Using the Precision Editor in iMovie for iOS

Some of the features in iMovie for iOS will only work on the iPad. One such feature is the Precision Editor. Here's how it works.

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Next Prev

Launch iMovie and you’ll be presented with a list of projects. Select one. You can rename your project by tapping on its title. Beneath it are options that enable you to either preview your project, share it or delete it. Below these is an icon shaped like a movie slate with a pencil over it. Tap this to edit your project.

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Next Prev Step 01

Launch iMovie and you’ll be presented with a list of projects. Select one. You can rename your project by tapping on its title. Beneath it are options that enable you to either preview your project, share it or delete it. Below these is an icon shaped like a movie slate with a pencil over it. Tap this to edit your project.

 

Step 2 of 10:

To navigate through your timeline, place your finger over the thumbnails and swipe left or right. The white vertical line that represents the playhead remains stationary, while the clips scroll past it. You can zoom in or out of your edit by placing two fingers on the timeline and moving them further apart or closer together.

 

Step 3 of 10:

Top right of the timeline are two tools, a curved arrow (undo) and a waveform (show/hide the clips’ audio). Tap on the latter to simplify the interface. To reveal the Precision Editor, place two fingers over the edit point between two clips you wish to work on, then move them away from each other in a vertical movement.

 

Step 4 of 10:

The timeline will be split into two layers. Clips to the left of the edit point will move to the top layer, while those present after the edit point will appear in the lower layer. During the editing process, you’ll probably discard a portion of what you shot. Precision Editor lets you see these discarded segments.

 

Step 5 of 10:

Look at the clip immediately before your chosen edit point. There’s a darker segment, which shows the footage you discarded, past your current chosen edit. If you tap and hold on the clip’s thick yellow handle and move it to the right, you’ll be adding some or all of that discarded section to your edit.

 

Step 6 of 10:

You can, of course, move that thick yellow line to the left in order to cut more out of your clip, tightening your edit and making your project shorter. The same applies to the clip after the edit point. As you perform these actions, you can move the clips over the playhead to see how the new edit looks.

 

Step 7 of 10:

By default, when you cut your clip in iMovie, you’ll be cutting the audio and the video at the same time, but many professional editors cut these at different times, so you can keep on hearing what happens in a clip while seeing something else in another. Known as an L-cut, you can create these on an iPad.

 

Step 8 of 10:

First, tap the Waveform button. You’ll notice that the thick yellow line you used to alter the clips’ edit points now has a blue counterpart beneath it. While the yellow line still controls both the audio and video, the blue line is solely reserved for audio alterations: drag it left and right to create your first L-cut.

 

Step 9 of 10:

You can choose to have both audios play at the same time, or cut the second clip’s audio so it starts as the first one ends. However, you must make sure that some kind of audio plays throughout your edit as the sudden lack of ambient noise will feel very jarring to your viewers.

 

Step 10 of 10:

At the bottom of the interface are options to add a transition to your edit. These will add a fade effect to your clips’ audio, even to an L-cut, which will help blend the sound better. Once you’re done, you can close the Precision Editor by bringing two fingers together vertically over the edit point.

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