How to Crop Video in iMovie '11

Your Mac comes with the ability to crop your video footage. Even under the best of circumstances — perfect lighting, subjects who actually flash a smile, terrific camera, terrific camera person (that would be you) — your video may need improvement. Here are a few tricks.

Just as you can crop a still image in iPhoto, you can highlight an area of a scene or focus on an otherwise-distant subject. Be aware that the crop applies to the entire clip. Follow the steps below to crop video:

  1. Select a clip to crop, and click the Adjust button on the toolbar.

    This step summons the adjustments bar above the viewer.

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  2. Click the Crop button on the adjustments bar.

    A white crop rectangle appears.

  3. Using the rectangle's outer handles, resize it and drag it over the cropworthy portion of the image.

  4. If need be, click one of the buttons with a small rectangle and arrows to rotate the entire image in either direction.

  5. If you're satisfied, click the check mark to apply the crop adjustment, or click the Fit button to restore the clip to the full frame and try again.

    Click the Ken Burns button to apply the panning effects named after the famous documentary filmmaker.

Your cropped video may look grainy if you used a low-resolution camcorder, shot in low resolution, or crop to a small portion of the frame. Click Fit at any time to undo the cropping.

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