iMovie 09 tricks

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

First of all – I do recommend Aaron’s website  he offers excellent support for many less known features of iM09.

don't miss my new 'interlace/progressive'-site!


NEW! How to Export HDef to MEDIAPLAYERs?

Best to my knowledge, there's actually only ONE device, which reads 'Mac-formatted'/hfs drives - this is Western Digital HD TV.

So, when your iM-Project is done, Export using QT,, 3-10Mbit (depends on your res and fps), and save it on some hfs-formatted external hard-drive (which you should back-up frequently).

Connect that HDD via usb to that tiny box and it will display - a bit like iTunes - all content, not only your Videos, but folders of Photos or Music, on your Big Screen's Display. 

Another option, I'm using, is the Playstation 3 (slim) - a nice playstation, a cheap BluRay Player, AND a Mediaplayer. Its internal hard-drive fits tons of videos. Unfortunately, it does not read .mov. 

An ultra-fast way to 'convert' your is:
• open with free tool Mpeg Streamclip
• choose 'Save as'
• in following dialog, choose MP4 - no encoding, just trans-wrapping = ultra-fast!

To transfer the newly generated .mp4 to the PS3, use any usb-mem-stick. Use your Macs Disk Utility to format that stick to 'Windows'/fat32. Create new Folders, named PHOTO, MUSIC, VIDEO (all capital). Drag your .mp4 into VIDEO.

Plugging that stick into any usb-port at the front of PS3, you'll find it its Video-menu the usb-device. You can playback from there, or, hit the O-button on remote, copy the content to PS3s local HDD.

Creating new titles

iM offers a wide selection of professional designed titles. But sometimes, you need YOUR design.. we use an old trick, allready known for iM08: transparent png png is a compression format as jpeg, but able to store tranparencies. 

In iM09's prefs, switch the Avanced Tools on … 

So, we launch any pic processor (here: Pixelmator) and create our title -  keep an aspect ratio of 16:9  !:

 the checker-board (arrow) indicates in Pixelmator, our handmade title is on a transparent background … save it as PNG, if you have any option, 24bit. Drag that title.png into your Project’s timeline, and choose pic-in-pic (1).

You are now allowed to resize and place the title, use the handles (2).

WARNING: Do NOT use the crop-tool/fit/crop/Ken Burns! This will internally change our png into a jpeg.. and jpeg has no tranparency.. result:

... title kaputt ..

Titles only? NO!



(incl. a folder full of pointers, free for download)


For sure, this techniqué works with any kind of picture … arrows, boxes, pointers, ...

only prob, you can not ‚animate’ the overlay (this needs key-framing, a feature of FCE) .

Another example:

 picture of a hole? No, a hilite-mask! The grey area is semi-transparent and results in the following effect:

if the grey isn’t ‚closed’ enough, you can use the ‚video’ settings of our pic in iM09 and adjust the brightness.

On popular demand - how's that handmade CENCORED-LOGO for a Granny-proofed version of a 'nudie'-movie: 

... and before you get too embarrassed: yes, my son less-dressed in the snow, I haven't asked him to do so... kinda pubescence-test.. after the sauna.. ;)

If you need nice Toon-Bubble , try plasq's ComicLife .. usually a Comic-maker, here a bubble-generator:

You can enhance the 'attention' by freezing the video… demo:

Don't miss my new mts-to-mov site!


Full sized vertical stills with Ken Burns

is explained on an individual page, click here ... 

Have you visit my other site, , it's about creating your very own iDVD-designs.. 

Extend End of KB-Effect

The KB-effect is nice to make stills more 'movie like', although, some of you need a longer focus on the last frame of that effect. This is a multi-step but easy process:

  • add still to project, add KB-effect
  • select that clip, apple-C and apple-V => you created copy of clip#1
  • select clip#2, hit the 'crop'-tool
  • now, swap start/end - by clicking on that tiny symbol in the red start rectangle :

  • last step: click 'crop' => still haas exact size and position of last frame in clip#1 before!
  • advanced effect: (watch demo below): process the still in some pic-processor (here: blurr, desaturate parts), add to project
  • select again clip#1, apple-c
  • select your clip#2, choose from menu 'Edit/Paste Adjustments/all' => now, the new added, processed still has the same cropping as its unprocessed version
  • add disolve => pic lose color, focus => highlight added


… is a tiny app, free download here >>click<< with an excellent effect: It  adds new cities to iM’s Maps feature, the interface is simple and self-explainatory: 

 you need an internet connection (CityListBuilder uses google.maps.), type-in your city’s name, select country, hit Search – if google.maps find this city (if not, try English name of city), just hit ‚Update iMovie’ – done.

NEW! Animated Arrows (and other graphics)

ok, this is a 'dirty hack', please backup your Project!

As you already know from above, you can add 'transparent png' to an iM-Project. What about ANIMATING that?

You need for that recipe: QTpro, a paint app. 

First, the animation - here, a simple Red Arrow, painted in Pixelmator, the Checkerboard indicates, the background is transparent. Save your painting as a .png. Add animation - the ol' Disney-style, frame-by-frame; here, just moved with that 'hand'-tool the arrow a bit, saved it as 2.png, moved it a bit, saved it as 3.png.. you got the idea.. 

Launch QuicktimePro, choose 'open pic sequence', select the first of your paintings and your framerate - tadahh! - an animation!

Now, choose File/Export/Quicktime, and under Option choose 'Animation' (surprise) as codec .. you get a nice

Back to iM09 - add a foto to the 'timeline' in your project - any foto, this is just a placeholder. Quit iM, to force it to save the project. In Finder, Movies/iMovie Project, ctl-click/right-click your Project's file, choose Show Package.

In there, you'll find a 'file' Still Images. This is a .mov, containing the placeholder! drag that into the trash-bin WARNING: This file contains ALL stills of your project! I would use that 'hack' only for short, singular clips! Drag in Finder your into it, rename it to 'Still Images'.

On next launch of iM, first no change - that 'liver transplant' changes the content of the working-file, but not its Thumbnail .. 

.. but skim over the it .. 


.. just a concept, but with some skills, you can add moving arrows, animated smilies, up-popping bunny-ears, flying saucers, whatever... 

Animated Counter in iMovie09

We sportfans like counters.. unfortunately, iM09 doesn't offer such a 'title effect' - so, we have to built on our own.. a multi-step process, follow to this page CLICK please .. 

 Have Fun with iMovie!