Jennifer's project is a quick oneturning some still photos of a painting technique (called sgraffito) into an easy lesson for customers. The video will run on a large display in the studio.
She wants to build the video mainly from six photographs. Beyond that, she'll add some shots of finished pieces made with this technique to the beginning and end. She has also dashed off a simple script that she wants to use in the slide show for a little clearer explanation.
The script is included in the folder for Lesson 6, called Sgraffito Script.txt.
While there are more advanced ways to integrate the scriptusing voiceover narration, for instanceshe wants to do a video with no dialogue, so the movie could play in a busy, noisy studio with sound off and still make sense.
Adding Images from iPhoto
iMovie connects to iPhoto so effortlessly, it's impressive even to someone used to more professional video software. From inside iMovie, you have direct access to your iPhoto Library and (better still) all of your albums.
Click the Photos button.
The Clip pane disappears and the photo tools take its place. At the top of the region are tools for adding motion to still photos (just as in iPhoto, you add motion by using the Ken Burns Effect), and at the bottom is a window into your iPhoto Library.
Click the Photo Library pull-down menu above the photos and select the Sgraffito album, rather than browsing through the entire Library (which, if you have hundreds or thousands of images, could be somewhat inefficient).
Recognize the other items here? That's right: It's the source lineup from iPhoto.
When you select an album, it will immediately appear in the scrollable window below, with the first image selected and shown in the window above, ready for modification (if you so choose) and, ultimately, introduction into your growing video project.
By default, iMovie turns a still image from iPhoto into a dynamic moving image using the Ken Burns Effect tools. Notice the Ken Burns Effect check box is selected, and the image in the window is moving slightly. You'll experiment with this in a moment, but at this point, don't use the Ken Burns Effect.
Clear the Ken Burns Effect check box at the top of the photo tools area.
The picture in the adjacent window will stop moving. Notice that the Start, Finish, Reverse, and Preview options are grayed out. When you place a static photo into a video project, you have only a couple of options: size and position (framing).
Click and drag the photo. Drag left. Drag right. Have fun.
Moving the photo around isn't very interesting unless the photo is much larger than the TV screen. Beneath the photo is a Zoom sliderfrom normal size (the actual image size, represented by 1.00) on the left to enormous (five times the actual image size, or 5.00) on the right. It works precisely as it did in iPhoto.
Slide the Zoom slider around to experiment with the image size.
Once you've got the still photo looking the way you want, use the Duration slider (the one beneath the first, with the rabbit and turtle) to control the duration of a shot (how long it will remain on the screen).
This is a process that you began exploring in the iPhoto slide show, but iMovie builds on this power, where duration and timing are the name of the game. The box to the right of the Duration slider displays the actual seconds and frames of the shot, which you control. No decision, by the way, is permanent. If you make a shot too short, it's simple to adjust it later.
Units of video are called frames. Video plays at 30 frames per second, which means that one frame is of a second long. It doesn't seem like a long time (and it's not), but for filmmakers it's enough to make a difference.
Set the duration of the shot to 8 seconds. If you can't get exactly 8 seconds by moving the slider, you can also click the box to the right, type in 8:00, and press Return.
Remember, this is a still imageit has no intrinsic duration. Show someone your real-world scrapbook and they may glance at an image for a moment or sit with it for 20 seconds or more. But slide shows and movies take this power away from viewers and give it to you, the media creator. You have the challenge of making sure that your audience gets to see the image long enough without getting bored.
How long should a photo be on screen? There's no simple answer; trust your instincts. Good filmmakers understand that different images may require different amounts of time to be "read." Close-up shots may be easily read and enjoyed in a second or two. Wide shots and images with lots of interesting detail may need longer, 4 or 5 seconds perhaps, for the audience to feel satisfied and not rushed.
Now you're ready to put the shot into your movie.
iMovie converts the still image into a video snippet of the duration you specified and places it in the timeline.
Now you see how to take a still image from iPhoto and put it into iMovie. It's not quite as simple as it was in iPhoto, but it is through this process that you can add images from an iPhoto album and build them into a static slide show in iMovie. Durations of each shot can be any length you choose, and not just in whole-second increments. This will be important in a moment.
Using the Ken Burns Effect
Static images can be beautiful, and when presented on the screen give the audience the opportunity to scan around the image with their eyes freely, focusing on whatever aspect is interesting. But in filmmaking, the filmmaker has the opportunity to take control and direct the audience's attention. Skillful use of the Ken Burns Effect does just this.
Select the Ken Burns Effect check box.
Notice that the Start and End buttons are now available.
The Ken Burns Effect works exactly as it did in iPhoto: You decide how you want your shot to look at the beginning and at the end, and choose how long it should take to move from beginning to end.
