Macworld Masterclass: Explore iMovie's precision editor

If you want accurate edits, working with the Precision Editor is the only way to go

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  • Main Screenshot Intro
  • Step 01 Step 1: Basic navigation
  • Step 02 Step 2: Choose an edit point
  • Step 03 Step 3: The Precision Editor
  • Step 04 Step 4: The top clip
  • Step 05 Step 5: Preview section
  • Step 06 Step 6: Alter both clips at once
  • More stories
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Intro

When you get used to editing by touch, you’ll find it an amazingly enjoyable experience. It’s almost as if you have direct contact with your footage, which you can manipulate without having to depend on another input device like a keyboard or mouse. The responsiveness is also a bonus. Whatever you touch is immediately affected, removing any barriers to editing. You don’t have to wait for anything to happen, it just does.

In the last issue, we explored some of the basics of editing on your iPad with iMovie (itun.es/i6Df5W8). This time, we’ll delve a little deeper and check out the more advanced features that are available to you, and which you can take advantage of to make sharper edits in seconds.

One of those is called the Precision Editor, and the other is a gesture you can use to cut a clip in two. So grab your iPad and let’s work on that edit.

Vital Info

Device: iPad

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time required: 20 mins

What you need: 

iMovie (£2.99, itun.es/i6Df5W8

iOS 5.1 or later

Next »

Next Prev Main Screenshot

When you get used to editing by touch, you’ll find it an amazingly enjoyable experience. It’s almost as if you have direct contact with your footage, which you can manipulate without having to depend on another input device like a keyboard or mouse. The responsiveness is also a bonus. Whatever you touch is immediately affected, removing any barriers to editing. You don’t have to wait for anything to happen, it just does.

In the last issue, we explored some of the basics of editing on your iPad with iMovie (itun.es/i6Df5W8). This time, we’ll delve a little deeper and check out the more advanced features that are available to you, and which you can take advantage of to make sharper edits in seconds.

One of those is called the Precision Editor, and the other is a gesture you can use to cut a clip in two. So grab your iPad and let’s work on that edit.

Vital Info

Device: iPad

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time required: 20 mins

What you need: 

iMovie (£2.99, itun.es/i6Df5W8

iOS 5.1 or later

 

Step 2 of 7: Step 1: Basic navigation

Open your project and scroll through your clips in the Timeline by swiping one finger in that area to the left or the right. You can zoom in or out of your timeline by placing two fingers anywhere on the timeline, and moving them apart or closer together respectively.

 

Step 3 of 7: Step 2: Choose an edit point

Locate an edit point – the gap between two clips represented by a small square. This square shows the type of transition between two clips: either none, a cross dissolve or a theme-specific one. Place two fingers together on that edit point and move them in opposite directions.

 

Step 4 of 7: Step 3: The Precision Editor

Your timeline changes from a single layer to two – all the clips to the left of the edit point are above and all those to the right are underneath. Both clips on either side of the edit point have darkened areas. These are the parts of the original clip you had chosen to cut out.

 

Step 5 of 7: Step 4: The top clip

Let’s focus on the top clip. A thick yellow handle crosses it (that’s the edit point). To the right is the darkened section of your clip (the frames you had chosen to cut out originally). You can drag that handle to the right to add more frames to your clip, or to the left to remove frames.

 

Step 6 of 7: Step 5: Preview section

As you drag the yellow handle, the main preview section (top right) shows you the last visible frame to help you choose the right one. If you tap the bottom handle, the preview section will then show the clip to the right of the edit point, to help you select the right frame to start that clip on.

 

Step 7 of 7: Step 6: Alter both clips at once

You can hold the middle of that yellow edit point to change both clips at once, although you probably won’t use this often. To close the Precision Editor, move two fingers closer together from top to bottom, or tap on the two yellow triangles to the right of the edit point. 

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