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Colour correct your footage in iMovie – iLife Tutorial

Learn how to use iMovie’s colour correction to get your video looking as vibrant on screen as it did on location with this easy tutorial.

iMovie Colour Correct Tutorial - Sidebar
iMovie Colour Correct Tutorial - Main
After spring has sprung, winter’s short drab days are replaced with brighter sunshine and longer-lasting daylight!
As a bonus, colourful plants and trees begin to blossom and bloom. This combination of improved weather and dashes of colour provides enough motivation for us to dust off our hibernating camcorder and head out and about to capture some stunning spring scenes. Sometimes our footage doesn’t do our spring subject matter justice due to incorrect camera settings. Fortunately the iMovie Video Inspector’s colour-correcting tools can help us quickly coax more vibrant colours from our clips, as we’ll demonstrate in this walkthrough.

iMovie Colour Correct Tutorial - SBSiMovie Colour Correct Tutorial - Step1

Step 1: Create new project
Go to File>New Project. As we’ll be working with HD clips, set the Aspect Ratio to Widescreen (16:9) and keep the Frame Rate at 30 fps. Click Create.

iMovie Colour Correct Tutorial - Step2

Step 2: Import clips
Go to File>Import Movies. Select our disc’s Colour Source Clips folder. Create a new event called Spring. Import. Drag clips into the Project window.

iMovie Colour Correct Tutorial - Step3

Step 3: Fine-tune
Go to iMovie>Preferences. Tick ‘Show Fine Tuning controls’. Drag the first clip’s Fine Tune icon right to lose the camera wobble caused by pressing record.

iMovie Colour Correct Tutorial - Step4

Step 4: Increase saturation
The first clip’s colours are a bit drab. Click to select the clip. Press I. Click the Inspector’s Video tab. Drag Saturation up to 142% for more vibrant shades.

iMovie Colour Correct Tutorial - Step5

Step 5: Reveal delicate detail
Click on the second clip. The Saturation slider jumps back to 100%. Set it to 151% to bring out the colours and delicate textures in the flowers. Click Done.

iMovie Colour Correct Tutorial - Step6

Step 6: Faster adjustments
To capture the adjustment settings go to Edit>Copy. Click on clip 3. Go to Edit>Paste Adjustments. Choose Video. This will boost clip 3’s colour.

iMovie Colour Correct Tutorial - Step7

Step 7: Edit all clips
You can now select each clip in turn and choose Edit>Paste Adjustments>Video to boost their colours to 151% with no need to open the Inspector.

iMovie Colour Correct Tutorial - Step8

Step 8: Split sound edit
On clip 5, drag Fine Tune handle right to lose the first 30 frames. Go to Clip>Detach Audio. Drag audio start point left to hear the birds before we cut to them.

iMovie Colour Correct Tutorial - Step9

Step 9: Musical merge
To get the shots to blend together in a relaxing sequence, drag Watercolor Long from the Music and Sound Effects browser into the Project window.

(Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations)

iMovie Colour Correct Tutorial - Annotated

To complete this tutorial, you’ll need to download the Issue 95 tutorial files.