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How to apply post-production camera effects in iMovie for iOS

Want to take your projects to the next level? Here’s how to add iMovie’s finest effects on your iPhone or iPad

MainThey say the camera never lies, but thanks to the latest iMovie it can embellish the truth somewhat. While your iOS 7 device is almost certainly equipped with a formidable lens for capturing stunning video, it’s always nice to apply some polish in post-production. That’s why iMovie on iOS offers some versatile camera effects you can add to any sequence.

With just a few swipes and gestures anyone can transform a perfectly reasonable piece of footage into something more dynamic and exciting. What’s more, those familiar with iMovie on Mac will be pleased to find many popular favourites making the leap onto smaller screens. So in this guide we’ll show how you can discover and use effects including the classic Ken Burns, picture-in-picture, side-by-side split-screen and more.


Step 1

1 Setting zoom levels

Start by adjusting zoom levels on clips. With a clip selected in your project, tap the plus sign magnifying glass button in the viewer pane. Simply pinch the frame to zoom in and out.

Step 2

2 Default Ken Burns

iMovie uses the Ken Burns effect to add movement to still photos. Add a single photo and drag out over an ample duration. Click the play button to preview the default effect.

Step 3

3 Photo movement and zoom

You adjust the Ken Burns effect by pinching to zoom and dragging to move the photo in the first and last frames. Then tap the dotted square Ken Burns icon to confirm the effect.

Step 4

4 Overlay effects

iMovie lets you add clips running side-by-side. With one clip already in your project, add another using the three-dotted button and the ‘Cutaway’ icon showing two overlaid clips.

Step 5

5 Picture-in-picture mode

With video selected, use the overlay buttons to select picture-in-picture. This places one clip in a pane within the other. Tap the bi-directional icon to move, resize and zoom the box.

Step 6

6 Split-screen mode

Tap the third overlay effect button to switch to split-screen effects. By default the screen divides vertically, however a new set of buttons lets you flip the clips and set the split to run horizontally.

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