ILife/iMovie HD/About Projects

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This sub-chapter will cover what kinds of projects iMovie can create, formats they can be in, and storage of projects.

Project Creation

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Regular Projects

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File:Imovie new project.png
Fig. 1 - Create a new Project

This is the most common way to use iMovie. This is what you should use if you want to edit your movie. To create one, select "Create New Project", either in the Welcome window, or File > New.

Magic iMovie

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File:Magic imovie.png
Fig. 2 - Magic iMovie Project button

The Magic iMovie project can import video from your video camera, apply a transition between clips, add a soundtrack, then send the finished product to iDVD. No magical talent required. You can edit Magic iMovie projects the conventional way as well, once created. To create one, press the "Make a Magic iMovie" button in the iMovie welcome window or press File > Make a Magic iMovie. You must define a new project name if you are creating a new Magic iMovie project while in an iMovie project, otherwise, the Magic iMovie will be added to the end of the current project.

Project Settings

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File:Imovie new setup.png
Fig. 3 - The dialog box for creating a new project in iMovie
Info Symbol NOTE: Above are the expanded options for saving. To view expanded options, click the triangle to the right of the Project Name field, and to the left of the Video Format text.

To keep things organized, you should save iMovie projects in the Movies folder, unless you have your own filing system. If you're running out of space on your boot drive, you should save to an external drive. You should always have a few gigabytes of free space, because OS X uses hard drive space for virtual memory, boot up, logs, etc. If OS X runs out of space, you will start having system errors.

Most video cameras use DV format, high-definition or specialized video cameras may use alternate formats. The format types are explained if you select one.

Once you've selected the correct settings for your use, click "Create"

Saving and Opening

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The Basics

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iMovie can be a heavy application for your computer to run. Because of this, it is important to save early, and save often to avoid loosing work. You can open a specific iMovie project (usually located in the Movies folder) by double clicking it.


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If you'd like to work on your iMovie project somewhere else, or you want to archive it, it's easy to do with iMovie. Simply click File > Burn Project to Disk...

Info Symbol NOTE: This does not create a playable DVD, it simply burns the iMovie project files to a disk.

Application Failure

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If iMovie unexpectedly quits, all is not lost. Imported media files are still in the iMovie project, but changes to the timeline will not be saved. iMovie will prompt you if it recovers files:

File:Imovie trash.png
Fig. 4 - Recovering media files