News

How to create a dream sequence effect in iMovie for Mac

Use iMovie’s transitions and effects to differentiate between daydreams and daytimes on your Mac

Main

Infobox
MainDream sequences often occur in dramas, so we’re familiar with the ways that they can be represented on-screen. One trope is to use a ripple transition that signifies the start of the daydream sequence. iMovie’s Transitions browser is up to the challenge of adding a traditional ripple effect, but by mixing the transition with footage of rippling water you can make the effect look less cheesy and more relevant to your narrative. Another way to differentiate your project’s daydream footage from reality is to use iMovie’s preset video effects to alter colours and tones. Indeed there is a preset Dream effect that blows out highlights and desaturates colours, but the results aren’t very attractive. We’ll demonstrate other effects that help create a more colourful daydream look.

You can download the source clips to follow along with tutorial from our Downloads page.

 

Headerbar

Step 1

1 Import clips

Choose File>New Event. Label the event ‘Dream Event’. Choose File>New Movie. Label the movie ‘Daydream’. Click Import and Shift+click to select our source clips. Click Import Selected.

Step 2

2 Show Skimmer Info

Go to View>Show Skimmer Info. You can now move the cursor over an imported clip and its name will pop up. Double-click to select Shot01. Click the ‘+’ icon to add it to the Timeline.

Step 3

3 Add ripple transition

Add Shot02 to the timeline. Go to the Content Library panel and click on Transitions. Drag the Ripple transition between Shot01 and Shot02. By default the transition runs for 1.0 seconds.

Step 4

4 Create longer transitions

Double-click on the transition icon. Set Duration to 2.0 seconds. Click Apply. In the warning window, click OK to shorten the two clips while increasing the transition’s duration.

Step 5

5 Add dream clips

Click back on the Dream Event. Select and add Shot03, Shot04 and Shot05 to the Timeline to complete the dream sequence. Drag the Zoom slider to see all the clips in the Timeline.

Step 6

6 Add video effect

Click on Shot02. Click the Adjust icon above the viewer. Click the Video and Audio effects icon. Click the Video Effect drop-down menu. Click to apply the Romantic preset effect to the clip.

Step 7

7 Copy and paste

Click on the clip that features the Romantic effect. Choose Edit>Copy. Now click on the other daydream clips in turn and choose Edit>Paste Adjustments>Video Effect.

Step 8

8 End the sequence

Double-click to select Shot06 and click the ‘+’ icon to place it at the end of the Timeline. Add another 2.0 second Ripple transition to end the daydream sequence back to return to reality.

Step 9

9 Add music

Click the Sound Effects browser and go to the Jingles folder. Drag Watercolor Long into the Timeline. Drag the fade-in icon to make the music begin during the first transition.

Click Image to Enlarge:

Annotated

×