How to Navigate iMovie in iLife '11

On most Macs, you find the iMovie icon in the Dock and in the Applications folder. Double-click the icon to open iMovie. Click Now to gather the video clips you have in iPhoto, or Later to do it later. iMovie doesn’t copy the clips; it simply links to them and creates thumbnails for them so that you can use them in your iLife projects.

iMovie gathers any video clips in iPhoto.
iMovie gathers any video clips in iPhoto.

iMovie then displays its window. iMovie shows a video clip as a filmstrip — a series of thumbnail images joined together. You can move the pointer along any filmstrip to skim it and see the video — the thin, red vertical line that appears in the filmstrip is the playhead. (It represents lingo from the days of recording and playing tapes.) A single thumbnail image represents a video frame within the clip.

The iMovie window.
The iMovie window.

The following list describes the window elements and how to use them:

  • Project pane: This pane holds these items:

    • The Project Library lets you browse the list of projects.

    • The Project Browser (not shown), which fills the Project pane, holds the filmstrips for the project you select.

  • Viewer pane: When playing or skimming, the video appears in this pane.

  • Toolbar: The tool buttons and controls appear here.

  • Event Library: Browse the list of source video clips, which are sorted by event.

  • Event Browser: After you select an event, the source video clips appear as filmstrips in the Event Browser, which fills the Source Video pane.

  • Source Video pane: The Event Browser and other media browsers (not shown) appear in this pane.

The Event Library and Project Library are empty at first. You import video clips from all your sources: video recorders and camcorders and the iPhoto library.

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