you an error if they aren't sandwiched between two clips. (Somewhat confusingly, this error message is the same one that appears when you place a transition on the wrong side of a single clipthe one that tells you to place the transition on the opposite side of where you've placed it. If you follow that advice with only one clip in the Timeline, another error will tell you to place the transition on the opposite side.)

  5. The red processing indicator will show you how long it will be before your transition is processed and you can see the preview of your movie. You can click on the Zoom slider at the bottom of your iMovie window to switch to a larger view of the transition so that you can see the thin red indicator line travel to the right under neath the transition until it's done (see Figure 15.14).

    Figure 15.14. After a transition is dragged into place, your Mac must think about it for a few moments to make sense of it and deliver the video you're asking for.


  6. When the processing is done, try dragging the playhead through the transition to see how your iMovie now starts black and the video clip slowly fades in (see Figure 15.15).

    Figure 15.15. After the processing is done, you can drag the playhead back and forth to get a quick preview of the transition.


    A fade out is like a fade in, but is used mostly at the end of an iMovie or at the end of a clip. You would add it in a similar way, except you would place it at the end of the clip you want to fade away to black.

Task: Changing and Replacing a Transition

At some point, you might want to change a transition that's already been added, and doing so is easy to accomplish:

  1. Open your iMovie project in which you have a clip (and a transition) that you want to replace. In Figure 15.16, we see our trusty sample project. In this scenario, we've decided that we want the fade out to be longer; that is, we want the fade to start earlier in the clip.

    Figure 15.16. Selecting the transition.


  2. Click on the transition to select it; a translucent box will appear around it.

  3. Click on the blue Speed slider in the Transition window to adjust the Speed setting, and change it to four seconds (4:00).


    The higher the Speed setting, the more seconds of space the transition will take up. So, if you want a longer transition, you want a higher Speed settingtoward 04:00. For a shorter transition, you want a lower settingtoward 00:10.

  4. Click the Update button in the Transition window. When the processing is done, drag the playhead back and forth on the Timeline to see the effect of the adjusted transition, or position the playhead to the left of the transition and click the Play button below the Monitor window.

Compare the relative lengths of the transition and video clip in Figures 15.16 and 15.17. Notice how the transition in Figure 15.17, which has been adjusted to 4:00, is longer and therefore takes up more space in the Timeline than the original transition shown in Figure 15.16. The transition starts earlier in the video clip.

Figure 15.17. Viewing the results of the adjusted transition, which has to process first.


Replacing a transition works the same way, except you can choose a different transition than the one that was originally in place. The old one will be removed to make room for your new choice.

Task: Removing a Transition

Removing a transition is simple:

  1. Open your iMovie project in which you have a clip (and a transition) that you want to remove.

  2. Click on the transition to select it; a translucent box will appear around it.

  3. From the Edit menu, select Clear, and the transition will be removed.

Sams Teach Yourself Mac OS X Digital Media. All In One
Sams Teach Yourself Mac OS X Digital Media All In One
ISBN: 0672325322
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 349 © 2008-2017.
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