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How to Edit iMovie Video Transitions in iLife '11

9 of 12 in Series: The Essentials of Editing Video with iMovie in iLife '11

In iLife, iMovie offers a few different ways to edit transitions, and the edits available to you may depend on the transition itself. To change the length of a transition or to select a different one, follow these steps:

  1. Select and then double-click the transition, or choose Window→Transition Adjustments.

  2. To change the duration, enter the number of seconds (in tenths of a second) in the Duration field.

  3. To change the transition, click the Transition pop-up menu and then select another transition.

    Before selecting one, you can skim over the transition thumbnails to see a preview in the Viewer pane.

Some themed transitions show still images from your project clips in separate frames. After clicking a themed transition in the Project Browser, numbers appear above the project clips before and after the transition that correspond to the numbered frames in the transition. To change the still image shown in any numbered frames of the transition, click its number and drag to a new location in the filmstrip to show a different part of the project clip in that frame.

Edit a themed transition to show different images in the transition’s frames.
Edit a themed transition to show different images in the transition’s frames.

The Precision Editor gives you more control over the project clips and the transition between them, which are lined up along a horizontal timeline. To improve a transition using the Precision Editor, follow these steps.

  1. Select the transition and choose Window→Precision Editor (or choose Precision Editor from the gear icon’s Actions pop-up menu underneath the Transition icon).

    The Precision Editor replaces the Event Library and Event Browser to show you a timeline view of the transition and the preceding and following project clips.

    Adjust the transition between two project clips more precisely by using the Precision Editor.
    Adjust the transition between two project clips more precisely by using the Precision Editor.

    A magnified filmstrip view shows exactly where one project clip ends and the next begins. The grayed-out parts reveal the portions of the clips that were trimmed, and the cut point where one clip ends and the other begins, or the transition between the clips. You can skim each clip to identify precisely where the cut or transition occurs.

  2. To change the cut between two clips, move the pointer back and click the first clip at the point where you want the cut to occur, and then do the same for the second clip.

    The Precision Editor automatically adjusts the cut to be exactly where you clicked in both clips.

  3. To change the transition between two clips, drag the transition horizontally along the timeline so that it occurs where you want it to occur between the two clips.

  4. To adjust the transition duration, drag the right and left edges of the transition.

  5. To play back the edited transition, click the Play button to the left of the Done button in the upper right corner of the Precision Editor pane.

    Alternatively, you can move the pointer to a position before the transition and press the spacebar.

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