Transitions in iMovie on Your MacBook - dummies

By Mark L. Chambers

Many iMovie owners approach transitions as visual bookends: They merely act as placeholders that appear between video clips. Nothing could be farther from the truth, because judicious use of transitions can make or break a scene. For example, which would you prefer after a wedding ceremony — an abrupt, jarring cut to the reception or a gradual fadeout to the reception?

Today’s audiences are sensitive to transitions between scenes. Try not to overuse the same transition — pick two or three that match the mood of your film. Also weigh the visual impact of a transition carefully.

iMovie includes a surprising array of transitions, including old favorites (such as Fade In and Dissolve) and some nifty stuff you might not be familiar with (such as Cube and Page Curl). To display your transition collection, click the Show Transitions button on the Browser toolbar (or press Command+4).


To see what a particular transition looks like, move your cursor over the thumbnail to display the transition in miniature.

Adding a transition couldn’t be easier: Drag the transition from the list in the Transitions Browser pane and drop it between clips or between a clip and a still image in the Project pane. In iMovie ’11, transitions are applied in real time.