I was doing interviews at MILOfest (Macs in Law Offices) conference. I had FinalCut X installed on my late 2010 Macbook Air and, over the course of the afternoon sessions, I got to watch the progress meter slowly churn on an 8 minute clip and still not finish. Previewing and editing lower thirds was positively painful. Everything might have been ok if I had not tried to re-render the clip (even using the proxy media setting).
I know, I know, I’m trying to use a heavy-duty app on an underpowered machine. So, despite the much greater editing, titles, audio, controls, I found myself going back to my iPhone for some rapid-fire, gonzo, video editing.
Here are tips for splitting clips, tricks with titles, and making video editing on the iPhone with iMovie doable.
Pinch and Zoom the timeline
Touch interfaces have a lot of gee whizz! However, fine editing on a small screen isn’t ideal; especially when you are dealing with small clips. Well, don’t sweat it! If you need finer control, use the two finger expand gesture to expand the clip.
Now, it is easier to find the right spot for edits, sound cues, etc.
How to undo in iMovie on iOS (iPhone and iPad):
Did you know iMovie has undo? I didn’t! There is no undo button.
However, if you shake the iPhone or iPad, you get an undo dialog:
There are even multiple levels of undo. However, if you split a clip, (discussed below), in my experience, the undo only works if you undo immediately.
Titles in iMovie (on iPhone and iPad) that DON’T take up the entire clip:
One of the biggest head scratchers about iOS iMovie is that you can’t make titles that build in and build out. If you put a title on a video clip, it stays on the entire clip! Want lower thirds when introducing someone? Want to add a website, twitter account or location? TOO BAD! You can’t do 5 second titles in iMovie for iOS!
Except that you CAN! All you need is a bit of jiggery-pokery. The secret is to split a video, and insert the title only on the portion you want. All the viewer sees is the title building in and then building out. Here’s how to do it:
Tap the clip in the timeline. The clip will be outlined in yellow. Put the red play head line where you want the title to END.
Swipe down across the video clip.
The clip splits into two with a transition block with a “|” noting “no transition.” If you have a different transition icon, tap the transition to select it, then double-tap to get a selection wheel. Select “None” and touch the “Done” button.
Now tap the clip you want the title on. A yellow outline appears around the clip.
Double tap the clip to access clip settings, and then tap “Title Style”.
Select the title style (Opening, Middle, Ending), then tap the “Done” button.
Double tap the title in the preview window to edit the text.
Note: if you don’t want a location added to the tile, double tap the clip again and then tap “Location”
You then have three buttons (current location, the “locate me” cross-hair, and “Other”). Tap the top button to edit the current location. Then just back-space or cut the location. Tap “Done,” and then “Done” again. Now the title no longer lists a location.
Here’s the final clip:
The title flies in and then flies out and the clip continues with no visible edit.