Select one of the detailed images of the sgraffito technique (MVC-110S) from the scrollable photos in the album presented in the Library.
Click the Start button.
Now you're ready to set up the starting position for your shot.
Use the Zoom slider to enlarge the shot slightly, to around two times the image size (2.00).
Using the hand cursor, click and drag the image around until you like its position.
This is where Jennifer started her shot.
As mentioned earlier, if you want to zoom in by a precise amount rather than just sliding the slider and eyeballing it, you can type a number into the box to the right of the Duration slider for an exact enlargement multiple.
Click the End toggle once you've found the starting point. Do what you did before: Using the size and drag functions, position the frame the way you want it to end.
Jennifer wants the shot to pull back until it's zoomed out to "normal" size. In this case, normal size is around 1.15 times enlargement, which fills the screen with the image and doesn't leave any black bars on the sides.
Shots don't have to zoom. You could just move the frame slowly from left to right (called a pan) or up and down (called a tilt). Or you could choose to zoom in rather than outa shot could start wide (a multiple of 1.00) and zoom in. Different shots lend themselves to different methods. It all depends on what you want the audience to see and when.
Click Preview to see how your move will look once you've set it up.
Jennifer finds the move interesting, but it's too fast. This is a common problem with the Ken Burns Effectpeople want to move their shots too quickly. A nice, slow, steady move is easier and far more interesting to watch.
To slow down the move, slide the Duration slider to the right, toward the turtle, setting it to approximately 10 seconds.
The length of the shot will be displayed in the box on the right (in seconds and frames).
You can go back and forth, adjusting the start and end points as well as the duration until you're satisfied with the preview.
Zooms and moves do not need to be very large to be effective. Small shifts left and right or subtle pushes in or out are plenty. If the move is going to be more substantial, the duration of the shot must be increased so that the move takes place over a longer time span. Remember: slow moves.
This moves your shot down into your workspace.
It may take a moment or two before you can play the shot, however, because your Mac has to prepare a piece of video from the still image; the longer the shot, the longer it will take.
Now this shot will be appended to the first shot you placed in your project. In the Clip view, the sequence of shots looks like this.
Using the Ken Burns Effect, you can go step by step through a project, selecting shots in the order you want them (or at least the order you think you want themyou might rearrange shots later), applying this camera move, and placing them into your timeline.
Not every shot needs to move! Smart juxtapositions of moving shots and nonmoving stills can be very effective (and a little faster to work with).
Play your video and see what you've got so far.
There are a few ways to do this, and it can be a little confusing. If you just click the Play button under the Viewer, only the selected shot plays, which probably is less than your entire sequence. For the greatest clarity, deselect the clips in the Clip view by clicking a blank area of the workspace, then change to Timeline view by clicking the little clock button on the top left of the workspace. Click in the timescale along the top of the timeline to pop the playhead to your pointer, drag the playhead back to where you want to play from (the beginning, if that's what you want), and click Play.
You should practice changing the view of your workspace from Timeline view to Clip view and back until you get comfortable with it. Some functions are more suited to one view and some to another, but in any event, it's important to be able to move back and forth easily.
Add the next six album shots that show the progression of painting and then scratching the design into the plate. On each one, use the Ken Burns Effect and try a different method of moving the imagefrom close up to zoomed out, from left to right, from zoomed out to pushing in close, and so on.
After using the Ken Burns Effect, when you select the next image to work on, the window retains the same setting it just used. This makes applying the same effect to a number of shots quick. There is also a Reverse button that switches the settings so that it does the opposite (a zoom in becomes a zoom out). An easy and interesting effect is to zoom in on one shot and then pull back on the next. Reverse makes this easy. When you add a shot that contains a special effect (like the Ken Burns Effect), your Mac must render the shotbuild it frame by framebefore you can see it play. The process of rendering is dependent on your Mac's CPUfaster processors take less time to render. You can see a red bar in a shot denoting the rendering process and how far along it is. When the bar disappears, the shot is rendered and can be played.
While your shots are being rendered, the playback of your sequence will be hindered.
The red bar shows shots that are being rendered.
iMovie makes it easy to add a series of shots to your sequence, all with the same settings for zoom and duration. Once you've got one set up, iMovie will default to those settings for the next shot you bring up. Assuming you want shots to move similarly, this is great.
Unfortunately, decisions about how to move and position the shot are often particular to the individual shot. The good news: Once you've added a shot to your sequence, you can always select it in your timeline and revise any aspect of itzoom, position, and speed (as discussed a little later in the lesson). You can even select multiple shots and revise them together, the same way.
When you're done, the backbone of the video is done. It should look something like this in Clip view:
It's only the backbone because the addition of the narrativeusing titles and effectsmay necessitate lengthening, shortening, or shifting bits.