iM08 tricks

A Few Quick'N Dirty Tricks With Apple's VideoEditApp

iM08 is a different app than iMovieHD6 ... so, should I add tricks for this NEW video editor on this site? I guess so 'yes!', because most people will use iM08 with iMHD6 ... and the list of 'tricks' is too short to make a whole site out of it.

iM08 is in its very inferior state, 0.1., and, when a scuba diver programs...,, lacks most of the audio features a movie-maker would like to see (e.g. 2 independed tracks) .. we'll see, how it will improve... 

NOTE: the free 'add-on', iMHD6.0.4. was pulled by Apple, end of Jan 09, when iLife09/iM09 reached the shelfs. 




Extract Audio

  •  Select the clip (or a part) in the Event browser ... (yellow border)
  • press both keys simultanously Apple-Shift and drag the 'clip' to the Project Window onto an existing video clip (thanks Daniel for setting my focus on that detail) ...
  • boom! done...


Skimming without Audio 

Skimming is my absolute favorite of the new features of the new User Interface Concept of iM.. you 'scroll' along the video AND you're able to watch its content... for me, that is a huge improvement, compared to an 'abstract' timeline …  when you edit a video from some noisy enviroment, and you will not use the original audio anyhow, the audio could possibly irritate your craetivity.. ;)

  • Hit Apple-K to toggle between audio-ON and audio-OFF while skimming

Adding a Black Clip

Sometime, you need a Black Clip.. to hesitate while an action-packed video, as an Intro into some scene, as an Background for some titleing.. 

You have two options:

  • Create a Black pic on some pic processor.. (that's no real trick....)
  • (Works only with Stills in Project Window) Press both keys Apple-Alt and drag the Still in the Project Window to the right... the new Clip is a Black Clip, allthough grey in the Project Window (??)


Faster Editing 

Skimming adds some speed in the process of selecting parts of a clip.. you can add even more speed in adding that selection to the Project:

  • After selecting the part of the Clip hit the Key E ... selection will be added to Project

Even Faster Editing

... and this can be done automatically!

  •  Switch ON in iM08's Prefs the 'Show Advanced Tools'
  • Click ON the Edit Tool





  • ... now, any selection in the Event Window will be automatically added to the Project Window. 

Frame-precision Skimming

Aside 'zooming-in' into the Event Window (slider lower right...), you can move the IN- and OUT-points of your selection:

  • Click on the Left (or Right) 'grab' of the Yellow Box
  • Click Shift + the Cursor-Arrows left/right.

NEW in vers. 7.1.:

in the Project's window, at both hands a double-headed arrow appears; now  cmd-ctrl (Apple-alt) on it - an orange selection handle appears! for details, use iM08's Help, keyword 'Using the fine-tuning buttons'

Bigger Preview Window

NEW in vers. 7.1.:

Apple-5/6/7 offer three presets of Preview-sizes... 

and: you can 'swap' Events- and Projects-Window, click on button or 'Windows/Swap...' 


iMovie is a single-window app, but you probably need a BIGGER Preview 'Window' ... 

  • Under the Project Library List, you'll find a button 'Show/Hide Project Library', switch it OFF - this adds some space to the Left .. 
  • now, click with your mouse' cursor into the 'grey matter' under the Preview-Window and drag it down.. the Event Browser gets smaller, but your actual video gets bigger ... 


Import mpeg2 files

Now, this is no beginner task… as you know, iM08 supports now DVD- and HDD-corders... those devices use a kind of mpeg2-codec ... so, iM08 IS able to import and process mp2-files.. but you can NOT 'Import Movie' a mp2-coded file... you have to cheat a lil' ... 

  • you need a media, preferred a Harddrive (bravehearted use a usb-stick…), or just an image of a HDD.... 
  • on Top Level of this drive, you create a Folder named MP_ROOT (exactly!)
  • inside that, create another Folder named 101PNV01 ... 
  • drag your mpeg2 inside that Folder-within-a-Folder... 
  • iM08 will notice on relaunch your external HDD as 'camera' and will allow the import of your mpeg2 ... 


Project Library (and Events) on External Harddrive

Some of you wish the 'drive eaters' not on their local drives (esp. owners of iBooks and Powerbooks with the 'small' HDDs) ... To move the Events is easy:

  • Make sure, your ext. Harddrive is formatted to 'MacOsExtended' (use DiskUtility/Utilities Folder on your Mac)
  • Do NOT move the Events folder in/via the Finder! That 'disturbs' the fragile file managment of iMovie …
  • toogle the 'Drives' View (small Red Arrow (1)  
  • in iM08, drag the Events to the new location - boom! done... 

Now, the same with the Project's Library. 

That is a little tricky, 'cause we need a Symbolic Link. That is, simple spoken, an Alias, but stronger, more on a UNIX level. Me no programmer, me no Terminal User, I prefer Mac-like solutions.. which you get for 17$ (shareware) here:

.. or, if you prefer a less powerful, but free solution: download this automator script:


This neat contextual menu plugin adds a New Feature to your context menus.. (you know what a context menu is? Click on something while holding the CTRL-key.. THAT is a contextual menu.

  • Quit iM08
  • In Finder, drag from 'Movies' the Folder 'Movie Projects' to new destination, e.g. an ext. HDD
  • in the new location Ctrl-click, choose 'Symbolic Link' ...
  • drag the new symLink-file back to the 'Movies' Folder on your internal drive
  • change its name to 'Movie Projects' (=erase the blabla behind that....)
  • boom! done..

On next launch, iM08 searches for 'Movie Projects', will find the symLink, which will re-direct it automatically to the new, external location...  

Add Single Frame/Freeze

update to version 7.1. ...

NEW in vers. 7.1.:

set playhead at wanted position, ctrl-click on clip and select from context-menu 'Add Still Frame To Project' ..

