How to Record Directly into iMovie Using iLife '11 - dummies

How to Record Directly into iMovie Using iLife ’11

By Tony Bove

If you have an iSight camera or a similar webcam attached to (or built into) your Mac, you can use the device to record video directly into iMovie. You can also use a tape-based digital video camcorder (such as a mini-DV camcorder) with iLife — without recording to the tape — to record video directly from the camcorder’s lens and microphone to your hard drive over a FireWire cable.

To record directly into iMovie, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Camera tool on the far left side of the toolbar to open the Import window (or choose File→Import from Camera).


  2. Turn on your camera and choose it from the Camera pop-up menu.

    If you’re using a FireWire-based camcorder or webcam, connect it to your Mac and turn on Camera mode. (If you’re using iSight, it’s already on.) Then choose the video camera (such as iSight or the webcam or a FireWire-based camcorder) from the Camera pop-up menu in the lower left corner of the Import From window.

    On most DV camcorders, you put the camcorder in Camera mode but don’t click the Record button on the camcorder to record on tape. In fact, you don’t need a tape cassette in the camcorder. Because you’re recording directly to your hard drive, you don’t use the camcorder’s record-to-tape mechanism; the video goes directly from the camcorder’s circuitry to your computer. However, some camcorders don’t pass the video through in this manner, and the opposite is true: You must insert a DV tape cassette and press the Record button. If this is the case, you can still record directly to a hard drive with the tape paused (or record to tape at the same time and then rewind the tape for later use).

  3. (Optional) Change the video picture size from the Video Size pop-up menu.

  4. Click the Capture button to start recording video.


  5. Choose from the Save To pop-up menu a hard drive on which to save the video, and then choose Add to Existing Event and an event from the pop-up menu, or choose Create New Event.

  6. (Optional) Choose the After Import Analyze For option and select Stabilization, People, or Stabilization and People.

  7. Click Capture to start capturing video.

  8. To stop, click the Stop button in the lower right corner. Start and stop recording as often as you like.

    Every time you stop recording, iMovie takes a few moments to generate thumbnails for the video. You can then click Capture to start recording again. Every time you start again, the dialog appears so that you can create a new event or continue adding to the same event; choose which one you want and click Capture.

  9. When you’re finished recording, click Done.

The recorded clips appear in the Source Video pane, assigned to events that appear in the Event Library.