Export Single Frame

thanks to Manfred for that excellent work-around:

  • select freeze in Event Window, ctrl-click 'add still to project...'
  • select clip in Project Window, ctrl-click 'show in Finder'
  • .. boom! done.. there's you exported still/freeze, duplicate/copy to new location.. 
    The jpeg has the resolution of the actual Project's setting (e.g. PAL), and 'million of colors' ...

Alpha-channels/Masks & bugs

So, you're an ambitious videoPodCaster and need a station-bug? you need a 'dream mask' around your wedding video? you need some blood dripping aside your Halloween video? Easy as that:

fire-up Photoshop/Elements, choose approbiate size, set background to transparent.(1)
for demo, I create here a stationairy-logo for my video:

if you look closer, I added a nice, semi-transparent drop-shadow (2) to it.. Export as TIFF, not jpeg... the picture-codec has to transport tranparency, which jpeg does NOT, tiff or pic DO ... import that into your iPhoto library, and launch iM08...

usual routine for you iMovie afficionados: select pic (1), drag it 'over' your video (2), presto (3)... 

 (look, how my shadow does work nicely!)

the BlueBar indicates position in Timeline: move it to specific positions, in case you add arrows to an Intsructional Video; prolonge it, in case you want a stationairy-bug all around your precious work (=kinda copy protection); add it several times, if it is a 'ooops!'-speech-bubble ... 

Here a few ideas to fire-up your imagination:



add speech-bubbles to hide lil' Mr. and Mrs. P in your baby-bathing-movies, so Grandma isn't shocked; instructional video HAVE to have Red Arrows, I can not live without them; cover your Uncle's bald head in the lower right while filiming your son's soccer match; pimp your Halloween Video with some gruel .. 

in detail How-To on  sub-site, click here .. 

The Many Photos Over A Clip Bug - workaround

We're noticing a 'bug' in iM08, when it come to placing stills over an existing video.. a nice feature to spice-up a loooong video with some shots from a different perspective.. but, erratically,  when adding 4-5 photos, iM08 doesn't accept the files or place them 'somewhere' or places another photo..

Honorable AD forum member Appleman1958 confirms that bug and added a workaround for it at the support forum in this thread (click) .. quote:

1) It appears that when you drag a photo or a title to a long clip, then by default, it thinks you want a long photo (or title). It seems like it wants to make the photo 25% or more of the length of the clip. This is why it is hard to drag multiple photos to a clip. The last photo you drag is trying to take up 25% plus of the clip, and there may not be room.

I found a good workaround. I added a dummy clip that was 4 seconds long to the end of the project. (This clip to be deleted before sharing the project). When I drag a new photo to the project, I first drag it to the dummy clip. Now the photo has a duration of exactly four seconds, and I can drag it to the place I really want it. It fits now, because it is only four seconds.

2) I confirmed that when you put over 4-5 photos into a single clip, they will start behaving erratically. One will not show up, and another will show up twice.

The solution is to split the long clip into multiple clips. I had a long clip. I split the long clip into 30 second chunks. To do this, I imported the entire clip several times. Then, in the first instance I selected from frames 00:00 to 30:00. In the second clip I selected frames 30:01 to 1:00:00. Then 1:00:01 to 1:30:00. etc. This way, I did not lose any footage, but I had multiple virtual clips, where before there was only one. Now I was able to add multiple photos to each of these shorter clips with no trouble. And I only needed four photos per clip. It worked great. 

THANKS, Appleman, for sharing this!


NEW!! How To Back-up AVCHD Footage From Your Camera

As you probably know, I prefer tape-based cameras ... no need for backups: the tape contains all 'raw'data in its shining glory. DVD- or HDD-corders need a backup - otherwise, one day, your device is 'full'. Importing to iMovie08 means, all footages gets converted - you lose the 'original' files.

A simple but tricky way is:

  • Use the DiskUtility (on your Mac's HDD: Apps/Utilities,,,) to create a DiskImage/.dmg
  • Drag ALL content from your mounted recording device onto it

No step 3.
Now, you can store that .dmg on a drive or, if small enough burn it on some dataDVD. 

When you need your 'raw data', simply mount the .dmg - iM08 will then recognize the virtual disk image as 'camera' and you can use it, import it, .. nice, hm? ;)

even NEWER!!: How to import your AVCHD-files via a symLink..

Here's another method to handle AVCHD files, you have allready on some harddrive.. it#s using terminal commands and other UNIX stuff, I have absolutely NO idea of, so I quote 'inventor' 140Mandak262Jamuna, who discribed that trick first here

Trick I found: Just put a symbolic link from the root of the external file system to the AVCHD folder nested deep inside it.

In a more verbose form, this is what I did:
Let us say I have a number of such archives in the external disk
/Volumes/My Book/appa/VideoAndDvd/HDHDCanon/2008Jan6/2008011600643/AVCHD

I just go to /Volumes/My Book/
and make a symbolic link deep into the structure.
ln -s ./appa/VideoAndDvd/HDHD/.../AVCHD ./AVCHD

Dismount the external drive and remount it, iMovie is able to find these clips.
Symbolic links takes micro seconds to execute, takes no extra space and I can delete it and point to a different AVCHD folder in no time!

I asume, you can use the 'Make-symLink'-Context-add-on, mentioned above in the section 'Project and Events on External Drives'..

In case you ever met Mandak, .. give him a brownie for that clever idea..

... that's all folks, actually ... If I find any new tricks, I'll add'em. if YOU find any 'tricks' or need advice for some special needs, please post at the iM08 Forum at Apple Discussions!

NEW!  How to import content from a DVD into iM08?

... watch my screencast here: >>click<<

NEW! How to create your very own iDVD Designs?

… click to my new website >>click<<



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